Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 1:00PM by Nick Flanagan
How would you describe your sound?
Well, I don't like to do that -- you know, dancing about architecture and all that. But I will say that it has something to do with our own personal mixture of personalities and the concept of total freedom. We sound pretty free live. Short of making some colourful metaphor, I like standing on the word 'freedom'. We sound like freedom. Our records tend to be very intimately recorded -- it's part of this personal process of going over piles of piles of old jams put to cassette tapes and other kinds of mediums; some have been recorded here, some have been recorded there. All the tracks are usually recorded very spontaneously. Live we try to replicate the intimate environment we record in, and because we're a four piece band live, we jam a lot more than on the records.
How did the band form?
We've known each other for quite some time. I'm really glad to be able to be in this band. We all went to SUNY Purchase college together and have been playing [together] in different projects over the years. [Woods drummer] Jarvis and I used to be in this band, the Vanishing Voice, so we've been jamming for years. I've known Jeremy forever, so it's a real natural extension of our friendship. We'd be barbecuing anyway. It's a real 'old friend' crew.
What are your musical influences?
You know how this is the 21st century now? A lot changed. The human race had been going for a hundred years, and a hundred years before that, and so on. Each hundred years comes with a set of new rules. The Mayan calendar that everyone talks about comes with a whole set of contingents for change. Everyone is expecting this spectrum of events to occur; anywhere from total cataclysm, to a slow slide into malaise, or human entropy, where our race just kind of dies out. What I think occurs is a switching of the ways we interact with the environment. Things like superstitions are completely different now, and they changed literally at midnight on December 31st 1999. Here we are in the next decade of the new century, and we've had ten years to acclimate to those conditions. That's my musical influence. Our musical influences are spontaneity, dropping everything and just f---ing doing it, and the changing conditions that we're all privy to on a very human, primordial wavelength.
You were in a Time Out New York's "date these music lovers" article. Did that pan out?
I could have gone on a couple of dates, but I didn't, because most of the people who wrote me were very Christian, because I talked about the apocalypse in pretty much every answer. I really enjoy going with the flow with interviews, so I was just having fun, and I realized afterward it was for a dating service. I was on tour and going a little crazy.
How did you come up with the band's name?
It was just fortuitous happenstance and a random occurrence, but we do like the woods, although we're from the city. I'm the only one from New York City, the others are from upstate -- Kevin, our new young bass player, is from the Midwest, so he represents the rest of America, whereas we represent a small area stretching from the Hudson Valley to the city. I don't know if people expect us to be woodsier people because of the name, but I don't care about that kind of thing. You don't know what people are going to do when you name something. I enjoy the schism.
What's your biggest vice?
Probably rich foods. I like to eat. It's how I experience the world: orally. I've been cooking stew all week in a giant pot that sits upon my stove. I like wrapping things in bacon. It's the spice of life. Things like that. The foods of our lives. I love eating things wherever we go, it's one of my favorite things about tour. On a European tour, we kept hearing about this Bavarian traditional white sausage, and we kept not eating it. After a show we were talking to a scientist, and he was like 'you guys have to eat that sausage before you leave, this is the best town for it. I want you to eat this sausage. Can you wake up at seven in the morning? I'll bring it to you on my way to work.' It was 5:30 in the morning and I immediately went to bed. All my dreams were about sausages, and I woke up in sausage country. He even brought over traditional sweet mustard. I was listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers in a German kitchen, eating white sausage at seven in the morning.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Drinking water. A beer and a beer cozy. A folding chair. A small cooler. A single slice of pizza, eaten slowly throughout the day. A tape recorder so I can play tapes. Usually when I get to a festival I get at the end of my rope, so I'll bring one ridiculous piece of clothing to wear: tiny striped shorts. Also, binoculars.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
I don't like celebrities, so it was probably just someone in an underwear catalogue when I was a kid.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Listening to the same loop for a week straight, just leaving it on in my room. I'm not ashamed of it exactly, but there's a point when doing it that I feel like a complete pervert. I got into the looping thing because it's an overarching metaphor for our times, 'hey you know that thing that you like? Why don't we repeat it ad infinitum, or according to a sequence that you yourself have programmed?' It's a wonderful musical instrument that kind of represents how we process information these days. Everything conspires to get stuck in your head.
What is the craziest tour experience you've had?
Driving through flames in the west coast [of America] is always a trip. Tour[ing] is a fickle thing -- like a dream, it steals the details from you. I guess the craziest thing I ever saw on tour was a whale.