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- Posted on Feb 21st 2010 1:30PM by Ray Blanton
How did you come up with your band name?
I have an old Gretsch bass drum pedal called Floating Action. I was going to call my last record title that, but then decided it was a good band name.
How did your band form?
I figured out how to press a record, and that opened the door to me playing all the instruments and being able to write songs I could stand behind. Then, when people expressed interest in the recordings, I tracked down some cool dudes that don't mind driving around the country for no money.
How would you describe your sound?
We're a southern band that longs for the West Coast. Our sound is gritty, straight from the soil/soul. Live sound has evolved past its means. It's too teched out -- no bands ever sound good now. I want to start a festival with Juston Stens of Dr. Dog, where we mic every band like they did for the late '50s Newport Jazz Festivals.
What are your musical influences?
Snowboarding, the Supremes album 'Love Child,' Charlie Watts' drumming on 'Jigsaw Puzzle,' the bassline on Eddie Money's 'Baby Hold Onto Me.'
In what ways, if any, do you intentionally infuse these influences into your sound?
As a producer, it seems like there's always some song or sound you cite, like, "We're going to give this one the Jeff Lynne treatment," or whatever. Some people would never know you were going for that. It's just in your mind, or your interpretation. There's a song on our new record that's got a Devendra Banhart style, another with a Band of Horses style, and another with a Beach House style, but they don't really sound like any of those bands. What sets us apart in the industry are our original melodies, good songs, quality lyrics, tugging grooves and interesting production, all set to a bar higher than the industry requires.
Where are you at as a group? What would you like to see emerge from your SXSW experience?
As a band, I'd like to see us make that mystical, nebulous jump to where people will all of a sudden pay to see you play in every town you go to. And at some point I'd like to produce a Keith Richards solo record at my house, just he and I. Ideally, at SXSW, you want people who can help your career to come see you and get stoked. Most of the time they're having the same troubles as you, i.e., fighting through the crowds. So is it worthless to go? Definitely. But it's just part of the job!
What's in your festival survival kit?
A transmission from a '97 Saab.
What are some of your favorite things to do while in Austin?
Besides making fun of all the hipsters trying to out-hip each other ... That's about it. Dealing with the crowds there pretty much takes all your time and energy. We never have time to go see any other bands, and I really don't like crowds. I usually spend most of my time alone, on trails on the side of a mountain.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Paula Abdul's 'Shut Up and Dance' remix.
If you could hand select the greatest set of musicians -- dead or alive -- to play with, who would you choose, and where would you play?
Something involving some or most of James Brown's '70s band with Catfish and Bootsy Collins, Noah Georgeson, Binki Shapiro, Beck, Keith Richards, Al Jackson Jr., and me. We'd play at gas station snack bars and rest areas in Oklahoma.
What are some of your most entertaining thoughts while you're performing?
My zippers are broken on 98 percent of all my pants. Sometimes, my shirt covers the crotch area. But I also have some boxers that have weird flies that open up on their own. So I've often reviewed in my head while playing, "What if I'm wearing that perfect broken zipper/open-fly boxer combination? Would it be cool in an Iggy Pop sort of way? Or would that cross the line, and people would sincerely hate us?"
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