By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
I don't envy your position as being this kind of figurehead.
It's funny. People get shocked -- what shocked me the most is how angry people get if you just dismiss it. If I told some people the same thing I just told you, they'd be angry. They sound like what they are; they sound dated, like some kids trying to make some music. And if I say that, people are like, "Man, you're fucked up, You've obviously fucking lost it." All right, whatever.
You haven't played in St. Louis in a while. Is it hard for you to play in St. Louis?
No (pauses). Yeah, I guess. At times I've had a lot of anxiety about playing in St. Louis. I think we've always had a really good time playing. There's just the complexity of having relatives and all that when you are trying to put on a rock show. And also it is kind of like what we were talking about before. You get to this point where you want to grow and keep being creative and challenge yourself, and part of that involves a certain amount of delusion -- in a really healthy way, though. You just kind of disconnect from who you are and who you've been. And it's hard to play in St. Louis sometimes because you're haunted by so many ghosts of yourself. Maybe that's the real you, but it's not anymore. I always look out at the crowd and I see someone who saw me puke on their front porch, and it's like, "Well, here I am." It's like driving by your high school. It's reality, and the kind of stuff you don't want to think about. I'm probably more comfortable with it now and probably will be in the future, but Uncle Tupelo and all things surrounding that period of my life -- that's just huge. It is like high school; it's like the only real education I've ever had.