People Who Work Here would like to apologize for the extreme delay between interviews, but this week’s guest was dragging his feet like mad because, apparently, he does not want “to be made fun of” and therefore said guest took an unprecedented amount of time to complete his interview. Again, I apologize, but now I’d like to introduce you to Chris Jacobs, General Manager of Sub Pop Records! Chris has two kids, one of whom has the best name ever: Owen Blackjack Jacobs, and a lovely wife, and a golden retriever named Gabe. Chris enjoys playing soccer, playing cards with his buds, and skateboarding. Chris does not like mayonnaise or beans of any kind. I often times go to Chris for advice or when I am feeling blue and he cheers me up by reminding me that he is older than me and therefore worse off. He is a sensitive and hilarious guy and I have learned a lot from him over the years and am proud to call him friend as well as boss. (He makes me call him boss.) Let’s meet Chris!
L: Tell me about your history at Sub Pop and how you moved through the ranks to become the general manager of such a fine establishment. Be sure to tell me a little about your duties at each stop along the way.
C: I started here in April of ’97, shortly after the attempted coup, as tour publicist. Duties there included lots of phone time with newspaper journalists who sometimes also wrote cooking or home improvement columns. “Yes, that’s right, we put out the first Nirvana record. No, right now, I’m hoping you’ll write something about Elevator to Hell, actually.” Later, in addition to that, I bought ads for the label, and wrote quite a few of those that were mostly misunderstood, when paid any attention at all. Highlights include our failed pseudo-revolutionary “campaign” (“Sub Pop: By Any Means Currently Available”), our high-larious and way before its time LP3 ad, the ZZ Mower ad we stole from Matador, and oh, so many more that likely no one but me and Jeff Kleinsmith care at all about. After the departure of my old boss Cece, I took over as Publicity Director, and oh man, did I ever get this label a lot of coverage in Pulse! Magazine. A few years after that, I was elected Marketing Director in a landslide, which job involved (among a great many other, high-level responsibilities) making stickers and buttons and helping to put together this. [Seriously, will you just let this thing die? Yes, ha ha. We get it. –ed.] After being relieved of those duties, I was Editor-in-Chief and then Sr. Director of Special Projects, and the main duties involved in both of those jobs seemed to be explaining what they were and also combating the derision of my co-workers. Recently, I was inexplicably promoted to General Manager and I’m still not altogether clear on what that means.
L: Comics—you love them. Why? Which ones are your favorites? Do you only like the dirty alternative comics or have you collected them since you were a kid?
C: I do love comics! Sadly, I have paid less attention to them recently than I once did. I mostly only like the dirty alternative comics [Who can resist a skillfully shaded boob on paper? –ed.] and then sometimes also the not-so-dirty alternative comics and am a great fan of many of the folks currently published through the Fantagraphics imprint – Dan Clowes, Pete Bagge, Jim Woodring, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Richard Sala, Ivan Brunetti, Johnny Ryan, Al Columbia. I also really like Adrian Tomine. This is the same list from ten years ago though… I never really collected comics. I read ‘em as a kid, but only sporadically. I liked Ghost Rider a lot, Dr. Strange. I’m starting to bore even me here…
L: Tell me exactly how having a baby changes a person. Is the second one just gravy or do you have to go through all of it again with each new little dude?
C: Man, I think having a baby changes people in all sorts of different ways! Though I am very free with my complaints on the subject (little babies are big pains in the ass)[You should hear the way he talks about the new one! –ed.], I’ve also found that it’s made me just get over myself in what I hope are good ways. It’s good for you to care/worry about someone else more than you do yourself. I also have a heightened appreciation for sleep and, relatedly, far less motivation to leave the house at night. You do have to go through it all again with the second one, for sure, and there are complications in how you split your time between the two (the older one wants to play Power Rangers or whatever and the younger one just wants your full attention right goddamned now all the time), but the second one was easier because I think we were less uptight. We felt somewhat confident that we’d be able to keep the second one alive in those first few weeks/months. We were very worried about that with the first one.
L: You and your eldest son Owen just went on a father son roadtrip to Montana. What did you guys talk about? Would you consider hiring yourself out to people who might not have gotten to do this as children?
C: We did just go on a little trip to Western Montana, Owen and I! And, it was one of the best things I’ve done in recent memory. We didn’t really talk about anything super important or deep. [Yeah, he’s 4 so I didn’t think you would’ve. –ed.] We mostly talked about how he really likes Lunchables and how sleeping bags are pretty cool, stuff like that. And, no I wouldn’t consider hiring myself out for this kind of thing. I’m not at all convinced that I’m any good at it [See above for Chris’s technique. –ed.], I’m just all my kids have got (in the dad dept. – they have an excellent, highly-qualified mom), so I have to give it a shot.
L: You play(ed?) the drums. Did you ever have dreams of making it as a “professional musician”? Why or why not? If you could play drums for any band living or dead who would it be? Also, please tell me about your very first band.
C: I am indeed a mediocre drummer! I don’t play all that much anymore though. Before Owen was born I used to play once a week or so, with some friends. And, yep, in high school I had some dreams of “making it” in a band. Why? Just for the usual reasons, I think, it seemed to be an incomparably fun way to make a handsome living. Also, it held the promise of meeting and possibly impressing girls. I guess I probably would have liked to play drums for Kiss in the ‘70s. That was probably a pretty good time and I’m at least as good a drummer as Peter Criss now. [Wasn’t he impersonated by a hobo some years back? –ed.] I’d have a different answer to the question of who I’d most like to be able to play drums like (Rey Washam or Mac McNeilly, or the guy from RFTC, probably). My very first band was called The Floorshow (I came up with the name – based on my affection for The Sisters of Mercy in ’85 or so) and we played a handful of cover songs. The first song we learned together was AC/DC’s “Walk All Over You.” [Ah, that explains the AC/DC explosion coming from your cubicle last week while you were, presumably, answering these questions. –ed.]
L: You are Kinski’s A+R guy and you recently went down to Oklahoma and Texas to see them play in some big ass stadiums when they were opening for Tool. Tell me a good story about one of these shows.
C: Those Tool shows were really fun! And, those Tool guys and all their crew were incredibly good to Kinski. The singer from Tool has some sort of customized police car that he tows behind his bus and drives around in the different cities they play. [Yawn. This is not at all the kind of story I was looking for here. –ed.]
L: What was your first job? What was your last before Sub Pop? What did you imagine yourself doing when you were a kid?
C: I had paper routes as a kid, but my very first real job was as an usher at The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. It’s this thing where people pose as works of art. They did a bit on it in Arrested Development. It was just for the summer – a couple summers in a row, actually. The guy who narrated it (Thurl Ravenscroft) was the voice of Tony the Tiger from TV commercials, and OJ Simpson came to at least one of the performances I worked [Was he wearing gloves? –ed.]. That was a really great job… Before Sub Pop I worked at Fantagraphics Books (the comic book [boob –ed.] publisher I mentioned above), doing marketing and promotions. When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, or a professional soccer player, or skateboarder, or play drums in a band – that kind of thing. [Wow! You do almost all of those things, minus the space one! Congratulations! –ed.]
L: You are known around the office as “Rad Dad” because you still go skate boarding and stuff. Were you a bad teenager? Did you give your parents a hard time? Will you be disappointed if skate boarding and rock music is totally boring to your kids?
C: I was a pretty bad teenager, yeah. Or, rather, I was trying really hard to be bad when I was a teenager. All of that stuff embarrasses me pretty badly now. It was all really stupid stuff. And, I was for sure hard on my parents. They seem to have come through it okay, but there were a number of years there where we were battling fairly hard. Nah, I won’t be disappointed if Owen and Will don’t care about skateboarding and rock music. I kind of expect them to dislike that stuff since it’s what their dad is into. I mean, I’m going to try to share that stuff with them, but I think the impulse to differentiate yourself from your parents is good/healthy. Plus, I’m karmic-ly due some father/son friction, I think. [It’ll be okay—just remind them how much older you are and I’m sure they’ll fall right in line. –ed.]
L: Do you take dumps at the office? Are you afraid of germs or food from restaurants or anything like that?
C: Sure I do! [Please email me for a complete list of people who will NOT take dumps in the office. –ed.] Nope, I’m not really afraid of germs. Getting touched by strangers, like on the bus, is really uncomfortable for me, but that doesn’t have anything to do with germs.
L: When did you first make out with a girl? Was it totally weird? Tell me about your high school girlfriend.
C: I think my first real make-out was with Maura McHenry at a very typically booze-y OC high school party at some kid’s house whose parents were out of town. It was pretty weird and embarrassing, but at the time seemed to be about the best thing in the world. I kind of “dated” a few different people, but I didn’t really have a girlfriend until the very end of high school, right around when I graduated. And then I wrecked that by taking her to Disneyland with another couple and getting thrown into the Disneyland jail (it’s a long story and one that my long-suffering co-workers have heard ad nauseam). She was a year younger than me and was on the soccer team [Uh, Chris, I think that means she was a lesbian. Oh wait, is that softball? –ed.] . Neither of these old flames can hold a candle to my excellent, super-foxy wife Stephanie! [Indeed! –ed.]
L: And finally, tell me three TV shows and five records that you are really into right now.
C: Easy! TV: Top Chef, Entourage, Flight of the Conchords… You know? I’m actually sort of more waiting for stuff I’m really crazy about on TV to come back. I can’t wait for more of The Wire, The Office, 30 Rock, and Battlestar Galactica. Records (not nec. new, but stuff I’ve been listening to lately): Parts and Labor – Mapmaker; The National – Boxer; that Wipers box set; Welcome – Sirs; and the Coconut Coolouts – Party Time Machine! [So, if everyone here likes the goddamn Coconut Coolouts so much how come we don’t have a record deal?! -ed.]
Hello, devoted readers! This week’s People Who Work Here brings you an in-depth conversation with Sam Sawyer, king of the online store and the man responsible for getting your goods out to you when order from subpop.com. Sam is an All-American kid from the Midwest with blonde hair and blue eyes. He’s sporty—he rides bikes and skateboards and sometimes even jogs on his lunch break. I referred to him as athletic the other day and he corrected me and said he preferred to be called active. Tomato/tomato, right? Oh, Sam has also male modeled for his friend’s bicycle apparel company—yes, that’s right, he’s a male model. Let’s meet Sam!
L: Tell me how and why you made you made it from Minneapolis out to Seattle? How did you end up working at Sub Pop?
S: I had a few friends out here before I moved, so when I was looking to leave MPLS, I thought Seattle might be an okay place to relocate, what with the friends and all. I was not totally convinced until I came out for a visit. It’s pretty here! It wasn’t a hard sell. As for Sub Pop, I met Andy K. in MPLS in the office of Sub Pop’s distributor, ADA, when he was visiting and I introduced myself. [Thanks a lot, Andy. –ed.] When I moved I sort of kept in contact with him and when Sub Pop was looking for someone, I was lucky enough to get an interview. I did not get that job. But luckily, I came in second, because next time they were looking for someone, they asked me. The timing was very good and I happily accepted the position in the gang.
L: You like the Replacements a lot, right? Do you think you have an affinity toward Midwestern rock music? Why or why not?
S: I really like the Mats. It’s hard not to love them; they are such goons. I don’t really have an affinity to Midwestern rock per se, just Minneapolitan rock. I don’t know what it is, but we’re a proud people (Twin City folks, that is) and I have to stick by anything that comes out of that town (I’m trying to think of exceptions but I can’t think of one – WAIT – there’s that Closing Time song. Semisonic, that’s the exception. I hate them.) Jimmy Jam rules. [Do you stand by Paul Westerberg’s ‘Singles’ song? It’s a lot like ‘Closing Time’. –ed.]
L: You do my old job here at Sub Pop. How do you like it? What is the best part of it? What is the worst? What job would you really like to be doing here?
S: I do like your old job. Your old job is pretty fun. The best part of it is definitely the interaction with my officemates, they are good folks. The worst part? I dunno. Dinky, the office mascot, a dog of some breed, bit me in the crotch once. It was really close to being a big disaster. Like when you see an x-ray of a dude who took a nail gun assault to the head – and if the nail were 1/10th of an inch to the left he’d be dead, you know what I’m saying? It was a close call. That’s not really an aspect of my job, but it was a bad moment.
L: Do you have a favorite online customer? A bud? Why would you recommend that people buy directly from subpop.com?
S: I have an e-pen-pal named Kenny that I met through his ordering from our site. He has two kids and lives in SoCal. [Why do you like to befriend old dudes so much? -ed.] He likes the Shins and seems like one of those Rad Dads that the Sub Pop office is teeming with. The other day, from another customer, I got a drawing emailed to me of a flightless bird/dinosaur with a robot riding him. It was his interpretation of the two of us celebrating his happiness due to his online order. It was touching. I think people should buy from us if they like extras. Little things like stickers and buttons. But also intangibles like a personal email from us if you have a question. We’re like a mom and pop shop, but a completely ice cream tree crazy one. Like if instead of being burned down, the Waco compound, led by David Koresh, started selling records online instead of doing such intense and threatening Bible-thumping. Or not, that’s a little weird.
L: How’s working with Mark Arm in the warehouse? Tell me the funniest thing that’s happened back there involving him. Like, have his pants ever fallen down while he’s trying to put a box of records on a high shelf?
S: It’s like working side-by-side with Jesus. Funny story: Once we had a UPS man overload his hand-truck and was having a hard time leaning it back to get the wheels rolling, you know, due to the immensity of the days shippings. Without warning him, Mark decided to give a tiny push to the hand-truck to help the tower of boxes out with its momentum. It was a little more than the UPS man could handle, and a few hundred pounds of records spilled on top of him and he was crushed by many, many boxes of Mudhoney (one would assume) CDs and LPs. [Mark Arm is like the Charles Atlas of the warehouse. He doesn’t even know his own strength! –ed.] Anyway, Mark got totally screamed at by the UPS fella and it totally wrecked the vibe back there for the afternoon.
L: What do you like to do for fun? Do you ever do any drugs?
S: I’ve got nothing against drugs but I’ve never had much interest in them, personally. Fun? I like spying on my neighbors and shoplifting. [Why am I not surprised by this answer? -ed.]
L: Which dude in the office would you marry, boff, kill?
S: I definitely value humor in a mate, so initially I thought I’d go for Chris J. But then I thought, maybe a sensitive guy is what I need. And Andy K. came to mind. But my coworker/Netflix friend, Dusty S. and I have 86% similar movie tastes, according to our Netflix reviews, so I am going to choose to marry him. And since I am such a monogamist, I’m going to go right ahead and “boff” him (are you cool with that, Dusty?) I’m gonna boff him so hard, his beard’s gonna fall right off his face. I’m not an advocate of violence of any sort, so no one dies by my hand. No, nevermind. I’ll kill Richard, just to feel what it’s like to kill, nothing personal. [It’s because he’s foreign. –ed.]
L: You were hit by a car while riding your bicycle not too long ago and you had to use a cane—did you get a lot of chicks? Do you hate car drivers? Give me your best pro-bike rant.
S: That was a weird time in my life, so I can’t really answer the chicks thing. [I’m making a whip noise right now. –ed.] I will say that I was surprised by how much female interest there was in me when I was missing all of my front teeth and couldn’t walk without a cane. But I didn’t really “get” any chicks. But I didn’t try hard either, in my defense. I love car drivers! I just bought a little truck and became part of the problem. No pro-bike rants; ride one if you like. If someone wants some exercise, I’d suggest a bike.
L: Please tell me your favorite Sub Pop release of 2007—why is this record so good?
S: I think the Handsome Furs record was my favorite release this year. It was just a good record. It’s a pretty sad record without being too mopey. At the time of its release I was looking for just that – a record that would listen, but wouldn’t cry with me.
L: Why do you think we fight so much?
S: You and I don’t get along super well, it’s true. But I think you’re great, Lacey. I don’t have any ill feelings at all, I just think that some people have some natural friction. You and I have the most of anyone else I’ve ever met, but I kind of like it. It’s like our own special relationship. [I thought it was because you are a jerk. J/K –ed.]
L: Okay, now tell me your very first memory.
S: I remember when I knew for sure I was done wetting the bed or peeing in my tiny overalls. I was three and got up before everyone because I had to go, and as I walked down the hall I remember thinking “I got this potty thing down”. I haven’t had a (sober) accident yet! [Way to go, little dude! –ed.]
It feels pretty great to spread good news, doesn’t it? It does! Ready?
We just wanted to let you all know that the long-awaited new record from Iron & Wine will be out on September 25th has us positively jubilant! As if sharing that news isn’t bringing us more than our fair share of joy, gluttons that we are, we have still more for you: If you pre-order the CD or LP through September 25th you’ll get it for $1 off our already low-price. We are clearly not in full possession of our faculties! Plus! (I’m beginning to feel like I’m hosting an infomercial…) We will include a bonus CD with two b-sides (the songs “Serpent Charmer” and “Arms of a Thief”), as well as the stickers and buttons for which we are internationally somewhat famous for giving away to you, dear friends who give us your money.
Here’s some info on the new record…
2005’s Woman King distinguished itself from previous Iron & Wine records with a deepening integration of spiraling, dense opuses with intimate confessionals and with The Shepherd’s Dog this integration is complete. Recorded by Sam Beam with the assistance of longtime producer Brian Deck and engineer Colin Studebaker, The Shepherd’s Dog succeeds in accomplishing a cathartic recasting of the artist’s intentions. The arrangements here are kaleidoscopic and rich. “White Tooth Man” rocks with a desperate, menacing intensity while “Boy with a Coin,” the album’s first single, is darkly playful with a handclap hook tumbling under its cascading melody. The whole album breathes. Its seductive rhythms percolate and undulate, from the Psych-Bhangra-redux of “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car” to the album’s last dance-a waltz-“Flightless Bird, American Mouth.” Compositionally, it is Iron & Wine’s most ambitious and accomplished recording to date. It’s also the most satisfying.
On September 11th we let loose the party beast that is the new Go! Team album Proof of Youth, available on CD and LP, and sure to make an appearance on best of 2007 lists all over the world. This record is all about hand claps, double dutch good times, and it features guest appearances by Chuck D, the Rapper’s Delight Club, and that crazy broad from "Bonde de Role ":http://www.myspace.com/bondedorolewho sings about eating dick cheese on a cracker for breakfast. (HINT: If possible, only watch Brazilian bands with a member of CSS serving as translator. Those Bonde kids are nasty!) Anyhoo, did I mention that it’s got Chuck D on it? Chuck D! We are giving you $2 off the already low, low price of $14 if you pre-order it on subpop.com by street date and we’ll also throw in some pins (that’s ‘badges’ to you anglophiles and/or members of The Go! Team) and stickers and junk along with it. I’d like to point out, for anyone who is paying attention, that we will not be giving away free mp3s with the LP version of this particular record and I blame Al Qaeda. Should you happen to want to learn more about The Go! Team band I would suggest you check out their myspace here and some videos here and also this thing here.
Next stop on this party train is the long awaited new release from Iron and Wine, The Shepherd’s Dog, which will also be available on CD and LP. I really like Sam’s increased hair growth, both on the face and the head, and I think he’s really going to turn the heads of quite a few ladies with these new photos. (Is anybody even reading this?!). Think of Sam’s longer hair as a metaphor for The Shepherd’s Dog — it’s just like the old Sam but with more, and by “more” I mean instrumentation! This record has a lot more going on than previous Iron and Wine records but it’s still the good ol’ Sam you’ve come to know and love. Personally I think that this new one is a little more Fleetwood Mac-ish than the others, or am I the only one who thinks Sam Beam sounds like Lindsey Buckingham every once in a while? The Shepherd’s Dog comes with a bonus CD of two b-side tracks “Serpent Charmer” and “Arms of a Thief” as well as $1 off on subpop.com through street date as well as a generous helping of button and sticker.
Also making their debuts during the bitter sweet month of September are two titles from our pals at Hardly Art and DeStijl. Le Loup from Washington DC are Hardly Art’s second release, and you should buy it because a) the band is good and you will like to smoke some doob and listen to this, and b) Nick and Sarah from Hardly Art are just cute as little buttons! I asked Nick what he liked about Le Loup and he said “it is well thought out, intelligent music and it’s not pretentious. I have definitely smoked a doobie and listened to it.” Also be sure to check out the new (old) Michael Yonkers record out on DeStijl and available through Sub Pop. I can’t really do the ol’ Yonks justice by describing his jam to you, but you should look here and here and note that he counts the Hunches, the Hot Snakes, and all of us at the Sub Pop office as his fans.
You know what else is happening in September? Bumbershoot. That’s right, Seattle’s own summer music festival takes place this weekend and The Shins and Grand Archives are playing so you should maybe stop by if you are in town. We literally have a million bands on tour right now (that’s right, literally) so check here to see if one of them is coming to your town. Stay tuned ’til next month when I bring you HALLOWEENCOSTUMESFROMDAYS OF YORE, featuring photos and stories from as many of our bands and employees as I can convince to do this!
Hello and welcome to People Who Work Here Part VI where we reveal the secret lives of Sub Pop employees by asking the hard questions. Today’s interviewee is Andrew Sullivan, Junior Computer Guy here at Sub Pop. (That’s not really his title per se, but he does computers and he’s 22 years old. Plus, I asked our new GM what his title really was and he said he didn’t know.) Andrew started here as an intern while he was still in college, moved into part time while he finished up his studies, and is now here full time unless he is on tour with his band the Trashies. Andrew is 6’6”+ — he’s not really sure exactly how tall he is because rulers don’t go higher than that, or at least that’s what he told me, and many of his clothes seem a little too small for him in an endearing way. Andrew likes swimming, having house shows at the dump where he lives, being a human garbage disposal, playing music, and boobs. Let’s meet Andrew!
L: You’re pretty young—when I was your age I was just about to finish college while really ramping up my various drug addictions, but you’ve seemed to stay away from all that. How’d you do it?
A: I graduated high school when I was 17, moved straight out of Longview and farted my way through college with ease on a tough regiment of hating my school . I was never that interested in smoking weed, my mom is a smoker so I hate smoke and also I am already a pretty stupid, hungry, and tired guy, why would I want to throw more shit on that already sizable heap, you know? Drugs have rarely ever appealed to me so I have always stuck to my maybe a few times a year plan and never looked back, it’s always been a non-issue with me.
L: Okay,okay—but what’s your FAVORITE drug?
A: Fun & Goofballs
L: If you were going to make a mix tape for your girl what would be the first song and why? What if I asked this same question to the 15 year-old Andrew?
A: Hmm, this is a tough one, my initial stock response (if this was a girl I wanted to see in the nude) would probably be The Replacements “I will Dare.” However, some friends of mine think it is illegal to start off a tape with a song that already appears as Song 1 Side A on an album, so if I decided not to flaut that convention I might go with “’til the morning comes” by Neil Young. When I was 15 it probably would have been Screeching Weasel’s “Totally” or The Beach Boys “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” In fact I think I made mixes for my first high school girlfriend with those songs starting out the the A and B sides of a tape. [Who knew you were such a weird, giant romantic? –ed]
L: Tell me a little bit about your record label 24-7. Who runs it? Who’s on it? What are your plans? (Remember, don’t get too long winded—I bore easily.)
A: It’s just me and my roommates and a few of our friends, we’ve got about 20 bands between 7 people so we have released a ton of cd-r stuff in really small runs just to friends and stuff. I put out an LP recently of the trashies new album and we may be doing a White Nights 7” soon as well as some stuff by Love Machine, Land Action, The Singulars, and more. It’s mostly an art collective for dudes who like beer, jamming, and the arts. We run it out of my house with our friends so it is mostly just about being creative and having good times all around while producing things that interest all of us. [You should’ve called the label Sausage Party. –ed]
L: What’s your favorite place to place on tour and why?
A: Milwaukee Wisconsin, hands down, that city not only knows how to party but they also know how to treat bands like kings. Last time we were there we got a BBQ thrown in our honor and our friend home brewed a special batch of beers just for us, the time before that I blacked out and when I woke up our keyboard player was missing a tooth from the show. Milwaukee is a truly great place with lots of great people doing really killer shit. [And super fucking cheap happy hour! Picture this—3 cocktails, 1 beer, 5 dollars. –ed]
L: Which one of our coworkers do you see as a future version of you? If I have to choose just one I’d say I could see myself growing up to be a lot like Mark Arm, just a chill rock loving dude with lots of stories who tries to travel as much as possible, that sounds alright to me. [I think you might need to increase the goofball usage exponentially for a few years (and these are the prime ones!) to get to the place he’s at today. Also, have you noticed that Mark is mentioned in almost every one of these interviews? –ed]
L: What about me? Why don’t you want to be like me?
A: I’d say Mark is a little bit more stable than you are, plus he’s already twice as old as me and travels internationally a lot more than you and I’m totally into traveling, I work so that I can travel. [Can’t argue with that… -ed.]
L: Why do you get naked all the time? What would your mother say?
A: I would say that there’s a bit of a misconception about this idea that I get naked all the time, I’ve played two shows naked and go skinny dipping at Madison Park a lot during the summer but aside from that I would say I’m generally rather clothed. My mom is pretty proud of me it seems and supportive of most of my endeavors so when she saw a picture of me playing naked from the first tour I went on she just said “if that’s what you like to do great, just don’t get arrested or hurt yourself”. [This is almost the exact same advice my mother gave me but she also added ‘don’t get pregnant’ and ‘don’t let the neighbors see you’. –ed]
L: Hey! Tell me again about that time you got so drunk at my Christmas party that you ran out of the house and got hit by a car on your bike? What were you, 19 at the time?
A: I was 20 at the time, I drank beer and did drugs for the first time when I was 15 and then didn’t do it much again until I was 19, also my family is littered with alcoholism so when I drink it tends to sneak up on me and blackout sometimes (as was the case that night). I’d only been drinking (again) for about a year probably, got carried away, rode my bike when I shouldn’t have and got lucky that I didn’t kill myself. It was definitely an eye opening experience that made me take a step back and realize some profound shit about my life and my relationship with booze.
L: Go on, I’m curious.
A: I just realized that I’m young and love fun so I probably should lay back off the juice for a bit and get my act together, it actually ended up being a pretty positive experience for me.
L: I want to get serious here for a minute, Andrew. You seem to be a pretty happy guy and I’ve never seen you get mad—what is your secret and what is the meaning of life?
A: I generally think I’m a happy dude too, I don’t know how/when that happened because I used to raise a lot of hell and had to take a bunch of anger management classes in Junior High because teacher’s thought I was too disruptive, my parents even had an intervention with me in high school after I got in trouble with the cops a few times, they thought I was in a downward spiral toward an angry life. It was funny because they were really wrong, I was super happy and doing really well in school as well as life in general, that may have been a turning point. I kind of just realized somewhere along the way that a lot of the minutiae of daily life is trivial and that so long as I can be creative, productive, and have a good time with friends I’m pretty content. I hope that’s not to zen/hippy bullshit granolaheadcore for this interview.
L: Oh wow! Now this is the good stuff! I had no idea that you used to be like this? Would you beat kids up and stuff? What did you do to get in trouble with the cops?
A: I was never into fighting, I’ve only been in one fight ever, I used to get kicked out of classes everyday though for telling teacher’s no and just generally defying authority figures. Longview is a real small town so we got in trouble with the cops for egging people, vandalizing shit, breaking stuff, trespassing, shoplifting and shit like that. Me and my buddies basically caused a bunch of trouble and were real assholes (these are the same dudes who were in anger management with me) while our other friends went and got their girlfriends pregnant and took up meth so it all worked out.
L: What’s the best record you’ve heard this year? Do you still like Andrew WK now that he’s doing motivational speaking?
A: I haven’t really been blown away by any full length albums this year, the combination of a bunch of boring shit coming out and me taking my ear away from the ground a bit may have something to do with that but I really liked the two 7”s by Thomas Function and the Cafeteria Brutalia EP triclops put out. As for Andrew WK I do still dig him, his new album, which I believe is only out in Europe, is totally weird and his motivational speaking stuff is really great. I got some mom’s I know in my hometown to go see his speeches in Portland and they apparently really took a lot of it to heart.
L: Please tell us all about that gross concoction that you often eat for lunch. Is it because you are frugal or because you are a growing boy or what?
A: I am pretty frugal so I’ve been told, but I also have a deep burning love for Mexican food, the concoction that you are speaking of is probably either Migas, Rice and Beans with eggs, or a Chorizo & Potato omelet shoved into a Ziploc Tupperware deal. I’m a big eater. [No, it is none of those things. It is macaroni and cheese, beans, rice, and maybe egg as well in the biggest Tupperware I have ever seen in my life and it’s fucking SICK. –ed]