By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
We went in and that was the first time we recorded with live drums, that was the first time we experimented with real production, and we walked out of there thinking, "This is really what we want to do." We wanna stray away from DIY, lo-fi, home studio, and we wanna do something different. That song came out and when it came out sort of everything started happening, because people heard that song and they realized, "This band can do more than just make two-minute, lo-fi, hazy kinda songs — they can go into a studio and record something different-sounding." And after that song came out was when I knew this is something that I want to focus all my time and energy and effort on.
When was the first 7-inch?
That was the Art Fag 7-inch and that had "Sun Was High" on it and it had "So Gone" and "That's the Way Boys Are," which is a Lesley Gore cover. That was the first one that came out, and so after that it was, "We're gonna do another 7-inch" and "another 7-inch" and "another 7-inch" and we kept doing these.
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Is it easy working with Bobb?
Bobb is one of my closest friends. He's someone I spent so much time with now that we've toured so much. He's someone that I met through the L.A. music scene. My friends used to play in this band called Mika Miko and I really met Bobb through them and I heard about him and I heard, "Oh, he records bands" and "He plays every instrument," and I thought, "He seems really cool but I'm really intimidated by him because of the way he looks."
Because he dressed like a bunny?
[Laughs] Yes, for his solo project he wears a bunny suit! No, I was always intimidated by him, but once I got to know him I realized he's a really (he's probably gonna hate me for saying this), really sensitive guy, and he's really smart, and he knows so much about music, and he's so talented. I'm so lucky and fortunate to be able to work with somebody who really understands me and really understands what it is that I want to do with music.
When we collaborate together, we're never in the same room. Basically, I write a song, or three or four songs, and I e-mail them to him and I say, here's the song, here's sort of the vibe that I'm thinking, I would really like to hear these sorts of sounds for drumming, and this kind of sound for bass, and I kind of tell him and guide him a little bit for what I want the finished product to sound like. The cool thing about Bobb is that even if I don't tell him exactly what I want him to do, he ends up doing something that I listen back to and I say, "Yeah!" It's like he's in my brain sometimes.
He definitely is a huge part of this and I wouldn't be able to do this project without him. If he wasn't here with me, the melodies would be the same and the lyrics would be the same, but they would be lacking a lot, because Bobb really does add a lot to the music.
Bobb is great. I'm really lucky to have somehow tricked him into doing this with me and tricked him into quitting his day job and going on tour for the rest of his life, basically.
The first time I worked with him musically was on Pocahaunted. He recorded a lot of the Pocahaunted stuff and he played live with us, and it was funny because Bobb is into all sorts of music, and we play a lot of Best Coast shows where [live drummer] Ali [Koehler] is wearing some cute vintage dress and I'm wearing whatever my style is and Bobb is wearing a Burzum or another metal T-shirt, and it's an odd match of people, but we get along very well, and I don't really care if Bobb is at home listening to Sleep or Earth or whatever, because he really understands pop music.
What was cool about being in Pocahaunted with him is that we would sit in a room together and we would record and we would talk about the Beach Boys and the Beatles and our bandmates in Pocahaunted would say, "I hate the Beatles, I hate the Beach Boys, the Beach Boys suck," and Bobb and I would look at each other and say, "OK, whatever, at least we have this thing to bond about." So that's why I approached Bobb and asked him to be in this band with me.
Does he play all the instruments on the record?
He plays drums, he plays bass and he plays lead guitar. I play rhythm guitar and all the vocals. [Fool's Gold's] Lewis Pesacov, who produced it, played some piano, and he had a friend who did a couple of percussion things. It was a very small group of people, and we liked it that way. We didn't want to have a shitload of people. We wanted to keep it to this tight-knit group we were comfortable with, and we did.