Loquat
Interview by Shannon Coulter
Loquat: Kylee Swenson, Earl Otsuka, Anthony Gordon, Chris Lautz, Ryan Manley
March 2005

Loquat - photo by Debra Zeller
Shannon: Ok, first off, I want to make sure I have the right date for your Du Nord show. It's on April 23rd, right?

Kylee : April 23rd, a Saturday.

Shannon: And who's playing with you that night?

Kylee: Citizens Here and Abroad and The Herms. We hand picked the night. Aaron Axelson from Live 105 is going to DJ in-between, so it should be a really fun time.

Chris: All ages too, so my little sister can finally see us.

Shannon: They do all ages shows at Du Nord? I didn't know that.

Anthony: We're taking a pay cut to do that.

Shannon: And this is a release party for your new album, It's Yours to Keep . Is it coming out that same day?

Earl: A few days earlier. April 19th.

Shannon: And how long have you been performing the songs on it together? Well wait - first off, how long have you been together?

Kylee: Mmm... [looking at Earl]

Earl: As a band? What [looking at Kylee] three years?

Kylee: Three years, yeah, and I guess even longer now. Three and a half years.

Earl: What was our first show? Bruno's?

Chris: Bruno's September 23rd, 2001. Not that I'm counting.

Kylee: But Earl and I had been recording for years before that.

Shannon: And when did It's Yours to Keep start to come together? When did you first start writing this stuff?

Kylee: Some of it is uh, pretty old. A couple songs like 'To The Floor' was one of the first songs Earl and I wrote together before the rest of the band came in. That one -- when was that written? [looking at Earl]

Earl: Which song?

Kylee: To The Floor. Pay attention!

Earl: It's one of the older ones.

Kylee: Yeah but when was it written?

Earl: Four, five years ago?

Anthony: Yeah, that's exactly when it was. Cause when I heard that one, I was wondering, '"Is this about me?' And then on the third hearing, I realized, 'Oh, this is a negative song about me.'

Kylee and Earl: Aww, no it is not!

Kylee: So anyway, there are a couple like that that are three or four years old. The rest of them -- about seven of them, we just kind of started not too long ago. I'd take my laptop to Minnesota and start making demos, and bring the songs back and join the guys, and either they'd be into it or they'd do a little dance to make fun of it. Then there are songs like 'It's Yours To Keep' where I wrote a demo and at first it just wasn't right, and I rewrote it. Then Ryan wrote a bridge, and then like two weeks before the album was due, Earl said 'I hate the chorus.' He rewrote the guitars and kinda rewrote the chorus to it. So it really kind of came together from four years ago to two weeks before it was supposed to be done.

Shannon: There are some noticeable themes running throughout the album. I mean, it's interesting that it was written over such a long period of time because there are definite themes of lost friendship, fleeting friendship, far-flung friendship -- things that I've complained about many times in life, I mean the diaspora of one's friends all over the place. I'm curious about that theme.

Kylee: Yeah, I mean - I guess that it wasn't conscious. It's just like, you know, people come and go from your life and you know, they come and go either by just like moving away or passing away. People have asked me that before, saying it seems very nostalgic and sentimental.

Shannon: I wouldn't describe the entire album that way though. Because the songs that are about the actual, real relationships that are still taking place are not sentimental. They definitely describe a lot of the messiness of real relationships, in the real world.

Kylee:   Well, for example 'Timebomb' is definitely like that, but it's not on this album. 'Swingset Chain' is about my best friend who lived in Minnesota, and it's not so much messy as just the fact that you live so far away from somebody and you miss them and you have to like catch up and like cherish the few days out of the year that you get to hang out, you know? So I guess it is a little nostalgic in that way.   And then, relationships are, you know... I don't know? I guess everything's kind of bittersweet in a way. 'It's Yours To Keep' is about a friend who passed away a few years ago, and um, with him, I was just remembering all the great things about how funny and dramatic he was.   Like he threw his bike into a ditch because my friend had put chicken broth in the rice and he was vegetarian and he complained that it made him violently ill and he threw his bike into a ditch and we all just kept biking. [she pauses] It was funny in hindsight, and there were so many things about this person that I really missed.   So it is about missing people, but remembering them for who they really were, not trying to put them up on a pedestal but remembering them for the funny things and the silly things, you know?

Shannon: But the songs about people who aren't gone or far away, like 'Take it Back', 'Serial Mess' and 'To The Floor' -- there are a lot of complexities in them... about how subtle relationships can be and how confusing, and how difficult it is to interpret peoples' responses.

Kylee: Well especially when you first meet somebody and you don't know what's going on and you're trying to read someone and they keep their cards close to their vest. I'm one of those leap-to-conclusions, jump from A-to-Z type people that will make up a whole story in my head that will be completely untrue. So it's good when you get to know that person and realize you've made up a bunch of lies.

Anthony: The funny thing about that song is that it's totally wrong.

Shannon: Did you say earlier that it's about you Anthony?

Anthony: Yeah.

Kylee: It's not wrong at all!

Anthony: It's very wrong!

Shannon: How is it wrong?

Anthony : Well the sentiment of course is never wrong, because it's an interpretation of a feeling at the time. But her interpretation -- like the lyric talks about the character, I guess it's me, how he's like quiet and stoic and holding stuff back ...

Kylee: Even you're misreading it! What it's about is like...well, you know when I would make a joke and you'd be unmoved by it and I'd be worried that I should say something funnier. It's my own insecurities, it's not about you being a stoic jerk. It's about my interpretation of what's going on.

Shannon: I think it's sweet because she's asking all throughout the song what she can do to make it better, or whether she'll say something to make things worse.

Anthony: That song was tough for me to play the first year.

Shannon: Why?

Anthony: Well you know, with the personal stuff I'm kind of like... going on stage and playing a song that's ...uh...

Shannon: But I mean, were you two dating?

Anthony: We are dating. Oh yeah, I should have said that.

Shannon: Ok, well that explains it.

Kylee: And I wrote it right before, or right as we started dating too, and played it for him.

Shannon : God that must be really weird. To perform a song that's about...

Anthony : Yeah, it is! And I wasn't even in the band when they wrote that song and I'd been hanging out with them and hearing this music that they're making. I'd been playing in bands all over town -- I'm kind of an old hand at it -- and I heard their stuff and I was like, woah, this is better than any...like, not to toot your guys' horn, or I guess -- our own, now that I'm in the band...

Kylee: [Laughing]

Anthony:    I was just really amazed at the quality and the craft that they put into writing and composing and recording, and nobody else in town was doing that. I did not get the vibe that anyone else in town was doing that. This was before...

Kylee: We don't want to piss anyone off.

Anthony: I'm not, I'm not, but the scene in San Francisco four years ago was not good. It was not a good music scene.

Shannon: That was actually a question I had for this interview. How have you seen things change in the San Francisco music scene over the last few years?

Anthony: It's definitely gotten a lot better. Pop music kind of came back more, noise rock and all that kind of stuff.

Chris: Good rock.

Anthony: Used to be that being drunk at the Kilowatt was more of a thing than making good music that people cared about, so a lot of the music in the San Francisco scene four or five years ago was completely disposable to me. A few of the alt-country people were doing it right, but there were also like 9 million bands who had figured out the trick to writing four chord twangy country songs that were just absolutely false.

Kylee: I'm scared.

Anthony: No, it's true. I'll tell it straight. I mean, the music scene in San Francisco now -- more people started doing pop music, not in the sense of Britney Spears pop music, but thoughtful, well-arranged songs. I mean, a band like Film School wasn't around four years ago. Even Jolie Holland wasn't hot four years ago. She's one of those people that came out of the alt-country thing and said, let's just do real country.

Shannon: She's seriously talented.

Anthony: She's amazingly talented. Her talent just speaks for itself. And you know, there are a lot of good bands that have come up. Rogue Wave is obviously the obvious example these days. Good songcraft and that kind of thing. But to my original point, when I heard that tune ('To The Floor') there was half of me that was embarrassed because no one has ever written a song about me, and half of me was like, I have to play with these guys. It was just excellent, excellent music.

Kylee: For years I kept trying to explain to him that the song is a compliment. I was like, 'Listen to the end!'

Shannon: Oh clearly. It's so obvious, because in the song -- she's investing so much energy in thinking about the situation.

Anthony: Yeah, you know. When you first start dating somebody it's touch and go too, so like -- any hint of negativity, and I was like -- if we break up in two weeks, am I still going to have to get on stage and play this song? You know?

[Laughter]

Anthony: But we did it anyway, we all jumped in headfirst and we put a band together pretty quickly once we decided we were going to do it.

Kylee: Yeah, it was me and Earl and we were just writing and putting them on mp3.com, and then we met Anthony came along and he was like, why aren't you guys playing live? I was scared, but he kind of kicked us in the ass to get it together and play on stage. I remember the first time we ever played live, the other guys had played recently and it had been five years since I'd been on stage. And I was standing next to Earl, and my knees were knocking and I looked up at him, and he was like [makes her eyes wide]. I won't speak for him, but I know I was scared.

Earl: Eh, it wasn't that scary.

Shannon: Not that bad?

Earl: It was like being in a living room with all your friends around you.

Chris: Oh yeah, it was awesome.

Shannon: Was this the Bruno's show?

Earl: Yeah, it's a great place. I love the room. It was really cool and everyone was so supportive. It was just a really good evening.

Anthony: Yeah it was easily the most comfortable, fun first show I've ever played with a band.

Kylee: Thirty seconds into it, I just completely dissolved. All of my Oh-my-God-I-can't-believe-I'm-back-on-stage stuff.

Shannon: You lost your fear?

Kylee : Yeah, I was wearing this long skirt and I was really thankful because I could feel my knees knocking against each other, and then seriously, like 30 seconds into the song I was like -- hey, this is fun . I'm having a good time. I'd never had fun on stage before. Because honestly, I was in a band before with my friend where -- it was my friend who that song's about, 'It's Yours To Keep' -- and he was just rushing us to the stage. The first show we ever played was opening for...what the hell's that band...Starship, and we weren't ready. I'd just started to learn how to play guitar, it was like, ridiculous. We'd practiced like, ten times, and he was like, "Let's go!" So I just equated playing live with this horrific experience of fear and shouts of 'You suck!'

[laughter]

Earl: Opening for Starship too!

Anthony: They wrote one of the wrongest songs ever.

Chris: 'We Built This City!'

[more laughter]

Ryan: Did they play 'We Built This City?'

Kylee: I don't know. We left. It was too horrible. We took our hundred dollars and left. So actually, with Loquat, I realized -- oh, you go in prepared and you can play on stage and have a great time.

Anthony: We prepare like motherfuckers too.

Shannon: So Chris and Ryan, how did you end up joining the band?

Chris: Actually, Anthony and I have been playing together pretty much since high school. We were in a band in high school, then I left to go to school in Chico, we kind of parted ways, he stayed here in SF, I quit drums for awhile to play guitar.

Shannon: What was the name of the band?

Chris: In Chico?

Shannon: No, in high school.

Chris: Someone's Children. That's such a bad name.

Shannon: I like that name.

Anthony: We were the most kick-ass high school band of all time.

[laughter]

Kylee: Are you going to start being humble at some point?

Chris: No, it was cool . It was back in the day in the Bay Area where that whole punk-funk thing was going on, like Red Hot Chili Peppers and we were definitely along that line, and we would play in the quad at lunch, and everybody would come out and like kids were moshing, there were these trees and people were literally climbing the trees and jumping out of them. I mean, to us it was like -- better than Ministry at Lollapalooza at the Shoreline. We got in so much trouble for swearing, for people getting hurt. The first show we ever played in that band was for our guitarists' brothers' 13th birthday. A girl lost a tooth.

Kylee: Oh no!

[laughter]

Shannon: You know it's a party when someone loses a tooth.

Chris: There was this huge mosh pit, but it was actually more like a dog pile, with all these 13 year olds beating the crap out of each other. We played 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', and 'Mother' by Danzig, and we got paid in Taco Bell. We were kings of the world.

Kylee: All right!

Chris: Talk about first shows. Someone's Children, that was a fun band. Anthony and I did that for the whole time we were in high school and we set up a Battle of the Bands. Where we grew up, there weren't many kids starting bands. We used to go see Green Day in Berkeley Square every weekend and they were only a little bit older than us, and we thought well if these kids can do it....

Anthony: You know Zach Rogue from Rogue Wave was in our high school? He was in your class, but he was never in a band. Kind of odd.

Kylee: Well when I was in high school I played the saxophone. I wasn't in a band.

Anthony: No, just that we were all in the same high school that far out of town.

Shannon: [to Kylee] People weren't moshing to your music in high school?

Kylee: No, I did try to join this band that played Ocean Blue covers and they needed a saxophone player.

[laughter]

Kylee: But then the lead singer was like, 'Dude, I play the saxophone, how could try to let her do it?' So my dreams were dashed of joining a rock and roll band in high school.

Shannon: And you Ryan?

Ryan: I um, wasn't the first keyboard player. Ben Kasman was the first guy they had for a couple years They parted ways amicably because he was just into a different kind of thing -- wanted to work on film scores I guess. So anyway, I met these guys off Craig's List.

Chris: One of the only successful meetings to have ever come of Craig's List!

[laughter]

Ryan: I don't know, maybe in a band. But I mean, my apartment, job - y'know I owe it all to Craig's List.

Chris: Don't say that, they're going to start asking you for royalties or something.

Ryan: Yeah, so I answered the ad and I was also playing with a band just across the hall from them in the same studio space.

Shannon : Which band were you playing with?

Ryan: A big African hip-hop band called Slaptones.

Anthony: Slaptones!

Ryan: I've done a lot of different kinds of music since I moved here. I was really kinda trying to figure things out... I grew up playing classical piano, and I played classical trumpet for a long time. So, I mean, I feel like that opens you up to listening to a lot of certain kinds of music. What Loquat does, sometimes you don't even know what you're going to find that you like, and I was just excited. I came in and played with these guys. I was really stoked, and I wasn't even sure how everybody was feeling about me, but...

Anthony: We had actually auditioned a bunch people before Ryan. Brutal! Horrible!

Kylee: Shhh! Be careful!

Anthony: I'm not naming names, I'm just saying it was just a horrible experience.

Kylee: Well I'd rather not even mention that.

Chris: It was interesting. It's really weird to see how much even one person could change the whole dynamic of the band.

Anthony: I'm not slamming these musicians, I'm just saying dude - if there's not a fit, sitting there and playing music with someone for three hours   that you have blocked out can be...

Kylee: Oh yeah, it was like ok, well, let's try this on...

Ryan: I hadn't played in any pop bands like this, but when I was just sitting at home messing around or trying to write stuff, I'd gone that way at least some... I mean, a good amount of the time. It was an exciting fit for me.   At that point I was playing in three bands. I moved here like, five years ago, and the first couple years I was just trying to play in as many bands as I could. There are just so many styles here.

Shannon: I can see how that would be difficult for a musician coming into the city. Knowing which direction to go.

Ryan: Yeah, cause I didn't really know. I'm from Arkansas, and I hadn't even been exposed to certain kinds of music at all.   But when I got into [Loquat], I dropped everything. Over a little bit of time, I mean...

Shannon: You sensed this was a good thing?

Ryan: Yeah, I was just having the most fun.

Shannon: Could you talk a little bit about the style of playing you use on the album? It strikes me as a bit retro.

Ryan: I mean, the idea that was stressed by Earl and Kylee when I came into the band, and what makes the most sense for the band is complimenting the vocals, and at the same time they wanted kind of an electronic feel to it.

Shannon: It's electronic, but it's not robotic...

Ryan: Yeah, I got really into analog synths and pad tones and just like, really cool tones and like, a nice chord that you can lay out over awhile.   I mean, I'd been in bands where it's like solo time and you know, whatever. Here it's much more like, we're five people and I fit this certain part, and that was a natural thing. Add some texture, add some thickness. Occasionally, add some melody lines, but really compliment more than stand out.

Shannon: But it's really a very integral part of this album I think. It's distinctive to my ear.

Ryan: Yeah, that's probably a lot about me being a newbie to analog. I mean, in certain ways. Now I've been into analog for a few years. But, I mean, at the time -- it's all learning, so I don't try to mimic a sound. I was never trying to go for the sound of this guy or that. I would just be like, oh this sounds kind of cool. Think I'll throw it in there.   It's not too abrasive. It doesn't like, step on toes.

Shannon: In bands that emphasize that electronic sound as much as Loquat does, the electronic sounds are more big and complicated.

Anthony: They want to prove they have some equipment .

Ryan: But these are.. we write pop songs.

Shannon: I like how you're using it as an instrument more than a computer, and that you are doing it with Kylee as a collaboration.

Ryan: And I think that's because I came into it, like, from having training and background on the classical music side. I think classical is a good foundation. I know there are many different ways of getting into music, but for me -- it felt like classical really opened up things. So I wasn't into, like, the gear part first. The knobs and stuff. Although I love it now.

Shannon: You don't often hear keyboard work that's as intimate as it is on this album, even with bands like Film School, it's sort of sweeping and big.

Kylee: I think what's interesting about classical music is that when you learn it, you're reading it -- everyone's reading their parts. A classical composer composes for each different instrument so that each part literally fits like a puzzle next to every other little part.

Chris: Totally.

Kylee: You learn that everything intertwines, and so it's kind of interesting when you try to make pop music to like, kind of go with the same idea. That everything fits like a puzzle.

Shannon: And Anthony, you were nodding when Kylee was saying that. Do you have a background in classical music too?

Anthony: Not as thorough as these guys, but like -- Earl and I actually kind of have a similar background. We both started on violin and I played in youth orchestra and all that kind of stuff.

Shannon: So you were all playing music as kids.

Chris: In school I was in jazz band, concert band, symphonic band, and marching band. Always on drums, although I did have to learn how to play the trumpet for a semester. But I was always with percussion, because my music teacher was a percussionist as well, so he made us play timpani, bells, you name it -- we did everything..

Shannon: You guys are like a public service announcement for Save The Music.

[laughter]

Kylee: Yeah, four out of the five of us were in marching band. [Earl] wasn't in marching band but you playing music for school plays or something, right?

Earl : No, I was dating.

[more laughter]

Kylee : Ha! He had a girlfriend. The rest of us were band nerds.

Chris : Lies!

Ryan: When you're a kid, it's so much easier, you don't have your barriers up that you get as you're older. That probably comes with having a little more intelligence later on too, being smarter, but when you're a kid you just take stuff more in stride. And it gives you that, kind of, foundation.

Anthony:   I, don't know, I really just liked having time to block out to music every day. [Points to Chris] We were in marching band together, we'd have to do our three-hour practices after school every day and I loved it.

Chris: God, yeah.

Shannon: Did you? I wanted to play an instrument, but I hated that if you wanted to play an instrument in our school you had to be in marching band. They forced you.

Anthony: It was a little humiliating but I got girls and we drank Robitussin and stuff.

[laughter]

Chris : Oh God yeah, we partied harder than... it was so funny. Our drum line was all skateboarders and potheads, and we'd do the best out of everybody. We'd go to these big huge marching band competitions in Merced where they don't even have a football team.

[laughter]

Kylee: What!? They can't do that.

Anthony: Oh, there are so many towns like that.

Shannon: Cavalcades.   It's a whole thing.

Anthony: We were a championship line too.

Kylee: Really?

Chris: And our whole marching band was looped . But our drum line -- and we were stoned and drunk too -- we'd win.   We kicked ass.

Anthony: Yeah, I definitely wasn't doing band so I could get extra credit to get into an Ivy League school. I just wanted to play, y'know?

Shannon: Yeah, I can't remember, what's the name of the guy who did the movies Best in Show and A Mighty Wind ?

Ryan: Christopher Guest.

Shannon: Right. I'd love for him to discover the world of cavalcades and marching bands.

[laughter]

Kylee: That would be awesome!

Ryan: The flag line!

Chris: Band moms!

Shannon: Exactly. The color guard instructors.

Chris [clapping, imitating a color guard instructor] Come on people!

[more laughter]

Shannon: Ok, so but let's get back to the album.   So, you said that you've been playing the songs on this album for a while now. Like three years?

Kylee: Some of them. Some we only just started playing a few months ago. So we recorded them, and then we were like -- ok, now how do we play this live? You'd be surprised how hard it is. We'd sit there and it wouldn't sound right, so we'd do it over and over and over. And eventually, it's weird because you play some new songs and it's kind of like a race. Some seem to get ahead in the race, and then others fall behind. So certain songs, it was like oh -- this one's better than that one now. And, eventually, you get to the finish line when they're all...right. So that's what we've been working on. Practicing to get every one of them so that they're right.

Ryan: It challenges the mood a lot of times, because technically a lot of stuff is simple, so you have to have a certain concentration, or put a different feeling into it -- in a different one, in each song. So it really depends on how you're feeling in the moment. What you're thinking about.

Shannon: They're polished. I think that the care you're taking is showing.

Kylee: Thank you.

Chris: Yeah, we really want to make sure that they were not only awesome for the album, but to make sure that we can capture that and put that out when we play live too.

Kylee: Well and a big part of it too is that I just don't want to be embarrassed for myself. You know? I want it to be right. I want it to be good.

Anthony: We also want to do it the best we possibly can. We may not be musical geniuses or virtuosos or anything, but we definitely all want to be performing the songs to the absolute best of our ability. That's why it took us a long time to record this album. We spent a lot of time just laboring over getting it right. Hopefully it paid off. And hopefully we'll get better in the future because of it.

Kylee: I certainly wouldn't like, venture to say that, you know, we're there yet, you know, [looking at Earl] Like, maybe with the next album it'll be like... I don't know.

Shannon: How did you two start writing songs together anyway?

Earl: Just hanging out with a mutual friend of ours.

Kylee : Who is our roadie now.

Earl: Our roadie and bouncer.   Huge Swede. 6'5".

Shannon: And what's the song writing process like for you? How does it typically go?

Kylee: It's strange. Sometimes you sit down with the intention of writing a song and you really work at it for a long time and then others, it just comes out whole -- like it was already there.

Shannon: And is there anything that you can name that correlates with those times? Or is it random?

Kylee and Earl: Random. Totally random.

Kylee: I mean, I wish it could be like that all the time. I could easily make a whole career out of doing that.

Anthony: Well and, some people do of course.

Shannon: And what's the response been like so far to the album?

Kylee: Well, we *just* got the translated reviews from Spain. Before we were just Google-translating them, and they'd come out like 'apple monkey dishwasher teeth.' And we'd wonder, 'Is that good?' I didn't know. Then we got the actual translations a few days ago.

Shannon: And how were they?

Anthony: There were like between ten and twenty of them. We made a 'best-of' list and came in right between Franz Ferdinand and The Killers so the record's doing... like, critically over there, it's been almost embarrassing how nice the reviews have been.

Chris: But we've never been there.

Ryan : Wouldn't it be sick if we went there and we got off the plane...

Chris: ...and it's like, The Beatles?

Kylee: Or like, tumbleweeds?

[laughter]

Ryan: I think the key is that Claudia, the head of our label there, is very good at getting those reviews and getting the album to the right people.

Anthony: She's not writing them though. But in answer to your original question, we haven't had really almost any real feedback at all yet from here .

Kylee: I mean, I did an interview with the SF Examiner yesterday and the guy was just like -- I don't know -- he was really nice and it was so nice to hear some third-party validation after you've toiled and like beaten yourself up, and beaten each other up.

Anthony: And screamed at each other.

Kylee: And kicked each other in the nuts.

[laughter]

Ryan: Personally, I'm chomping at the bit, you know what I mean?

Shannon: To perform it?

Ryan: To perform it, to see reactions, to see what it's gonna do. I mean, I have no idea.

Shannon: Well, and you guys have to go to Spain, clearly.

Ryan: Yeah, the ball's in their court on that one.

Chris: It's a work in progress.

Kylee: It's supposed to be June, but...

Shannon: Well, I listen to a lot of new music and one thing I'll say about the album is that it's always a good sign when you find yourself humming things, and there are like three or four tunes on this album that I find myself humming and singing and bopping around to when it's not actually playing.

Ryan: That's great.

Anthony: And ultimately that's all we're trying to do. We want to make music that people like, you know?

Ryan: And we want to be able to make more of it, and do it more.

Shannon: I love "Slow, Fast, Wait and See."

Chris: Yeah, that's a good song for the lovers, definitely.

Kylee: Heh! The lovers.

Chris: Actually, I like that one a lot.

Shannon: Yeah, that's the one with the great line - 'There are a couple of scenes, fashionistas and soccer moms, not much room for me.' I can't tell you how much I identify with that line. I have that exact same thought on an almost daily basis: 'Where do I fit in on this whole weird continuum of femininity?'

Anthony: That lyric, anytime Kylee sings that always seems like the one -- we actually almost called the album Fashionistas & Soccer Moms , and you can see so many people nodding to that line. That's a big question though, especially at this age and especially in an urban place. I mean, is it cool at 30 years old to go to the Rickshaw Stop wearing checkered Converse and a white belt? Or does that seem shallow? Maybe, but also, is that the only alternative to having kids and moving to Concord? That's just something that people think about. This is that time in peoples' lives because we're all in our late 20's and early 30's.

Shannon: Yeah, it was hard in a way to objectively view this album because it deals a lot with things I'm thinking about right now -- friends going away, friends dying, figuring out what kind of woman to be in the world, also oh - the line on 'Swingset Chain,' the line: 'Is there something I could do to slow it down / to live in a day for once instead of watching it sprinting by?' I related to that a lot too.   When I have those days where you feel like I'm really in the day, I wonder why I can't have them all the time.

Kylee: I know, yeah -- because you're running around, and you don't even grasp time because you're so busy working and doing this and that and it's so hard to... really live in it.

Ryan: I like the 'You can see it when you drive' lyric in 'Swingset Chain,' because you're getting this whole kind of idea about the feelings in the song, and then you get that , and you're like, of course .

Anthony: Yeah, it's the most visual of all the lyrics.

Ryan: Yeah, I mean, giving the listener something literal and visual that relates to an idea...you just can't not get it.





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