After their set, I got a chance to grab a word with the guys in Algernon Cadwallader over a few beers. We got to talk about alcoholism, smells, owning their own record label, and lyrics. Check it out.
IX: What was it like recording parrot flies in an empty church?
Tank: Well, I’m Jewish, so…
Pete: We had to break for AA meetings. There was a lot of working in the time frames we could.
IX: Your music is just far too fun for an AA meeting.
Joe: We crashed those meetings, throwing beers at everybody. You guys know it! You guys rule! Later! Then they’d be shaking, looking at the beers.
Pete: That’s terrible, man.
IX: Yeah man, that’s a pretty bad joke. [laughs]. What’s the funnest part about being in a band?
Joe: Stuff like this. We’ve never been to Montreal.
Pete: It’s the shows, for sure.
Joe: My poor ass would never go to Montreal. Joe would never take Joe to Montreal. But Algernon Cadwallader would take Joe to Montreal. And it’s fucking awesome.
IX: Alright, worst part about being in a band?
Tank: The smells. Yeah, these guys stink.
IX: Yeah, Joe had some really stinky feet today. Are you guys working on any new stuff since Parrot Flies?
Tank & Pete: Chyea man. Chyea.
Pete: This isn’t really a job or anything. Whatever comes out comes out.
IX: So do you guys have other jobs to support yourselves?
Pete & Joe: Nope. [laughs]
Tank: I have a job, I’m a cook. For people. At a restaurant.
IX: I’ve got to ask this. How do your lyrics come about?
Pete: With a pen.
IX: Great, thanks. After that?
Pete: Naw, I feel like I start with the subject. I purposely work pretty vaguely, to make it accessible, maybe, but also for good food for thought.
IX: So how did something like Spit Fountain come about?
Pete: Everything to me is pretty straightforward. It’s about a place in Philadelphia just like, good times that were had there.
IX: Man, I never would have guessed that. [laughs]
Pete: I almost feel bad telling you that, because whatever you had in mind was probably better.
IX: Do you ever get sick of being compared to Cap’n Jazz?
Tank: I love that band. If anything, it’s a compliment. We all grew up listening to them.
Pete: The first time that happened, I was just ecstatic. That was our old band [points to Joe].
Joe: Somebody said that?
Pete: Yeah!! I was like that’s awesome!
Joe: Best compliment!
Pete: We used to be in a pop-punk band in high school called Halfway to Holland. At least one guy said he thought we sounded like Cap’n Jazz. So did the sound guy from the church, actually. Let’s stop interviewing each other.
IX: What’s the actual songwriting process for you guys? How do they come about?
Tank: Just a lot of jamming. Yeah, just a lot of playing, then hitting the studio.
Joe: It’s a riff, and a jam, then we record when its not done, then it gets done. Somewhere along the way.
IX: What happened to your second guitarist? When did he leave? Ever think of getting a replacement?
Joe: Every time I play with another guitar player I really like it, but I just don’t get to do it that often, like when we were in the warehouse people just hang out and jam, and it’s a lot of fun. But we have a good dynamic as a three-person band.
Pete: It also happened mid-tour, when we were thrown into the whole three-piece thing.
Tank: It would also up the smell aspect. These guys already smell like shit. I don’t want another.
IX: You guys seem to have the critical mass of smell right now. It works out. Alright, if you could add anything to your wiki page, what would it be?
Tank: I have no idea.
Pete: Ten beers!!!
Joe: That we are beer snobs. I want someone to just hand me a beer that I like one day.
IX: Because they’ll know.
Joe: Yeah, exactly. Because they’ll know. They’ll be like “Hey, I heard this was your favourite beer.”
IX: That’s pretty ambitious.
Joe: Yeah, I know. Shoot for the stars, right?
IX: Three bands that you could tour with, dead or alive?
Tank: The Beatles, The Beatles, The Beatles.
Pete: I’ll pick Robert Johnson.
IX: I’ve never heard of Robert Johnson, I’ll check him out.
Pete: Yeah, he’s coming up.
IX: What’s it like owning your record label, “Hot Green”?
Joe: [laughs] Yeah, it’s a learning process.
Pete: We really just started to put out our own records, and that turned out okay. We tell ourselves what we want, you know, and then we do that. We actually just released our first non-Algernon record.
IX: Hop Along, right?
Pete: Yeah, that’s right. So you know, we are figuring it out.
Joe: It also makes us take it more seriously. Cause now if we fuck up, its not like we just fucked it up for ourselves. It happened to someone else. It’s like, “Now, I have to be responsible, because…”
Pete: I think its great, for a lot of community identification. And identifying the scene.
IX: Yeah, fair enough. That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for everything! It was great to talk with you guys.
Pete: No problem man. We’re coming back sometime in August. We’ll see you there!