TMF: My first question is how has the tour been going so far?
JL: It’s only the second day, and it’s only a week long. Rouge Wave goes on for awhile, but we’re just doing a week right now.
TMF: That’s pretty short, why only a week-long?
JL: The drummer and keyboardist play in another band called Via Satallite, and they’re touring all through February. We’re playing South By Southwest in March, so I wanted to be able to play this before that because I wanted to play our own crowd and not the SXSW crowd.
TMF: With touring with other bands you have been in, have any of the tours been particularly outstanding?
JL: Every tour is the same, in a way, but not really. I like making completely no sense. This is always better for me because it’s my thing, when I see the response and turnout, I know that is a direct impact from what I am doing. So it’s nice for me to see.
TMF: The more you do it, does it become easier or more difficult?
JL: It becomes easier and more tedious at the same time. It’s like, you know what you’re doing and you get bored, and you sit around and you don’t want to watch the other bands whenever you play because you’ve seen it every night. And I mean no disrespect to the other bands we’re playing with tonight.
TMF: It’s just like “I’ve seen what you have to offer.”
JL: Yeah! I watch some bands sometimes. I try to watch two or three songs at the most.
TMF: With traveling around, has there been any city or venue in particular that has been more than welcoming?
JL: There’s plenty of those! The Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa was awesome. The last two venues we played (The Casbah in San Diego and The Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa) were awesome; both of them were just really great. and that happens a lot. There are a lot of really great places.
TMF: There are a lot more musicians contributing this album than on previous ones; do you feel that this takes away from the feeling of “this is mine?”
JL: Nah. I still wrote everything. Anything that was added was just texturing. Nothing that would change what the song is. No, that’s not completely true. There were melodies that were added by the people, but still.
TMF: When you are writing music, do you feel that you are creating the music, or do you think that music is creating itself?
JL: That’s a heavy fucking question! A little bit of both. It’s both ways.
TMF: is there something you lean towards, or do you just get ideas in your head and expand on them? Do you try to focus on structure?
JL: Yeah, I hate that…I’ve never focused on structure. I just let it come.
TMF: With all the extra help on the new album, do you think that it has helped you develop as an artist? Did you feel that you had to try harder?
JL: Yes, and no. I didn’t really have to try; I just did my thing. Just trying to make what they did proper and fitting and sit well.
TMF: Did you direct them more so than them contributing?
JL: No, they directed themselves. I just used those in the right place…kind of cut and paste.
TMF: I keep reading about how you were picked for a Hummer commercial, picked up on the soundtrack for The OC, and I remember hearing one of your tracks on the Real World a few years ago. Has this been picking up a great deal for you then?
JL: Oh, that’s been going on forever. That’s (The Real World) been going on for at least four seasons!
TMF: Has that helped your album sales at all? Have you heard of anyone going “Oh, who’s that band!?”
JL: I’ve definitely met certain people who have been like “I heard you on ‘The OC’” or “I heard you on ‘The Real World’,” or “I heard you on ‘Pimp My Ride.’” That’s good. That’s what’s it’s there for. That’s why it happens, you know.
TMF: Is there anything you’d be opposed to your music being used on?
JL: Um…I haven’t really thought about it. The thing is, everyone thinks you aren’t going with the ethics of fucking do-it-yourself bullshit whatever. You’re selling out or whatever. It’s stupid, because people don’t understand exactly what’s going on. This is my living, and these things help and these things help me come to you and that kind of shit. They just look at it and go “oh, you support Hummers!” and I don’t fucking support Hummers. I’ve never even seen The OC. But the thing is it helps me play to a broader audience, which is the point of playing music, you know.
TMF: To all those who call you a “sellout” or go “Oh, I’m not going to listen to you anymore, because everyone else does,” what do you say to them?
JL: What about that Sony TV you’re watching, or what about that Gibson guitar or whatever? It’s like there’s so much corporate shit, it’s like you can’t put a fucking split point in it, you know what i mean? Certain companies own other companies and everyone owns everything and it’s all the same shit. It’s just basically people being too into Fugazi or Minor Threat or whatever. It’s just kind of stupid. We’re doing this for you, do you not realize? Shut up! I’d appreciate it. If things weren’t happening, it wouldn’t be as easy for me to do it for you, because I’d have to work a shitty coffee shop job, or some other shitty job, because I have no career orientation other than what i do. I’d be thirty-whatever years old and making sandwiches or something. It would depress me. Probably make my music better, because I’d be so fucking bummed.
TMF: I’ve been seeing a lot more press about you guys lately than, say, four years ago, and was wondering what you felt about that? Do you think you are starting to come out as an artist?
JL: I’ve developed more, but it’s the natural growth of just playing in a band and getting comfortable at what you do and who you are as a person. Just growing up, basically. Being on Sub Pop helps with the press, of course, you have better recognition of a label behind you and just other things like that.
TMF: Do you feel that if you jumped to Sony or Geffen, you’d get even more grief.
JL: Oh, definitely. But then again, who cares? It’s like, shut up! That’s what I’m saying. It’s bullshit because look at Modest Mouse, they’re on Epic. Or Death Cab having just signed to Atlantic. There’s all kinds of shit going on, and the thing is, it’s a smart and stupid decision. Smart because they’re going to push the shit out because it’s to their benefit. They are going to work it. It’s not about money, but at the same time, it is. You have to have have a certain amount of money which buys you some new gear so next time you play a show, something doesn’t break and you can’t play. Or it buys you a van so you can tour regularly all the time and we don’t have to worry “Oh, can we afford to rent one?” or “Oh, we can’t, so we can’t go on tour.” and all these kinds of things. These are things that work to any artist’s benefit. It’s just the way it all works. With the Hummer thing, it was fifty/fifty for me, and I think that it was a great commercial. But I’m not going to drive a Hummer or anything.
TMF: Have they offered you any discounts on one?
JL: No no no, but it bought the van we tour in, so we have no problems there!
TMF: Your music does lend itself toward cinematic use, has it been used for any films?
JL: I’d probably get shit for being in a movie.
TMF: Have you have any offers for a movie?
JL: Well, there’s a Warners Bros’ trailer that I think it using “On Your Way.” I haven’t heard a definite, but there’s an offer right there. Sometimes it happens, but mostly student stuff that people do, and then commercial use on tv or whatever.
TMF: You haven’t been approached to score a particular movie?
JL: Student film kind of stuff, where I would want to do it, but it’s not worth the headache or the money.
TMF: Have you had a chance to work on any new stuff?
JL: I haven’t really had a chance. I mean, I try, and I do. I never force myself. I’ll put a record out when I want to put a record out, when I have the material done.
TMF: Do you carry a tape recorder to record your ideas so you don’t forget them later?
JL: I have a laptop that is used on stage, but I can also record into it.
TMF: Do you have any future plans from here on in?
JL: Touring, basically. Lots and lots of touring.
Comments are closed.