Rocket From the Crypt

     Arrgh, mateys!! It’s a great time to be a Rocket From the Crypt fan. The recent months have seen the slick San Diego six-piece release a split 7-inch with the Hellacopters, an untitled five-song EP and All Systems Go 2, a collection of rare tracks and singles. They also contributed a new song, “Man Down,” to the Merge Records compilation Oh, Merge and a cover of Wall of Voodoo’s “This Way Out” to Vagrant Records’ Before You Were Punk 2. On top of that, there’s another 7-inch that’ll be out by Christmas. Amid all the excitement, Rocket singer/guitarist and preacher of the rock ‘n’ roll gospel John “Speedo” Reis found time in early November to discuss the band’s recent and upcoming releases …
How did you end up on the Before You Were Punk 2 compilation?
They asked us to be on it, and we said yes.

Are you guys approached a lot by people putting compilations together?
We are, actually. Most of the compilations that seem to be coming out right now are in the realm of people doing covers — pretty much just novelty stuff. And I don’t know why a lot of times people think to ask us, because although we’ve recorded tons of songs, we haven’t really done that many covers in relation to the amount of songs we’ve recorded. So I don’t know why we get asked, but we do. We get asked by tons of different kinds of things. Maybe it’s just the fact that the band seems to not fit into any one niche per se, so we get approached by tons of different people to do stuff.

So what made this project one that you felt like participating in?
One of the reasons was that we’re putting together this home studio — not “home,” because it’s not in our home, but in our practice space — and we wanted to get some new gear. They had talked to us about doing a song and they mentioned Wall of Voodoo, and I was like, “Yeah, well fuck, I’m really into Wall of Voodoo.” I listen to ’em all the time — even still today. So I said, “Yeah, that’d be fine. I wanna do something off the first record.” And they were like, “That’d be cool and kinda obscure.” Because they were looking for more bands to do more of the new-wave hits of the day. But we picked a song that we thought we could do really good. And yeah, we were putting together this studio, and they kicked down some money that we were able to use to buy some new equipment to record the song. So it was kind of like a tradeoff.

All Systems Go 2 just came out on your own Swami imprint …
Yeah, I’m the co-conspirator in Swami.

Who’s your partner?
It’s myself and Long Gone John, who does Sympathy for the Record Industry.

Wasn’t Perfect Sound the label that Rocket was using to put out its own stuff?
That was kind of a phony label. There wasn’t really any … There basically wasn’t a label. It was just a name that we’d put on the back of a record that we put out. Sometimes just because you put out a record doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a record label, and that’s kind of how it was. We never had any interest in signing bands or really doing any of the laborious tasks that it takes in order to be a successful label. We just wanted to put out a record. So we did a couple of things under that name. We did a one-sided 7-inch, which was a fan club release that we ended up just giving away — I don’t think we sold one of them. And we did Hot Charity.

So what releases does Swami have planned?
Right now there’s only a couple in the works. All Systems Go 2 is the first release. The second thing is going to be a record by a band called Hot Snakes, which is myself, Rick from Drive Like Jehu and Jason from Delta 72 and Mule on drums. It kinda came together more like a project and a lot less like a band. Hopefully over the next couple of months we’ll evolve more into a band. Rick lives in New York now — he used to live here in San Diego — Jason lives in Philadelphia and I live in San Diego, so it makes band practices a bit hard, but we’re planning a tour in March. That’ll be the second release, and the record’s called Automatic Midnight.

So then is Swami distributed the same as Sympathy?
Yeah, through Sympathy, which is distributed through Mordam. So basically, as far as the label goes, Long Gone does most of the manufacturing as well as helping with the distribution and helping me through his experience. He’s been doing it for so long, and the guy’s released more records than about anybody else in the time that he’s been a label. And he’s also just a really good friend.

All Systems Go 2 consists of a lot of short recording sessions. Do you prefer that kind of recording, as opposed to going in and doing a whole album’s worth of material at once?
Well, I like everything. I love making records. I love recording — going into the studio and leaving with a finished product. Sometimes if you only have three days … It depends on what your intentions are as well, but I like it all. I don’t necessarily like it better. It just depends on what is best for the songs that you’re recording. That’s what’s most important — that the songs are captured in a way that we feel is best suited for them. I think it’s funny because Rocket From the Crypt has made records for a lot of money, and we’ve also made records for cheaper than cheap — I mean, I’m talking about no money. We’ve released recordings that we’ve done on our boom box at our practice space, so it’s pretty funny the spectrum of recording quality that our songs have had over the years. But yeah, I like it all. I just love to record. I love to practice. I love everything about being in a band, and I love the whole recording thing.

Are there any songs on ASG2 that fans have been clamoring for? Songs people kept asking, “When is this going to come out on CD?”
I don’t know. I have no idea what the people who like our band want to hear. And I have no idea what people have and what people don’t have and people’s perceptions of our rare material — the stuff that’s harder to find. I just don’t like to hear when people pay too much money for something because it just seems like … I don’t look at what I’m doing as some kind of investment, where people are to buy records and sit on them and turn around and sell them when they’re worth more money. Now I know that that’s just the nature of the record-collector mentality, and I am a record collector myself, but it’s much more from a music-driven perspective. I just want the actual music. A lot of times I don’t care if it’s on cassette or on CD or on vinyl. The most important thing for me is just to have the music. But yeah, I don’t know what people want. I’m not really sure.

Do you ever go on eBay to see what your releases are going for?
I’ve heard from people that yeah, whatever, but I just don’t have that kind of time, and I’m really not that interested. I think everybody pretty much knows by now that if you want to get the most money for something, you go to eBay to sell it. So no matter what you see at eBay, whether it’s a stick of gum or a piece of string or one of our records, it’s gonna sell for a lot more money than it’s worth, probably.

So part of the reason for the All Systems Go compilations is so that fans don’t have to pay outrageous prices to get their hands on your music?
Yeah, exactly. Being someone who collects records, there is a bit of that kind of admiration that we have for people who put effort into keeping abreast of what’s going on, and, like I said, I do collect records, so there’s a part of that that I can identify with. But the part that I can’t identify with is when you see a record that was made less than three years ago for sale for $50 just because someone feels that they can get that for it.

There’s a couple of unreleased tracks on ASG2 (“Slow” and “Nobobby”). Why weren’t they released before?
Oh, I think it’s pretty obvious — especially in the case of “Nobobby.” That’s just terrible. That song is just awful. I think it’s so retarded. … You know how things can be so bad that they’re good? Well that’s so bad that it’s bad again, therefore it’s not good. There’s no redeeming qualities to that song. But maybe someone out there would argue, because like I said, I really have no idea what people want to hear. The other song, “Slow,” I think is a cool song that I never got around to putting lyrics on and it kinda just was one of those forgotten pieces at the end of a reel. We just forgot about it, and I was going through some tape and went, “Hey, what about this one? I forgot about this.” We had a couple more like that, but that was the best one out of the unfinished stuff. What we did with that song is we kind of mastered it in a way to kinda make the song seem a bit more complete without vocals. We did a couple of cool things with it in the beginning of the song, running the song back out through … basically played it through some speakers in this really big room and miked the speakers so that in the beginning of the song the entire mix has this “room sound” on it, and then as the song progresses then it goes into where the overdubs and electric guitar come in to kind of switch it from that to solely the original signal. And that was pretty fun because we were able to go to something that we had done years back and kind of treat it as if it was something kind of new.

If “Nobobby” is so bad, why did you include it?
I don’t know. It’s just bad. I don’t like it. There’s nothing about it that I like. I never listen to it. I mean, I never listen to really anything off the records, just because … I don’t know — I just don’t. That one, I would be embarrassed if anyone ever asked us to play it live. It’s so bad. It was actually at one time a very long song that we cut up into smaller pieces and tried to really fuck it up so it would have an even more disjointed feel than it already had. Y’know, we have a lot of ideas, and they’re definitely not all good. And there’s reasons why not everything we record or every song we write doesn’t make it onto a record. So maybe that was the reason we put it on there — just to illustrate how bad some of the bad ideas are.

There are also some covers on ASG2. How does the band decide which tunes to cover?
Actually, we had never really had to do B-sides up until the Scream, Dracula, Scream! record came out because the band didn’t release singles or anything like that — there was never a need to, and there was never any interest to put out stuff like that. So when Scream, Dracula, Scream! started doing really well over in England, there became a kind of “Hey, we need some more songs — some B-sides to put on the other side of this single” because the single was getting a lot of play and we definitely benefited from putting it out — putting out the songs “On a Rope,” “Young Livers” and “Born in ’69” as singles. The “On a Rope” single was a bit ambitious because what we did was we released three CDs, which up to that time no one had ever done for a single. It’s kind of a long, weird story, but basically in England you’re allowed to release three singles as long as they’re all … well, now the law is — and it’s not a rule, it’s an actual law — you can release three different versions of a single and each sale counts as being attributed to the same single. So basically that’s what bands do to get on the charts there — they release three different formats, usually cassette, CD and a vinyl. People who are fans of the band will go out and buy all three, therefore counting as three sales toward their single, as opposed to just someone buying one. So my idea was that since it’s such a manipulative decision to put out these different formats, why not just be completely obvious about it and put out three CDs and put different versions on three CDs, since more people buy CDs than cassettes or records, and you’re trying to get as many sales as possible in order for it to go onto the charts. Why not just do it that way? So that’s what we did, and that meant that we had to come up with a lot of material. It was kind of weird — you finish recording a record, you turn it in and think you’re done, and then all of a sudden it’s, “You guys need another 10 songs.” It’s like, “Oh my god. We just depleted ourselves,” you know? So that’s where the covers came in, and where they came from I don’t know. They’re bands we like. The Drags are a band that we toured with that we really, really dig. The Silver Apples are a band we were turned on to years ago that I though was just such an odd … I just really wanted to kind of interpret one of their songs and do it our way. And the Nephews were a band that we played with a lot. They’re from San Diego and they were good friends.

On ASG2 there were some songs that were different recordings than the original releases …
Those songs were from a session that we did outside of London in a little town called Milton Keynes. The studio was in an old manor house that was on four or five, or maybe even more, acres of land. It was this huge mansion — three or four stories and the studio was on the bottom. A family lived on the second floor, and the third floor is where we slept. So we stayed in the actual building where we were recording, which is really, really cool. It was probably one of the funnest times I’ve ever had recording, even though it was in England. It was really awesome. I woke up in the morning, played soccer out on the field, had our tea, watched it rain, recorded. Staying at the place where you’re recording is just the coolest thing, because you can record however late you want — just go and start whenever you want. Oh man, it’s just the coolest thing. We used to do that at Saturation, where we recorded State of the Art. It might have a different name now, but it’s in Costa Mesa. It was basically just this friend’s studio that we were recording at, and we just slept in the tracking room and the control room. We just laid out in our sleeping bags when we were done recording, and that was just the coolest thing. There’s nothing cooler than waking up and just going straight to work, and then stopping work and going straight to sleep. That’s just the coolest thing in the world. Maybe we’ll try to record our next record in a place like that, because both of the sessions we’ve done in that kind of environment have been my two favorites. I really love the stuff we did at Lynford Manor in Milton Keynes. That stuff came out really good. It’s really simplistic; it’s all straight-ahead. Those songs aren’t even mixed appropriately. We didn’t have time to mix ’em. We basically ran out of time, so we mixed those songs all in about six hours, which is fast because we did nine songs. So it was kinda cool — just like, “Well, that’s the way it is. We’ll get back to mixing them someday.” And then we never did, and we ended up just putting them out the way they are. And I think that’s cool. There’s lots of weird little things in there where like a piano will be buried and all of a sudden it’ll just get really loud out of nowhere, like on “Raped by Ape” — the piano at the end just gets super loud out of nowhere, which is kind of weird.

So you released those versions just because you had so much fun recording them?
I think they’re better for those songs, actually. I think they sound a little bit better. Maybe it’s just because they’re the first versions that we did and they’re the ones that I got used to hearing. And I don’t think as many people heard those versions as heard the Kevin Shirley ones.

Were they released anywhere before?
I don’t know. I forget. They do a lot of weird things in Europe. Sometimes you give them a DAT with like eight songs on it and there’s one song they’re supposed to use, but all of a sudden you get over there and you see all the other songs you had given them used for different things, even though you told them not to use them. They kinda just run rampant over there. I know that sounds unethical, but it’s just become so commonplace. You have a photo session and you tell them not to use any of the photos until you’ve approved them, and then you go over there and see these huge posters of these terrible photos you’ve never seen. There’s this photo of me with a knife in my mouth or something like that. It’s the stupidest photo in the world — it’s kind of an old one. But they used it everywhere over there, so everywhere I went it was like, “Oh my god. That’s the lamest photo ever! No wonder why no one likes us. Look at that thing — it looks stupid.” But yeah, that kind of thing happens.

You recently recorded eight songs with Gar Wood. Why not release just one EP, instead of splitting it up for three different releases?
Well, we went in there to record this stuff because we knew we wanted to have basically one release from the session, but we had also agreed to do a recording for the Gearhead thing, we agreed to do a 7-inch with Bill Litfin of Glazed Records, who is the guy who does our website. So we had these things that we knew we had to do, and we also wanted to do something like an EP and put them all on there, but in the end we felt we had five songs that worked really well together and we had the idea for the artwork for the Flapping Jet 12-inch and it all just seemed to work. So we still got an EP out of the session, and the 7-inches as well.

It seems like the horns aren’t quite so upfront on some of the new songs, as compared to on RFTC …
They are on some songs. On some songs they’re really loud, just because they kinda need to be. And on other songs, the ones that seem to rely a bit more on velocity and that kind of straight-ahead momentum, sometimes when the songs are a bit more simplistic it seems kind of weird to put the horns really loud in those circumstances.

So you’re not consciously trying to shift away from the prominent horn presence that Kevin Shirley sought on RFTC?
No, it wasn’t conscious at all. There are actually a couple songs they’re pretty loud on. There’s a song called “Hot Wired” on the Flapping Jet 12-inch where they’re pretty pumpin’. It’s a song-by-song thing. I think Kevin’s thing, when he was doing the record, was that he really wanted everything to be heard, and that’s not really so important to us, to tell you the truth. It’s more important that the overall song comes out the way that we want it to come out, and if something’s buried for a part and the song’s not necessarily hurting because of it, then why take that extra effort to redo the whole mix just to get this one part to sound … all in the name of equality. Earlier, when we first incorporated the horns, the horns were buried. I’ll be the first one to admit that. They were really, really low. And in retrospect, when I listen to them now, they’re lower than I probably would do it right now. With Kevin, I think there was a reaction of “Listen, they’ve been buried in the past. Let’s just make sure you can hear everything they’re doing.” I think now we’ve got a good perspective of just where they should be.

The song “Blood Robots” has an intriguing title, and the words aren’t always so easy to make out. What’s it about?
It’s harder for me to talk about the words than it probably is to understand them, in the sense that … I don’t know, the words are supposed to kinda go along with the music and it’s hard to isolate them. If it was about something — one thing in particular — I guess it would just be about a common punk-rock theme addressing people that seem to be programmed to do one thing and one thing only, and they cannot see beyond their one objective.

The song “Who Let the Snakes In” has some simple, yet really effective keyboards on it, and other Rocket songs have made good use of keyboards in the past. Have you ever considered adding a keyboard player to the band?
We actually did. We added Chris Prescott, who played drums for Fishwife and Tanner and now for No Knife. Prior to him joining No Knife, he played organ with us for about a couple months. He did do a tour with us. He went to the East Coast with us and did some shows, and he also played some percussion, and it was really awesome, it was really cool. But if you’re in a band with six people, it’s like fuck, now you’re seven — pretty soon you’re gonna be eight. And you’re still making the same amount of money. It sounds really cheesy, but I have to admit it is part of the reasoning. When you’re making a couple hundred bucks a night and you’re splitting it six, seven and then maybe eight ways, you can’t continue doing a band like that. I mean, we can’t even sustain ourselves on the road to the point where I’m not even talking about making money, I’m actually just talking about sustaining it so you break even. We can’t do that where we’re at because of the amount of people in the band. … I think where we’re at right now is just kind of stripping it down and trying to do more with what we have — trying to be a little bit more resourceful. That was one of the things we may have slightly lost track of — just the ability to be resourceful, and we haven’t forgotten how to. But I think that for a while there we were kind of caught up with “more is more is more is more,” and that’s not always the case. I think you have a lot of rock ‘n’ roll right now that is kind of really about that — “more is more is more is more,” “beat ’em over the head, beat ’em over the head.” And here I was, totally whining for the past five years that there’s no good rock ‘n’ roll bands and that there’s no one playing rock ‘n’ roll, and now I’m complaining that there’s too many rock ‘n’ roll bands that are just diluting everything and they all sound the same. I’m sick of rock ‘n’ roll. I hate fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll. I wish fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll would fall off the face of the planet. It’s pretty funny. But yeah, as far as the organ thing, I don’t know. It worked, it was cool. We might still use it in some of the recordings, but definitely I think we’re taking a more simplistic approach to the newer songs we have.

What made you want to write a song loosely based around the Delorean?
It’s more about that whole era than it is about the car, but the car seemed to be the pinnacle icon of that era … I don’t know. A lot of it had to do with the fact that Gearhead asked us to do a split 7-inch with the Hellacopters, who are a band that we like, and it was like, “Cool, we’re gonna do something appropriate for Gearhead, an automobile-themed punk-rock fanzine.” So Delorean seemed very appropriate and thus the song kind of came out around that, but then the whole thing got confused when the lyrics started going on it. Just also the feel of the music kind of warranted, I think, lyrically the kind of negative vibes that the lyrics portray.

One thing that Glazed and others who have released your 7-inches must appreciate is that you don’t just put them out and forget about them like some bands. You actually play the songs live, and some 7-inches, like “Boychucker,” have become favorites of many fans …
You know, honestly, there are songs that we’d just assume forget we ever did, not that we don’t appreciate them on a recorded level, but they’re just not very fun for us to play. But yeah, the majority of songs we can play. Why we don’t play them maybe more often is probably just because of the fact that we don’t want to or something like that. Yeah, we can play the majority of the songs and we enjoy playing a lot of the stuff that we’ve recorded. It’s weird. … This is kind of a different subject, but there are songs that we know going into it — songs that don’t sound that great at practice, but we still know that, “Hey, this’ll probably come out really, really cool and we should do it anyway” — and we still go ahead and record them and put them out, provided that we like the end result and we feel that it’s something that we enjoy listening to ourselves. So we do go in and record songs on occasion that we know, whether it be in the back of our head or whatever, this’ll probably be the last time we ever play it — that day that we record it.

Do you plan to ever release Hot Charity on CD?
Yeah, that’s another Swami thing that I’m going to do in the future. I’m going to do it early next year. I’m also going to put out a compilation of San Diego bands such as Rocket From the Crypt, Locust, Hot Snakes, Butch Wax Duo and then a lot of other bands — basically the really cool bands from San Diego in the hardcore, punk rock and more experimental variety kind of thing. So that’s really cool, and then yeah, sometime Hot Charity. I’m also gonna put the songs on the Flapping Jet EP, I’m gonna put them with four songs that we’re recording right now on our eight-track at our practice studio, and put those together and put those out on CD hopefully early next year. I’m not in any hurry. The [Flapping Jet EP] songs are available and we’re not done with the four songs we’re recording in our practice studio right now.

Is there much material out there that still hasn’t found its way onto CD?
There’s not a lot. We have the first tape that we ever recorded, which had versions of songs that were on our first record. I would not want to put those all out there because it’s kind of redundant for anyone who has our first record, but I probably would put one song down just so people can hear, like, the first song we ever did. It’s kind of funny. It was done on a four-track. Actually, it was Gar’s four-track — his first four-track — so that is kinda cool. There’s the “I Flame You” one-sided 7-inch, there’s the “Ghetto Box Rock,” there’s … There’s not a whole lot of stuff, but there is stuff out there. And we do have some more unreleased stuff that we were writing on the eight-track during RFTC that didn’t make it to recording. We have about three songs that are totally cool and that I don’t know why we didn’t end up using them, but we just didn’t.

The four songs that you’re working on now, do they have titles yet?
Yeah, we have a song called “Carne Voodoo,” one called “Free Language Demon” and the other two don’t have names yet. And then beyond that we have about 20 songs with names and lyrics and everything that we’re just kind of waiting on for our next record. We don’t know which ones will be on the record and which ones won’t. And we’re still writing new songs all the time as well, so we’re just kind of holding onto what we feel is … somewhere in those 20 songs is a good starting point, a good core of songs to kind of work on for a record.

How is it that you guys are so prolific? Every time you practice, do you come away with a new song?
Not every time. Usually what happens is I get in “writing mode.” I won’t write anything for maybe a couple of months, but then something will happen where I’ll just go “Yeah!” and just start pumping them out. I don’t mean for it to sound so totally premeditated, like “Yeah, I’m just gonna write some songs today,” but it just kinda seems to happen that way. Sometimes I’ll write three in a night, two in a night, something like that, and if we don’t practice for four days, I’ll go to practice and we’ll have about eight songs to learn, and we can usually get those down in about a week. We can learn ’em all in a day, but to get to the point where we can play them all live takes about a week or so. And that seems to be the way it happens. It’s kind of happening that way now, where we’ve just been writing a bunch of new songs within the last week — we’ve got about six songs down. We had about 16 songs for the record, and then this other six, which obviously won’t all make it to the next record either, but it just makes it more interesting because some of the songs that we’ve been kind of saving for the new record have been around since February, and so it’s kind of strange that you have songs from the very beginning of the year and we’ll probably have songs from February of next year by the time we go into the studio because we probably won’t go into the studio until next February.

Is “Chariots on Fire” one of those songs?
That’s one of the ones we’ve been playing for a very long time. It’s one that we’ve just kind of already set aside in our minds for the next record.

Do you have the band’s near future mapped out? Do you have a date in mind for the next album’s release?
The problem is that we don’t have a record label right now. We can do stuff with Swami — that’s fine. But I think that for the way we want to record our next record, which is we want to record at a couple of different places and take a more stripped-down approach than last time — a more stripped-down approach than we took to even Scream, Dracula, Scream! to tell you the truth. That record, when all was said and done, was actually a more expensive record to make than RFTC. We’re a really good-sounding band. We sound good when we’re in a room together playing, and we really don’t need all of the smoke and mirrors that a lot of the studios provide in order to make us sound good, because we already sound really good as a band. We’ve been playing together for a long time, and that’s one thing that we have that no one can really take us away from us — just the fact that when you get the six of us together in a room, it’s gonna sound pretty good.

What happened with the Interscope deal?
It’s a really short story. It started out with us signing to a label that was really into putting out our music. It seemed like it was a really good place to be. We had never been on a major label before, so it was all new to us. Over the years, the company gradually changed until one day it seemed drastic change was imminent. The label shifted into a more singles-driven, radio-success kind of label, where they needed that kind of instant success in order to warrant the interest of the company — at least that was my feeling. We didn’t have any singles that were really getting much attention in the U.S., so I think we were no longer a priority to the company. And then people that were very close to us, working with the band, got fired, which wasn’t the end of the world, because we were still willing to work under the new circumstances, and then it just came to the point where I don’t think we saw eye-to-eye with the label on everything. They have a lot on their plate. We’re not very demanding, but when we want something, we really need … I mean, I need that kind of personal contact with somebody in order to feel like I’m working in an environment where it’s conducive to making good music. So basically, the end result was it was just one of those things where we didn’t see eye-to-eye and we felt we could do better elsewhere. We didn’t feel like we were being given the opportunity for our music to be heard, really. … In the end they were totally cool by letting us go, because they didn’t have to let us go. They didn’t want to let us go. We didn’t get dropped — we asked to be let go. We said we wanted to go do things on a level which we felt was more consistent with our approach to music. We ended the however-long relationship on fairly good terms.

Do you have ownership of the albums?
No. They have everything. They have ownership of the records, they have ownership of the videos. Why do they have it? Because we didn’t want to make a stink. I mean, we already had to involve so many people in trying to just get out of our agreement with them that we felt it was best not to press it. If they were going to be kind enough to let us go, with a small override, then we felt we shouldn’t press our luck and just be grateful that we could go and have a second chance at doing this again with someone else who’s going to be more appropriate right now.

What kind of a label do you see yourself ending up on?
I don’t know. Right now we’re talking to people who are interested. You know, we want the capitol to be able to make the kind of records we want to make, but that’s not going to be the kind of record we made in the past.

How much longer do you see the band staying together?
That’s hard to say. I think at least another two records, and then I don’t know. When things are going good, it’s hard to say, “Well, things are going to stop being fun at this point in time,” you know? I’m surprised that we’ve lasted this long, only in that there’s been hard times that we’ve pretty much come out from relatively unscathed, and few bands can do that. When things aren’t going good and everybody’s broke or hungry, grumpy, you start taking these things out on other people in the band. Somehow we got through it unscathed, and we’re all really excited about the music still. You know, a lot of bands that I like, I consider their best records to be their first record or their first couple records. Maybe there’s people out there that think that about us; I have no idea. … But with us, I think our most exciting stuff is still yet to come, and the most exciting stuff that I’m going to do creatively is still yet to come. And so maybe when I feel that I’ve reached that point, maybe we’ll stop, but I’ve never been one at a loss for ideas — they just kind of keep coming.

Interview by : Brian Wallace of