Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Die Mannequin's Care Failure Is Ready for Her Close-Up
How do you feel about the release of 'Fino+Bleed'?
I'm feeling good about it. We did a show at a radio station and the box of CDs showed up, so it was cool to be able to actually hold one. I do all the art and everything, but it's cool so see it all together.
How long have you been working on the album?
Well, they could have given me a lot more time. We started recording in November, but there were a lot of breaks in between for our wonderful producer Matt Hyde. First there was Christmas break, and then he's working with this Finnish band, so we split it up into different sessions. All together, it probably took a month and a bit. To actually write the record they gave me a month. It was crazy, especially because with an artist's first record, you don't get a second chance.
In the past you've written all your own songs, and you even played all the instruments on your 2006's 'How to Kill.' How collaborative was the process this time around?
Well, Anthony [Bleed, bass/vocals] is a great writer and we wanted to collaborate on so much for this record and just didn't have the time. Then my laptop got stolen with all these ideas. We had two weeks left to write the record and I went on a trip to New York. It was just more of an organic thing. I hate the word "jam," but I guess I jammed with some writers that are good people and that I respect.
But you still wrote all the songs?
Yeah. It's weird, actually. I shouldn't do that anymore. Any time I show up to writing sessions with anyone, they're like, "You actually write all the songs? Why are we here? We're just stealing your percentages." But it's a good way to learn my craft, working with other people. I learn a lot of things that make me a better songwriter.
You mentioned Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed, Porno for Pyros), who did the production on this record. How did that happen?
We started with a big old list of producers. I'm sure Bing Crosby was on that list, and Butch Vig, and all different sorts. It got down to three producers. You get on the phone and you get a vibe off of them. Me and Matt are crazy similar in the way we record, and just as people, so I just kind of went by instinct. I'm so happy I picked him. He's just one of those guys who cares so much. And especially being a producer these days, when years ago producers were getting paid triple what they are now because of the industry, and for him to still go the miles and do all the extra s--- he does, not a lot of people do that. Usually producers have to gain the artist's trust, and in his case he's like, "I have to learn how to trust you and let you just run." It was really cool that he understood that.
You've lived a lot of life in the past six years. Where do you see yourself in another six?
Whether the whole sing-song thing works out for me or not, it's in my bones, so it's what I do. I'm just learning how to write better songs. It's a lot easier to go and work with other people's songs and material because it's not your own. You can step back and have a better eye of it. I love doing that, and I run a label, but generally I just hope there's a lot more happy times than tragedy.
I would think with the record coming out, things could be about to change for you considerably.
Hopefully. We'll see.
I understand that you're not a big fan of a lot of your contemporaries in the rock 'n roll universe. Is that fair to say?
I guess, yeah.
Who do you like out of the bands that are out there right now?
Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, the Dead Weather. It's funny, the past couple years leading up to now have been a lot of s---, but in the last year or so, rock is getting a bit more real. And I think the kids are getting hip to it, too. I think they're looking for something a bit more real.
Care to comment on some of your least favourite artists out there?
I think we all are just trying to do what we love to do, so I'm not hating on anything, but it's mostly anything that's really bland. What really irks me is that I lost a lot of friends that I grew up introducing to Blonde Redhead and Sonic Youth. They start bands and then I have choruses in my songs, and they don't want to be friends with me anymore because I have choruses or something that's catchy in my songs. It's that whole indie-elitist attitude. It bores me. It's like music for boring people who are bored listening to it. You can't dance, you have to just stand there with your arms crossed and wait to see if other people are dancing. Then if it's cool, you'll dance too. It's like follow the f---ing leader, bah-bah black sheep s---. It's that attitude of pretending you have a scene when really it's a bunch of back-stabbers that are all jealous. That irks me more than the same songs you've heard way too many times on the radio.