You’ve been getting some Internet fame recently between the Coalesce recording process and the People’s Court show finally airing, Blue Collar, so thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to answer some questions.
Bands come and go, but there are some people who never actually go away from the scene. What have you been doing recently?
Well, basically I’m still active in the music business by way of the merch production company, and distro I’m a part of [Blue Collar]. Then of course, Coalesce comes back into my life every 2 or 5 years, so that’s always fun to go for. But other than that, just making babies, paying bills, and pinning for a muscle car.
I saw the People’s Court show on lawrence.com, sorry you lost. What were your expectations? Did it even matter, or was it just fun to do the show and come to NYC?
Yeah, of course I expected to win, but whatever. It doesn’t matter. That guy’s career is over as a manager, so even though I lost some dough, some start up isn’t going to. It all works out. It was done as a farce, and it was fun. I got a killer steak dinner out of the deal. That’s for sure.
What’s new at Blue Collar? I know you are starting a new product line, what’s that all about?
Yeah, I’m a Mac geek. Not like the kind that defends Apple on digg.com or anything, but I like what the platform did for me and my business, and family. And I like to take them apart and rebuild them, and generally hack at them and build cool things from them. I used my love for the platform to do a line of cool shirts called “indietech”. It’s tech related designs without putting “I’m a Mac” in Helvetica on a shirt. I’m excited to see what it does.
What about Coalesce. You’re putting out a DVD with some new songs, right? Any reunion shows planned? Any other side projects coming up?
Yes, we have a new 7″ coming out in August, and we are going to get on the road in August too. Nothing is solid on the tour, but it’s getting close to be able to post about it. It’s going to be completely old school. All our old roadies are coming back, an old friend is doing the booking, and it’s going to be East Coast. I’m stoked, I can’t imagine getting the play these new songs live, I’m stoked on that. Plus 16 songs live is the most we will have ever done. That’s a lot of screaming and banging.
Now for my normal easy questions…
Mac or Windows? Mac of course. Windows for phones, until iPhone comes out.
Burrito or Taco? Taco Bell Bean Burrito, no onions, extra red sauce, side of nacho cheese to dip that mug in.
Can, bottle or draft? Everything tastes better in glass. Everything.
Favorite drink? Red Bull, but I can’t have it anymore.
Onion Rings or French Fries? French fries definitely
BBQ Sauce or Honey Mustard? Hot mustard definitely
Back to the hard ones…
How is the scene in Lawrence. There were so many amazing bands in every genre of music to come from that area. Are those bands still talked about, or did they fade? Do people come to Lawrence like people would to Gainesville, DC or NYC?
Yeah, the scene has a ton of rad bands that have come from it. The music scene is different today. Rock is the flavor, or indie. There doesn’t seem to be any big breakout bands like The Get Up kids were, but there are definitely some respectable bands here from the Appleseed Cast to Ad Astra Per Aspera to Vedera. I think the old bands are still talked about. I’ve yet to pay for a beer at the Granada, so it must be true!
Music can be such a powerful force in life. How does it affect you? How about your family?
Well, it did impact my family negatively with Coalesce. I’m a pretty ambitious person, so I would tour when I should not have. But I was what, 19? I was an idiot. It’s a completely different ball game now. The family likes what I do when I can do it and comes out to the shows. They support it. My wife isn’t competing with it. As far as listening to it, and that aspect, it doesn’t really. I’ve tried hard to get my girls 100% into punk and hardcore and cool indie, but I’m still buying tickets to Kelly Clarkson tomorrow for their birthday. Go figure.
What bands are you currently listening to? Got any up and coming bands to be on the lookout for?
Well, I always have Tool at arms reach. I’m a big Sufjan Stevens fan, I don’t see how I missed that. I mostly listen to indie stuff or cheesy old stuff like Life Of Agony: River Runs Red. I have no clue what new bands are super rad, I’m hoping to find out in August on the road.
What are your favorite websites and why?
motors.ebay.com, I love pretend shopping for ‘cudas and challengers. digg.com, I seem to get more info from there than anywhere else. entensity.net, if you are looking for a video that your friend will send you in 5 months in a forward email, this is where you can see it today. Some gross porn stuff on that site, but whatevs, there is porn everywhere. I can probably tell you more about a fleshlight than I can about what the capitals of states are. and I’ve never even been to the site. tuaw.com and engadget, i always get up to date on what’s coming out, and early patent releases.
Do you notice any increase or decrease in sales of some of your music that you offer on Blue Collar since P2P. How about the myspace and other social networking sites started infiltrating our lives, any change in the way people buy or don’t buy products and merchandise.
Yeah, sales went down, way down. I get invites to p2p places all the time and see everything I’ve ever done on there. It’s a bummer, but the way the RIAA is handling it is garbage. I don’t support DRM, but I also don’t trust everyone to pay for a record. I think the key is vinyl collecting, merch sales, and touring. The CD is dead. You have to make it collectible, something cool to get people to buy a record now. We decided to release the new 7″ on iTunes, and on vinyl only. Hopefully folks will buy it since it was a lot of work and money, but I don’t expect everyone to. I will say that going on the peoples court quadrupled our Coalesce sales on Blue Collar Distro. That had me scratching my head.
I believe myspace and all those are great in sense that it’s an easy way for bands to get their information out quickly and without really sending out mass emails, but essentially they are and they really limit their audience. How do you feel? If Coalesce was still around and touring, what it have helped? It’s a tough question, so take your time with this one.
It’s actually not tough at all, we talk about this all the time at work. Myspace.com, besides the fact that it’s spaghetti hobbled together, and looks like ass, does one thing well. It gets the info out there due to name recognition and large user base. But it also makes it too easy on a lot of levels. How many bands have you heard of that got signed off of myspace, and never played a show. That’s not being in a band. How many bands that have not even recorded or written a lick have put banners all over your page? In that sense it sucks. But as we are getting ready to tour, I make one post and I have a captive audience of 4,000 done in an instant. So I think it works well for established bands, and touring bands, but can be abused by younger bands that don’t want to put in the time, and spam the shit out of every other working band on there. Plus the whole people side of it. It’s like a booty call meet up. My wife wasn’t on there for 6 hours before some asshole tried to hook up with her in Lawrence. She deleted her account right away. Homie was saved a beat down, seriously. So in short, I hate myspace, I’m a virb.com fan. But it has its use, and right now for us as we are getting ready to tour, it’s the bulletin. I’m just glad this tour we don’t have to use long distance to book it. That shit got expensive. The cell phone is making that so much cheaper and easier.
Who’s your favorite Get Up Kid?
That’s not fair. I’m business partners with 3 of them, and was in a band with 1 other. I’ll say Supty, since that’s not playing favorites.
What else is going on, anything you want to rant about, promote, name drop, etc…
Haha, no, I don’t think I have anything exciting to talk about. Just getting ready for August in a big way. So much stuff going on… New 7″, DVD Box Set, Zeppelin + Reissue, and 2 weeks to push the hell out of them on the road.