So I had a partner and now I don't.
Yeah, like on your first one. Now, what happened to him?
I knew I wasn't going to work with him long. We were already going stale before the first...
You were using him.
No, no, no. Not at all.
I'm just kidding.
And so I get all defensive. I mean, it was just never meant to be. It was just like a project and then we happened to get a record deal, but I do a lot of things by myself, which I would rather do.
So you play the different tracks and then put them together?
just do it in a different track studio. And now I'm actually getting something
I do live in the computer. I'm getting something called
Now, how did you find the people that you play your tour with?
You generally try and find them through advertising, but that never works. So, it's just friends. Two of the guys were in a band called Pet Club, and my producer, the guy works at my studio, named Marty Von Moch, knew them, and Dan the guitar player was going to play with us last year, but then it just didn't work out for some reason. And John, the bass player, John Goldman, went to my high school. He's about eight years younger than I am, but he went to Crossroads. A lot of the people I've worked with have gone to Crossroads strangely enough. They weren't there when I was there, but the guy that plays with Beck right now, Joe Warnicker, played on the last record, and Tony Maxwell in a band called That Dog, played on the record. So, it's just word of mouth generally.
Did you take a different approach from the first album to the second album?
A different approach? Yeah, that's a good question. I still went about things in a similar way, I think. It was very similar, and I'm just starting to break away from that sort of formulaic approach I've always had now because I'm way into the third album now because I've had a lot of time; I've been on the road a lot.
You've just started this tour, right?
This tour we started yesterday, and we just went to
How did that go?
Really well, surprisingly. We had just started rehearsing about two weeks before. But, um, this record I was really alone a lot, so I guess the different approach was that I didn't have to compensate for someone else's tastes and style. I could kind of do it by myself, and really it was a much more
pleasing way to work.
Well, people who have listened to the first and second album have noticed a difference in sound.
Oh, yeah, it's different. A lot of it was that I could barely play guitar on the first one. I was just learning how to play at that point, so I was just doing some rhythm stuff, and I wrote about half of the songs, and John wrote the other half. This record is kind of me learning how to play guitar.
And you're making money at it.
Yeah, I'm going to learn how to play guitar and pay me for it, then I'll know that I'm making money. Not really. No but, yeah, there is a lot of differences, but I think I'm able to do what John did pretty well. 1 learned a lot from him, his vicious guitar feedback style.
I know the first one a lot of people compared it to Joy Division in a way.
People actually still compare it. I think there is a lot more in common between the two records than the obvious differences. There is definitely a lot of the same stuff going on, but it is not quite obviously dark and wallowing. It's a little bit more...it's lacking John's personality.
Was he kind of depressed?
Yeah, very much so. I mean he's a great guy. Like I said, he's my best friend, one of my good friends, but he's pretty intense.
He just needs Prozac.
You know what, I think that's what it is. He knows it too, but he just can't get it together. I'll shake him...
Maybe he just likes to wallow. Do you have any certain kind of goal with what you're going to with your music?
The goal is just to keep it fresh, and to keep experimenting, and to just keep doing something that's honest. I want to make sure that I love it, always. I don't want to lose that philosophy.
But if you were tempted by the money would you?
I've never thought that way; I don't know. We'll see what happens. It could happen. I'm getting bigger record deal offers, and after the third album with Caroline is up next year, what am I going to do? I mean, do I decide independent on an independent label? I mean Caroline, it's not like a major, but it's one of the bigger. I mean, it's really hard to send this band on tour if there's no money to pay anybody; it's really difficult. With a major label I could maybe realize more how I see this thing happening, and being able to have a sound man that that's always there, and really wants to learn the songs, and that would be nice, but I forget what the question was.
Most bands when they sign to a major label say, "well, we can get our music to more people, wider distribution." Do you see that as actually the case, or do you see that as a cop out, that they want the extra money?
It's different in many cases. I have friends now who are signing deals, and it seems like they're really blowing and they're just taking all this money, and the pressure that they put on you is just amazing. I mean, we spend so little on these records and there's a lot of pressure to go go go and make the money back. I mean, it's a business. A cop out? It's different in many cases, but it's tempting if you've got no money. It's really tempting to take that $200,000 and then that $100,000 advance. But people have to understand that that's really not all that much money, that it is going to be gone. So,
that's not a good way to look at it.
Do you think nowadays with major labels, they give more freedom, are they offering you more leeway with what you do.
Yeah, well, yeah, we haven't gotten down to the details, but I will not sign anything that..-I'll have a hundred percent control of everything, artwork, everything.
It seems like they are more willing to do that now.
Well, they kind of have to be. Times have changed and they have to be, and that's good, it should be that way.. So that's going to be an issue, and I'm not going to do a thing if I can't keep all of that control.
Do you have any certain musical influences or something that creatively spurred you?
I guess, a lot of it was instrumental music, a lot of jazz ranging from old Duke Ellington to the Weathereport in the 70's affected me a lot when I was a teenager, and Brian Eno especially. I mean, I'm more into ambient kind of stuff, and I'm actually possibly going to do...there's a composition Brian Long at Caroline does an ambient thing...there are so many different headings for things over there, I forget which one it was, but I'm going to do a piece for that. So really it's mostly atmospheric kind of textural kind of music, and I think that I want to get more into that and do records that are half vocals and half instrumental.
So do you think that you can get across more from doing instrumentation rather than vocals?
Well, lyrics for me are always a big struggle. I just don't...it's a real painful experience for me, but I'm getting better at it, and I'm finding a way into an honest kind of subconscious part of me that can kind of just let it flow, and I like what I read a year later and I think "ok, wow, this is meaningful," and I think they're ok, but it's just hard for me to do, and I like the sound of a voice and I like singing, it's just that lyrics are such a struggle, and often they're distracting, they don't mix with music perfectly, and that's why I'm really tempted to blend them way in. There is a band called Bailter Space, and they really do that.
well I've heard something about why you called the band
forgetting how it happened. There's a band called Lifter that just signed with Interscope, and this guy named Mike Colter
who writes the songs was in a band called
You don't like words.
No, I do, I really do, but they've always been a real problem for me. I mean, I was never much of a student, I couldn't really write down my thoughts. I was bad at doing papers. I was bad at, but I'm getting better at it, it's the slowest thing to develop I think. Maybe when I think they're developed they won't be any good.
the west side. I guess I was raised in
All your life; born there?
mean I lived in
anything you want us to tell people about
I'm always so bad at that. I mean, it's fun because I talk to a lot of people on the internet, a lot of people. I get about four or five letters a day, and I'm always talking to people on that, and I send files of things over. We might do something, a release, that just gets released on the internet. So, I mean, computers are a big part of what I do, they're going to become more a part of it, not too much because I don't want to go crazy, but I want to keep rolling tape across heads and we'll have a computer synced up to a tape machine, so I'll be able to balance anything in, and work with it, and I can rearrange songs. Because, not being a band I can't experiment with things. I have to put a guitar track down on tape and live with it. I can't change it, I can't go, "oh, the chorus is too long." So, with a computer I will be able to alter that stuff, experiment, and do what people do when they're in a band.
Wait, there was a question that you didn't quite answer.
Yeah, that's generally what I do. What was it? I think it was when I said I forgot what the question was.
I think it was, what you want to tell people about you.
Oh, I hate that question.
Ok, then here's a different one. What's your favorite canned food?
really, What are those peaches, those Glorietta peaches. See, that's important too, the way
things are packaged.
They always mess up the art work, the
I like the cover for this one though.
Yeah, I thought it would be real stark, and I like yellow and grey together. So, um, Glorietta peaches.
Is there some kind of thing behind the title of it This Way Out?
I just had a dream and that was what the record was called and I thought, "wow, it sounds kind of cool, This Way Out." The music for me is therapeutic, not escape, but it can feel like that. This way, I mean, the music is transporting, kind of a healing thing. I was in a dream, and really that was what the record was called, so I thought, wow, someone knows what the record is called, someone up there told me, someone inside who knows what's going on.