Searching for Pearl

We buy cheap tapes, chat with the Fiery Furnaces and drop a fatwa on Big Brother

Well, it's interesting as an extension of listening. You'd want to do a whole record and treat them as songs in the older sense, as standards. I guess [we would] do one of the Ramones records -- say Leave Home. Those songs are so perfect. They're perfectly written songs. You can do so much to them, and the songs could still stand it.

The Ramones didn't do any guitar solos. You do a lot of guitar solos.

Yeah, well, I wish we were the Ramones. I wish we were a band with a great idea, and then you do it. There's a discipline involved. Other bands, when they imagine they're playing in some more minimal way, there's no discipline. It's arbitrary, what they take out and what they leave in. With the Ramones, there were very good reasons for what they did and didn't do.

Mike Gorman
Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are the Fiery Furnaces.
Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are the Fiery Furnaces.

You don't think your band has a great idea?

No. We do lots of little things slightly differently, and it adds up. It's legitimate to do that kind of thing, but what's your excuse for making rock records at this point when there are so many good ones to begin with? There isn't really an excuse. You just try to come up with lame justifications on why your record is a worthwhile appendix to some other two records.

What about pleasure?

Sure. That's why I do it. It's compulsive, in a good way. You can't help but make up songs. -- Randall Roberts

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