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- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 9:00AM by Sarah Vasquez
How did this collaboration of your band and Roky form?
Will: The first time was when we played a show with Roky at the Austin Music Awards. So we got together when we played this show and it was for the Austin Music Awards. It was really fun. We had a really good time. Then a little bit after that, Darren, Roky's manager, approached me about working on a record, a new Roky record as a producer. So he sent me 60 songs that Roky had written throughout the duration of his career. From old 13th Floor Elevators stuff to horror rock stuff, kinda all throughout stuff from the '80s. I sort of chose my favorite songs of those and then we started working on the new record. Roky, were you surprised hearing some of those songs again?
Will: Were there ones you had forgotten you had written?
Roky: No. I remember them all but I have to read more to get them down and everything.
How long ago was that first performance together at the Austin Music Awards?
Will: It was 2008 I believe.
How long did it take to record the album? Did you have to teach the band the material or did you have some writing input into the songs? How much collaboration was there?
Will: Well, they're Roky's songs. It did take the band a little bit to learn them, but not that long.
Roky: We worked on it about a week or two or something.
Will: It was a little longer than that actually, I think. But then there were the little touches afterward. A little production--touches and changes and things like that. But it didn't take the band too long to learn the songs. I mean they're great songs. You immediately remember them when you hear them. So it was pretty easy.
What are your musical influences?
Roky: Little Richard, Otis Reed, Bobby V.
Will: Bobby V, really?
Roky: Uh huh.
Will: Nice. I didn't know that you were into Bobby V. That's cool. Well, I love Dylan. I love Nina Simone. I love Roky Erickson. They've all been influential on me.
What would you consider a musical guilty pleasure?
Will: I don't really have guilty pleasures because if I like something, I like something. I don't feel guilty about it.
Is there any artist or band that you listen to that might surprise people?
Will: I'm surprised that Roky listens to Bobbie V. I didn't know that. I don't know if there's something I listen to that people would be surprised I listen to. I enjoyed this kind of Irish folk music that I think some people would think is corny. That might surprise some people. I don't think it's corny at all but that might surprise some people. I don't know. I enjoy certain pop songs I hear on the radio that people might not think I like something like that but not really.
Describe the sound of the new album in your own words.
Roky: I like it.
Will: Do you like the slow stuff?
Will: I wanted to do something that I felt like it engaged Roky's musical legacy as far as the psychedelic stuff the Elevators did and in the more folk-leaning mystical stuff that Roky was doing in the mid-'70s, and then the horror rock stuff of the late '70s and '80s. I wanted something that sort of engaged all that sonically but then also his own and was new and spoke to where he's at right now as a musician which the overall goal was to reference that stuff to make it new.
Beatles or the Stones?
Roky: I like them both.
Will: You're more like a Rolling Stones guy, I would have guessed. We were actually listening to that album '25x5' by the Stones last night at rehearsal. I'm more of a Stones guy too actually. I prefer the Rolling Stones to the Beatles. I mean I love the Beatles. They're great, obviously they're amazing, but I actually do think I overall prefer the Rolling Stones.
That's a first. Usually everyone just says Beatles.
Will: Yeah but see, there's really nobody like the Stones you know? They're their whole own thing and nobody really ever had captured that feeling on a record. So I love the attitude. I love the way the record sounds. I love the attitude. It's just the toughest, funnest sort of party music ever.
What is your biggest vice?
Roky: I don't really have one. I just do things I enjoy. I don't really look at them as vices. Vices are kind of like a novelty or something.
Will: Yeah. I know what you mean. I feel the same way. I don't know. I don't feel guilty about things that people consider to be a vice. I feel more guilty about moments when I was a jerk to somebody or moments where I wasn't as nice to somebody as I could have been. I think about that as more of a vice than something I did than someone think was bad. I don't think about that as a vice in the same way. I'm more concerned with just trying to be a nice guy. A good guy.
What would you say is the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while you were on tour?
Roky: I can't remember.
Will: Gosh, that's tough because when you're on tour, things that are crazy start to seem normal. And I've seen crazy things that I've seen happen again and again and again. So it's all just becomes normal to me. As far as bizarre things that I've seen, I feel like none of them stand out because none of them were really unique.
For SXSW attendees, what can they expect at your showcase?
Will: Well we'll be playing all a lot of Roky's hits--'You're Gonna Miss Me,' 'Two Headed Dog.' So the [fans] will be happy but we're also going to be playing some songs off the new record. Songs that nobody's ever seen Roky play live before. So that will be a brand new experience for both Roky's biggest fans and for new fans. I think that that will be exciting.
What would you say is your favorite song to play live?
Roky: Oh I guess I like 'Good Bye Sweet Dreams.'
Will: Oh cool. That one's really fun. That's the new single off the new record and we've been rehearsing that a lot the last couple of days. For me, God I love playing 'Good Bye Sweet Dreams' too. I love playing 'Be and Bring Me Home' too.
Roky: Thank you.
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