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members present:
Matt Tomich, Matt Oberst, Eric Roehrig, James Hepler

conducted on:
March 2003

by: Rocio Villalobos
official website


PZO: How much do you let the mediaís criticism of your work affect you?
Matt T: Thatís a great one to start off with. I try not to at all, Ďcause, I donít know, itís not like weíre dealing with CBS News here, you know? Itís peopleís opinions and stuff and other than that you try to not let it affect you too much. I mean, we get like really great reviews and then weíll get reviews that will pan us and then weíll get the mediocre reviews and itís all kind of like...itís the same song and people will, for example, say this song is the best song on the album and then another review will say that that same song is the worst song on the album. And itís just, like, how seriously can you take all of this?
James: The truth always lies somewhere in between, doesnít it?
Eric: Theyíre all bad.
Matt T: Like weíre the same band regardless of what anybody says and the same people come to our shows and enjoy it and buy our records. Our records are what they are regardless of any review, and there are people that write us and there are people that enjoy them and we enjoy driving around the country and playing these songs. Whatever, you know? What would happen if we got all glowing reviews or all panned reviews? I donít think it would change much.

PZO: Obviously the war is something thatís been present on a lot of peopleís minds; how do all of you feel about it?
Matt T: Fuckiní sick in our stomachs. Itís worse everyday; itís just bad. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong thing to do.

PZO: A couple of years from now how do you hope to have evolved as musicians and songwriters?
Eric: Iíd like to be more talented.
Matt T: Iíd like to be more consistent.
James: Iíd like to be able to use the mixolydian scale a little more.
Matt T: Quartertone?
James: Yeah, there you go.
Matt T: I donít know; weíre pretty old. <laughs> Weíre not getting much better.
Matt T: Maybe Iíd like to play a different instrument as well.
Eric: Iíd like to learn how to play harmonica.
Matt T: Are you serious?
James: We just bought a sitar, so be prepared.

PZO: Is there a band that all of you would like to see reunite and maybe play one last show?
James: I would have said Mission of Burma, but then I saw them. And now I wish that theyíd stop! That was a bad answer.
Matt T: The Replacements?
<sound of everyone agreeing>
Matt O: Thatís always like a scary thing, you know?
James: Yeah, I donít wanna see them blow it.
Matt T: Itís like, as long as they donít suck - The Replacements.

PZO: Each time you record is it like a learning process, or is it just pretty much the same procedure each time?
Matt T: Nah, itís different every time.
PZO: Well what were some things that you picked up when you were recording this past album, Let It Rest?
Matt T: Well we had the chance to change the entire way we recorded it from the previous album. The previous album we all trekked out to Lincoln, NE and spent 3 weeks just living in the studio and working whenever everyone was around to work. This time we kind of split it up. We did most of the tracking in the studio for about a week and then took a little bit of time off to hear it and see what it sounded like, and then we went into the producerís house where he has another studio where we recorded a lot of the overdubs and guitar parts and stuff. And that was kind of nice. And then we also had the luxury of having a completely different person work on a couple of other songs that ended up on the record, which we always like to do. We recorded in a friendís garage.

PZO: Do you have a favorite line from one of your songs?
James: Youíre afraid to be afraid to be afraid. Thatís my favorite line in the album.
Matt T: What song is that from?
James: Sick and Sore.
Matt T: See, I donít know.
James: The delivery is much better in the actual song.
Matt T: I like the lyrics to Design and Debris.
Matt O: Thatís a good old-school one.
James: Itís like ďI havenít paid attention to the lyrics since the first album...Ē
Matt T: Basically.
Matt T: Itís like ďthen we started spending more time recording and thereís more guitar tracks and now I canít hear the vocals as well and I donít know what theyíre singing.Ē So after the first album I just know the song titles.

PZO: If you could be a superhero what would you call yourselves and what would your costume look like?
Matt O: I would be Electroman.
Matt O: Thatís been my superhero name all tour.
Eric: Itís the hair.
James: What would your costume look like? Would it just be body hair everywhere?
Matt O: Itíd be a leotard with my hair. One of those super strong, like superhero leotards.
Matt T: What about you, James?
James: I donít know.
Matt T: Youíd be Deutscheman! Always on time! It is organized, it is on time, we are getting there an hour early! It would just be a big clock.
James: With a smiley face.
Matt T: What about you, Eric?
Eric: I donít know.
Matt O: You would be Grandpa Man.
Matt T: What about me? I donít know.
James: Youíre the Dynamo.
Matt T: <laughs> The Dynamo? Letís go! Anywhere but here! Perpetual motion.
Matt O: Youíd be a robot, though.

PZO: What about the new album are you the most proud of?
Eric: Artwork.
Matt T: Yeah, the coverís really nice. They did a good job on the cover.
James: I like the guitar tones.
Matt O: Yeah, the sound of the guitars are nice.
Matt T: Yeah, we picked the studio just because of the way the guitars sounded. The guy who recorded is famous for making sure guitars sound good, so...
Eric: The tone was known.

PZO: Given the opportunity, whom would you kidnap for a day and what would you do?
Matt T: This is so kinky.
PZO: Well it is if you make it out to be.
James: Thereís so many different answers to that, though.
Matt T: Come on, dude, youíre always naming off these people.
James: Itís never serious. Yeah, there was that chick in Angola, IN who was really hot.
Matt O: That just sounds sick.
Matt T: Iíd like to take XXXXX out of commission for a day. Yeah, you probably donít want to print that. Iíd get arrested for that.
Matt O: Youíd get re-programmed.
Matt T: Yeah, donít print that.
Matt O: Iíd like to go chill with Willie Nelson. Not really kidnap him, but go live on his bus for a day.
Eric: Iíd like to hang out with Martin Scorcese or Steve Martin.
Matt T: <laughs>
Eric: Iíve been trying to think of that answer for that SAT, no college application, ďIf you could have dinner with 3 people,Ē like now I need to really worry about it.
PZO: <laughs>
Eric: I havenít come up with the third person, but those are the two...
Matt T: Steve Martin would be a good choice.

PZO: What was your favorite Halloween costume that you wore as a kid?
Matt T: I was Underdog.
James: No way, thatís awesome. That rules. Bob and Doug Mackenzie from Strange Brew.
Matt O: You were both?
James: <laughs> Yeah. I was Rick Moranis.
Matt O: I was Bob.
Eric: I can scarcely remember who I dressed up as.
Matt T: One time at Halloween when me and Hep here were growing up, me and my other friend Jason dressed up as the Blues Brothers and then he followed us along as the third Blues Brothers.
James: It was kind of funny, though, Ďcause it was kind of a nice pre-cursor to the Blues Brothers 2000. I was sort of the John Goodman Blues Brother at the time.
Matt O: Yeah, it was kind of scary.
James: It was a little bit scary.
Matt T: What about you, Matt?
Matt O: I was Jesus for Halloween. That was probably my best costume.
Matt O: I had really long hair and I was Jesus.
James: My next costume is going to be my favorite. Iím going to be Logan 9 from Loganís Run.
Matt O: Jason was a naked man once. Heís our merch girl. That was his best costume.
Jason: My mom helped me sew the schlong.
Matt O: He needed one of those skin-colored suits with the big olí wang.
James: The weird thing is that thatís not the first time weíve heard you say that this tour.
James: I want a t-shirt that says that.

PZO: Is there a question or questions that youíre tired of being asked in interviews?

Matt T: Whereíd you get your name? Whereíd you get your name?
James: Yeah, thatís about that main one. They also have to stop asking us about our brothers.
Eric: Everybody always wants to know about them for some reason.

PZO: Do you have a favorite childhood memory?
Matt T: Sidewalks and public pools and water slides and parks and things that donít exist in great quantities in North Carolina that did in Nebraska.
James: Iíd have to say wrestling.
James: No, Iíd have to say riding motorcycles in New Mexico and Colorado was always great.
Eric: I liked seeing the first Muppet movie.
Matt O: Playing hide-and-go-seek in my neighborhood.

PZO: What do you feel makes you stand out from the other bands that are out there?
Eric: Weíre older.
Matt T: Weíre 10 years older.
Matt T: I think our musical education. Weíre coming from kind of a different era, and thatís kind of actually related to what James said. There was an interview where we got asked a similar question and we kind of just said that when we were growing up - what was your quote about OK Computer...?
James: Yeah, OK Computer wasnít the biggest record.
Matt T: Yeah, OK Computer wasnít our biggest record when we were growing up like on a lot of bands that are coming around today.
Matt O: People that are in good bands are either more established or broken up or have given it up.
Matt T: And I think, honestly, the bands that we grew up listening to had a different sense of song structure than a lot of the bands that, say, if I was 17 today growing up listening to the contemporary bands.
James: We had trouble convincing those people in Chicago that one time, those kids in Chicago, that Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys was a great album.
Eric: Yeah, thatís not what we grew up listening to. That was like, college.
James: Thatís true; that was like college.
Eric: That was all big in the mid-90s with the Elephant 6 and all that.
Matt T: I donít know, I think other people would be more adept to answer that question than us Ďcause itís really hard to actually see yourself.

PZO: Whatís the worst thing youíve done and gotten away with?
Matt T: As a band, or as a person?
PZO: Personally.
James: One time I went to a movie theater and poured fake puke all over everybody.
Matt O: Iíve broken into my fair share of swimming pools.
Matt T: Do you regret that, though?
Matt O: Oh, do you have to regret it?
PZO: No.
James: Gotten away with it.
Matt T: Oh, okay.
James: I stole an entire water fountain from my high school, piece by piece.
Matt T: Take off large quantities of work and leave work for other people to do while Iím on tour.
PZO: Thatís it?
Matt T: I think, actually.
Matt O: Heís a fucking saint.
Eric: Iíve committed many sins in the top ten.
Matt O: Thereís a buttload of Hail Maryís waiting for you.
James: Iíve coveted many things.

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