Looking your pictures on your Myspace I noticed you are very young. When and how did you start playing?
MATT: We’ve been playing instruments our whole lives, I started on piano and saxophone and eventually picked up the guitar and bass. Me, Jesse and Ben started playing together at around age 14 or 15. We used to write these little riff-based songs that were really atrocious because at that time we were more into filmmaking than music. Nearly every weekend we would work on these short films with our neighbours and friends. It wasn’t until we got a bit older that music took over as our primary creative outlet.
What do you usually do, during your day, I mean, do you go to college, do you have a job or your main occupation is your music?
BEN: I am gone most of the year attending college in Arizona, so my main occupation is being a student. My normal day consists of going to class, studying, practicing piano and eating as much as I can. I don’t have a job while I’m in school so I focus on music.
JESSE: I go to college at the University of California, San Diego. I am a full time student but make music in my free time (which is a lot of time) so in a sense the music is my main occupation.
How and when did your musical project start?
MATT: My life is fairly boring at the moment, I’m really not much of a socialite. I also write about music for my school paper and ride my bike around town. I bought a bike this year for fifteen dollars and it has really changed everything for me. I go places I’ve never been and efficiently get myself to class in the morning. It is a yellow kia bike with a speedometer that broke a few weeks ago. The bike makes quite a bit of noise because its parts are old and my roommate is embarrassed to be seen with me when I ride it.
Your disc is full of beauty sparkling folk. The question is: why folk music and not, just say for example, rock or punk? Have you been influenced by some groups in particular?
JESSE: Well, to begin, contemporary “punk music” is the bane of existence in my opinion, and as for rock music, the problem is, neither me or matt are good enough at guitar to play any hard core riffs (not that we would want to). So folk was something that we could do, and that we really enjoy listening too. As far as influences go, Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Wilco, Nick Drake have all had a large impact on us so it almost seemed natural for us to take our music in that direction
BEN: We are heavily influenced by 60’s rock, including the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Kinks. Folk music is the backbone of modern music, which most people forget.
MATT: At the time of the recording I was listening a lot to The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle as well as Paris 1919 by John Cale and Leonard Cohen’s first album. All three are so wonderful and they each had a different sort of impact on me.
In order for you:
-Best albums of 2006:
The Crane Wife- The Decemberists
I am not afraid of you and will beat your ass ““ Yo Lo Tengo
Return to Cookie Mountain ““ TV on the Radio
Yellow House ““ Grizzly Bear
-Best book you’ve read in 2006:
Don Quixote (Though I’m still reading it because it is very long)
The Science of Sleep
-Best new indie band/gig:
-Worst new indie band/gig:
Did it ever happen to you a strange, weird thing while you were performing on stage?
MATT: One time we were playing at this little pizza parlour in London and we were asked to play an encore. We started singing You Ain’t Goin Nowhere by Bob Dylan when this crackhead found his way on to the stage. He put his arm around me and started singing along even though he was clearly unfamiliar with the song. He had terrible breath and I could barely keep myself from passing out.
Have you met some interesting artist recently?
JESSE: Shara from My Brightest Diamond we met fairly recently and she was quite interesting. Full of energy and charisma she was really fun to talk to and to watch perform.
Are you planning something specific for 2007? Maybe a new tour, a new album, a lazy year on the couch”…
BEN: We are all graduating by June, so we are going to find a house to live in where we can conduct endless hours of rehearsals and recordings. We plan on playing a lot of shows in the LA area, and making a full home recording.
Will you come to Italy one day?
BEN: Definitely”…hopefully to play some shows. I travelled around Italy for 2 weeks in April this last year, and I loved it. I will do anything to get back to Cinque Terre”…big props to their pesto sauce.
JESSE: Actually, I have been to Italy, I went to rome last November and it was a beautiful city. I was fortunate enough to see Antony and the Johnsons there and it was one of the best shows I have ever been to. So, I am sure we would all love to come back and play, just buy us the plane tickets and we will be there!
Are you a bit into politic? What do you think about international politics moves of your government these years?
MATT: Well the US has made a lot of moves I’m unhappy with. The current administration has been an embarrassment to the entire country.
What is the last thing, in the night, you think of, before you fell asleep?
MATT: Full frontal nudity
BEN: Every night it’s something different, but it’s always random scenarios that will never happen.