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'm definitely a nostalgic person. Maybe I glorify the past a little too much, but I like tradition and the idea of musical or stylistic canons. A lot of the lyrics on Almanac were inspired by the way life used to be and feeling at odds with it now. I'm uncomfortable with too much change, and so a lot of what I write about is feeling at odds with the future we're living in. It just feels crazy sometimes, and exponentially crazier by the day.
Tell me about the "Locusts" video. Who came up with the idea of the American Bandstand set?
We wanted to make a video like a Shindig! telecast, with dancers and dramatic lighting. Our drummer Kyle's art gallery had this coincidentally perfect installation up the week we wanted to film. It was directed by the Craig brothers and choreographed by friends of friends. The final product just felt like a really organic distillation of all our ideas.
If you could go back in time and perform anywhere, where and when would it be?
We'd love to go back to the 1950s and try to be part of one of those country/rock & roll tours that only went to state fairs, bandstands and midways.
How's Brooklyn these days? Being from Tacoma, were Portland or Olympia ever temptations?
Brooklyn's great, but the city does get a little stressful for me. It's just slightly more difficult to truly relax in a city that's so alive. The secret is balance, so going on tour keeps things more manageable. Sometimes I want to spend a few months in the South, and maybe I will. But I've never wanted to move to Portland or Olympia, only because I'd just move back to Tacoma if I went Northwest. It's cheaper, and I love it. I know it like the back of my hand. Especially being on tour, you realize that no matter where you live you can be happy and productive and artistically challenged. I've realized Brooklyn really doesn't have that much of an advantage.
Current reading/listening/viewing favorites?
We've been watching Ken Burns' The Civil War in the car. It's basically a narrated book on tape, so the whole car can enjoy it. We've been listening to a lot of old country and classic rock. It's always great road-trip music for traversing America.