It’s no secret that I love email interviews MORE THAN ANYTHING; I can usually ask whatever I want and not be hung up on, so that’s like, automatically a huge bonus. And since the medium for my interview with California Wives WAS email, I decided to get pretty weird about it for your (hopefully) reading pleasure. So 1) thanks to Jayson Kramer for being a good sport, and 2) you can catch the band Saturday night (9/22) at Webster Hall OR Sunday night (9/23) at the 9:30 Club in DC.
While I would like for you to just tell me EVERYTHING, that could take a while. So, let’s narrow it down to 2012. How’s the year been going for you, and what’s coming up next apart from touring, provided the world doesn’t end in December Mayan-style?
This year has been great! I’m finally seeing our music get out there and I couldn’t be more grateful. We have the best fans, so that’s been incredibly uplifting. Aside from touring (which is 95% of my life now), I’m starting to work on new material. I’ve been brainstorming about new material…jotting some new ideas down. I’m getting started on it as soon as possible. I’m missing that part of my life right now. Writing keeps everything anchored in my life.
What have been the BEST and WORST shows of your career so far? Do any stand out in particular?
We played a show in Milwaukee where a sound guy turned down our amps in between sound check and the show without ever telling us. So when we started playing the first song, everything sounded terrible. That’s a hard thing to come back from, too. First impressions are everything. But, you live and you learn. I check that every time I’m on stage now. And aside from that one show, every gig has been great. We don’t play any differently regardless of how many people are at our shows. We give it 100% every night, so each night turns out to be a unique and uplifting experience.
When and/or if you guys get into disagreements, whether it’s over musical things or personal things, how do you sort out your differences? Do you vote or form alliances like on a reality television game show? Who usually has immunity?
For us, taking time apart from each other always work best. We don’t fight much…probably because we can read each other pretty well without saying anything. I can tell when someone is pissed off. We work really hard to make sure that we all have each other’s back. If you don’t have that attitude, you’ll never make it out alive. Taking time away when writing is always the best remedy as well. Those attachments you form with ideas go away with time if they aren’t anything special. That’s probably true of most things in life.
Chicago and New York have a weird rivalry regarding certain things (aka mostly food and/or sports), so whose side are you taking on the following three categories: 1) Best Pizza, 2) Best Hot Dog, 3) Best Accent?
1) Chicago – look at me…I need to eat more, right (at least that’s what my relatives say)!?!? So, I’m afraid Chicago wins with the calorie-packing deep dish pizza. The truth is, I don’t eat dairy products anymore…so let’s do vegan pizza?
2) Chicago, hands down. Put everything on that hot dog but hold the ketchup. Tastes like victory.
3) New York – Chicago accents can get annoying…every once in a while I catch myself saying “taxi caaaab,” with that hard “A” sound. It’s not attractive.
If you had to tour with either 1) One Direction, 2) GWAR, or 3) Nickelback, which one would you (maybe reluctantly) choose?
GWAR…definitely. Can we make that happen sooner than later? They probably wouldn’t play a show with an indie pop outfit, though. I should start on that metal side project pretty soon…
If you were stranded on a desert tour bus and could only bring one thing with you, what would it be?
Well, I love tea (too posh? Oh, please!) and can’t go on tour without the tea collection I carry in a crappy ziplock bag. I realize that I’m in the desert on this tour bus, so I guess we would need a way to make that tea and then ice it. So, I’d need some extra things to make that work. But tea is essential to my comfort on the road. I drink way too many cups of tea each day…it calms me down.
Sometimes I watch Fashion TV on YouTube, and they have this one interviewer who asks really hard-hitting questions to the models. So I am going to ask you some of those right now, okay? So just pretend you are a model.
1. What do you do to help the environment?
I recycle whenever possible, try to eat locally grown stuff, and my MPG on my little car is pretty high. Do I pass the test?
2. If you could be any animal, what kind of animal would you be?
Some sort of bird. Having the ability to fly wherever and whenever would be pretty great. Maybe the best bet would be a predatory bird…I have to get myself higher on the food chain. Not having a more developed brain would suck…but then again…I wouldn’t know what I was missing. It would be survival first.
3. Do you like art? If so, do you prefer modern art or the classics?
I love art! I can’t pick between modern or classic. Can’t have one without the other, right? Twisting my arm? Okay, modern!
(See what I mean about how incredibly hard-hitting those questions can be?!)
Is there a question no one ever asks you but you wish they would? If so, I invite you to insert this question and then answer it.
Nobody asks me what I’m reading…maybe they assume I’m just reading science textbooks or studying for the MCAT again…but hardly…I’m reading Billions & Billions by Carl Sagan. So far, it’s been pretty insightful and refreshingly easy to digest. I’m only about a third of the way through so far. Carl Sagan is the man.
Finally, did you see Inception? If so, 1) I would really like you to do a cover of that Hans Zimmer song “Time,” and 2) how did YOU interpret the ending of the movie? And if you didn’t see Inception it’s cool, but just out of curiosity, do you think Leonardo DiCaprio looks better with facial hair or without?
To be honest, I did see Inception but I don’t remember the plot very well. There were a lot of moving parts to that story, so I’m afraid I’d make a mess of interpreting the ending. But, Leo with facial hair is the way to go!
So there you have it! And Leo, if you’re listening, FACIAL HAIR ALWAYS PLEASE.