home    news/reviews    editorials    new talent     interviews     randumb videos     discussion board     info/contact

members present:
Josh Fiedler
Neil Hebrank

conducted on:
November 2001

by: Rocio Villalobos
official website


PZO: The CD booklet for "Understand This Is A Dream" is covered in all these different numbers. A lot of your fans say that there’s some sort of message or meaning behind these numbers...is there?
Josh: Nah, they’re just numbers.

PZO: What’s one of the nicest things a fan has ever said or done for you?
Josh: Um...done for us. Have any of our fans ever done anything for us? <laughs> People make us cookies sometimes.
Neil: Oh, yeah!
Josh: When we go to Boston this group of girls always make us like, little cookies and cupcakes and stuff. That’s probably...one of the nicest things.

PZO: Do you remember what your first show was like?
Josh: Yeah, I do. It was at a college and it was like an all-day festival. We opened up, it was a bunch of local bands. It was the first show we played, I think, we played four or five songs. It was pretty weird. Just getting used to a different band and everything.

PZO: When can your fans expect to see your next full-length album in stores? I know you just released your six-song EP, Music From Another Room...
Josh: We’ll probably record it in January and February, we’re hoping.
Neil: So...summertime?
Josh: Yeah, maybe early summer.

PZO: Have you had any embarrassing moments happen on-stage while you were performing?
Josh: I’ve fallen into Neil’s drum set a couple of times.
<Neil laughs>

PZO: Is there anything else you want to do as a band before the year is over?
Josh: I think we’re planning to just finish this tour.
Neil: Just go home in December and finish fine-tuning the songs we wrote for the new record.

PZO: You’re going to be playing a couple of New Year’s shows...have you decided where?
Neil: Yeah, like all around. We’re playing Long Island and New York City, and Pittsburgh.
Josh: And New Jersey on New Year’s Eve.

PZO: And you guys recorded the live album at Pittsburgh...how did that go?

Josh: It went really good.
Neil: Yeah, we had fun.

PZO: What made you pick up your first instrument?
Josh: Um, my first instrument was drums. I wanted to play saxophone, but my mom wouldn’t let me ‘cause we didn’t have much money. So I got the drums because it was the cheapest and played in the band.
Neil: Well why’d you start playing guitar?
Josh: Why I started playing guitar...my cousin kind of influenced me. All of my favorite musicians were guitar players, like in hair metal bands and stuff.
Neil: Well for me...in fourth grade you could join the band in elementary school. I just wanted to start playing drums and I played in the school band until like seventh grade. Then I decided to stop and just keep playing on my own.

PZO: Do you have any sort of ritual that you always do before you take the stage?
Neil: I have to have everything kind of perfect, you know? Like I have to have my extra drumsticks right in the same place every time, my set lists in the same place every time. Everything has to be in place or else I don’t feel comfortable with it.
Josh: I take two frogs, five grasshoppers, and six crickets. I put them in a cauldron, I put lighter fluid all over it, and then I drink it.
Josh: And then I stretch!

PZO: What’s the meaning behind the song ‘For Evangeline’?
Neil: <to Josh> Um, are we at liberty to really answer that?
Josh: Yeah, it was basically about...Brett’s...it was either his mom’s friend’s nephew or mom’s friend’s son who was sick when he was very young. He got leukemia and he died from it. So it’s basically about loss.

PZO: When you’re performing do you like to mix up some of your old songs with new songs, or do you prefer to just play your newest material?
Josh: Yeah, we do. We play a good mixture of ‘em.

PZO: What do you hope to accomplish as a musician, besides making good music?
Neil: Do you mean that as a career? I’d just like to make a good career out of it; be able to just have my life stable. I mean, eventually if you’re big enough, you as a band can help out with good causes. I have no idea what kind or anything, but you know...

PZO: How do you work a crowd who’s never heard any of your music before?
Josh: Just try to have as much fun as possible on-stage.
Neil: I think that if we look like we’re having fun on-stage then hopefully the crowd will think, hey, you know, we should be having fun too.

PZO: Has your musical style changed at all from when you first began?
Josh: It’s changed a lot. Like our first CD was a little more upbeat and punkier. And now with our new EP we want to be a little more...mature and intelligent about our music.

PZO: What bands are you listening to right now?
Josh: Right now...uh, I really like the new Garbage and the new Black Crowes.
Neil: Let’s see, lately I’ve been listening to a lot of A Perfect Circle and Bjork and Radiohead, I guess. A lot of Moby.

PZO: For each city that you go to do you hang out before the show...you know, just check out the city?
Josh: We try to. Normally we don’t have much time to, but we try to get out and see things. Usually it’s just walking around and checking out the stores that are around the club and everything.

PZO: Do you remember what your biggest show has been, your biggest audience?
Neil: Maybe the X-Fest...
Josh: And Warped Tour, too.
Neil: We played the X-Fest, which is a show that a local alternative station had in Pittsburgh. We played like the second stage. And we’ve also played main stage Warped Tour a couple of times. At a Cornerstone festival we’ve played a couple of times. That’s about it.

PZO: Who were your biggest influences growing up?
Neil: For me my biggest influence is definitely Pink Floyd.
Josh: Mine are kind of a wide range. Like the Beatles, Sonic Youth, Led Zeppelin. Basically my three top...like when I first started playing guitar it was all about Nirvana.

PZO: Have you ever had any really crazy, weird fans?
Neil: Um, I mean you get weird ones sometimes, for sure. For the most part they’re all like really, really nice though. Every once in a while we’ll get someone really weird, but there’s always weird people out there, you know?

PZO: I know you’re guys, but do you worry at all about what you’re gonna wear?
Josh: We just grab whatever we have clean in our suitcase and wear it.

PZO: What’s the last concert you’ve gone to where you didn’t perform?
Josh: The last one I went to see was The Black Crowes and Oasis in New York City.
Neil: I think I saw Our Lady Peace in Buffalo.

PZO: Are there any bands that you’d like to tour with in the future?
Neil: We all think it would be amazing to tour with Incubus.
PZO: Yeah, we just saw them a while ago.
Neil: How were they?
PZO: They were awesome.
Neil: I bet so. I think it’d be a decent fit. I mean, they’re huge and to play in front of that many people.
Josh: I would have to say Incubus or Foo Fighters. They’d be two really cool bands as well.

PZO: Do you have any favorite venues you like playing in, or cities?
Josh: Pittsburgh, of course, since it’s our hometown, every show is awesome. We really like Los Angeles, or Pomona. Boston is really cool...it’s starting to get more and more all over the country. We’re getting a little bigger and bigger as we get along, so we’re looking forward to more shows than we used to. Like we’re not worried about only five people showing up or anything. Austin has always been really good to us, too.

PZO: Have you had any time to see any new movies, to just go out?
Neil: The last one I saw was From Hell.
PZO: How was it?
Neil: It was decent, but it was kinda confusing sometimes. But I thought it was okay.
PZO: Was it the Jack the Ripper one?
Neil: Yeah.
Josh: I’ve seen a lot of different movies while I’m home. Really good ones are probably like The Others and Don’t Say A Word. Those were really good. I really want to see Monsters, Inc.
Josh: It looks awesome.

PZO: Is there any band that you’d like to see reunite, maybe play one last show?
Josh: I don’t know, um...Smashing Pumpkins. I wish I could see them, ‘cause I never got to see them. That’d be cool if they got back together and I could go see them. That would probably be the one band.

PZO: What were you guys like in high school?
Josh: In junior high I was kind of like, all into sports and trying to fit in. I don’t know, in senior high I didn’t really care. I got into music so...music and art were my thing.
Neil: I was a soccer kid. Yeah...with a soccer ball...

PZO: With other bands that you tour with do you joke around and play jokes on them?
Neil: Yeah, we always like to just hang out with other bands. Yesterday, <laughs> filled up a condom with water and we threw it at Chomsky, the band we’re playing with tonight, we threw it at their window. It was pretty fun.

PZO: Have you ever gotten in trouble with the law, or anything like that?
Josh: No, we’re not too big of troublemakers. We’re all kind of laid back and shy. We never get in trouble, really.

PZO: Do you remember who you saw at your first concert?
Josh: I saw...my first concerts were these like, oldies fests. I saw Frankie Valle and Dion and the Belmonts. But my first real concert, well that was a real concert, but the first real one I went to with my friends was The Ramones.
Neil: The first concert I ever saw was the Guess Who.

PZO: How do you handle negative response, negative criticism maybe from the media...?
Josh: I actually like to hear negative things sometimes, if they’re intelligent. If kids are just writing some review and that they hate us...
Neil: And you know they didn’t listen to the record, they’re just...
Josh: They just say, oh, these guys suck.
Neil: I mean, creative criticism is fine if it makes us a better band.

PZO: Are there any big tours that you’d like to be a part of, like if you could just get a bunch of different bands together?
Josh: Um, not really. There aren’t really too many big tours that are going on right now. Warped Tour was pretty cool, but it’s like, a little too much one-sided. If there was a Warped Tour that was like a bunch of different music it’d be cool. Like that Area...or Moby’s festival was pretty cool ‘cause you had Moby himself, Incubus, Outkast, Nelly Furtado...that’s pretty cool. There’s a lot of variety. If I would do one I would like to do one like that.

PZO: What do you like to do when you’re not on tour?
Neil: I was always like playing and picking up sports. Just remain active and we just started playing golf. So that’s kind of fun. I don’t know, just hanging out and playing video games.
Josh: Yeah, we play lots of video games.
PZO: What’s your favorite?
Josh: Right now it’s Grand Theft Auto III on Playstation. It’s the most awesomest thing that I’ve ever seen in any movie or anything. Like Resident Evil also. I’m a big fan of sport games.

PZO: So when you’re not in a band anymore in the future, like if for any reason you break up, what would you like to do?
Josh: Probably concentrate on just art. Or maybe own a record store. Those are the only two things I could really see myself doing.
Neil: That’s a good question ‘cause I never thought about it...so if something happens, I’ll just wing it, I guess. If it happens in the near future, like the next couple of years, I’ll probably go back to school or something, but...
Josh: Yeah, if it was very recent I’d go back to school, too. ‘Cause most of us all quit school to be in a touring band.

PZO: If you could go anywhere in the world to just relax and have a good time, where would you go?
Josh: Hmm...like the Bahamas or Hawaii. Some island that has a pretty ocean.
Neil: I think I’d like to go to Alaska. I don’t know why, I’d just like to go there.
Josh: That would actually also be a really cool place. I’d go to Alaska too.

back to interviews