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When we found out Robbers on High Street,hot off the heels of their well received “Grand Animals”, were coming to town this Saturday we were just going to do a giveaway…(if you won-Cale emailed you)…. then I figured, we can do a little listening party.
And then… the listening party arrived (behold):

“Crown Victoria” (off Grand Animals)
This song is about a drug front.

“Nasty Numbers” (off Grand Animals)
This song is about resisting the urge to do drugs.

“Return to the Seed” (unreleased B-side)
This song is on drugs.

At which point it was pretty clear to us that an interview with them would be in everyone’s best interest. So we sat down, keyboard to keyboard with Ben, their singer/keyboardist/main man and asked some hard and some pretty lame questions too.
He survived.Barely.

1. Hi, so lets pretend I have never ever heard Robbers on High Street. How would you describe yourself/your muzik in 3 sentences or less.
Davies. Lilys. Pixies.

2. Grand Animals is out and it is getting a lot more love than Tree City did. What do you think you did better than last time?
Well this time our record label assembled a group of hired musicians to test out our new songs in foreign markets like Denmark and the Benelux Countries to see what the response would be. It was a success! So we got the go ahead to record Grand Animals. Although, one of the musicians, Jurgen I believe, took it a little too far and still performs in Luxembourg under the name Rob’s High Street Band (a loose Dutch translation). Legal stipulations restrict him from touring the States however.

3. What is your favorite song on it?
Probably “Kick ‘em in the Shins.” I get to take a ridiculous guitar solo. The title is taken from a conversation I had as a teenager with my Dad. He was teaching me how to “fight.”

4. You’re doing some mad amounts of touring this year… who gets the most homesick? And how does this manifest itself?
None of us really, touring is too much fun. Although once you enter Mountain Standard Time the topography changes and you realize I am a long way from home and you kind of get that feeling when you look out of the window of a plane that’s still ascending or when your halfway through eating a suspect hot dog. Oh man, what have I gotten myself into!? But it’s not really homesickness. Steve does complain the most, does that count?

5. Do you make merciless fun of him?
One of my favorite things about Steve, and a key factor to the length of our friendship, is that he has a myriad of personality flaws that manifest themselves in endless opportunities for razzing.

6. You’ve played DC a few times before now. Fill in the blanks:
The best thing about the Nation’s Capital
is…………………….Ronnie Belliard

The worst thing about the Nation’s Capital

7. We just had a BYT meeting and all we ended up doing was eating chips and salsa and yelling at each other (lovingly). What are your band practices like?
See question 5 and replace chips and salsa with Keystone Light.

8.Classy. What is the question you are most sick of?
See question 1.

9. Well, I am certainly glad we got that one out of the way early.
And what is the question you wish someone would finally ask you?

Engage me in a discussion of delicious international cheeses!

Ok well, Now ask yourself that and then answer it (duh)
“So Ben, what is your favorite cheese?”

“Well Ben, you handsome devil you, while I’m always on the lookout for the highly illegal, A.O.C. approved Camembert, I recently came across a most savory Hoch Ybrig that is now easily in my top 5.

10. Ok,either or portion (all involving animals). Also, feel free to explain all answers.

Lions, tigers or bears?
If the question is who’s back would I like to ride on if not for my intense fear of being eaten the answer is Tiger, preferably White but I’d take Bengali.

Rob Schneider or Dunston?
Dunston. A monkey and Jason Alexander! A winning team.

Beastmaster or Sexy Beast?
Sexy Beast rules! I don’t know Ben Kingsley but I bet he’s like that in real life.

Jane Goodall or Dr. Doolittle?
Hmm, tough call but I think they finally got it right last year with Dolittle 3.

Animal Collective or Super Furry Animals?
No question, Super Furry Animals. They got Macca to chew a carrot on a song!

Turtle or Hare?
Turtle, but this summer I met a really cool Tortoise who lives in the courtyard of my friend’s apartment in Hollywood. He was very friendly, likes Broccoli and will outlive anyone reading this.

(I could go on forever but I am going to stop. At which point a sign of relief beams across Ben’s face)

After you made it through that just a few more.

11. If you could have anyone’s career what would it be(and yes, you can say Spoon)?
Perhaps that of a wise-cracking blog writer, or does that even pay the bills?

12. Oh, you have no idea. We’re making so much bank we’re all getting ourselves robots this week.
What is the best band we never heard of?
The Famous Letters

13. Song you wish you had written?
Tears of Rage

14. Artist that helped you survive puberty?
Dinosaur Jr.

and finally:

There are some other good shows this weekend. Why should we (and our readers) shell out 12/15/whatever
dollars to see YOU? Sell yourselves.
We’re buying.

Yeah, there are some good shows, but we’re the shortest band out there right now. And as far as Saturday night goes where else in DC are you going to see a five and a half foot Puerto Rican from the South Bronx playing Alto sax on stage without the risk of gang violence? But seriously folks, the Mets lost the series at RFK this week and I have a broken heart that needs to be nursed back to life by the kind citizens of our nation’s capital.

So there you have it. Catch the magic live at the Cat this Saturday (with Longwave and local favorites Telograph)