Pleasure Curses is just two guys: Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell. To hype the world about the band and The DC Emerging Artists Super Sampler, Vol. 2, I sat down via Skype and had a chat with them. Skype is obviously horrifying but I made sure I tilted my laptop back so they could see my bookshelf behind me. It proved that I love to read but it sadly showed I love to read Anne Rice novels and anything on The Civil War. Let’s dig in. (By the way this video was shot entirely backwards HOLY SHIT)
We’ve met before at Wonderland for You, Me, Them, Everybody. I was a little…I was on rollerblades. I think I left those at the bar so if you want to go and claim those rollerblades they are at the Wonderland Ballroom. So where are you guys right now? What are we looking at?
Evan Maxwell: This is my parents’ lovely, gracious garage.
So you’re a garage band? Literally.
EM: We get some credit for being in a garage.
You guys are the AC/DC of DC. You’re the AC/DC/DC. By the way is it okay if The Golden Girls are playing in the background?
EM: It’s fine we prefer that.
Jahn Alexander: It’s quite alright.
Is it okay if it’s a DVD because I own every season and it’s not just on in the background. It’s an elected decision that I made.
JA: That’s like what you (Jahn gestures to Evan) were Netflixing the other day.
This is a good place to start. I’m old. I’m going to be 34 on Sunday when we’re doing our photoshoot (for the BYT Presents: The DC Emerging Artists Super Sampler, Vol. 2). You think it’s going to be about you but I went ahead and planned it for my birthday.
EM: Will there be cake?
Yes! There will be cake, and the band Cake. So I don’t really watch Netflix. I try but I get very overwhelmed by it. You guys are young so I feel like you only do things online exclusively and I do not mean to be condescending. I’m like: What’s an iPod is the world round? Do you just watch Netflix?
EM: Oh yeah, almost exclusively
Look at you (to Jahn). You’re like: I just sit around and strum a guitar a lot. What are you guys even talking about? I write in a journal. Fuck you, Netflix.
EM: I’m busy being a sensitive artist.
JA: I just pick and choose stuff off the Internet.
(At this point I threatened to refer to them collectively as Pleasure Curses because when you join a band you cease to exist as an individual and you become a greater entity. A borg. They understood and were fine with it. I chose not to because we are ultimately individuals, our own significant parts, ya know?)
So what are you Netflixing and/or occasionally looking at on the Internet. I think it’s important to bypass your music altogether here. No offense, you’re going to play your music so people are going to like you or not like you. Whatever you say right now about your stuff won’t sell anybody on anything. How exhausting is reading an interview where it’s like “What are your influences? How do you come up with your songs?” Who fucking cares, right?
EM/JA: Yes (They said this simultaneously which made me question my decision to split them up and address them as two unique souls)
First I want to let Jahn know that he looks like David Gahan (both boys looked perplexed). Do you not know who David Gahan is? He’s the lead singer of a band called Depeche Mode.
EM: Oh that I’m a little bit familiar with. I have a Depeche Mode ringtone right now. I just didn’t remember that.
Do you guys want me to cut that part? This alleged 80’s style synth band doesn’t know who Depeche Mode is.
JA: I don’t know the names of the people in bands.
EM: The transcription should be, you mention it and we go: Oh, you mean Depeche Mode obviously because we know everything about them.
Then I call you and we listen to your ringtone and we all go Ohhhh!
EM: I just want to make sure we iron out the transcription.
Ideally you could transcribe this for me. So, what are you actively Netflixing. I never know what to do so I just watch what my friends tell me to, like Frasier…forever.
EM: I’m pretty much always at some point or another watching The Office.
The British version or the American version? I’m a pretentious dick.
EM: I started rewatching the British version but mostly the American version. That’s just like serial watching. It’s my go-to choice. I also just got into The Venture Bros. I watch a lot of Parks & Rec. Um, really boring stuff.
You don’t just peruse the genres? You guys look like you might watch some Anime!
EM: I look at all the crazy stuff on there and never make a decision and just default to The Office.
How about David Gahan, back to you. It’s just going to be easier that way for me, from now on.
EM: It will look cooler in print.
David Gahan: What would he watch? Weird shit probably. Uhhhh…recently I was checking out Orange is the New Black.
I’ve been to jail!
David Gahan: Was it like that?
Yes, parts of it…very much so.
EM: Why did you have to go to jail?
Oh nothing exciting, just DUI’s.
David Gahan: I just killed a guy, no big deal.
I have more than I should. I think one is more than you should, so I have more than that.
David Gahan: Yeah, Orange is the New Black. Breaking Bad of course. Boardwalk Empire.
I didn’t get into Breaking Bad or Boardwalk Empire. David Gahan and I are 1 for 3.
EM: Ha ha ha ha, you guys are on opposite ends.
David Gahan: I’ve been giving Walking Dead a chance again.
So you walked away for a while.
David Gahan: Like a sputtering relationship…well….
It became a zombie for you. You know when someone demands I watch something I can’t do it.
EM: If it’s too aggressive then it never lives up to what people…
David Gahan: Yeah but you were watching Dexter the other day and I was like I can’t get into that.
Really, you don’t like murder?
EM: I like the idea of murder.
You like the idea of murder? Ha.
EM: The dialogue is so bad. My girlfriend likes it.
I watch a lot of true crime. I watch a channel called Investigation Discovery and it’s all about true crime and murder and I will just watch it all the time and take notes.
David Gahan: My ex-girlfriend was actually a reenactor on one of those.
Stop it. I can’t handle this because I keep meeting people who tell me they were on an ID show. I am such a fan and I’ve never been on one. I wish someone would just murder someone who looks enough like me. Should I just murder someone?
David Gahan: That’s the thing, they’re all set in like Tennessee or something but they’re filmed in Roanoke or some place in Virgina.
EM: Home field advantage, you gotta get on it.
David Gahan: Anybody that’s got a domestic murder they always have a scene where they’re like frolicking in a pool. If I’m ever married and I don’t want to get killed by my spouse I’m not going to get a pool.
You should definitely avoid the pool then. Good call. This is Six Degrees of Investigation Discovery. I’m the only one and I want it more than anyone else.
David Gahan: If you go on Craigslist they’re always…
Are you sure those aren’t just real murders happening?
David Gahan: Those might be real murders in between.
Investigation Discovery is one of the few things in life that gives me great joy. How about you? Omitting the obvious: music and sex, what gives you real pleasure?
EM: Food’s good enough to do it. Holy shit the first time I had a chili cheese dog I had pleasure I think.
You’re going to die soon with that food attitude.
David Gahan: You have to balance it, eat Kale Chips. That’s what corporations do. Dump some oil into the ocean…plant a tree.
What about you David Gahan? Nothing? He’s the pleasure you’re the curse?
David Gahan: Food too I think.
You’re both emotional eaters. When you’re sad you eat yourselves back into happiness. You mentioned having girlfriends. How is that going? Because at some point, if not already, there will be some ladies after the show. Let’s just dig in there. Let’s have a Dr. Phil moment. Have there been any problems with your ladies and some Backstage Betty’s?
EM: Whenever you’re at a show and there are a bunch of drunk girls you really see they’re the same person, the same loud obnoxious person.
David Gahan: They are the corniest people.
So you’re that in love, by the way when your girlfriends read this they will be pretty pumped about the fact that the thing that gives you pleasure is food and not their undying love.
David Gahan: I’m recently single so…
Wait you just said your girlfriend a few minutes ago…
David Gahan: I said ex-girlfriend.
Oh, you did? Oh, Gahan.
David Gahan: Yeah she is Gahan.
Very good. Hey, did you know that I like wordplay…did you do some research? Did you read my fucking Twitter bio?
EM: I think the Rollerblades were a dead giveaway.
I went out and practiced in them and I was so excited and all I could think was: Why did we ever stop rollerblading? I was trying to remember if there was ever a time when people collectively said WE’RE NOT GONNA ROLLERBLADE ANYMORE.
David Gahan: It was that joke, that Bill Burr joke: What’s the hardest part of rollerblading…telling your parents you’re gay. So all these straight men just went: That’s it. (go to the 8 minute mark for what video killed the rollerblade stars)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iGm4dl0Ys4
So they packed up their Discmen and their bicycle shorts and said NO MORE. Speaking of bicycle shorts, however did you two meet?
David Gahan: There was this summer camp called Day Jams.
EM: For little kids to be rock stars. We met there.
(Sad note: Day Jams has since filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy thus CRUSHING THE DREAMS OF FUTURE ROCK STARS THE WORLD OVER)
I’m pretty excited about the Super Sampler. I didn’t attend the Day Jams Summer Camp, obviously, but I was thinking we should collaborate. You’ll be performing 3 songs and I’m going to do some jokey jokes while you set up but what if we did a 4th song together? Here’s what I know: The theme song to Cheers, the theme song to The Golden Girls, or we can reenact the Johnny Be Good/Enchantment Under the Sea Dance scene from Back to the Future. Your kids are gonna love it.
David Gahan: Can you play the guitar?
Oh, I can’t play anything, but I like to sing. Just tuck this suggestion away somewhere. If you guys want to make everyone else jealous because their comics will be doing not that.
David Gahan: This is your cousin Marvin…Marvin Berry!
Yes! Just mull it over. It’s not a competition but in my mind we should have the best interview and you should have the best performance. I think we’re on our way. Thanks again guys! I’ll see you soon.
EM/David Gahan: Yup! Bye.
You can catch Pleasure Curses and a ton of other musical/comedy artists at the BYT Presents: The DC Emerging Artists Super Sampler, Vol. 2 Saturday March 1st at The Howard Theatre. So much for so little! And of course there will be a lot of this…