Sometimes. I mean, you have to eat a certain amount of time before the show. Steve, our drummer, won't eat if it's less than five hours before our show.

Does he get barfy?

[Laughs] He just plays better. And you do play better if you're not full. Nothing like a whole lot of barbecue and then having to go onstage! [Laughs]

Sonic Youth: Not pictured: The Gateway Arch.
Michael Schmelling
Sonic Youth: Not pictured: The Gateway Arch.

So do you get any of your other work done on tour? I mean, it's not like you can paint on the bus...

It's hard. Some people can do a lot of stuff on tour. I can't because I have a perpetual state of exhaustion because I don't sleep on the bus very well. Like, Lee seems to always have little projects he's working on, but I'm not so good. I'm going to try and seek out, like, yoga classes and things like that to offset the barbecue. [Laughs] It's a little anxiety provoking, actually, to have to go away for six weeks. In fact, I'm in the middle of packing right now.

I know, like, how many shoes do you bring? Who knows?

Yeah, it's like, how do I pack all these vitamins? I always over-pack. But you're basically living out of a suitcase for six weeks. It's like, you buy all these clothes [at home], but then you kind of have to say goodbye to them. [Laughs] It's hard to go away during the summer, actually. But it'll be fun once we get going.

Is it easier for you guys when you're touring with another band, because then you have more people around to hang out with? Or is that just annoying?

[Laughs] Well, it can be. You're together all the time, and sometimes you sort of create a distance, because otherwise you would really be irritated all the time. [Laughs] Twelve people on a bus is kind of hard. But anyway, God, it's nice to be asked other questions than normal, you know? I mean, we get tired of the same questions all the time so it's going really well so far. You're doing a good job.

Well, thank you. I'm bored with reading the same questions all the time. So, do you ever have free time? Do you ever have a time where you're at home, and you don't have any huge projects staring at you?

Um, pretty much never. But last summer, we only did a little bit of touring, but that was the first time in maybe twenty years where we hadn't toured in the summer. I mean, it was kind of shocking, actually. But when I'm home I procrastinate about doing things so I can hang out with my friends. Like now, I should be getting my things done, but I'd rather see my friends before I go, so...

So what are you doing when you get back from tour? What's your next big thing?

Well, Mirror/Dash, the clothing line, is kind of an ongoing thing. But for the next project, I have a book I'm working on, my paintings, and I'm sort of working on another painting series. But we're going to do a bunch of touring in the fall, so I'm kind of keeping my schedule as open as I can. I don't want to be too...pressured. But as busy as I am, Thurston has many more projects than I do. I don't know how he does it, really. But it's energizing if you get stuff back from it.

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