Fun isn't Fair
How long have you guys been making music?
Alex: Since January
When’s the first time you got interested in music and when’s the first time you played an intrument, respectively?
Alex: When I was younger I was always interested in music. I think I started playing guitar hero and rock band and all those games, and I was like, if I can do this I can prolly do an instrument. So I tried to take guitar lessons and it just wasn’t working out, I didn’t like it. Then my guitar teacher actually just up and left town without telling anyone. I was like ‘okay’…Maybe a few months later my friend calls, “hey there’s this drum set at a yard sale for like 10 dollars”, so we went and picked it up and I started playing drums right there in my garage.
Isaac: I come from like a real musical family. My mom plays piano, my gran plays church organ, my pap played trumpet. It’s kind of expected that you’d pick an instrument, and if you didn’t pick an instrument you took piano lessons. So I got interested in guitar pretty early. I was fascinated by my mom’s records and cassettes and CDs, and I would take a walkman everywhere I went. I got a guitar for christmas once I showed interest; it was an acoustic. I took lessons for little while. I quit, and around 7th grade I bought an electric guitar and I started teaching myself online. I’ve kept doing it since, and other instruments along the way.
When you guys were learning, did you guys like the technical process?
Alex: I fucking hate technical shit
Isaac: It’s sort of a balance. I wouldn’t say that either of us are super technical players. It’s amazing the number of approaches there are to music. You have people like that, [people who say] “that’s what music is - those technical processes”
Alex: That’s not really art to me, that’s more like science. It’s not fun to me, maybe it’s fun to other people. I mean that’s why I didn’t really like playing guitar. You’ve got to learn this chord, that chord, these scales. I just want to play what I feel like playing. With drums you can do that more easily, if you can kind of keep a beat. But now, playing guitar, I’m not really good at it (I haven’t learned a single song from a different person) but I just play some shit that I think sounds good and go from there.
Isaac: It’s important to find a creative thing that works for you. I mean you need some level of technical ability to do anything. I wish I knew more, but I don’t. I’ve studied some music, I’ve studied other instruments and stuff, but I would by no means say that I’m like an [expert].
When you guys started playing together, did it take a long time for you guys to get in sync?
Isaac: You can spend time to get to know someone’s tendencies and stuff, and obviously, the longer you play with someone the better you are with that person, but to some degree it just clicked. We had vibed on some of the same bands, I had some of my songs that sort of fit. So we had that to work with right away. We weren’t just standing there, like “well what do you want to play?”
Alex: Just playing songs we already had in like a vault
Isaac: Sometimes you’ll agree to jam with somebody and they start playing fusion basslines or something and you’re like “oh shit”. But, I think we were on the same page from the start, so that made it easy.
Alex: Obviously the first time you meet someone its gonna be a little awkward, but I think maybe after a few practices we were pretty good, and I don’t know…it all just kind of fell into place. We weren’t even trying to be a band, my roommate was organizing a show and needed a 4th band, and we’re like “wanna go do it?”
Where has your mind been lately? How have you been feeling?
Alex: Good. A little stressed, but it’s a good stress, y’know. If I didn’t have to worry about work as much. It could actually go either way: it could be good cause I can focus more on the music and art and all of that, but it can also be detrimental because if I’m not keeping busy, I get in like a slump. When I have to do stuff, I feel like I’m in a better mental state, even if I’m stressed.
Isaac: I’ve been feeling like shit lately. I don’t know…that’s how it goes. I have a tendency to get hung up on shit. And then it becomes like a cycle…so yeah I’ve been thinking about shit lately. That’s why you play music, you get out of it, you go record, you practice. Like Alex said, keep busy, keep moving, don’t dwell too much.
Does that tension give you more intention when you go into the musical space? Do you guys feel like the stress or tension of working gets you hype for some musical goal? How’s it make you feel?
Alex: When you’re playing music you don’t really have to think about anything else. When I play the drums, I’m not thinking about something else, and if I do start thinking about something else, that’s when I fuck up. So it’s kind of just like meditating; you have a totally clear mind, at least for me when I’m really into the music. So that’s really refreshing.
Isaac: You can’t be too self aware while you’re playing music, y’know. You have to know what’s going on and not think too much on other things. But I do think when you’re in the creative element, some people respond to stress and they shut down, other people, it gives them something to say. Different emotions can do that. For me, I think there are times where I’m mad at the world and that’s why I write a song. I have something I need to put out there somehow…that’s the only artistic mobility I have. Sometimes you feel driven by that. But some emotions can be kind of stifling. Lot of self-doubt about what you’re making…you’re not committed to a certain idea.
Alex: That’s the worse when you kind of feel like…why do I even bother. Playing music, you gotta be in the habit of doing it; if you get out of that habit, then you’re just gonna look at your guitar or drum or whatever and be like “I should play music but I haven’t done it in a while and I’m such a piece of shit and I’m never gonna be a good musician or whatever” and then that discourages you from playing. So then it’s just like over and over and over. Gotten those.
Isaac: I’ve always strongly felt that to be a band means practicing once a week. If you don’t do that, and do that fairly regularly, then… I don’t know. It has to be routine. It has to be something you’re committed to. I’m fascinated by the concept of discipline cause I feel like I don’t have it. But there are certain things that are easier to be disciplined about. Playing music is one of them. That’s something I want to do.
Alex: I could play probably 3 or 4 times a week. Or more if I didn’t have a job.