The Feud

Interviews | Oct 30th, 1999

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I read on Epitonic that you were brought together by a love for Sonic Youth. What’s to love?
Larry Hess: Noise, buddy, noise. Where we grew up there was a really big hardcore scene, and a lot of cheesy pop-punk, but although we all loved punk, we never really got into this (except the warped weeble wobbles, they kicked ass). Sonic Youth was a revelation to all of us, because it was punk but it was also smart. Plus, Lee Renaldo is from Oyster Bay. Props.

Jeff Newman: Steve Shelley’s arse.

Seth Diamond: That’s not necessarily the most accurate statement. But Sonic Youth showed us that you could be experimental, noisy, dissonant, and super melodic-catchy at the same time. You don’t have to be Stockhausen or Joan Jett, you can fuck all worrying about what a critic will define your music as and just see how far you can push yourself. Also Kim Gordon is pretty fucking hot.

Math-rock, post-punk, prog-punk, indie rock. Do you like any of those labels, or do you just consider The Feud to be Rush with horns?
Hess: Fuck Rush. If we are like Rush, we are like Rush with taste.

Newman: I like the IZOD alligator. That’s a nice looking label. We’re more like Rush without the suck.

Diamond: My favorite labels are “May cause drowsiness” and “Controlled Substance, use only as directed”. Although I love what Rush does, I might consider ourselves Rush without the silliness. I like being labeled prog. We don’t have solo sections or 30 minute keyboard interludes with ballet dancers prancing on stage, but our music definitely doesn’t come full circle. It keeps branching out through different paths over the course of a song, it sort of, you know, progresses.

Does your name come from some beef you had with another band? Or are you just big Louie Anderson fans?
Hess: Louie Anderson sucks, it’s all about Ray Combs. When he hung himself, it dealt a huge blow to every “feud” loving person. He will be missed.

Newman: (It) has more to do with Stanley Tucci and getting free promotional swag from this movie he was in called The Feud, way back when we were in high school. We weren’t even writing music back then and basically thought it would be funny to get on stage and make as much noise as possible while wearing these bowling jackets and t-shirts that said The Feud on them. The idea was to get whoever was watching to think, “Who the fuck are these stupid assholes and why the hell do they have their own goddamned embroidered jackets?”

Diamond: The Feud is against the impossible odds this band faces to be heard. We will smack your ass down with rock, make you put on lipstick, and call you our bitch. We are the last gang in town; don’t fuck with us.

No joke, you guys are from motherfuckin’ Sysosset! Valley Stream in da house!!! How has being from Long Island shaped your outlook on life?
Diamond: Anyone else want to answer this?

Newman: Forced a bunch of us to drift towards each other and create our own sort of creative outlet. It’s the same in any suburb, I suppose. Though we were fortunate enough to have NYC at our disposal. With that came Sonic Youth and dime bags from Washington Square Park. The rest is history.

Hess: Long Island is probably the stalest and most boring place on earth. The only good thing I can say about it is that we got great drugs. I think the mixture of boredom and drugs is the reason there have been so many great bands come from LI. The Velvets, BOC, Kiss, uh, well that’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure there are more.

Sarah Hughes – would you do her?
Newman: Is she related to Langston Hughes? I can’t say that any of us would fuck him. Well, maybe the mole.

Hess: I don’t know who she is, but if she breathes, you could probably pawn her off on Seth.

Diamond: Who turns legal first, her or the Olsen twins?

Is “Language Is Technology” a reference to Speak N’ Spell? That scary voice used to haunt my nightmares.
Hess: Language is Technology is reference to taking too many mushrooms. Although I found out yesterday that Speak N Spell in England has an American accent but spells things like “Colour” in the English way. Pretty fucked up, if you ask me.

Newman: Mushrooms, then yes, this is exactly what “language is technology” is a reference to.

Diamond: Anyone else want to answer this?

The Feud recently released Language is Technology on Insidious Plot Audio