By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
PD: When we first started I would show the songs to my wife, and I think we kind of confused her. She kept asking me if the band was a joke. I think when we did "Rocket Launcher" and "Up in the Business" that's when she said, "Wow, this is actually a real thing."
For me, when I convinced her that it wasn't just a joke, that's when I started trying harder.
Phil, you've obviously been writing songs for a long time. Was it freeing to have this other framework?
PD: My favorite part about it was that I just got to go to an opposite world for it. I could do all the songs on tiny keyboards in GarageBand. With Boris Yeltsin it's always an out-of-tune piano and an acoustic guitar. So you just have to try different things. In the process it helped me finish some Boris Yeltsin songs too. I was able to separate the two really easily. I kind of had a writer's block thing going on, and starting Dragon Inn 3 helped with that. I'm not sure how or why.
Do you think there is a connection or overriding aesthetic between the kind of '80s movies and music you're creating here?
BL: I think there's totally a connection. They're really glossy, really well produced. When Phil started doing the score for the movie and we looked at, like, Tangerine Dream, that really awesome band. There's certain glossiness to '80s movies and the way '80s songs sound. There's a certain silliness.
PD: What we are trying to do with Boris Yeltsin is maybe avoid that. And this time we got to embrace it. Kind of go over the top.
BL: I don't think there's anything wrong with maybe being super sincere and maybe repeating messages that we've heard a thousand times. Sometimes you just want to hear a dope-ass love song that's like, "Girl, hold me."
PD: I hadn't watched a lot of those movies until Brook was kind of telling me what to look at for the soundtrack. RoboCop and The Thing and Die Hard and all that stuff. I went in thinking, "These movies are kind of cheesy, and it'll be fun to watch them." But when I actually watched them I realized they are actually bomb-ass movies.
BL: Now you can't have a film like that without it winking at you. And being super self-aware. It kind of takes the fun out of it.
What's your favorite musical moment in a movie?
BL: Well, there's this scene in Top Gun. Tom Cruise's character really lost his way after Goose died. And he's on trial because he crashed his plane. But there's this song that plays. And it's the best visual and audio moment ever. With him standing trial, and it's just this pulsing beat.
PD: Yeah that's right. We fast-forwarded to that part in the movie and watched it like five times in a row.
BL: It's the perfect tone. We're just chasing that scene from Top Gun.