I was first introduced to Boyharsher through my best friend and bandmate Ciarra Black. She was putting together an impeccable comp for her new label No-Tech. When she told me she had stumbled across this band called Boy Harsher and thought they would be my new favorite band, I took serious heed. The girl knows me pretty well and she was damn straight. At this point, there need not be much on an introduction of the duo to most fans of dark minimal electronic music. The pair have sold out releases and shows around the world and were on the road supporting Soft Moon when I had a chance to sit down with them in an undisclosed location in Highland Park, Los Angeles .

I’ve fallen for the bands sinister sincerity. There is almost a sense that you are listening to something that you shouldn’t be, like this couple hailing from Northampton, Massachusetts never really intended for their music to fall on the publics ears. Their songs have a sense of urgent intimacy, like a kiss that is too hard. Their albums help me harness an adolescent desire to dance alone behind a closed door. My admiration for Boy Harsher was certainly cemented when I first had a chance to catch the band live at the Silent Barn. I was shooting a DIY fashion week event and they were providing the tunes. I had a chance to sit in the backyard with Jae and smoke ten thousand cigarettes and speak as though I had known her forever.

Our conversation came with ease and I decided to press play on my recorder right in the middle, the interview had begun by accident. We were talking about the weather and got on the topic of a band overseas co-opting their album artwork as their own. Once we got going it felt like I was the one being interviewed at times and we treaded some dangerous territory.

I experience this a lot with people repurposing my photos without asking. Sometimes it is chill if it is one of my friends or for a flyer or something but, how does it feel to have something taken from you that is so personal?

Jae:  You’re already putting it out there, so you are already
stripping some of the intimacy out of it. Sometimes I feel super
guilty, because I did a lot of these videos without the intention of
putting them out there in the world as publicly as they are now. The
video that the album artwork [Your Body is Nothing] is from started as
a really small experimental project with my friend Adelin. I was like
‘can you just dance in this warehouse and let me film you?’

Gus: Album art is like an icon. We didn’t ask ‘do you want to become an icon?’.

Jae: Her image now represents something that is different than the
initial intention. She’s cool, a relaxed person, I know that she is
okay with it. But, there still is a weird guilt complex.

But is could tread some strange territory if it was a different person, or a different circumstance.

Gus: Do you feel that way about photography? Do you ever take a picture of a person and then the image becomes very popular and it gets used for something else?


Gus: Your art is also their body, or their image?

Yeah. The problem with being a photographer is that I try to think of every photo as a collaboration.  Not so much at the moment, because my life is changing so much, but a lot of my photos are of people partying and wasted and taken at an intimate time and I was just their friend taking a photo, which people are so accustomed to now-a-days. When certain photos are repurposed I try to check in with people. Some friends have asked me to take photos down for different reasons. I most recently really wanted to make a tee shirt of a photo that I took a number of years ago of a couple that have long since broken up. I reached out to both of them to see if they were cool with it, and one of them was’t. I was super stoked on the tee shirt, people had asked me to put the photo on a tee shirt and I have mocked everything up and contacted a screen printer … I was disappointed and the image is out there in the world, but it was never intended to be used for a tee shirt when I asked the couple to pose. That changes a lot. I totally understood.

It’s weird being a photographer… There are cultures who think that a photo steals part of your soul, and I agree, but not always in a negative sense. I think photography is vampiric. Sometimes I also feel a little predatory.

Even when I see someone who I think looks cool on the street and I ask to take their picture and they consent… The person isn’t completely aware of why I took the photo or who I am or what my deal is. Sometimes it is something simple like really liking someones outfit. , or they look interesting or whatever. But once is a while I feel like my intentions are a bit twisted.

Jae: Like exploitative?

Exactly, and I don’t want to put those pictures out in the world. I am still compelled to take some photos that are like that, but I won’t post them or anything.

Jae: Do you know the black and white photographer “Weegee” [Arthur Fellig]? His whole thing was that he was a crime scene photographer…

Yeah! I watched a good documentary about him!

Jae: The way that he related to photography changed… He was
documenting really horrific, gory things and then he started taking
pictures of nightlife. He brought the same attitude from his crime
scene photos to his nightlife photos. Very straight forward, certainly
exploitative. The subject was not presented in a necessarily
flattering way.

I’ve defiantly gotten myself into some weird situations because I revel in being at the right place at the right time. I once found myself at a satanic ritual orgy… just so I could take some pictures of the experience just because I was invited. 

Once I got there I felt bad because I just went to take pictures, which they consented to, but I thought I should at least take off my clothes. Anyway, it ended up being a very strange experience and I’ve never shown those pictures to anyone. I regretted it so badly afterwards for a bunch of reasons but the whole thing could have been avoided if I didn’t end up where I didn’t belong just to take some pictures. Just because I was at some noise show and there was a naked couple there and they invited me back to play at their apartment and I had my camera and they didn’t mind if I took their picture.

Next thing you know…

Jae: Wait… so they were naked at the noise show?

Yeah… It was a Crank Sturgeon show.

Jae: Wowa, where?

At this warehouse show in Brooklyn. So yeah. I was at the show and there was a naked woman who was restrained to the ceiling…

Gus: Were they part of the set?

Nope. Just people who were there and enjoying being naked and performing sexual acts in public and trying to recruit people to come back to their apartment. I initially approached the couple and asked if I could take a picture, and they were really into it. As the night progressed they had convinced a bunch of people back to their place. They mentioned that there would be an orgy, I could take my camera and that they had many bottles of liquor. 

I was at the show with my friend Miles, who is a filmmaker and also intrigued by being in the wrong place at the right time and we went together with his girlfriend at the time to check it out… But I do remember that moment where I was completely naked and made eye contact with him, fully clothed and in horror… we were both wondering what the fuck was happening. 

Gus: Did you get some good photos?

I got some really good photos.

Gus: I’m surprised I have never seen these photos.

They are in the vault for a lot of reasons. Aside from what we were talking about, that night ended up harboring some really terrible associations for me as well. The whole thing has such bad juju. Anyway, so aside from Boyharsher, do you guys have any other projects going on?

Gus:  We made a couple of music videos this year. And Jae writes.

Jae:  I used to write more. I used to work on really horrible indie
films. It is a lot more fulfilling to do this, even if it is really
challenging and sometimes feel like a total imposter. On films there
is a loaded sense of ego, everyone feels like they deserve to be
there… Whereas creative pursuits, like music, you have to be your own
cheerleader and make yourself believe that you deserve to be there.

I do miss working on films, but I want to work on my own films. Write
my own film and have it go into production. That would be the


Sooooo then you would move to LA right?

Jae: We always talk about moving to LA.

Gus: One reason to do that would be because of film, and to expand our
creative side. One of the things about music is that you get to be so
introverted and you can really do that wherever, but we are really
interested in exploring what else Boy Harsher could do or could offer.

Jae: Gus is kind of beating around the bush but Gus really wants to score, which I think would be perfect.

Would you want to compose your own videos or score for other directors and artists?

Gus: I’ve always been interested in standard composing for film but I
would be really interested in multimedia things too.

Jae: Installations would be amazing. To work with someone doing large scale installation pieces who is interested in adding a sonic element.

I wanted to just touch a bit more on your writing and lyric writing. In electronic music, lyrics and vocals tend to be less important and more about the way that words fit into a song more than what the song is saying. How do you approach your lyrics? Are they an extension of your prose or do you find them to be less personal? 

Jae: When we first started I was trying to take prose that I had
written and cram it into an ambient structure. At the time, Boy
Harsher was mostly ambient. After you perform a bunch of times you
learn more about the vocal performance. Lyrics became more reliant on
delivery than on content.  There are some songs that are a little more
heady than others. But, I think most of my songs are a study in
repetition, how I can perform a word more than the meaning of the

Are there any songs that are particularly intimate or closer to your prose?

Jae: Many songs that we don’t play live. Our live set is a very
dedicated – cultivated energy. Certain songs I remember writing and
then feeling so struck by them. There is a song called “A Realness”
that was written at a point where I didn’t know if we were going to
stay together, we were struggling to make this work. When I hear the
song that uncertainly, that feeling, it comes back.

And then there are some songs that are not that dedicated in terms of
lyrical content.

Gus: We don’t have to expose those though.

Jae: The first couple of albums came out of a certain ‘chaos of us’
and now writing I’m in a more stable, but solemn place. My mother was
just diagnosed with alcoholic dementia. So when I write now, I write
about losing someone who is still alive, it’s tough. I can’t shake it.
Not sure if the songs will fly, just ’cause they are so sad.

But there is a need to get it out to some capacity, you are just
finding out how to do it and not break down every time that you play.

A big thing for the both of us is that we want the music to be
universal. I don’t need the person listening to be going through the
same thing, yet the experience of losing someone is already ubiquitous
it’s a connection. We are at the stage of trying to utilize the
intimacy or these sad things, but project it in a way that is global.

How has playing bigger shows effected your live performance? Has it
been an organic progression, or very difficult?

Jae: It’s tough. I think about the shows that we were doing last year,
like we’ll never top this. These really small zones where I could jump
into the audience, so ready, just a part of it. It felt like the peak
for me, important and relevant. Now we are playing stages and there is
usually a fucking barricade and the stage is huge. Granted, big spaces
sound amazing and have big systems, but for me it’s a challenge to
find that visceral connection with the audience. Our music, I think,
can smack people in the face – which is good, but I also want to be
there. I’m still figuring out how to interact physically with big
spaces. Gus hasn’t changed one bit, I don’t think. He does pretty much
does the same thing he has always done.

It must be so hard to be as intertwined as you guys are, as partners
and bandmates constantly on tour. Other than ‘ I love you’, what is
something that you feel that you don’t express to each other that you
don’t communicate as often as you would like to? Are there sentiments
that get lost?

Gus: We talk about this all of the time. It is definitely voicing
appreciation. When you are with someone all day there are little
things that Jae does that I rely on so much and I don’t say thank you
each time. We are always trying to find ways to communicate that we do
appreciate each other.

Jae: It’s appreciation, for sure. We spend so much time together that
I definitely take it for granted. I’m often manic and neurotic, I
don’t think there are a lot of people who can put up with me for so
many hours of the day. Even sleeping. Basically every hour.

Gus: Really good pitch here for Jae Matthews as a partner.

Jae: Yeah I think it is just voicing appreciation that we need to get better at.

When touring you take people’s strengths for granted. There is always one person who is better at making the business calls or managing navigation or driving. I tend to just float and when you are not saying “thank you” or acknowledging that it is work even if they are good at it. Roles just sort of develop and you begin to assume that someone will do something and become reliant on it. Just because someone is good at something doesn’t mean that it is not stressful. I don’t even drive and don’t even think about it.

Jae: I’m a micromanager, so I do all of that shit.  I also can’t drive
as much as I used to be able to. I’ve noticed that Gus is doing all of
the driving and we’re doing a lot of nighttime, driving ahead. After a
show, late, we drive for a couple hours, through the mountains… I
would never be able to do that, so thank you for driving around scary

I get to travel a lot for someone who doesn’t have a driver license. I don’t even know how annoying that must be.

Jae: You’re just sitting in the back eating corn nuts.

Literally. The entire time. The new Cheddar Jalapeño ones are really good.

Jae: We just had the chile limon ones and they were really good.

I’m into them. This is a good time to open up the gummy bears. Speaking of snacks. So, touring. Shit happens. What is the biggest misadventure that you guys have come across on tour? They are usually funny in retrospect, but not at the time.

Jae: We were thinking about this the other day. There have been a lot
of little weird things, but there are enough of them that they lose
their meaning.

Gus:  We were driving one time and a manhole cover flew off the road
and hit our car and ended up totaling our engine so we were stuck in
Charleston for days. Three days. We had to get a whole new engine.

Jae: That is more of a sad story though.

What did you guys do in Charleston?

Jae: We stayed on the outskirts. Off the highway.  So no gumbo or
whatever. We had to walk down this highway strip to get food.  It was
the pits. But an adventure.

I did get food poisoning in London, which is hilarious… We played a
Doc Marten showcase… Cheesy but funny… An early show, super easy, only
30 people could go and it was all done by 10pm. I was stoked, because
we could go and sleep! We weren’t sleeping at all on this tour. So I
eat this salad and go to bed and I am so happy: ate a salad, getting a
full nights sleep, the next day I would explore London and get some
Indian food.

I wake up at 4 AM feeling like there is a monster in me and projectile
vomit. I puked once an hour until noon. There was some pressure not to
cancel the show that night, because it was sold out, people were
looking forward.  We get to the club, no one has ever heard of
Gatorade, but I get Powerade and proceed to puke blue into urinals,
because can never make it to a toilet. So I’m puking blue, rip a set
and then puke some more into urinals. That was our latest debacle.
Blue vomit and food poisoning from a salad. Just cruel. I guess it’s
very common.

I should start washing my vegetables.

Jae: Lettuce, dude. On this tour we have had a pretty easy tour because we are a support band – we are just riding the wave.

Gus: Nothing horrible has really happened.

Jae: Yeah, you hear of bands getting robbed or things that are scary
and would make you want to give up. Even though I bought my vocal rack
on craigslist for thirty bucks if someone stole it I wouldn’t want to
do this anymore. I wouldn’t be able to manage the feelings.


What physical object besides music gear do you feel the most attached to?

Jae: Do dogs count? I got a dog named Bear and he is my number one. He
is staying with Gus’s Mom but I am super scared that he is going to
get eaten by a bear or get hit by a car. I am just freaked out. But I
am more attached to Bear than anything else.

My Mom has my cat right now and it’s really hard. I know that he is being taken care of, but I can’t wait until I am in a place to have Calvin back. He needs to be a California cat. I have had him my entire adult life. He has been there with me through everything. I knew how much I loved him but I didn’t realize what a source of emotional support he was. 

Jae: They are just there for you. They love you.

He is a really special, sensitive, loving and unique kitty.

Jae: When is he going to come out here?

I don’t know. I don’t even know how I would get him out here at this point.

Jae: And you plan to stay out here in LA?

I think for a while. It would be too difficult for me to go back to New York right now. I don’t feel strong enough to face it and additionally my entire sober life was constructed here… The people I have met, the meetings that I go to, my sponsor, the people I’ve called on the phone when I have had a hard time… They are all here in LA. So it is a double whammy. Going back to New York is going to be really, really fucking hard and then I wouldn’t be close to my recovery.

It sucks because I am so incredibly homesick. I miss my friends and family so much.  If I had not relapsed, it might be a little different but because I did it’s not going to be the same. Everyone was rooting for me and I think we all thought that it was over. I don’t think anyone was prepared for it not to work. We all had high hopes. 

I thought I understood addiction and I thought I had a grasp on what I had to do in recovery but I was only starting to scratch the surface.

Jae: When my Mom relapsed I was so pissed, just ready to abandon her.
I was like ‘fuck you, you clearly don’t care about me’. Talking to a
therapist helped me pump the breaks. To your supporters, you are
really battling a disease right now. With my Mom I internalized that
she was being malicious to me or she didn’t care about me or she was
chasing something else over me. The stakes with her are different,
drinking worsens her dementia. I totally understand what you are
saying and the feelings of knowing that you let someone down.

Mom and I are trying to reconcile. She knows that she let me down, but
I’m also trying to be strong and not trying to be a total bitch. It’s
her struggle and not necessarily mine.

It’s really difficult because I am not in contact with the person who is closest to me. She set a really hard boundary and I totally respect it despite it being so difficult. She was too intertwined in my recovery. She was the person who got me into my first rehab and she was the person who encouraged me to go to sober living and decided where I would go and encouraged me to go to California and stay. When I got on a plane to go to rehab in May I thought I would just be gone for a couple weeks, take care of my alcoholism and go back to New York and just be fixed and sober for the rest of my life and everything would be better. I think we both thought all of the bad stuff was over. She was so invested in my recovery. When I relapsed I felt like I had betrayed her and it took me a while to understand that I betrayed myself. I think we are learning how to ‘detach with love’.

But this recovery is mine. I decided I would go to treatment and where. I worked with music cares because I didn’t have the money. I think she is happy about that, but she needs some time. I hurt her and scared her.

In any case she is pretty much friends with all of my friends and we are not on normal speaking terms. I don’t know who fucks with me anymore, in general. I don’t feel like I could return to New York and go to shows or do anything normally and everything there is extremely loaded and I am not equipped to handle it right now. I am also not sure that a lot of the people that I would want to see would even want to see me right now. Maybe in a year.

Jae: That’s a mature way to handle it. Not to say that you are cured,
but you are accepting this more than a lot of people do, believe me.
My Mom is not on the level. She is just bummed because my feelings got
hurt. She is not bummed because she is an alcoholic and she needs to
get better. A doctor told her that her brain is failing and that she
needs to quit drinking – but it means nothing. It is amazing to hear
that readiness to accept that ‘recovery right now is for me’. It’s

It has to be, and that was an important shift in my perspective. I wanted to stop drinking because I wanted to consequences to stop but there was still a mourning. I wished so badly that drinking was still a tool that I could use to shut myself off. That is how I relapsed. I got to a point where I felt unable to bear life and I just went to my only coping mechanism because I didn’t know what else to reach for when I was that desperate for relief. It is difficult to explain that mindset and feeling to someone who isn’t an alcoholic. It defies all logic. It doesn’t matter how much you love people or what could happen if you drink. 

Jae: Even though you know that it will fuck everything up, it is not
like it is part of the equation. But LA is such a cool place to do
this, man. Imagine going to a treatment center in cold ass upstate New
York or something…

The first treatment center I went to was in Michigan between a shooting range and a shit processing plant and was a hospital like environment. People with certain PTSD couldn’t go outside because the sound of the guns would set them off. It was life saving though, and a good program. I don’t think I would be alive if i hadn’t gone when I did.

Right now I live in a recovery house with only two other residents who are both in their sixties. It is cool. Homey, we all do chores and cook for each other and it is sweet. It is a huge lesson in getting sober now though. I protected my drinking for so long and hid so much from people. Right now I am looking the consequences of what I have in store if I continue to do that or relapse. What it looks like and feels like to drink for thirty more years. It’s an eye opener. I want to live a full life! 

I was so depressed and anxious for so long and the only thing I could do about it was drink and so my life got so small and meaningless and fucked up and sad but for some reason I felt like I had this obligation to go on even though it would have been more logical to just kill myself. 

When we were younger, my sister and I both made a pact to each other that we would never commit suicide. But every time that I drank it was a small death. A weird temporary death and also a trot towards death.

Jae: Suicidal tendencies

Yeah. The way that I drank was life deliberate self harm. Now I have the most stability that I have had in a year and I am starting to feel like if I stay sober that my life can get bigger again. It’s not like my life will get better because I am sober, like I thought that it would. But in order to have the possibility of having a bigger life, a prerequisite is staying sober. But I am a human being and shit happens, I just have to learn how to deal with it.

Jae: I was thinking the same thing with my Mom. I thought that because
she was sober, she was going to be my Mom again. I was putting so much
pressure on her situation. It is fascinating how AA and Al Anon have
the same message for each end of the spectrum. As the loved one of an
addict, you begin to act like an addict. You become obsessed with ‘the
cure’ and how you can control someone, but that’s not how it works.

Many people need distance from me right now. They realize that no matter how much they love me or do for me, they can not cure me. I will never be ‘cured’. I have to learn how to maintain and live with it. I think some people need to wait for me to be in a space that is healthy enough that they feel that it is safe to engage because they have been let down and feel betrayed on such a deep level because they did everything that she could for me. They need to know that talking to me won’t just randomly throw a grenade into their life. 

Jae: Thanks for being so open, it’s fascinating to talk to you about this for sure.

I feel like I have to be for a lot of reasons, especially because my recovery was made so public because there was a gofundme to help get me into treatment. The fact that I got sober was really public. I felt sort of obligated to show people that I was doing it the first time. I was posting pictures of my chips and stuff like that. I am open but I am not doing things like that now because I don’t feel the need to prove myself in that way. But I am an open person and maybe the fact that I am so open could help someone one day. I think it helps me, anyway. I feel compelled to be open with my experience because I always have. My life has been so blown open and documented and I have had so many things about me revealed publicly including my bottom. There have been public consequences out of my control, so being open about doing better doesn’t bother me but I don’t feel like it is my position to prove anything or try and manipulate people or their opinions of me in any way. 

Jae: People feel like they deserve communication or attention. I love
messages from fans, but I get some communication that is kinda scary.
I don’t know you and don’t know why you are acting like you know me
and deserve a reaction. Did that exist 40 years ago when people were
starting up a teeny little band? Probably not.

Gus: Teeny band…

Jae: We are teeny! Imagine what Rhianna has to deal with. It’s so
uncomfortable. I would say that generally our fans are very cool
people and I aways take joy in meeting / talking. Most are chill,
inquisitive and if I lived in that city I imagine that we could be
friends. Then there are weird outliers who do everything they can to
make me feel shaken.

It is so rude when people touch your gear, or heckle and don’t think that it’s a problem. It’s not that I ‘can’t take it’. They want to be part of the show and be noticed. I hate it when people are mad you didn’t play long enough or play the set that they wanted to see.

Jae: In Poland we had people physically pushing us back on stage
asking us to play longer when we played an hour set. When we told them
that was our set they told us to play the set again. It’s like, no! We
aren’t …


Gus: We are not Weird Al in the early 2000’s.

Think he had more of a mid 90’s peak. Ugh, he came into my job at Hauser and Wirth recently. He was trying to enter a sculpture. He was really weird.

Gus: He’s on tour right now.

So he is not at Hauser and Witrh trying to climb into a Mike Kelley sculpture right now?

Gus: Wait, wait wait. So he must deal with the most annoying people in the world but he in turn is more annoying than all of the annoying fans that he has?

He was legit bizarre. Like even the way that he moves his body is weird. And he was really incensed that I wouldn’t let him walk on art. He had a fucked up chaotic energy, seriously. I had to reprimand him for touching art and trying to stand on it and he was with who I think was his daughter and she looked like she wanted to kill herself. Because her Dad is Weird Al.

Gus: Well, he is a professional.

Maybe it was a character or something?

Gus: Maybe it was promo for his new album

If you could go back in time one year and give yourself a piece of advice that you would actually follow, what would that advice be?

Gus: I would maybe snip a couple tours. Tell myself I could play 60 less shows in 365 days. You’ll really appreciate it.

Jae: I love touring so I probably wouldn’t do that, but back then I was really scared…

Gus: Oh, bitcoin!

Jae: Oh yeah! Actually a year ago I went into the bank because I had a
teeny amount of savings and was like ‘I have been hearing about these
investments’ AKA Bitcoin and asked if they thought I should invest and
they told me not to because it was too risky. A month later Bitcoin
blew up and if I had dropped a thousand bucks I would have made like
20,000 or something, ugh.

Gus: But that was a joke weren’t you going to say something meaningful?

Jae: I still get nervous, but last year I was really scared to
perform. When you operate out of fear you prevent yourself from having
fun and really getting into the moment. I’ve learned that it’s not
because I am singing any better or dancing any better or whatever that
makes a show better. The best shows are the ones where we’re having
fun, not scared. We played at Echoplex this January. I was so fucking
freaked out, because the show was supposed to be small and it ended up
being in the bigger space and selling out and it felt like too much.
Then late in the game that night I was like ‘I have to have fun or I
am just going to be crying all night’ and it ended up being great!

(At Echoplex) We are up there playing and outta nowhere in the midst
of our first song, no sound. That place has such giant subs, the bass
knocked out the power cord. But, I was able to embrace the insanity
and I remember just laughing. How fucking crazy. Last year I wish I
was experiencing shows that way.

What if instead of one year ago, you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing as an 8-year-old child? 

Gus: I was pretty caught up superficial things and trying to be cool
and I would have told myself to avoid that and not to grow up and
smoke so much pot. It’s not that cool.

Jae: At 8 I was very lost. My parents had just gotten divorced and it
was confusing. I was introverted. A quiet little dork. My high school
advice would be different. When we’re not touring, I pick up shifts
sometimes as a catering waitress and I work with high schoolers.
Strangely enough they always ask me for advice and I think ‘why would
you ask me for advice? I am a catering waitress, with you, a 16 year

High School is the last time in your life when there is no pressure and I wish I had taken that time to really cultivate my art. When you wait until College there is insane external shit clouding your judgement. It is not that I would have been some genius artist but I just wish that I had taken my art a little more seriously and learned to craft. Now everything feels fleeting and there isn’t enough time and I am stressed about family and jobs and work and if I did’t have that stuff in my life and didn’t have the insecurity that things were lame or stupid… In High School you are still into what you are creating. But instead of taking my art more seriously I just smoked too much weed.

Since you mentioned working as a waitress with teenagers and I am currently working at an ice cream shop with teenagers, what is the most shitty job you guys have ever had?

Gus: Mine was that I thought I was going to break into the service
industry, but it turns out I am way too awkward to do that and I can’t
multi task but I got a job as a bus boy at a really fancy steak house.
I would dump a whole stack of plates on millionaires and Chris Farley
every chance that I got. And I got fired.

Jae: I’ve worked on several films that brought me to the edge of
annihilation and desperation. I am tempted to say that the worst movie
I ever worked on was a (redacted) movie, because he is just mean. A
mean old man. And, I have worked on a lot of bad movies. That being
said, being out in Marfa was amazing. Amazing town. I’m glad I don’t
feel pressured to work on movies anymore.




Hanging out in an abandoned/ preserved gynecologists’ office.

A logical place to start would be where you are right now: on tour. You’re supporting “Children of Desire” in the wake of a very favorable Pitchfork rising article. So far, does this tour feel very different from past experiences touring with Merchandise?

Carson: Yes. A hundred percent different, and probably the last time we’ll ever tour this way.

In what way?

Pat: Punk shows.

C: Punk is just way different in Florida. There was this reason to stay true to where we were from and the more I play punk shows, the less I feel this way because… It means a lot to us and it doesn’t mean the same thing to other people; especially in New England and the big city. It’s an easy thing for a lot of people here. There are cool bands all the time. It is a social scene. It feels like, as a whole, the big DIY shows here are less passionate that where we come from. There are a lot of things about the way that we are doing this tour that doesn’t work.

Live at Wierd Night

You guys come across as unified front, and very close confidants. Do you ever worry that the stresses of being in a band will strain your personal relationships?

Dave: With this band, I don’t think it will ever come to a head like that. We are pretty much a family. We have been playing together for seven years in various bands. We are closer now than we have ever been despite getting more popular and making more friends and more enemies.

C: Seriously. Especially enemies. This has destroyed all of our other bands. This is the kind of thing that tears all bands apart but it is an experience that we have already lived through, honestly. At this point, we know what to expect.

I was very impressed with the literary companion to the album, “Desire in the Mouth of Dogs”. Carson is often credited as the songwriter of the band but I read that Dave actually wrote the piece, intertwined with Carson’s lyrics. The prose is very realized and I was wondering if Dave is a writer?

D: I am not much a writer.

C: That’s bullshit.

D: That was the first big piece of prose that I have ever tried. I read a lot. I have a literature degree from college. I am just interested in finding a new voice for the music. In this band we want to make it more than just music, we want to push everything.

C: Even if we fail.

D: We just want to try.

P: There are a lot of expressions that need to be released through different mediums. This is not just a band that is writing songs. This is way bigger than that.

C: We started out playing music but we essentially broke up and I wrote the first record by myself. I had Dave record a bunch of shit over it. We had no intention of playing live. I had no intention of continuing the band. I thought it was going to be a tape and that was going to be it.

Since the inception, it seems that we have always worked the opposite of the way that a lot of other bands worked. We never played live. We only made music videos for a long time. I wasn’t interested in touring my ass off to get my foot into some door. I was more interested in communicating directly with people.

D: It was an outlet that accidentally turned into a band. But the book [“Desire in the Mouth of Dogs”] was very much a ‘I just want to do this’ sort of thing. We didn’t even plan it. At the end, it just all came together.

That is so interesting because I read it as a manifesto to the album.

C: At the same time, there is a psychic thread linking the two because we were working on both of them at the same time. The headspace was shared with both projects.

They mirror each other.

C: Not to mention real life. And not to mention art, in general, being a mirror. That is part of the reason why it’s good for us to space out records. I don’t know what is going to come to me at what time. [The book] was not really planned but it was foretold. It was shown to us.

Another extension of the record and of your last would be…

C: Are you going to ask me about God?

Do you believe in God? Another extension of the record is your music videos. I noticed that several of the videos use a lot of mirroring, multiple layers of the same image and patterns of imagery. I assume this is not simply a stylistic decision as on the albums cover art, that the letter W stands before the word ‘Merchandise’,undoubtedly a nod to the bands nom de plume, W. Marehendes.  Also, a W is an inverted M. Can you speak a little bit about this?

C: It is a play on language. It is a play on communication. It’s a play on Dada poetry. It is a way to vent fucking frustration and bordom.

P: We want to show that you don’t have to follow one straight path.

C: I feel like even the word ‘Merchandise’ almost doesn’t sound like English. It sounds hard; the consonants in it are strange. We knew what we were doing.

We want to have fun and confuse people. People started following us and we were like. Okay, let’s change [the name].

In terms of the divine I was raised to believe in God but I don’t believe in a Christian faith. I believe it has a lot to do with who I am. It has a lot to do with my guilt and my fear.

You can’t take all of the Christian out of someone who was raised Christian. 

Live at Wierd

C: This is me working through that. I still feel vulnerable from that period of my life. I remember being a kid and crying because I knew what death was. Time to me, is a big theme of life. Time is the same as death.

A lot of the record was very much inspired by me reading about Taoism and Buddhism and the difference between East and West. The East is totally fascinating to me. The afterlife is the absence of an after-life. They have come to terms with reality in that way. In the East you die and you become one with the universe. Your consciousness changes. And they think that is beautiful. They are not afraid of it. In this country, you see fear constantly. The way people work, the way people act.

You’ve spoken about the theme of time but dreams also seem to be a very important theme throughout your work. In Freudian thought, dreams and desire and absolutely related. Can you talk a little but about the correlation of dreams and desire in your own lives and music?

C: For the record, I was having tons of nightmares. Everyday. And night terrors. In general, I believe that dreams parallel art and creativity. A dream will show you what has been building up inside your head.

Is there a specific nightmare that inspired “In Nightmare Room”?

C: Yeah, Verbatim. Dreams are like a gut feeling. That is why they are the only thing I can guide art through. It goes back to a Psych landscape that was really fascinating to me, like really psyching out a record really dubbing out a record and just making it be like a sit down experience. Like a movie. And dreams share a lot with visual plastic arts like video. There is a lot you can do… The last video we made was dream based. There was a short at the end that is the “nightmare room” lyrics all put into a very simplified thing.

Live at Wierd

Carson has cited that Merchandise’s romantic sound is largely due to the fact that his Mother taught him to sing…

C: And I am making my Mother more famous than I am, because people ask me about her all the time. Constantly.

How is your Mother?

C: She is wonderful. She is my favorite person ever. She is also mad at me because I won’t ever sing with her. But she always wanted me to sing with her at the choir in church and I was like ‘No, I am not going to do that.’ She is 62. She comes from a different generation where the American Songbook was very much a part of her growing up and she raised up sort of like Midwesterners growing up in Florida. It was very strange.

I have memories of us struggling. My father leaving the family and my mother raising us, my grandfather helping to raise us. The soundtrack to that was her singing Sarah Vaughan and pop music from the 50’s, where the notion of beauty is all anyone ever cares about. They just want to make the most perfect sounding thing. Pre-70’s. Nothing really cheap to it but the life we were living was very different, very fractured from that. It was not the 50’s at all.

We were living in Tampa Bay, a developing city. The public schools were really fucking bad, really shitty. It was like her voice against the reality of being a little kid. My Mother’s voice exists outside of that. I believe she will come back to me after she is dead. I believe she will definitely be there.

So… She taught me how to sing. And then I got into punk. And then I don’t know what happened. I can’t even explain why it happened.  But this music [Merchandise] was like faggot music. Nobody wanted it. But apparently it has appealed to a lot of people who I didn’t expect it to. Half nurtured by punks and half destroyed by it. Strange.

Carson confronting a very dull Philadelphia audience

But there is also a preoccupation with romantic love in your lyrics… Do you believe that all men are preoccupied with romantic love, weather exalting it or cursing it?

C: Both. Absolutely.

P: Or avoiding it.

C: Yeah, or avoiding it… yeah. I would say at this stage in my life that I am avoiding it. It just sucks to fall in love. It is a big pain in the ass. In general. Come on. It’s not even a joke. You are bound to it. It is part of what happens. Loneliness is a constant thing with everyone. I am totally serious, it just is. It gets at everybody and you can’t say that it doesn’t.

At the same time you can’t just listen to that voice. There are a million things you can pay attention to and most people pay attention to the most negative thing. I don’t know… There are just too many good songs about heartache. Hank Williams Senior is up there.

D: Roy Orbison.

C: Roy Orbison is another one. The Everly Brothers. Music that will fucking kill you. Jimmy Rodgers. Above all. The last time I was really heart broken it was like: ‘I have got to stop listening to Jimmy Rodgers, because it is killing me’. It is so good. It is so sad. It is just a sad cowboy yodeling with a guitar. Some of the things that have hit me the hardest are not punk. They are not electronic.

With Jimmy Rogers or that shit… It was recorded onto wax cylinders or something. It was really, really raw. And really fucking sad. And folk music is a huge part of our music headspace too. Beyond Neil Young, Bob Dylan and the grateful dead… Jimmy Rodgers, Merle Haggard, Abner Jay. There is so much in folk music that translates to all music. I don’t think really think of separating music. I do not think of genres and like you know…  That is why we had one song on the new record having a song with a piano on it because it was like  ‘this is the same layout as a synth’. You can convey it in a different way. But it was important to me to have that. And the next record is going to be touching on more things. I am not interested in us being stuck into something. We are not a fucking Brooklyn band. I don’t want us to be stuck in one space and if people think we are an Indie rock band than that’s really not what I am trying to do. I am trying to make something new, the best I can. And if I fail, so be it.

I believe the fact that you do not play a particular ‘genre’ of music is really important and I think that is what many people recognize in you. I think it is really funny because I got into you guys by you just giving me “Strange Songs ( in the Dark)”.  We were talking about music all day [in Tampa] and you were like…  “You should not pay for this, you should have it.” HAHA ADAM [Katorga Works]!

C: And Adam is fine with that, too. That is the crazy thing. You’ll never find a label that is like OK with that.

D: I mean, he posts all the records for free.

I think that is really cool. One of my best friends, Casey, who I met in High School came to the show last night and asked me if you had any CDs, because he doesn’t have a record player. I told him he could download it for free. He wanted to support you guys but I told him to buy a shirt. You have everything online from the guy who released it!

C: At this point in my life I am really, really interested in reaching to people who are not into music. More than anything.

D: We do not want to be exclusionary at all.

C: I am fascinated with this being a way to communicate with people. It was always expression to me but I never thought that it was a way to communicate with people…

It was so interesting to me… To receive your record in Tampa and after a 25-hour drive I put it on right away, after returning to Philadelphia. Just because… I really liked it. And I was really happy that I had no idea what it was, in a way.  I just loved it for whatever it was. It just resonated with me.

From the very beginning, from the first time I heard it, I was really into it but I have also always been happy that I got into it through hanging out with Carson and Dave. Having a long conversation on your porch in Tampa and then going home with this amazing gift that really touched me. I have always thought that is the best way to get into a band…

C: And that is the best way to find people that are genuine. And that is how it worked for so long and that was part of the reason why we didn’t expect labels to be asking us to do stuff because it was so personal. That is how we met, but that is also how we do everything. Because we care about it. It is weird to me that many people don’t.

And now you are in this awkward position where you can not play the same sorts of shows that you were playing even a year ago but many of the people who are going to your bigger shows only care on a surface level.

Secret show with a live drummer, NYC

C: Yes… A surface level. You played that set last night and I thought it was really moving. Especially for any of the girls in the audience. But even for me… I have been called a faggot my whole life. Everyone is school just thought I was gay or they were totally mentally abusive. That is the part of me that identifies with this minority that women play.

And my Mother. She is stronger than any male in my family. Raised me and my sister. Got a ton of shit for being on welfare for a long time and being a single Mom. And she is not even bitter. She is just like I had to make money, I don’t care. I don’t have time to feel like dog shit because these people think that I am a piece of shit. That is how her spirit is. She is from the old world. To me there is a lot of virtue in that.

Oh, to be a woman.

C: I love all people, but I especially connect with women in that way and I don’t know why. Which is also maybe the reason why maybe I fall in love with them in the way that I do and it is really hard when it goes bad is because I see something in them that they don’t see in themselves. I have fallen in love with girls who just don’t respect themselves in a lot of ways and I respect them more than they do. And at some point it becomes impossible.

If they are used to abuse, whether it is mainstream social abuse and oppression or being part of this world and suffering because of it or if they are used to suffering at the hands of people that they love. They are told that this is what it is to be in love and it’s not. You can only respect someone who respects themselves.

Live at Wierd

What do you love more than anything in this world?

C: Beauty.
D: It is hard to say anything other than beauty. My friends. My music.

So, Pat, energy drinks?

P: I think energy drinks are a worldly thing.

C: You are supposed to say Florida Hardcore.

P: Yeah, Hardcore, Florida, Hard Times magazine. Nooooo. I think positive energy. Good spirits.  Beauty has a lot to do with it. Carson touched on this but people’s perception of reality and how things are usually so short sighted and I think that people live in this reality where they are super suppressed. And when people break out of that, it is very beautiful. It is definitely and opportunity that comes very rarely in people’s lives and I think it is important to embrace it. And it goes back to how to band functions and how I don’t ever think it will be a problem because we have all recognized this and we have taken an opportunity. There is nothing subversive about what we are doing. And it is a great thing.

C: To communicate honestly… Is the greatest thing. To be able to talk to one person is really wonderful. It is way better than communicating in a massive way. To be able to reach one person is still the goal, overall. It is kind of changing now. I don’t know how we are necessarily going to do that all the time. I want to do that, though. I want to communicate directly with people. I don’t want there to be a bullshit barrier between us, press and the audience. I don’t want there to be a wall. Our e-mail address goes straight to us. If anyone wants to talk to us they can just talk to us. That will never change, I don’t think.

It’s becoming really hard to stay that way. I used to be able to say concrete things about what we were going to do and what we were never going to do… I used to be able to say that “we are never going to do this, you are never going to see us here, and you are never going to see us appealing to these sorts of people” and that is just not true anymore. So much is changed I can never say never anymore.

At the same time I believe that we can do more than what a band is supposed to do. Which is another reason why I don’t even think we are a ‘band’. We are all drummers. We all play guitar. We are all songwriters. We all write our own songs. So is that a band? I don’t just sing. Dave doesn’t just play guitar. Pat doesn’t just play bass. There are a whole lot of things that make it work. I love doing this as long as I can keep it how I want it to be. But to make something beautiful is ultimately what we want to do. We have kind of done a lot of shit over the years and we are entering a whole new chapter. And that is why I can never say never anymore. But if I can make my Mother happy… That is the perfect goal. It is a perfect goal because I can achieve it. To communicate with some directly is a goal that I can accomplish. To me I feel like we’ve done a lot and I am proud of where we are at this point.

Honestly, I was really inspired when I was researching online about you guys and trying to figure out what questions I should ask you. I came across people talking shit on you guys on the Internet, especially about how you’ve “sold out” and have press. And coincidently, my boyfriend started doing press for you guys.

C: Yeah, the kid whose band I booked at Heinrichs Workshop. You know what I mean? Come the fuck on. Do you know how we know these people? We know these people because we were all shitty punk kids together and we all played the same shows and we played the same basements together. It is so natural it is retarded.

When I met him he was unemployed and before that he worked at a Best Buy so that he could tour.  His current job happens to be a job that he just got through being in his last band [The Men].

C: Price tagging Rancid CDs…

It’s not like he is some evil person who set out to work in the industry or sponge off independent bands…

P: People have been talking shit forever. Ever since we were in punk bands dubbing tapes on my own in my bedroom on my own stereo and someone across the country on the Internet feels like shitting all over it. It has been such a sick cycle. It started with local hate, to national hate and now there is international hate.


P: I think I was quoted in an interview as having said that hate is the glue that holds the world together.

C: Even though I said it. We wrote in Pat’s answers for an interview. It was fun making him say whatever I wanted. But really, the DIY world needs to fucking check themselves because they have been getting away with righteous bullshit for a long fucking time. Man, I have met CEO’s of major labels that are much more humble than these assholes. The whole game has changed. And if you think you are going to stay on top forever you are as delusional as every fucking republican and democrat in this country. You are as delusional as every fucking Christian. They are just as delusional as every mainstream, person in this country. Everyone who thinks of themselves as a part of this DIY society is just as dumb, you just buy records all of the time. You are a consumer. You are not a purist. You are not an individual. You are defining your identity through this and it is fake.

I was really fascinated by this threat that you pose to so many people. Punk kids are lashing out at you. I honestly just like your music, and I like you guys but I also have faith that whatever record label you put a record on doesn’t matter because it is still going to be good and beautiful and interesting and I am going to want to listen to it. Who the fuck cares? If someone wanted to publish my book or allowed me to be a paid journalist- if someone gave me the opportunity to make writing my job, fuck yeah, I would take that. I would take that in a heartbeat. That is what I want to do… But I don’t think people would have a problem with that. The fact that people have a problem with you guys doing what you love and ONLY doing what you love is fucking gross. And they need to chill the fuck out.

C: It is ridiculous because it is almost like DIY kids want us to go for broke and sign to a major label. It’s almost like they won’t respect us until we do. We feel like okay… We are just like you and we are going to play this show in this city… We have been doing this for years and years just like you have. Doing the same thing. Booking with the same people. Still doing it. Still playing houses after getting some press and people thinking that we are bigger than we are. Still doing it and people don’t respect that. They only respect power. They are just like everyone else.

DIY kids were not supposed to be like this. There is supposed to be this unwritten spiritual contract between us like “I’m punk, your punk, this is how we do it” but there are divisions throughout it I have stood on both sides and at the end of the day nobody knows what they are doing but you can only decide what you are going to do. I try to tell that to my friends.

I know so many people who are so creative and are so smart and they are totally held back by their peer group. 100%. Merchandise was not supposed to be a band. Nobody offered to do a record besides Adam. Nobody was interested in it. In my city, we were a joke because we were not hardcore. We played with bands like Cult Ritual and it doesn’t matter. We are just playing music, man. At the end of the day I have to say, I have grown up a little bit and the DIY scene is just like high school. It’s just like high school bullshit.

An American band

And DIY culture mimics all the problems that we have in this world and mainstream society… Just smaller versions of the same problems.

C: It is a microcosm of Christian thought and Christian society.

Who is cool? Who is not?

C: Who is righteous?

D: Judge and jury. Police, its bullshit. The society that they are rallying against… They are just replicating it. And it is just a little more gross because it’s so personal. It’s crap. I think it’s awful.

Our generation wasn’t part of the punk movement; we are part of punk culture that we have appropriated.

C: I would say we are more power violence than anything else at this point. Honestly, that is what it is. Old punks don’t really know what it is all about now and young kids are still making great music. And no one really expects it. No one is expecting there to be a second wave of honest to goodness good independent music. And everyone is trying to get a piece of it. Who knows how long it is going to last or if it can really mirror anything that has happened in the past. I feel like it is a totally different thing.

Again, we are not punks we are hardcore kids. This is hardcore, not punk. Punk is something that happened before us and hardcore is still happening now. When I was 18 years old I only recorded power violence bands because that was all there was but I called it punk. I just thought they were punk kids. Again, we are making something new now. We can’t really attach to this whole thing. It is cool that old dudes want to be a part of what is happening. It is cool that they still want to be a part of everything. It’s cool that Negative Approach is apparently still good.

They were.

D: It sucks that they are touring with OFF! Though.

I know! So are The Spits :(.

C: Off! Fucking sucks. It’s fucking garbage. I think Keith Morris is a fucking piece of shit. And you can print it! I don’t give a shit! He’s never done anything for me and he has been running his mouth in every fucking punk documentary for thirty years… Being like ‘This is how it is’ and trying to be a person who was part of everything but what the fuck is he participating in now? Look at what you are doing. Do you think it is the same? I get it, you are old and you are scared of anything else. Punk is not what it used to be. Everyone is going to look back and he is going to be a clown. And it’s sad. He can’t even see it. But it’s not the same thing at all. I think that people realize it and it is part of the reason why it is still exciting to play DIY shows and the reason why I still want to book DIY this year but it is starting to come to a head. The more popular we become the more visible we are, the less we can do in that world. I want to do everything I can, I want to play with as many bands as I can before we get to the point where we have to do something else. I still feel like we could play huge rooms but we wouldn’t sound the same. It wouldn’t be the same band. You wouldn’t see what you saw last night. And if we did it would have to be very special.

But we wouldn’t have Henry Rollins playing with us. We would have Rat Bastard on guitar. That is where we come from. It is a different place. And it’s not punk, why do we even care about honoring these people? They don’t honor us. And they are just as fucking desperate as all the industry people. And a lot of the industry people… The wind has been taken out of their sails because they can’t make money anymore. It is not what it used to be. There are people that people think are millionaires who are not millionaires. It is not as easy to put out records anymore. At the same time, labels are kind of dumb. They are putting out dumb stuff.

Too many record labels are just putting out whatever they think is going to make them money and opposed to what they feel passionate about.

C: It is so short sighted. It is so fashionable. And it sucks. There are only a few record labels that are curated in a personal way. Night People, to me, have always been part of my scene. It has been part of my life. It wasn’t a barrier between me press band label it wasn’t like that. Which is how a lot of people want to work. They want to keep that wall up so they seem exclusive. And it is press doing it. It’s PR people doing it. And they don’t care. They are not even musicians. They are like wanna be celebrity people who want to live a glamorous big city life but they are not artists. They just live off artists. It’s totally weird. And I am sure you guys see it more than we see it because we are in fucking Tampa Bay.

It’s funny though because when you talk about “big city music” I don’t really exist in that. I don’t really go to ‘big’ shows.

C: Because you are in love with music. And most people are not in love with music. Most people do not listen to music. It’s true, most people that come to our shows now, they don’t listen to music. They don’t. They are not interested. They are doing something else. It is like, get fucked. That is why our scene was so small for so long, it was just the people who really liked it. People want to create fame. People want to create a celebrity. They want to create this thing.  They want to create an idol. And I don’t know why. It’s the food chain. It’s high school. They want to create the quarterback of the football team. They want to create that. They don’t want an artist. They don’t want something new. They don’t want an experiment.

On another level, I wonder how many people who were at your show last night were like “We want to see this Merchandise band, they are going to be something! They are going to be famous!”

D: And they can be like “I saw them in a gallery in Philly!

C: I saw them when they sucked!

I really do wonder that. I was at your Philly show last year and…

D: No one was there!

But also, I am trying not to be a person who wants to keep a band to myself.

C: I used to. But the older I get, the more personal my priorities get and less about music. Like I am more concerned about my friends being okay, my family, my own personal life. I am not really concerned with my scene anymore. I used to be really involved. I recorded every band in Tampa that was worth shit and played in my little circle. It was important to me. But that was also also how I got into electronic music. Because I got into kids playing music with keyboards and it was awesome. It was way inspiring to see bands like Byron House place. And it was way inspiring to see bands like Halves and Thirds and Skeleton Warrior doing it because they wanted to do it and for no other reason. And it was way before this fucking dark pop thing. Sooo coool.

We’re leaving the fake Goth thing and entering into the ironic grunge stage now.


D: Is that what’s happening? I guess we’ll see when we are in New York.

Look around at your New York show. See what’s cool now. It’s half fake Goths and half ironic grunge.

D: That is the perfect demographic for our music!

C: I gravitate towards people that don’t like music. The last girl I had a crush on was hilarious. She didn’t know anything. She didn’t know who Animal Collective was. She didn’t know any big Indie bands. I was like I like you so much because I feel like you are not as obsessed with bullshit as I am. It seems freeing and liberating. There is a stigma to listening to music that is not part of your thing/ I remember getting into punk and throwing away my rock CDS. I felt like I cannot be into this anymore because it is not fast. I cannot be into this anymore because it is on a major label. And now it is like, I don’t care where I pull music from.

Your life is a drop in the bucket and to care about that seems like a waste of time. And I feel that people who are not as knowledgeable about music know it’s a waste of time and that is why they don’t do it. They work hard. Some of them live honestly. Some of them live dishonestly. But it doesn’t really matter. You can fall in love with somebody and it doesn’t have to be on that level. It is really shallow. Music is really shallow.

And so many friendships and relationships are based on musical tastes. It is kind of sad and strange.

D: It’s not a strong foundation.

C: What is the difference with being on a DIY label and being on a major label when it comes to the people that you are talking to? The way that it is done is very different but communicating directly to the people. I don’t care if they have never heard anything that we like or if they think that we invented. I don’t care if people have a sense of History. I feel like I have a strong sense of History, I know my History really well. I think. But is it important to play to those people? No. Do I care if I play to a bunch of hipsters who are excited to here something new? No. I don’t really feel like they are that different that the cool ray ban punks or the trust find crusters.

Different Costumes.

C: Absolutely, different costumes. And it ‘s almost like the fakers are more honest than the hip kids.  I almost don’t see a difference. Punks are hipsters now. I look at music, fashion, art, film, and journalism… They are all part of one thing that that is what is: today. What is going on today? The new thing. What is the new thing that is happening right under other people’s nose. And they don’t realize it. Those who don’t try.

It’s like the Buddhist ideal of pure motive. If you don’t start out with pure motive, every step is a misstep. If you want to be in a band to play music that is a pure motive. If you want to be in a band to get laid, that is not a pure motive. If you want to be in a band to quit your job, that is not a pure motive, If you want to do this to fucking do this and it is pure and there is a reason for it… We started because we wanted to play music. That is a pure motive.

Everything else has happened to you.

D: it’s all incidental.

P: We never sent a demo to a record label.

C: Ever, in our lives. No bands we have ever been in have ever sent demos to anybody.

P: It has never been about getting signed, it has never even ever been about touring.

C: We were at a record label date back home and there was this band setting up to play and they were selling download cards. Ten dollar download cards. WHAT? Why? Who is going to buy that? Who gives a shit? They had CDs and download cards. It is weird that that is just how it is now. It’s like selling shit on Itunes, out of a box, in real life instead of selling the real thing. Instead of a fucking record. And it is just weird. This is a band that is networking to make it. I turned to the dude from the label and was like “check this out” and he just fucking laughed. So many people send them hundred of demos. To all the major Indies. And they don’t listen to them. It is because these bands don’t do anything on their own. They think that they have to play the game to fucking make it. Do it yourself doesn’t just mean DIY. Do it yourself means cultivate yourself. Do what you love.

P: Enrich your life.

C: Express yourself because you love it and because it doesn’t exist in the world already.

P: Everyone thinks there is a fucking formula to becoming successful and that is just not the case. There is just too much chance involved. And like he said every step would be a misstep if you don’t have pure motive. That’s it. You’re automatically fucked if you go into it thinking you’re going to make it. “I know I am going to do it! I am going to follow these steps and it should work out, right?” And that is so destructive. Not only to themselves but also to everyone around them.

C: It is just clearly, people have been brainwashed into thinking there is a certain way to do things and there absolutely isn’t, we are proof, I guess, of that.