Interview composed by Stu - July 2002
Jherek from The Sweet Science was telling me you had an earlier project 'Ten In The Swear Jar'. What kind of adventure was that for you and your musical travels?
Some of the songs off Knife Play are about different members of Xiu Xiu. How do they react to that?
That was kind of a mixed bag. That band was comprised of guys who before I had been in a band with before (called Ibopa). That was for like 3 years and by the end of being in two different bands together we had enough of each other. However, I always thought that Ten in the Swear Jar was really good live. The records were done a little hastily and I think that was a problem, but we could generally rock the casbah live. Once at a Ten in the Swear Jar show in Los Angeles a really famous drag queen named Vaginal Davis gave me a blow job on stage and it got video taped, and periodically someone will write and ask if that was me.
On the website it shows there being four member in Xiu Xiu, but at the last few shows only a trio has performed. Where has this other member wandered off to, and what was their function?
Actually only Homoculus is about Yvonne. Dr Troll (Lauren's nick name) is just named after her as is Sad Cory o Grapher, being named after Cory but not about him. That song is on a 5rc comp. Yvonne has really only mentioned it to me in so far as she said it was too weird for her to play it live, although we did for a couple of early shows. That was actually the first Xiu Xiu song. I hope she likes that song but I have been afraid to ask. Homoculus is about that she is a good friend and can deal with it and be there when I go nuts and act like an idiot.
I noticed a new release 'Chapel of the Chimes EP' is about to come out. What are your thoughts with the outcome of this new release?
That would be the aforementioned Yvonne. She does not like to tour but she still writes and records. She is still a part of Xiu Xiu but in a specialized capacity.
You also have a music video compilation coming out soon, which is nice to see from such bands as Xiu Xiu. Who's all been involved with it?
Making an Ep is actually more difficult, I found, than doing a full record, as you have a smaller space in which to make your case (you like that bitchin' rhyme? Eh?.. EH!?). We are recording our next full length right now and decided to record 16 songs and use 5 for the Ep and 11 for the full length but we wanted to make those sets of songs work together. So the songs on Chapel of the Chimes are more abstract and informed more by modern classical stuff that we like than pop. There are some of my favorite songs we have ever done on it. One called 10,000 x a Minute is about something that I cannot talk to anyone about but for some reason have been able to sing about in the plainest terms. There is a new version of a song called Jennifer Lopez that we was previously released on a comp but we reworked it and I like it a lot more; it is more destroyed feeling. One song, King Earth, I feel like we play better live than it was recorded so I am a little bummed about that; it is not awful, I just like how we do it life a lot more. But, the remaining songs, I Am the Center of Your World and a cover of the Joy Division/New Order song, Ceremony, I feel like we broke the right blood vessels in making. So over all it is a short record to hurriedly end it all by as it is only 18 minutes long.
About where are you right now in your tour? Have there been any out of the ordinary highlights so far for you or the band?
That has been all Lauren's doing. I hope she finishes it before the sun envelopes the galaxy. She is doing almost all of them with stop motion, animation or puppets so it is slow in the making but what I have seen is brilliant. She has a sexual fetish for puppets so I think it slows her work a little because she gets distracted.
How are plans for other future releases coming along?
We just got home a couple of days ago. This has been by far the best tour we have been on and we feel very lucky. Excellent cities were Victoria, Chicago, Columbia (we played a basement show and there was a lake next to the house and after the show we back stoked out to the middle and looked at stars, it was like being on drugs), Atlanta (the show was wonderful and I accidentally barfed on an exotic dancer while I was getting a lap dance... um yeesh....ugh). You know, every show was great. That has never happened before; we are feeling fortuante.
Right now as I mentioned we are finishing our next full length for 5 Rue Cristine. We are staying home for August to finish it and it will be out in February. The only possible title at the moment is "Pony Girl" but we will see if it sticks. The songs are not surprisingly really depressing. It is being approached in a very different way than Knife Play in that we had no dead line for that so it will be interesting to see how being under the slightest self imposed pressure will come to bear. I am sure I will have a nervous break down, get really drunk and crash my bicycle into Mount Rushmore. See you there Stu?