Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 7:30PM by Evan C. Jones
Describe your sound in your own words.
I guess it's difficult sometimes. It can be troubling and uncomfortable. But in the end, it can be rewarding, I guess. Usually when I have to ... when I come in at the airport and people ask me what the music sounds like, I just say rock 'n' roll.
How did the band come together?
Yeah, we met at art school in Los Angeles back in '98. We met there and started playing music together and then we moved to New York and made our first record. Basically, other than that, I wasn't a musician; I was just making visual art and the other guys knew how to play instruments. We started fooling around in our studios and eventually realized we could actually make some songs.
What are some of your musical influences?
It's hard to say, really. I don't know how much musical influence goes into the actual music. I think we like a lot music, we all really like hip-hop, but I don't see that making itself into the music obviously. I think we take inspiration from other places, like the media, TV, newspapers. Like I watch 'Judge Judy,' and I think that gives me a lot of inspiration.
How did you come up with your band name?
It had to do with trying to find some name that was a bit boring, you know? At the time, there were a lot of bands coming out that had these really long and interesting names. I remember at the time there was And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. I always thought that was a real cool name, but at the same time I just wanted something that wasn't really out. I also thought pretty strongly about this idea, trying to be really honest in the music. I suppose the first thing to do in that case would be to anti-up to the fact that we were already lying. I think that had something to do with it too.
What is your biggest vice?
My biggest vice? S--- ... that's a good one. It could be cheeseburgers.
Any place in particular?
I think the one I feel most guilty about is McDonald's. But I do frequent those places, much to the chagrin of my compatriots. I do love a cheeseburger.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Probably sleeping pills. I dunno, I've never been to SXSW so I'm kind of frightened of how intense everything will be. I'm gonna probably be bringing earplugs and sunglasses and a big woolly hat.
Who was your first celebrity crush?
That's pretty easy...Julia Roberts in 'Pretty in Pink,' no no no ... that's an '80s movie. 'Pretty Woman,' that's it. That's also when I discovered Roy Orbison.
Beatles or Stones?
Good question man. Yeah, look. I know the right answer...I'll go with the Beatles. But I think a lot of people find the Stones darker and more interesting, but I find the Beatles to be non-stop awesome, except for this recent push with the game system. I could just turn all the Beatles off for a couple of years and just get back to them later.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
This one is pretty easy, I think. We were playing a show in New Orleans way back, way back. After the show, we're all pretty drunk but with literally no money, just walking around the streets, checking the place out. Down a darker street, two guys came up to us and put guns to our heads and asked us for all our money, and we didn't have any money, so it was a really awkward standoff. They thought we were just not giving them our money. We're just trying to explain that we didn't have it. Very tense moment where this guy had his gun to my head and I was pretty freaked out that I didn't know what he was gonna do. His mate whistled from down the street like someone's coming, so he looked back at me, as to whether or not to pop me off or not. Instead, he looked at me and just fucking kicked me so hard in the balls. Literally the most painful thing I've ever experienced. My balls then, the next day, just expanded to a massive size and went all purple. I had a lot of trouble touring after that.
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
It's hard to make me think of these things as guilty anymore, but I really like this artist, Michael Franks, you might not be familiar with. He's a little cheesy crooner, but he's a favorite of my dad and I grew up listening to him, so I pretty much know every lyric to all 15 records. If you hear one of his songs, you'll know why he's a real guilty pleasure.
Evan C. Jones is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.