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members present:
Lance Black, Jesse Fin,
Matt Fine, Ryan Parrish
conducted on: July 2003
by: Joyce Sutedja
official website
shout-out to PZO


PZO: The band's song, "Cave," was featured in last year's movie, Swimfan. Did you guys see it?
All: <laugh> Yeah.
Ryan: We actually got, like, pre-release, like screening…tickets.
Matt: And what did we think?
PZO: Yeah, what’d you think of it?
Matt: It was—I thought it was one of the worst movies I’ve actually been to.
Ryan: It was bad. It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen.
Lance: It was really bad, yeah.
PZO: I’ve been reading about it being really bad, like a rip-off Fatal Attraction kind of thing.
Lance: Oh yeah.
Ryan: You know, the whole teen thriller thing, you know?
PZO: Not a good thing?
Lance: It was just cool to go to the theater and, see, like a movie premiere, and, like, hear our song in the theater.
Ryan: Surround sound.
Lance: I know, the funny thing is I was really embarrassed. I mean, not like anybody knew it was me, but I felt like hiding.
Lance: It’s me!

PZO: Why do you think you're often mistaken for being a European band?
Ryan : Wow.
Lance: ‘Cause I’m Dutch.
Ryan : And I’m English. And--wait, English, half-German.
Matt: That’s a very good question.
Jesse: Why do we think what? What is it?
PZO: You’re often mistaken for being European.
Lance: Maybe because of some of the bands we’re influenced by, like The Cure, and Depeche Mode, things like that.
PZO: Yeah.
Lance: Not that we sound like those bands, but I think we’re definitely influenced by them.
PZO_Friend: You have a lion on your arm.
Lance: Part of the Dutch coat of arms. But it’s, like, part of a lot of coat of arms, I guess. It means “deathless courage.”
PZO: Nice.
Ryan: Tough as nails.
<conversation continues about coat of arms>

PZO: Where do you feel the band has matured between the production of the Sle.ep EP and your new album, "Lovesick"?
Ryan: Hm…
PZO: Like in what ways have you guys matured?
Jesse: I think our…lives?
Lance: We went through a lot of different things last year. Um, a lot of really good things, and a lot of really bad things. We’ve gone through a couple of guitar players, and I think, I don’t know, that whole stupid thing, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Lance: That type of thing. I don’t know, I think we’ve kind of been through a lot, we were just ready to make a new album. <pause> That is so vague…there’s my answer! <laughs> Sorry.

PZO: What are you most proud of on your new album?
Ryan: I guess that it’s a full-length.
Ryan: Instead of an EP.
Lance: Um, what are we most proud of?
Matt: Well, we did it ourselves--
Ryan: Yeah, yeah. Artwork, everything.
Matt: With the help of one guy. It was us. We kind of had one hundred percent control over what was done with it, how it came out, how the songs were arranged, and how they sounded. I mean, the label had only heard a couple songs whenever they told us they would put it out, you know, and so they’ve really, like, trusted us with how we wanted…
PZO: It to be.
Matt: Yeah, how we wanted, like, to have ourselves portrayed.
Lance: We sent them the final copy, and they were fine with it, so there you go.
PZO_Friend: Did y’all record in Tennessee?
Lance: Yeah. And our friend, Mark Nash, our producer…in his backyard, actually. Yeah, he was gracious enough to let us do it back there, it was cool.

PZO: Have the different genres you've encountered while touring given your music new directions, or do you feel the band's style holds its own against…?
Lance: I think, definitely, holds its own. I mean, I—I don’t think we’ve been in—we’ve been out with a lot of hardcore bands, but I don’t think we’ve been influenced by them at all, you know?
Lance: For some reason, we’ve really—I mean, we’ve had a lot of hardcore bands call us and ask us to play shows or do tours and things like that. Which is really cool, and it seems like they’re really into it, but I don’t think it’s influenced us musically, you know. It’s flattering, you know? That’s about it.

PZO: What's your favorite lyric in one of your songs?
Lance: Favorite lyric? I can’t say that. I wrote them! I’m not allowed to say that. “Pretty much everything I do…” No!
Ryan: Don’t say that.
Lance: Yeah, strike that. Please?

Jesse: I think…<pauses>
Lance: I want to hear this, Jesse. Come on.
Jesse: I think “Circulate”’s my favorite song lyrically, on this record.
Ryan: Me too, definitely.
Jesse: I mean, I like—I’m not saying I don’t like the other songs. But I think “Circulate” is just, you know, it’s really, really cool. I think it definitely takes, like, a moment, you know, to kind of—
Ryan: The lyrics, like, speak to you, they’re really powerful.
Jesse: Yeah, the lyrics are really powerful.
Matt: It’s really, like, unified.
Ryan: Without being cheesy.
Matt: Without being cheesy.
Ryan: Without being, like, oh, you know.
Matt: Love!
Ryan: Shiny happy people. I like REM, don’t get me wrong, but you know what I mean.
Ryan: Without being, like, emo and cheesy about it.
Matt: Jumping on trampolines. In the sunshine.
Jesse: That’s my favorite lyrical song. Lyrical line might be, uh, “Maybe it was easy, but so were you.”
Ryan: Yeah, that one! I like that one, too.
PZO_Friend: Was that one from personal experience?
Lance: Yeah, yeah. I know. That’s the thing with the record. Like, after we recorded it actually listened to all the lyrics, and what it was about, I kind of felt like, “Wow, that’s pretty depressing.” And a lot of it was just stuff that I went through, it kind of helped me through all that. That’s where “Lovesick” came in, that song, I wanted to write something a little bit more uplifting. Like, yeah, I went through all this crap, but, you know, I was inspired by it all, so.
Jesse: It’s funny too, like, I mean, you could look at the songs, and say, “I think they’re depressing,” whereas I would look at them, and see something totally different.
Ryan: Yeah, me too. I don’t think it’s depressing. I mean, it’s got dark elements, but every band does.
Jesse: I think it’s more like, this stuff happened, but screw you.
Ryan: It’s realistic. It’s not--
Jesse: That’s the way I think of it when I listen to it.
Ryan: You’re jewel, man.
Lance: We’re all gonna hug when we leave.

PZO: Has sharing the same label as the Get Up Kids and the All-American Rejects put you under any pressure to follow in those bands' footsteps?

All: No.
Ryan: No, not at all.
Jesse: I think the thing with bands like, you got the All-American Rejects is that, what’s really exciting about being on their label is that, you know, there’s a lot of other people, like watching what they’re just doing, and what’s going on with them. I think that’s really, really cool. That’s something that’s good—that’s really the only thing that I can think of, being on a label that those bands would affect us in a positive way, and not necessarily, like, in a bad way.

PZO: If you could have your own 1-800 number, what would it be?
Lance: Oh, he’s got it. <points to Matt>
Matt: What was it?
Ryan: Yours is a website, not a 1-800 number.
Lance: Oh, well, there you go.
Matt: 1-800-DagGirl? Dag--girl.
Ryan: D-a-g, girl. Dag girl.
Matt: “Dag, girl, where you goin’?” “Dag, girl, where you been all my life?” Like that.
Ryan: That’s our favorite line.
Matt: You can say dag about anything. It’s just like, “Dag!”
Ryan: Yeah, we have a lot of interesting…things.
PZO: Oh, I see.
Matt: 24/7, we come up with stuff!…That was lame.
Ryan: That’s off the record.
Matt: That’s off the cuff.

PZO: You guys recently shot a video for your song, "Disconnected." What's the concept in the video? Are you allowed to tell us?
Lance: It’s, like, really crazy. It’s, like, we’re playing live.
Ryan: There’s girls everywhere—no.
Ryan: It’s just us playing.
Lance: It’s a live performance that’s shot really well.
Matt: It’s not, like, shot at a show, it’s shot, like, in a really cool, dark room. So it’s really—actually, when you watch it, I think it helps the song out.
Ryan: Yeah, you know, it gives the song life, I think.
Jesse: Yeah, it does. The floor is, like, a black, glossy floor, and—Darren Doane was really awesome to work with, because, he, like, came up with some really good shots, and some really cool stuff we were excited about.
Lance: I mean, it sounds so cliché to have a band do a live performance video, but Darren, um, you know, made it into something more than that, which is really cool.
Matt: We kind of went back and forth between, like, thinking of different storylines or different kind of concepts like that, and it just kind of worked out that the performance, and Darren’s idea of making it really dark, turned out way better than we could ever have expected. Actually, it honestly looks like the artwork from “Sle.EP,” is what I think it looks like.
All: Yeah.
Ryan: It kind of fits the vibe of the show, too, with the lights we have, and, like that dark.
Matt: It’s really, really shaky.
Lance: In a good way.
Jesse: I wish we had a copy here to show you. But we don’t!

PZO: Stylistically, "Lovesick" is a risky ballad for a rock band these days because of its lighter mood. What made you decide to go for it?
Lance: Just like what I was saying earlier, just we wanted something that kind of, maybe talked about how you could draw inspiration from just stupid things that happened to you. Stupid meaning, like, really bad experiences. Instead of letting it turn you into a vegetable. <laughs>
Jesse: I think with all the things that happened to us as a band, personally, with everybody over the last year, like, we couldn’t not write that lyric, because there was nothing else for us to do, you know? It be, like…it would have been really out of character for us to have gone through the year that we did, and then try to write a record, like, anybody—like, “Woo!”
Jesse: Like that was the record I think we needed to make right now.

PZO: Was it difficult starting off as a rock band in Nashville, since it's typically considered home to country music?
Ryan: Nashville’s amazing. I can be objective about it, ‘cause I’ve only lived there, like, seven month, but it’s totally got the wrong stereotype. The country music scene—it’s very isolated.
Jesse: You have to find it.
Ryan: You have to find it. People think you walk around and you see people in cowboy hats, when you really don’t.
PZO: You see that here.
Ryan: It is seriously—it’s one of the coolest towns I’ve ever been to. Like, I’ve toured all over, and it’s one of my favorite places, and it’s not because I live there. It’s just a cool town, the people are cool, there’s a really good rock scene, there are several amazing bands coming out, there’s good rock venues—like several. Like, we’re pretty spoiled. We always complain, “Well, there’s not enough rock venues,” but when we go around to other cities, I realize, “Man, we have awesome rock venues!” They’re nice, they’re in great parts of town…
Ryan: No offense to you guys.
PZO: Oh, it’s fine.
Ryan: It’s a great town, it really is.
Jesse: I think the whole, like, you know, being a band from a certain city, too, has kind of fallen by the wayside to me. Like, I mean, when you take the All-American Rejects…they’re from Stillwater, Oklahoma. “I’m from Oklahoma.” That’s nothing.
Jesse: You know? Any band can come from anywhere and sound like anything they want to.
Lance: And we all grew up in different parts. <points to Matt and Jesse> They’re from Oklahoma City.
Ryan: I’m from North Carolina.
Lance: And I’m from California.
<conversation about California>

PZO: What was your favorite cartoon when you were little?
Ryan: G.I. Joe, easily!
Ryan: Transformers, a close second. It was a battle between those two, for me.
Jesse: I always liked Scooby Doo.
PZO: Scooby Doo. Good. Ninja Turtles.
Lance: Same here, Scooby Doo. I’d always go back to Scooby Doo, or Wil E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.
Ryan: You can’t lose with the Warner Brothers stuff.
All: Yeah.
Jesse: I remember, the way I figured Saturdays in the week, was, like, how many days are until Cartoon Day?
Lance: Until Saturday morning.
Jesse: Exactly.
PZO: Cartoon Day.
Ryan: You wake up, eat your Lucky Charms. That’s what I did.
Lance: Sleep till five o’clock.
Jesse: Back then, those things started at, like, six o’clock and they went until two o’clock.
Ryan: Yeah, now it’s like, they have one cartoon, and it’s crappy.
Lance: Well then again, but now they have Cartoon Network, and it’s, like, twenty-four hours a day.
Ryan: But they show old cartoons, they don’t show new ones. <laughs>
Lance: Because they’re spoiled.
Jesse: Tom and Jerry, too.
PZO: Tom and Jerry!
Lance: Spoiled kids with their cell phones and video games!

PZO: What was the last meaningful thing you did?
Lance: I talked to my kids on the phone today. It was cool, it was amazing.
Jesse: I talked to my wife.
PZO_Friend: What was that?
Jesse: I talked to my wife about that last night, that was cool.
Lance: Jesse and I are the only ones with wives, and I have two kids.
Ryan: Me and Matt are the crazy stallions of the band!
Matt: You wanna know the last thing important that I did? I quit my job!
Ryan: Yeah, I quit my job too, that was amazing.
Matt: That was probably the most important thing I’ve done in a long time.
PZO: Go in and be like, “Uh, yeah. I quit.”
Matt: No, I gave them a heads-up. In fact, I worked late my last day, ‘cause they needed my help, and I’m a, you know, go-to guy. But, uh, yeah. I’m stoked to be out of that place.
PZO: What did you guys do?
Ryan: Oh, you don’t want to know. It’s unglamorous.
Lance: We were…construction workers.
Matt: I made copies. I made copies for a living.
Ryan: I delivered pizzas.
PZO_Friend: That’s a noble profession!
PZO: Yeah!
Matt: And copies aren’t?
Ryan: People don’t think you are though, when you come to the door. They treat you pretty bad.
PZO: Have you ever had one of those, like…never mind. <laughs>
Ryan: Yeah, one of the crazy stories where the girl comes to the door with no clothes? Yeah.
PZO: Really?
Ryan: Not no clothes, but in underwear. And it wasn’t really a girl you’d want to see in her underwear. It’s not like it is in the movies, I’m just kinda like, “Put on your clothes.” I did have a friend, though, that delivered to a guy who was completely naked.
PZO: Wow.
Ryan: When he answered the door. Yeah, he almost quit right there on the spot.
All: Hmm.

PZO: If some other band wanted to record one of your songs, would you sell it to them? Why or why not?
Lance: Oh. That’s weird.
Ryan: It depends on the band, honestly.
Matt: Depends on how much money they wanna give me!
PZO: But if it was like a pop band, like ‘N Sync or something?
All: <groan>
Ryan: I don’t think they’d like our songs, though.
Lance: If another band wanted-- if they wanted to do, like, a cover of one of our songs, that’s cool, whatever. But, um—
Ryan: If Coldplay called us up, I’d be like, yeah.
Matt: If Coldplay came in and was like, “Hey, we want to use your song, and it’s gonna be huge, and we really love the song and we’d love to do it,”…I don’t know.
Lance: You would write a song for them?
Matt: I would personally sit down with my guitar, and toot out a little song.
PZO_Friend: You would toot on your guitar?
Lance: You’d definitely toot one out…
Lance: That’s an interesting question. We’ll have to talk about that later.

PZO: What has been the most entertaining question you've gotten or the most entertaining moment that's happened during an interview?
Ryan: Oh, I have one! Last night, in Dallas.
Lance: Ohh, this.
Ryan: Kid pulls us aside, he’s like, “Hey, I want to do an interview with you.” He comes up to me, and I’m like, allright, cool, you know, I’ll get all the guys up whenever we’re done. We’d just gotten done playing, so we all, you know, get together and we go--
Matt: Nice kid.
Ryan: Nice kid. Really nice kid, I’m not saying bad things. We walk back to the kitchen, like, really quiet area, whatever. We start the interview, and, um--
Matt: First question.
Ryan: The first question is, “I heard you guys just signed to American Recording.” And we’re like, “Um…that’s…no. Doghouse.” And he’s like, “You guys aren’t Noise Ratchet?” “No, dude.”
Jesse: Immediately, when we said that, “Uh, no, we signed with Doghouse,” he’s like…ohh. He put his head down.
Lance: I said, “You thought we were Noise Ratchet, didn’t you?”
Ryan: That’s the most interesting thing that’s ever happened, definitely.
Jesse: It was funny, I guess, ‘cause they got there, like, a little late, and they were talking to some guy in the crowd that was supposedly a huge Noise Ratchet fan, he’s like, “Yeah, that’s Noise Ratchet right there,” <points>.
Ryan: And he had already named the songs that we had played and everything—he was naming Noise Ratchet’s songs.
PZO_Friend: Must have been some reverb.

PZO: Why do you think your inspirations range from older music like the 80s and 90s rather than modern music? Is it because you're trying to find a new sound from the past in order to stray away from the mainstream of today?
Lance: Honestly, it’s funny, because I don’t think I’ve ever really tried to write, like, any particular thing. I think a lot of the comparisons—for some reason, I could be totally wrong—but I think some people tend to think the tone of my voice sounds more like an 80s voice, and it’s honestly, it’s nothing I try to do, I’m just like, “Just singin’ a song!” Writing a song and singing it. I mean, you know, obviously, because of the fact that I listen to the Cure, Depeche Mode, things like that. I mean, I listen to a lot more bands than just that, but those are a couple of my favorite bands. Obviously, it’s going to spill over into other music, too. I don’t know. We never have said, “Let’s try to sound like an 80s band.” Definitely don’t want to be—like, we love bands like Interpol and other bands that sound like, you know, maybe some more like 80s bands—
Matt: Hot Hot Heat.
Ryan: Longwave.
PZO: Good band. Oh, I love Longwave.
Lance: Yeah, that first song on the record is unbelievable.
Ryan: Unbelievable.
Lance: Should be song of the year, it’s pretty amazing.

PZO: When touring, you meet a lot of bands and even become friends with them. Have you ever gotten advice from bands who have been around? If so, from who and what was their advice?
Lance: I don’t have anything to say.
Ryan: We won’t even go there.
Lance: We’ve gotten some bad advice from some bands that thought—that kind of forced their opinions and views on us. Not on this tour. But, um, you know, it’s cool. We love the bands that we’re out with right now. Um, we’ve known Noise Ratchet for a little while, so it’s cool to be out with bands that we like.
Jesse: I think there’s just a lot of bands, like, that are willing to offer, like—
<Roger of Noise Ratchet walks outside>

Lance: Roger’s taking a pee.
Jesse: It seems like, I don’t know, at least a lot of the bands we’ve been on the road lately with, it’s like, not necessarily giving advice, but like, are willing to offer a helping hand, like, if you need it, you know? It’s like, I don’t know, like loading in our gear, for example, is a small example, but, like, everyone kind of loads everyone’s gear.
Lance: Yeah.
<Roger approaches the van>
PZO: Uh oh.
Lance: Hey, we’re doin’ and interview over here!
<Matt’s cell phone rings>
<Roger opens the van door>

Roger: Yeah. Just one thing. All I want is to say one thing.
PZO: Go ahead.
Jesse: See? Everyone’s hands on.
PZO: Awesome.
Jesse: That’s what I was saying.
Matt: Yeah, he wants to help us with our interview.
Lance: Noise Ratchet’s been amazing. Those guys are just amazing.
Matt: Yeah, they’re freakin’ cute.

PZO: Name one song that is out right now that really annoys you.
Matt: Come on, Roger.
Roger: That really annoys me?
PZO: Yeah.
Matt: Roger from Noise Ratchet.
Roger: “Bandages.” Hot Hot Heat.
<all groan>
All: Aww.
Ryan: What?!
PZO: That’s a good song.
Roger: That’s a Celebrity quote, actually. My name is Ryan.
Ryan: Don’t mess that up, man.
Matt: <to Roger> Hey, you’re done!
Ryan: I’d say almost every song I hear is pretty annoying to me on the radio.
<other band members groan>
PZO: I don’t like the radio, either.
Jesse: <to Ryan> Spoken like a true indie rocker.
Roger: You guys just, uh, do well on the interview. “Bandages.” Ryan Parrish.
<closes van door>

Lance: You can delete all of that.
Ryan: Don’t listen to anything he says, he listens to punk.
<Roger starts yelling outside the van, gives the finger>

PZO_Friend: Gestures are being made…
Lance: That’s Roger, from Noise Ratchet.
Matt: I think there are plenty of songs on the radio that we don’t like.
Ryan: Yeah, we’re not gonna say names, ‘cause if anybody reads this, they’ll hate us.
Lance: Honestly, I haven’t listened to the radio in a while, like, for real. Not because I’m trying to avoid it or anything, I just—I don’t have—well, I just put CDs in my car instead, you know.
PZO: Yeah.
Ryan: I’d say any of the emo, punk explosion bands that are big right now—
Jesse: The whole bro-mo thing.
Ryan: The whole bro-mo thing, like, emo, but it’s, like, jocks playing—just all that stuff is just annoying to me.
Jesse: There’s not much good on the radio.
Ryan: Unless it’s, like, Radiohead or Coldplay.
Jesse: Or Deftones.
Ryan: Or Deftones, they’re amazing.
PZO_Friend: Is that one of y’all’s goals, to change the way music sounds on the radio?
Jesse: Shoot, man, that’d be great!
Lance: Honestly, we’re just trying to have fun and write songs that we enjoy. And you know, that’s the thing, I don’t know, I don’t think any of us could just not do music, and not write music, and we’re just doing it out of necessity. I know that sounds really dumb, but it’s true.
Jesse: I kind of think we’d all like to make our mark, too, but the thing is, you can’t really try to do that. It just kinda happens.
Ryan: Right. Right place, right time, knowing the right people. It’s a crapshooter.
Jesse: You just kind of have to forget about that and just experience what you do.

PZO: Last question. True or false: The Chevy Celebrity [the band's namesake] is a fine car.
Jesse: True!
Matt: It’s true.
Lance: It is true.
Jesse: I had an ’87 Celebrity, my parents had it forever.
PZO: My parents had ‘em, too. They matched.
Jesse: I went to the prom in that car.
PZO: Wow.
Jesse: I drove that car to college. I drove that car to Nashville, Tennessee, and then I gave it to Lance.
Lance: And I used it, and it blew up on the side of the road.
Lance: But it worked for a long time, it was very good. It was, like, an ’87.
Jesse: ’87!
PZO: Just blew up on the side of the road.
Jesse: It didn’t blow up, we made it to a, uh, crush shop.
Lance: Remember that one, like, part of the engine fell off, though?
Matt: Yeah, that was pretty intense.
Jesse: I had a lot of good memories in that car. It was one of cars you could actually grill on.
PZO: My parents had one. My childhood memories were, like, ducking in the backseat, ‘cause it was, like…
Lance: Oh yeah, we were the same way, we used to have this big Chevy Rambler.
Ryan: Chevy Rambler? That’s amazing.
Jesse : I remember that car, ‘cause it had, like, fuzzy kind of seats, too, and we’d drive back from my grandma’s and it’d be late at night, and my brother, we’d be, like running our heads, like--<rubs head against back of the seat to make static>

Jesse: And you’d get, like, three inches away, and, just, boosh! [static shock] And it wouldn’t hurt, it’s just like this, nyang, nyang.
Jesse: I was like, “I’m the wizard.” <makes superpower noises>
PZO_Friend: Good luck spelling those words, Joyce.
Matt: <makes superpower noises>
Lance: Make some more noises.
Matt: It starts with a “y”!
Jesse: Z-w-a-a-a. Zwaaa!
PZO: Oh, man.
PZO: This is gonna be tough to type out.
Jesse: Especially because my brother and I sound exactly the same.
PZO: No, you know what? I think—I think I’ve got it.
Jesse: Oh, there’s a difference.
Ryan: They always think they’ve got it.
PZO: Yeah, you’re farther away.

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