Whose idea was it to have your dog, Eno, howling at the end of the album?
Aimee: You know, it was just something that happened. How it happened
was we were in the studio and we were watching Night at the Roxbury.
And...was that how it first happened that he sang like that?
Aimee: We were watching Night at the Roxbury and uncontrollably whenever
he hears Will Farrell in this one part he does that. So we had made him
do it like 9 different times for, Watch this, its so funny!
You know, people would come in the studio and the movie would be on and
wed cue it up to that part and he just starts howling. So we actually
recorded him the first time we did the record. And then when we went into
mastering somehow his track got lost, it was on the computer and it didnt
end up on the record. But when we went in again and re-did it, we added
the 2 songs last year and we made him do it again. <laughs>
And he does it, like, on cue. Its the most bizarre thing. And its
so funny looking. Its funnier looking than it is sounding. Hell
just do that... <howls> Its just his little face. Its
amazing. Thats how that happened.
Just by listening to some of the songs on the album its obviously
different from a lot of bands that are out there. What kind of musical
influences do you have that account for your unique sound?
Aimee: I think when we were writing we went right back to everything that
we grew up on when we were little. And a lot of that was like The Cure
and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Jamie is a huge U2 freak. Um, even, and
this is so out of left field, but even a little bit of like early Madonna.
I know that sounds crazy. A lot of like late 70s punk rock, like Buzzcocks
and stuff like that; English punk rock. Thats pretty much where
it came from.
Whats it been like these last couple of months that youve
been touring with Sugar Ray and Weezer?
Aimee: Its been interesting because all the tours are so different
from one another. You know, we have Sugar Ray and then Weezer and now
Incubus, and all the crowds are completely different from each other.
The bands are completely different from each other. Its kind of
really cool to actually get exposure to that many different types of people.
Its been great. Weve had a lot of fun; crowds have been really
receptive. We havent had too many nights where we were like, Wow,
what was that about? And weve had a lot of nights where we
were like, Oh my god, kids are dancing. And its really
fun...its great. And, you know, on Weezer we got to do our first
arena tour. Weve never done that before. <laughs> Our
last show of Weezer was 14,000 people. Its like...crazy. And we
played at this venue that Ive always wanted to play since I was
really little, in New York, Jonesbeach. Cause when I was younger I saw
Lollapalooza there and it was just amazing to be on that same stage that
people that were like my heroes were on. I mean, Weezer were kind of our
heroes too, you know. Its pretty cool to be on tour with your heroes!
Im sure youve seen your share of crazy things going on in
the audience. Is there any one in particular that stands out the most?
Aimee: There isnt. You know, its really pretty much...theres
not...its pretty much the same in the crowd. Well, on Sugar Ray
there was some odd stuff that happened. Girls really dig Mark McGrath...
Aimee: And there were some girls that Im just gonna be presumptuous
and say that they pretty much would have done anything, you know. There
was lots of panties flying on the stage and bras and whatnot. I actually
one night saw a bra fly onstage during Weezer, which is really funny because
they dont seem like that kind of band. But there were girls holding
up signs for Mark in particular that were pretty mind blowing. Like something
that I would never, like I dont even know if I can repeat some of
the stuff that it said. But hey, whatever floats your boat I guess. It
was really weird, so...but as far as our crowds, you know, the kids who
end up liking us; theyre usually not that kind of people. I dont
know, maybe they are.
On your website theres a section thats labeled ACT. What moved
you to have this on your site?
Aimee: I think its really important that...our public school system
is structured to teach children exactly what...like the curriculum is
pretty much the same across the board for the nation. Its structured
in a very safe way, and its also designed to make workers, not thinkers.
People who respond to bells and show up on time, do the work, and get
in and get out. Actually, in my opinion thinking is something that is
looked down upon, like being a free thinker. So for me, I was raised in
a kind of different way. My mom was a product of the 60s and taught me
that whenever you can, you should try to make a change in the world for
the better. And I though that our public forum where we can reach more
people, I guess, its a solid, static place where you can go and
find information. So I thought it would be nice to provide some information
about stuff that people, you know...I guess its pretty much my thing
more than the other guys. But the other guys have 100%...they back it.
There are things up there just to make you think: question things that
maybe youre told on a daily basis that arent necessarily going
to be in mainstream. You wouldnt come across it everyday. I always
thought it was interesting when I was raised and we were taught about
the 4 food groups, this is a really basic example. We were taught about
the 4 food groups and how much youre supposed to eat of each thing,
and then you look at the bottom and it was sponsored by the Beef Council.
Which, you know, they dont tell you to read the fine print. But
on the thing that says eat 4 servings of beef a day it says brought to
you by the Beef Council of America. We live in a capitalist country and
when advertising is getting into your schools in that manner, in your
basic education, I think its important to provide an alternative.
I mean, we do that in such a small way, its so minor to what I would
hope and dream to do later. But then also were a rock band and were
here to have fun and celebrate and were not...as much as Id
like to be of help and make some kind of headway in a positive way, be
a positive influence on people, we are a rock band and thats why
thats just a little bit. Were not gonna be out there spouting
off about politics every 5 minutes. Cause if I did that, that would just
take up so much time now, wouldnt it? But you never know, that might
Are you currently working on new songs for your next album?
Aimee: Yeah, actually we have a little studio in the back and were
writing. Jamie is writing all the time. I think we almost finished one
yesterday. Which is pretty interesting when youre out here and when
youre at home and you have time to focus its a lot easier
than when youre trying to just eat and live and work and do the
show. To get a couple of seconds back there in the back is a little different.
But its also good because youre getting a lot of outside influences
as far as creativity. The answer to that was yes! <laughs>
How did you come up with the name for the band?
Aimee: My mom named the band! How about that? We had a different name
in the beginning and that name was taken. Our attorney came to the studio
while we were making the record and said you cant call yourselves
that name anymore cause theres about 15 other bands that are
already called that, that youve never heard of. And I thought I
was really thorough in my search for a name cause there are so many
bands out there right now and in America the law is first use. So even
if theres a band in, lets say Texas, who has a CD out of their
own, not on a major label, but they work in the area and they do shows
in the area and they sell their CDs regionally they have first use
in that area. So we would have had to go to each one of the 15 bands and
say, Can we have permission to use your name? The scope of
that was far too grand for me to get my head around. So we gave it up
and I searched and searched and searched and searched and searched and
searched for a name that wasnt taken. You would not believe how
many...any word you can think of, theres a band called that.
Aimee: So it was a miracle actually that there wasnt a band
called theSTART. My mom was just...we wanted it to be really simple because
I think thats, you know, its impactive. And we wanted it to
be, not have a negative connotation. My old band was called Human Waste
Project, I always just liked that name personally but I had no control
over that. I tried to change it a bunch of times but I couldnt find
a name to change it to. But I thought that was negative, so we kind of
had bad luck with that too. Then I had friends that were in a band, Failure,
so it was kind of like what you put out there manifests. So we wanted
to be really careful not to manifest anything that was gonna be negative.
And also since we have such a great love of bands from the 70s, and thats
just like the classic thing of a band having the in front
of it. I was in love with that idea and my mom just called and said, I
was on the freeway and this name popped into my head: theSTART!
And at first I was like, No! Its probably taken! Screw everything!
I was literally up 7 hours a night online searching the copyright database,
like, out of my mind, searching everything. It was driving me crazy. And
all the really clever names are gone, of course, cause theyre
great. Unbelievably, there was one band who used the name start in the
80s, but they broke up before their first record came out and I dont
know if they owned the copyright, but it had expired and nobody had bought
the copyright yet. So we got it. Everybody else, step off! <laughs>
What do you enjoy most about being a singer?
Aimee: Ooh, I think Id have to say the show, the live show. Playing
in front of people. Getting to dance and sing. Just the rush of when youre
putting something out and people take it and give it back to you. That
is probably when theres give and take onstage from the audience
and myself, or and the guys. Its the most incredible feeling ever.
Its better than anything, I think. Its unbelievable to...I
guess the first time I heard an audience of a lot of people I got the
chills all over my body and I knew that bringing people together...cause
thats what it is. When you get a lot of people in the same frame
of mind at once it makes like a magical experience. And I think thats
the high of it. Writing is really cool too, but as far as what gets me
most here, <points to heart> is the show.
How do you manage to balance your personal relationships being as busy
as you are?
Aimee: I dont! Its really difficult, especially on tour. Just
for example, yesterday we had a day off, finally, and I got calls from
home and I really love my friends and my family. But Im surrounded
by people all the time and Im always talking to people and I live
with all these people on this bus and then, getting solace...theres
no Aimee time, ever. It just doesnt exist. See yesterday I was just
walking down the street and my mom called and I was like, I love
you so much, but Im just gonna walk around Austin right now and
be me for a minute. Not have any external forces driving me. So
its difficult. Its probably one of the biggest challenges
that there is out here, balancing my personal relationships and work.
It gets really lonely being surrounded by people all the time. Its
funny cause once youre out here for a long time you kind of
build your own wall around yourself, you cruise around in your space all
day. You cant open up and be 100% on, whereas if you live a regular
home life where you can be at home and have your home time and when you
go out and see your friends, youre like woo!! And you get to be
exciting and wonderful and glamorous. You just have to find a way to be
exciting, wonderful, and glamorous every moment of every day and it just
cant happen. That is, I think, the toughest part. That and finding
PZO: <laughs> Food that tastes good!
Aimee: That tastes good... Cause you can find food anywhere, but
food that tastes good is hard.
What places did you visit while you were going about Austin?
Aimee: Um, yesterday was a little weird. We went and walked up and down
6th Street, but Ive never been here and I didnt have anybody
to really tell me where I was supposed to go or what was good to do. So
I didnt really have much luck. It was cool to see Emos cause
Ive heard about it for years and years and years, and we ate some
good food yesterday. But I think we stopped short of seeing anything.
Like I really wanted to go shopping. I thought that would be fun. But
yeah, we just walked up to a restaurant and ate.
Are there any bands out there youd like to tour with in the future?
Aimee: Oh, theres tons of bands Id like to tour with. Um...I
dont know, theres a band called The Faint thats playing
right now. They just put out their third record. Theyre really incredible,
I think I would love to tour with them. Id love to tour with Garbage;
I think that would be an awesome thing. I think a lot of times people
are afraid to put 2 girls in the same room together. I think itd
be great. I think its more intelligent of a choice. You know, I
think people are afraid of the competition, not per se, the actual bands
are afraid of the competition, but the business people are like, Well,
we cant have 2 girls. Its the same headspace that radio
people are in. Well, we cant play 2 girls in one hour. We
cant have more than one female artist on the radio. Or one
female artist on the radio at all, depending on the radio station we are
looking at. Its just funny cause it doesnt happen as
boys. Bands go out as boys, theres 4 boys on. But if its a
girl-fronted band you cant have 2 of them together. Oh my god, what
is that gonna do? Its gonna... maybe itll cause some kind
of revolution. <laughs> An uprising, I dont know.
PZO: A feminist movement! <laughs>
Aimee: You know, you never know what could happen.
Aimee: But Garbage would be great. That would be fun. Plus, I really
admire and respect Shirley Manson. I would love to meet her. I think shes
a really great woman. We would love to tour with U2, just as this big
dream. That would be great. The Cure. Oh my god, I would probably keel
over. Janes Addiction would be awesome. I know theyre touring
right now, but who knows cause theyre so sporadic. Every 10
years we get back together, and then maybe next year well play and
maybe we wont. I dont know. Lots of bands that we probably
wouldnt fit well with, but Id still like to tour with. Or
maybe we would, cause I never know really what peoples tastes
are. Id love to tour with Radiohead just so that I could watch them
every night. I could go on for days. PJ Harvey, I would love to tour with,
even though we wouldnt...See, thats the thing. I think in
my head, Im like, Wow, thats really cool and interesting
and diverse and maybe that would be a great bill. And business people
are like, Well that doesnt make a damn bit of sense.
So ok, what do I do? Ill just, you know...sit here and make my music.
Whats it like being the only female in this band?
Aimee: In the band its pretty easy. I mean, Ive been the only
female in any band Ive ever been in. Most of the time Im the
only one on every tour that Im on. Sometimes theres not even
a girl working on the staff. The problems that I encounter are I forget
that Im a girl. I have to make a really pointed effort to do girl
things. Cause it is important. I take a hot bath and paint my toenails
and remember to wear a skirt and remember to put lipstick on. I mean,
that sounds really superficial and lame but those are the little things
that make you different than them. <laughs> But I guess thats
it. Im an only child, so I didnt really have a lot. Ive
always had more guy friends than I had girl friends, just cause
I guess Ive always been into music. Obviously the musician ratio
of females and males is low...aww, hes just passing out on you,
that is so cute! <laughs> [her dog, Eno, was jumping on
our laps and licking our hands in the tour bus during the interview]
Aimee: Hes like, dont laugh at me.
PZO: Hes so cute!
Aimee: But, yeah, other than that...Somebody asked the other day do you
think the boys are more polite because youre around and I think
maybe, yeah. Cause theyre all really incredible, incredible
gentlemen and wonderful guys and they dont do anything weird or
creepy! <laughs> Id hope to say that thats just
the type of guys that they are, but I cant say cause when
Im around, Im around. So I dont have a little video
camera to be around to see what happens when Im not around. But
its good, theyre well mannered.
What plans does the band have after youre done touring with Incubus?
Aimee: Im not sure, actually, quite yet. Weve been kind of
flying by the seat of our pants from the get-go. When we were on Sugar
Ray we didnt have any other tours booked after that. And then we
got Incubus and then right on the last day of Sugar Ray we added Weezer
in the middle. I know that Weezer is going out again and I know wed
love to go out with them again, I dont know if that is gonna be
an option of ours. When bands get together theres so many people
involved in why certain bands tour together. Like there are lots of people
involved in why were touring with Incubus, regardless of the fact
that Incubus and us are friends. There are so many other people with their
hands in the pot that theres all kinds of political decisions.
Did you ever think youd be where you are today?
Aimee: God, I thought Id be here...<laughs> No, Im
Aimee: <laughs> Um, thats a weird one. I really
havent thought about it.
PZO: You never thought that, you know, maybe youd be famous one
Aimee: I guess Ive always had a path in mind, but I havent
really ever thought about where I am on that path. If we drew a line,
like this is the ultimate goal in my life, I havent figured out,
I havent stopped to figure out where Im at on it yet. <laughs>
I think it always feels like youre at the beginning of it. Cause
you get a little bit further and you feel like youre back at the
Aimee: No pun intended. <laughs> But, do you know what
I mean? I guess Im kind of a day to day kind of person. I have an
ultimate goal in my life, which is to be happy and how I get there...I
guess Im happy for a lot of moments out of everyday, so...I dont
think Ive really thought about it. I dont know, its
bizarre because I think from an external point of view things probably
seem different than they are in reality, living out here everyday. People
are like, Whoa! You played in front of 14,000 people and blah blah
blah, and you got to tour with Weezer! And Im like, yeah,
I woke up everyday and I ate some food and I did sound check and I drank
coffee and I played a show and then I went to bed. You know, its
what I do. But yeah, there are moments where I go, whoa! I hit a milestone
in my life...but hopefully those milestones will get bigger...hopefully,
What do you do when you get nervous, if you get nervous, before a show?
Aimee: Im always nervous.
Aimee: Yeah, Im always nervous. But there are different kinds of
nervous I guess. I think its more nerve-racking to play a small
club in front of less people than it is to play like a huge venue with
a lot of people because the reality is that when we play a small club
the person thats in front of me is as close as you are to me. When
we play these bigger places so that theres a barricade between me
and the people and the lights are blinding my face and I cant really
get a contact with....I cant even see people half the time! Whereas
when we play a little club with 200 kids I feel like I can feel every
single person in the room. So I get more nervous for a smaller show cause
I think the bigger shows I do more for myself, cause thats
the only contact I really have. I guess...you know what I mean? Its
difficult to connect with an audience whos that large and that far
away and that out of my field of vision. Plus, I use in-ear monitors so
I cant hear the crowd very well. So I kind of have to be intuitive
as to whether or not theyre having a good time! <laughs>
Like, I can see moving bodies. I think thats good! And I can hear,
you know, at the end if theyre clapping. But its not really
a one-on-one kind of experience like it is in a club. So I think I get
a different kind of nervousness. And its so weird, too, cause
every night you have to be really adaptable. Our set time changes a lot.
We had a set time of 45 minutes on Weezer, and then we thought we were
gonna get 45 minutes for Incubus. The first night we had 35 and now we
have 30, just because of union labor laws, the way they have to run the
stage time. Its like, everything changes every night. So Im
kind of in the constant state of nervousness, like how is it gonna flow?
How is it gonna work out? And I guess Im just a nervous person by
nature. I dont think Ive ever gotten completely over the stage
fright thing, I guess that might be one of the things that causes the
adrenaline that gives me the high that I get when Im up there, so
I guess its a good thing. But sometimes Im nervous to the
point that it shuts me down, which is scary. I get so scared that I forget
the words! <laughs> Im working through that....
Have you ever had anything really embarrassing happen while you were performing?
Aimee: Nah, not really. Im trying to think of anything...Ive
always had the fear that my fly would be open. Im sure that every
single person that Ive ever met in my life right before you go onstage,
no matter what, no matter if youve already gone to the bathroom.
You still have to go to the bathroom and it never goes away. So when I
first started I was sure I was gonna pee my pants onstage. But it never
happened! Thank you God! <laughs> But I thought, What
if I get up there and I just cant control it?!
Aimee: Wow, that was really honest and open of me. <laughs>
Do you pick out the clothes that youre gonna wear ahead of time,
or do you just throw on whatevers around?
Aimee: Im kind of flexible, but I have a few guidelines. I have
to be able to move in it; I move around a lot onstage. And just be comfortable.
I cant wear high heels onstage cause Ill fall on my
face. I have 5 staple items of bottom things that I wear, like pants and
skirts. Then I have 5 shirts that I wear, and Ill kind of just mix
and match them. Its like theyre animals. I mix and match them.
I made sure that most of it was black so that most of it would match.
PZO: You cant go wrong with black! <laughs>
Aimee: You cant. But like, I dont know what Im gonna
wear tonight. Its just one of those 5 tops and 5 bottoms that are
gonna mix and match, so...
PZO: That was actually the last question. Thanks for doing the interview!
Aimee: Thanks for your time. Thank you for coming and talking to me. <laughs>