|Jawbox's Kim Coletta in Seattle. (Cat Rose photo)|
Interviews are always a journey. You step into the conversations armed with your usual knowledge and questions, but you still never know where things will twist and turn along the path. You just settle in for the ride and listen, but also guide the discussions to a spot where you'll hopefully be offered some key insight. When that occurs, it's a victory for you and the readers. Maybe the interviewees will delve into something that they didn't expect to touch upon and come away from the experience enlightened as well.
Here's some quotes from our interviews of 2019 --
Jawbox's Kim Coletta:
When I was six years old, a musical project called 'Free to Be You and Me' was released. It was a project done in conjunction with the Ms. Foundation (started in part by Gloria Steinem). I heard that a lot in the kid’s classes at the very progressive Unitarian-Universalist church we attended at the time. My mother was very active in the 1960s/70s feminist movement, and she played that record at home too. I knew the whole thing, and I would jump around on the bed singing that album. 'Free to Be You and Me' was WAY ahead of its time in terms of promoting gender equality between girls and boys and just generally letting girls know they could be what they wanted in life. There were tracks on there by Diana Ross, Shirley Jones, Roberta Flack, etc.
Jawbox's J. Robbins:
Everybody is psyched and having fun and it seems to be well received. I feel like we are in some regards a better band than when we were actually a band, so that’s a pretty great feeling to have. To feel like we know a little better what we’re trying to execute and we’re a little better at executing it and we’re better at listening to each other, ‘cause we have 20 years of continuous friendship to fuel the effort.
Descendents' Milo Aukerman:
I kind of sang in the school choir for a year and did A musical with the local repertory theater. Not playing a major part or anything. So I dabbled in theater and musicals, but it wasn't really my bag so much, especially when I became a teenager. When you're younger and you're not self-conscious, you can do that kind of stuff, and then the teen years hit and you're just like, 'This is so uncool, I can't do it anymore.' (laughs) So that kind of stopped pretty much around age 12. Then I kind of was just a music listener all through high school and then senior year essentially, I wanted to be more than a listener, I wanted to kind of participate.
The MacKaye family:
In the '70s and the early '80s, there was a lot of chaos in our family, with our parents, and I think that punk probably was something that was very anchoring for us. And I think the three of us especially, really that was an important connection. It was something that we could feel committed to and it was a safe thing.
For us, the MacKayes, we all still hang out with each other. It wasn't temporary. A lot of people when they get to this stage of life, their siblings are far-flung or they don't really get along with their siblings or whatever. A lot of this is just part of who our family is, we have Sunday dinners, we're together. We have one sister who lives on the other side of the country, but we're all still connected. And we're all still into whatever the other one is doing. We're all still pretty interested in each other.
I gotta say that there never was even a doubt in my mind. I have known people in my life that, 'that's a closed chapter,' they move on, they grow up, they put away childish things or whatever. I think when I got into punk rock, in my head it was a forever thing that I would be 120, if I ever live that long, and still be doing it, on some level, I just didn't know how. So that's been a thing that as you go through life, navigating how you can still relate to it and how it can work in your life. It just stayed with me, I never stopped listening to music and I like the energy.
All Eyes West's Justin Miller:
I think I’m actually MORE stoked with 'Like Lightning' than I was with the first. I love every recording for different reasons, I suppose. There’s something about this record that is special to me. The first one just kind of happened. We just kinda wrote it and threw it down real quick. This one felt more like some sort of journey or something. It took a while to happen, so maybe that’s why. It felt like some accomplishment for the three of us. I feel like Jeff and Ronnie killed it. I dunno, I think it rocks. I hope a bunch of other people enjoy it too!
Monolord's Mika Häkki:
I don't really think there's any different challenges from album 2 to album 4. In the end, the most important thing for us all is that we ourselves are happy about the album. That we don't just repeat the same album over and over again. It helps that all three of us find it easy to communicate about all of this together. We're all excited about new sounds and how to work those into our songs.
Messthetics' Brendan Canty:
The spirit of collaboration is what it's all about. Not just the spirit but the practice of collaboration is a huge aspect of what I'm always looking for. It's funny because when, with Ian, I had a very long relationship with him and that was like a proper band where we were actually writing songs together, as is this band where you actually go through the process of establishing what you're gonna be playing, every night for the next however many years, and that's a really distinctive criteria.
Field Day's Doug Carrion:
There's always time for good music. Also, I think everyone’s in a good place in their lives to commit to Field Day and most importantly now the fans will get the chance to hear some of those songs with Peter and I performing them. It just made sense.
Sandrider's Jon Weisnewski:
At almost no point during a set do I feel in control. It's like catching a hurricane with a butterfly net and trying to hold on and not fuck up too badly along the ride. We have a rule where if the band fucks up, just play to the drummer. It's the best way to get back on track and not completely train wreck the song. Maybe some day I'll have more time to practice my instrument so I can actually play like I know what I'm doing... but on that note, philosophically I think we prioritize putting on a good show more than we do hitting every note just right. The studio is the right place to really focus on the playing. The stage is the right place to spit some gas on the fire and get wild.
Helms Alee's Ben Verellen:
You love bands that everybody speaks the same language and so that they can kind of talk about what their ideas are and what they're doing. We don't really have that luxury because the three of us don't understand one another the way we talk about music at all -- it's completely weird. It comes together musically more than it does conversationally.