Friday, June 06, 2003

Had a rough couple of weeks (details NOT forthcoming - what kind of a blog do you think I am?), which accounts for the lack of content here in that time. There's stuff to talk about - a now-ever-so-slightly-out-of-date take on A Mighty Wind being one subject - but I'm gonna need some time to get my act (however unnatural) together. But I owe you something ... Howzabout a transcript of the "best" rock "star" "interview" I ever "did," a truly frightening mid-afternoon phoner with Royal Trux' Jennifer Herrema, around the time they released the album Sweet Sixteen, an album about as appetizing and entertaining as its cover? The weirdest thing about this non-fab confab, though maybe it's not all that weird, considering, is that I spent a couple of months after its publication fearing some bizarre kind of junkie retribution for printing it, only to have it turn up, lovingly reprinted in its entirety, on their official web site. Anyway, here 'tis:

Jennifer, how's it going?
Uhhh... (pause) okay.

(Bravely) Uh, great. So, you consider Sweet Sixteen (Virgin) your most positive record to date. How so?
(pause, cough) More beats per second. (long pause)

Ah. Nothing in the lyrical attitude or anything?
Uhhh... yeah, it's just about...uhhh...the information. We've just got a better line on the information, where it's...uh...given out.

Sure, sure. Having heard your previous records, you seem to have grown out a little closer to the conventional rock thing. Is that fair to say?
Umm... you know, things change. (pause)

What in particular?
(pause) You know, I don't live in a shelter anymore, I live in my own house. I, ah... I get sick maybe once or twice a year now... I used to get the flu a lot and uh... (pause) we had to leave a lot of friends behind. (long pause)

(Starting to get worried now) So, what do you find are common misconceptions about Royal Trux?
Well, first, nobody seems to know the difference between my voice and Neil's. (long pause) And other than that, it's, uhhh... I'd say that the line between... consciously making decisions, affecting our surroundings, bound with allowing things to happen and being okay with that. I think that in the past, um... we've been commonly perceived as victims. (low, ominous) It's not true.

Have your compositional methods changed at all?
Um... not really that much, actually. (pause) You know... willful progressions. Willfully making ourselves (inaudible) future... crucial. But at the same time not letting ourselves, uh... you know. It's not strictly chemical, or... (pause)

Have you gotten much feedback on the album yet?
Uh, yeah... we've gotten feedback. Our record company really, really very much disliked this record. And our lawyer very much liked it, so... bit of a scandal. The, uhhh... I guess, you know, everybody I've spoken to... uh... has had... positive things to say. The things I read were, uh, sulky and like... it was inevitable that we'd leave some people behind. We've gotta shake 'em off.

What were the objections?
Um, too many notes, you know, and all sorts of political objections as well. We didn't exactly... um, feed... the machine by producing it ourselves and building our own studio. We met with a lot of hostility on that. There are people there... uh... that dig it, you know. And there are those that would not let it, uh... (pause) infiltrate.

Do you find life on the road at all debilitating?
Uh...(sigh)... yeah, I mean, it's, uh... I'd prefer to be left alone. I like to play, but in the end I'd prefer to be alone.

You have one more record to do for Virgin - what next?
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot... Neil's got a novel coming out, we've got a double album of outtakes and... out-of-print stuff coming out on Drag City this September, and, uh... (pause)

Neil wrote a novel, huh?
Yeah. (coughs) It's called Victory Chimp.

What's it about?
Uhhh...(pause) I don't know. (long, LONG pause)

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