A Pomegranate & <em>Billy Jack</em>: Conversations with <em>Once</em>'s Marketa Irglova and honeyhoney

According to Marketa Irglova, her latest album is a direct result of her making a conscious decision to make music.
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A Conversation with Marketa Irglova

Mike Ragogna: Marketa, what's the story behind your new album, Anar?

Marketa Irglova: It's funny because the album is sort of a reflection as a result of where I was and where I have been during the writing process of the album and during the creating of it. I guess it was a direct result of me making a conscious decision to make music, to continue making music. I knew The Swell Season was going to take a break and I just didn't feel like stopping singing or playing, so I decided to go in and make some more music with myself and with my friends and whomever I gathered around me as a group of musicians. It's funny because immediately after I opened myself up to the possibility of doing something like that, so much more material started coming to me and I started writing much more insistently. And so, the album is kind of a result of that. It's a little miracle in itself, I think, because I had not anticipated making a whole record. I thought I would make a little EP or something, and now it's a record that I'm so happy and proud of it. It's a little miracle for me.

MR: Beautiful. During the creative process, were there specific events or relationships that you were reflecting on that went into this album?

MI: Oh yes, definitely. I mean, I think I would find it difficult to write from a non-personal place. All the songs that I write are definitely a direct reflection of wherever I am within and whatever I'm going through and whatever I'm gathering from relationships that I have with people in my life, and whatever I'm gathering from relationships around me. I think it's more rare for me to write about one specific instance or one specific person throughout the whole song, because more often than not, the song will be like...everything that I'm feeling goes into a bag and then I kind of process it and it comes out through me in the song. But it kind of has references to different things and different parts of my life. For example, the song "For Old Times' Sake" was very much inspired by my romantic parting from Glen, in that I'm really proud of the way Glen (Hansard) and I have handled our relationship, in a way. It would have been very difficult for me if the end of our romance would have meant the end of our friendship and the end of our existing in one another's lives. So, the fact that we were able to acknowledge the love that was between us and let it morph into a friendship rather than a romantic relationship and that we continue to love each other and for that to be an absolutely natural and beautiful thing, I'm really proud of that in my life. It made me think a lot about people parting and kind of wishing that all endings were like that. Rather than feeling sadness or sorrow or bitterness or unforgiveness, you walk away with this feeling of gratitude for whatever was shared and acknowledging that all of it is a blessing because it brought you something and it enriched you in some way. So, that's one example. Other songs are more focused on, maybe, some spiritual things, more like, whatever journey I'm making within myself rather than me having a relationship, and for example, "We Are Good" or "Crossroads," which is a song about how difficult it is, sometimes, understanding what is right and wrong and what the right thing and what the wrong thing to do is in a situation or if it's all just relevant, if there is no absolute right or wrong and you kind of have to take it in terms of what your perspective is. And maybe what's right for me is wrong for someone else. And what is inspiring your actions? Maybe it's fear or it's love. A lot of it is searching, you know, me for me, and then with relationship issues. So, I think Anar is actually a lot about relationships, where as nowadays, when I'm writing songs in preparation for my second record, I'm moving away from that a little bit and zooming out more.

MR: Along with Glen Hansard, you received an Academy Award for Best Song for the movie Once. Marketa, your on screen chemistry was amazing. Though your music was beautiful and the plot was special, I honestly think what drew people into that movie the most was the beautiful depiction of your relationship.

MI: Oh, thank you. Once is a perfect example of synchronicity and serendipity in life that happens when you're open. There are so many parallels between the film and real life and the lives of John Carney--the director and the screenwriter--and Glen and mine. The script was written and my character was developed before John Carney even met me, and there were so many similarities in terms of my life and the life of this woman and how the two characters in the movie meet and how Glen and I met, so it was this beautiful thing of the lines blurring in terms of what is real and what is fiction. I think that's, in a way, the perfect way to it to be because sometimes art imitates life and other times, life imitates art. It really walks this full circle, in a way. Working with the director on the film was most inspiring in a way that it was very much open. He recognized the friendship between Glen and I, and that was a big reason why he cast us in the first place--because he saw us play together in Dublin, and whatever chemistry we had together onstage was the one he was looking for in his film. So, once he cast us, he kind of allowed us to express the friendship that we naturally had and allowed for that to be felt throughout the movie within the context of the characters that he had written. So, I absolutely agree that there's something very authentic and sincere about the love between the characters and the love that Glen and I have for one another.

MR: The movie had me from that vacuum cleaner shop scene, but I especially loved the scene where you both were sitting at the piano in the music shop. It was such an honest, innocent, and touching beginning-of-relationship scene.

MI: You know, I think that was the whole idea with the movie. The movie is about two characters--an Irishman and a Czech girl who can sort of speak English but not very well--and how that language barrier completely disappears once there's a different sort of language present, the language of music, which transcends the language of words that are very limiting. These two people meet and they connect through music. I had experienced that in my own life in a way that you can be a total stranger to somebody, and they can be a stranger to you, and yet when you start playing music together--or engaging in a creative process together, it doesn't have to be just music--there's something that happens where it's almost like your souls merge and your brain or your mind might not be aware of certain details of their life or their character, but it's almost like your soul knows this person already through the process of making that. I think it's inevitable and necessary for the creation to be any good, you know? I think that's the beautiful power of music, and it happens even in the relationship between performers and the audience, at least I feel like that. When we play music onstage, I feel completely connected with everybody in the audience, as if the relationship suddenly became very intimate. I absolutely adore that power of music. That is the big reason why I do it at all. It's that thing, that connectedness and oneness that is present, and the intimacy that is created, that by-product.

MR: You also recently toured with Iron & Wine. That must have been an important experience for you as well.

MI: Yes, it was. I was very, very honored when I was offered to sing with Iron & Wine. I've been a big fan of Iron & Wine. I love Sam's music, and I'd met him a few times during the few shows that he was at for The Swell Season. I always thought he was an absolutely beautiful and gentle person, and so I was excited about the prospect of being part of this new thing, and I had actually gone to see the group he'd been playing with just before I got hired to be the singer, and I thought they were all really nice people. I was excited about being around all of these nice people and beautiful music and the prospect of learning from a new environment and new circumstances and a new setting, because there's always more to be learned and ways to expand yourself and gain new tools within what you do. I've learned so much in the time that I've been touring with Iron & Wine, and it's just been such a beautiful way of spending my time and investing my energy. So, I'm very, very grateful.

MR: Let's get back to Anar, which is a Persian word, right?

MI: Yes, yes. It means pomegranate.

MR: Do you look at your work as a many chambered fruit?

MI: You know, I never really thought about it in those words, but now that you describe it that way, yes. That's such a beautiful way of saying it and thinking about it, because I do think about that. With music and everything else in life, everything has so many layers and there is an element of mystery in everything. You can't really unveil all the mysteries that are in life, and so it should be that way, because some mysteries are not supposed to be solved, they're supposed to be lived. There's an excitement that is present when you feel like you're living them. I think that my discovering Aida in New York and her bringing her culture to my music and introducing me into her world--that was absolutely like a chamber that I had not entered before and was very, very exciting to me. I think that somehow, she brought that to the music too. I don't know, really, how to describe it. It's just a feeling. It's almost like...I remember when I was little, my mom used to read to me the, how do you call it in English? The One Thousand And One Nights? Do you know the story?

MR: 1001 Tales of The Arabian Nights?

MI: Yeah, ...Arabian Nights, that's exactly it. My mom used to read that to me when I was little, and I always found these beautiful, mysterious things about these tales and picturing that culture, which was absolutely a mystery to me. I think, somehow, that culture still holds that for me in a very, very beautiful way, like an ancient way. There are moments on the record...when I listen to the Persian song, I feel totally sucked into that and transported somewhere else. So, I love that you said that. That's a really nice way of looking at it.

MR: Thanks, Marketa. How did you come across Nahid Hagigat's work?

MI: She's an Iranian painter, and I came across her work when she was exhibiting her pieces in an art gallery called Zora Space in Brooklyn. Zora Space is actually where I met Aida too, the very first night I went to see a performance there. I had kind of started frequenting Zora Space after that, just to see shows and to spend time with my friends. One time, I walked in and there was an exhibition on, and the minute I saw these paintings, I was totally mesmerized by them, partly because they embody the aesthetic that I enjoy very much, for example, Gustav Klimt, who's an Austrian painter who always combines gold leaf and really vibrant, beautiful colors. So, it was that, but it was also the fact that I also love paintings with trees and there was a pomegranate in the center of this painting, which at the time, was very symbolic. It was like a sign for me. At the time, I'd been seeing it everywhere and it was becoming this good omen. Every time I saw it anywhere, it meant that things were okay and I was still on the right path. So, I fell in love with the painting. I had bought it, and I later contacted the painter and asked her if I could use it, and she'd been absolutely gracious about that. Actually, she's making the cover art for the second record as well, which I'm really happy with, because I kind of see Amar as part one of three records. I have this dream of making three records, the three records being part of a whole and eventually coming out as one. So, the second record we're going to be making in March, and Nahid has painted the cover for that. She was just a gem. My move to New York has been an incredible move altogether in my life. I'm so happy I did it.

MR: Right, you live in New York, but you're recording in Chicago.

MI: Yes. I'm recording at Soma Studios because my husband now, who was my boyfriend at the time, had been working with Soma for years as the house engineer. This project started as a little EP that I was going to fund out of my own pocket, so I thought, when I was looking for a different studio. So I thought I really wanted my husband Tim to work on it with me, and I thought, "What better place to do it at than the one he's comfortable in, that he already knows." But by the time we were going into the studio--in the time between booking the dates and actually going--I had written so many songs that we just recorded a whole album. I think the Chicago music community is really rich and wonderful, and we called in some of the local musicians in Chicago to play on the record and it was a really nice experience.

MR: Do you have a word or two about the song "Go Back"?

MI: "Go Back" was written after I was listening to a lot of soul music, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding in particular. What I love about their music is how self-empowered it is, acknowledging the difficulty of being in a difficult situation or difficult circumstances, and yet not getting down on yourself or on life, but rather acknowledging your own power and knowing that you can overcome all those things and that you hold the reigns of your own life in your hands. So, that song is about that. It's about self empowerment and overcoming a situation that seems difficult but seems very easy once you know that you have power over your own life.

MR: Earlier, you mentioned the song "Crossroads." Do you feel that it represents actual crossroads for you?

MI: I honestly think that every day is like a crossroads in a way because with every action that you choose--and with each moment--you could be choosing a different option. Even when it comes down to, I don't know, deciding to be patient in a moment when you're absolutely being tempted to be impatient and react. Every action has a reaction, and it's like a chain reaction, and you don't know where it ever goes, and so you can't ever really trace the effect that all your actions have had on your life and on yourself. So, I kind of see everyday like that, knowing that at times it's difficult to know where to go because there's always more than one way. I find that the best way of not getting lost is to follow the inner compass within. Somehow, if you quiet yourself down and you let go of worries and fears of, "Is this the right thing or is that the right thing," you can actually hear it and kind of be guided by it. But it's not always easy. "Crossroads" is about that, and the record represented a crossroad in that it was a time when I had to decide if I wanted to continue music or whether I was going to do something else, like go to college, for example, until The Swell Season picked right back up. I had decided music. And so, yes, Anar is a result, it's taken me on this path that I'm very much enjoying at the moment, which I realized when finishing up the record, and that it's not the end at all, that I very much want to make another one and then another one after that. Then I'll see where it takes me after that point.

MR: There's also the stage production of Once.

MI: Yeah, that's another beautiful thing that's happening at the moment. I think it's been in the works for two years now, and it's finally happening. I hadn't had any part in the preparation of it, to be honest, because I've been busy and traveling. We released it to these people who took it on board and are going to make something of their own from it, so it probably wouldn't be nice for us to be too involved in it or try to control the project. I only went to see it at the rehearsal space about three weeks ago before I left on tour. I was going into it with curiosity and excitement, but I was very honored and proud, and I'm just happy for the guys who are going to be doing such an amazing job and who I can tell are going to have a really great and fun time with it because I remember what it felt like for me when I was embarking on this adventure with the movie and with the music. I can tell that they're as excited about it and as up for the ride. I think they did a really great job with the adaptation of it and I was happy to go see it open in a real theater two nights ago.

MR: When you look back at "Falling Slowly," which we can now say is one of the great movie themes, what are your thoughts on that period?

MI: You know, when I see a clip from the Oscars--or even, actually, to this day when I hear "Falling Slowly," even though we've played it many, many times in many different places and the song has such a huge history--I think the Oscars overpowered all the other memories in terms of the fact that I'm kind of taken back to that moment, not necessarily receiving the award, but playing the song onstage during the ceremony, just that feeling that I had. I wasn't brought up as a Catholic or in any religion, actually, and yet there have been moments in my life when I felt really close to something, whether it was God or my own self. Whatever it was, I felt the presence of it, and it was really beautiful. The Oscars was one of those nights where I just felt that I suddenly understood why things happen the way they do in life, and I felt so much love for everybody that was listening to the song and that were in the room and that I had ever met. I just felt this overwhelming sense of everything making sense in that moment. I don't know, it's a completely magical thing for me, that song, and I see it as this little angel, really. It opened so many different doors for us in our lives--with Glen--and it inspired and touched so many. I have found healing in it myself, so I feel like it was an absolutely beautiful gift that Glen and I were presented with and that we got to then share with the world. So, that song is always going to be very, very dear to me. I don't think I could ever grow sick of playing it, even though we've played it hundreds of times.

MR: I was very grateful that Jon Stewart allowed you to complete your acceptance speech. Did you become pals after that?

MI: Oh, he was so busy that night that I honestly spoke to him for a minute and then I never saw him again. (laughs)

MR: Marketa, I bet your being on The Simpsons was a pretty huge deal for you.

MI: Being on The Simpsons is a huge deal, it really is. It was a very, very serious thing when we were asked to do it. When I then saw the cartoon of it, I thought it was amazing. It's great fun and I'm honored to be on it because it's a big cultural thing. But I don't think anything could beat the Oscars for me. You're right in that it's a huge deal, but the Oscars remain, and probably will remain, the highlight of my career forever.

MR: Are there any plans on recording with Glen some more as The Swell Season?

MI: Oh, yeah. Glen, at the moment, has been making his own record, but I went and sang with him on that. As for The Swell Season record, I'm sure there will be one, I just don't know when. It's one of those things. I just made this record and Glen is releasing his record soon, and I feel like both of us really love working together and we would love to make another Swell Season record, but it's more a case of when to do it. I think it's more up to Glen than it is to me, because I'm going to be up for it the moment it's mentioned. Glen's been really, really busy ever since we took a break from The Swell Season tour. He's just suddenly had the time and energy to do all these other things he's been wanting to do for a long time--traveling the world and collaborating with different people and having all these different adventures. I think he's really just enjoying that moment and whenever he feels like going back to the studio with me and the boys, we'll all be there and ready to do it. But for now, we're both on our own adventures. But we're connected somehow though we're separated in other ways.

MR: I also want to throw in your other movie music track, "You Ain't Going Nowhere," from the faux Dylan biopic, I'm Not There.

MI: Right, right, yes! I don't think it was in the movie, but it was on the soundtrack. Both Glen and I love Bob Dylan very much, and so it was such a nice thing to be asked to be part of the project, among all those other talented musicians.

MR: Marketa, what advice do you have for new artists?

MI: I think my advice would be for them just to believe in themselves. That's the most important thing. I remember when I was starting to write music, I was kind of in a funny situation where Glen was a huge hero to me, someone that I looked up to. I put him on a pedestal and idolized him for his music because it just felt like it came from another place. When he encouraged me to write my own songs, I was battling with this thought of, "It's never going to be as good. It cannot be as good as your songs. What's the point in trying?" And yet when I wrote music, I found that it was so much fun that I was like, "Well, why not? I'll just continue and I'll just work on it." I had to battle those thoughts of lack of work every time they crept in. I think that's really, really important for everybody who's starting, just to know that if they have an inclination towards doing something, it's their soul telling them that's what they should be doing in life and it's nothing but to be respected and honored. And know that it's a craft that gets better with time and practice, so having faith in yourself is crucial. That's it, I think. That's my biggest advice.

MR: That's beautiful. Any other words of wisdom?

MI: Oh, as usual, I would just like to express my gratitude for anybody who finds their way to the music and gives it their love because ultimately, that's what nourishes it and that's what makes it exist. If there weren't people to hear it, we probably wouldn't be making it. So, my deepest gratitude for all the support and the love. Thank you.

MR: Thank you, and thank you for being with us today at The Huffington Post. I really appreciate your spending time with us today.

MI: Thank you. I appreciate your having me. It was a pleasure to talk to you.

1. Your Company
2. We Are Good
3. Crossroads
4. Wings Of Desire
5. Only In Your Head
6. Divine Timing
7. Go Back
8. Let Me Fall In Love
9. For Old Times' Sake
10. Last Fall
11. Dokhtar Goochani
12. Now You Know

Transcribed by Claire Wellin


A Conversation with honeyhoney

Mike Ragogna: How's honeyhoney doin' today?

Ben Jaffe & Suzanne Santo: Good, how are you doing?

MR: I'm doing okay, but Suzanne, how are you really?

SS: I couldn't be better, I'm a picture of perfect health.

MR: Uh-huh. So, how do you feel about tequila?

SS: (laughs) That's really funny, I'm so glad because this is honesty at its best, I don't think tequila is for me, Mike.

MR: Suzanne, why is that?

SS: I think our bodies are only capable of containing certain vessels of alcohol. My temple is not built for tequila. (laughs)

MR: Agreed. (laughs) So, what do you think? Should we dive right in to all that is honeyhoney?

SS: Let's do that, let's shift the focus immediately to the band.

MR: (laughs) Okay, but first, let's go back to "Little Toy Gun" that had Kiefer Sutherland in the video. How did that all come together?

SS: "Little Toy Gun" was a single on our first record that came out in 2008. Kiefer Sutherland owned the record company we were signed to and he organized that video and made a cameo in it.

MR: Let's move on to the first single from your new album Billy Jack, "Turn That Finger Around." What's the story behind that?

SS: It's one of those tunes that Ben and I kind of had a story in mind, and Ben and I wrote about that story that was fictitious. It's basically about before pointing fingers at everybody else, why not take a good look at yourself.

BJ: Free your mind and the rest will follow.

MR: Obviously, you're huge Tom Laughlin fans, titling your album Billy Jack and all.

BJ: We don't know as much about the movie as we should, we should probably make a point to see that. A friend of ours is a comedian, an actor. He's just a wacky dude, and he does these performance pieces. He pretends to be a little kid a lot of the time in performance, and he has this song called, "Once You Save My Little Pony, Billy Jack." It's not as creepy as it sounds, it's actually pretty funny, and he needs Billy Jack to come save him and he sings this song about it. We sang the song with him one time and we both love Jim deeply. When we were thinking about the album, we were thinking about Jim too, so we kind of named it as an homage to him. When we found out more about the actual Billy Jack character, it made even more sense.

MR: Okay, "Don't Know How," "Angel Of Death," and "Thin Line" Let's get some stories here.

SS: Well "Don't Know How" is a love ballad type if you will. It's about figuring out how to move on from somebody you love when it's not working out. I'm sure most of us have to deal with that at some point in our lives, so why not write songs about it.

MR: It's called catharsis. Well, that's what I'm calling it today.

BJ: We've got a dance we've choreographed to it.

SS: We've got to show him over the phone. (laughs)

BJ: You've got to believe me.

MR: Of course, I do. Now what's all this about an "Angel Of Death?"

BJ: We spent the last couple of years in Nashville, and both of us got huge respect for the country tradition that's there, Hank Williams in particular. Thinking about that, writing music and blending with something about to go off on here. You've seen the Planet Earth TV Show?

MR: Yeah?

BJ: There's this spore in the jungle, and this spore that attaches itself to ants, and it takes off the ant's nervous system, it controls the ant and finally kills it. The other ants push it off to the side because they're freaking out about this ghost ant. The spore grows out of this ant's body into this bizarre moldy flower. We're watching and it was a creepy thing and sci-fi, but it was real. I wrote that in my phone and I wrote "Angel of Death," and that spore is like an angel of death, because it's going around killing things and taking their life. I don't really have a better connection than that, but I guess I wanted to talk about it.

MR: Great, antspores. This is going to haunt me like Checkov's ear thingy from Wrath of Khan. So, "Thin Line." It's a thin line between love and hate, no?

SS: It's a thin line between having a good time and having it be what one might consider irresponsible.

MR: Right, that's what I meant. What is the honeyhoney creative process?

SS: We've been writing most of our songs together. In the past, we would write together and it wasn't as much. It would be like Ben would write a song and I would write a song and we'd kind of throw them in a pile. We're already working on our third record and it feels, for the most part, a lot of these songs are things that we're building together that have been really fun. It's interesting making them co-writes more than ever as opposed to our songs in the past.

MR: What inspires you?

SS: A lot of movies lately have made me want to write songs. I saw a movie the other night called Beginners, and it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Our stories, lives, and relationships, and we get inspired by other people's stories too.

MR: Who are your favorite artists out there right now?

BJ: For years, I had some reason I had a bone to pick with Fleet Foxes and I didn't like them. Then I actually listened to their music and I think it's incredible, I'm a huge fan of them. I think they're an exciting band. I'm getting hip to all of this stuff that everyone got hip to like five years ago, I just listened to Dirty Projectors and it blew my mind.

MR: Love Fleet Foxes.

BJ: I saw the Beiber movie recently too. There's not much to say, he's legit. After I saw it, I said, "Take the throne." I rented it with my friend and we watched it in her house, but after seeing, I wouldn't have been ashamed to go see it in the theaters.

MR: What were the most memorable moments for you?

BJ: When you see him and he's ten years old and is playing. He sounds amazing playing guitar and he's singing his ass off, he's great.

MR: Does he deserve all of that money and fame?

BJ: Yeah, but it may not be such a good thing that he's having them. I'm sure he deserves it for what he's done, but money and fame is just as much a punishment as it is a reward.

MR: Because of his age?

BJ: We're really getting into Beiber here. But you see the pressure of that lifestyle and it definitely makes you think twice about wanting to experience what he's experiencing.

MR: Oh, the fleet of analysts that will be coming down the road.

BJ: I'm sure they're there already.

MR: Actually, I'm hoping things might turn out pretty well for him after all. But let's talk about that. When you guys were ten years old, weren't you also wanting that same level of fame?

BJ: Sure.

SS: Yeah, I think there was a time in my life where I was saying I want to be famous when I was a kid and didn't know any better. It's funny that you mention that. As a kid, I didn't even really know I wanted to sing songs or play music or act or anything like that, I just wanted to be on TV and be famous. The older I got, I realized that it's a very difficult thing, especially in Los Angeles, to deal with in your life. So, I'm not opposed to it but it's not a driving force for your career.

BJ: I think you learned a lot in your thirties. (laughs)

SS: Not as much as my forties though. (laughs)

BJ: That was a great decade.

MR: What about your fifties?

SS: Whoa, you think I'm in my fifties now?

BJ: (laughs) Never talk to a woman that way, or a man. That's very misogynistic, what I just said, and foolish, I'm sorry.

SS: It was. (laughs)

MR: (laughs) It's okay, we're all friends. Don't shows like American Idol make you want fame and fortune that much more now?

BJ: No, I think I want it less after seeing those shows. (laughs)

SS: Me too.

BJ: It's kind of like seeing a sausage get made. You watch these shows and you see it's an industry. There are people who have risen to the top of the industry based on their unique individuality, but for the most part, those are products of the industry. I can only speak for myself, but I'm not interested in being somebody's product, I'm interested in being my own.

MR: Surely, there's an institution that could step in and help those who didn't win on American Idol.

BJ: Yeah, it's called VH1. (laughs)

MR: What advice would you have for new artists?

SS: Well, I would say always when moving forward with your music and it does become a career and there's business involved and contracts and legal forms, make sure you cover all of your bases. Do as much research as you can and be as informed as you can of the ins and outs of that part of the business. People don't really do that for you and it's good to be on top of your game and it's your career. You don't want someone dictating your future finances before they've started. I would say do it yourself.

BJ: Can I add to that Suzanne?

SS: Sure.

BJ: It's not just about the business too. Never be scared to know more than you know. I think a lot of people, including myself, are very stubborn about not knowing more and not learning more than they know. Usually, because of some sort of fear or being uncomfortable, I want to keep learning more and I think that's the only reason I continue to play music with other people and actually make a living at it.

MR: And your label, Lost Highway, does have a reputation for allowing its artists to explore their creativity. Do you have demands of your own career arc or are you just making music and seeing how it goes?

SS: I guess it's kind of both, speaking of Lost Highway, it's kind of a dream label to us. Luke Lewis is a legend to me. That man is so smart and so good at heart, and yes, he's a businessman, but he's passionate about music and artists. I feel like that's something that falls through the cracks more often than not when it comes to labels. This company, in particular, is good ol' boys, down home, music loving people. That's kind of who we are, so it's a really nice fit.

MR: And like your music, they often cater to artists and albums that aren't easy to shoehorn into a genre. By the way, how would you define your genre?

BJ: I have something inappropriate and I lost the confidence to say it.

MR: We can always bleep it.

BJ: It didn't have any swear words, and maybe it wasn't that funny now that I'm reflecting on it. I think it's a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll.

MR: Wow, you went all Donny and Marie, even when we could have bleeped it.

BJ: (laughs) Always expect the unexpected.

SS: Way to drop the ball with the inappropriate stuff.

MR: (laughs) So, is it alright to say "Americana," although that word seems so overplayed.

SS: I think I would say American over Americana. It's American music.

BJ: Americana suggests this over stylization. We're American musicians and most of the music is influenced by American musicians. I guess that's a weird thing to say.

MR: No, I get it. And I never really associate the word "Americana" with its stereotype anyway. It's now almost a dumb name.

BJ: I think most genre names are dumb.

MR: True. Well, it's that time, sorry to say. This has been a lot of fun for me, thanks.

BJ: Thank you for having us, by the way, thank you for talking to us.

MR: Of course, we tried to nail down this interview a couple of times and we finally got it. Yay.

SS: Yeah, when you're on the road, you're in this time paradox where there's just no sense of (time).

MR: Speaking of touring, you had a forty-one date nationwide, the Ten Buck Tour.

SS: It was great, it was blood sweat and tears and lots of good times.

MR: Was it truly ten bucks?

SS: Some of the venues would tack on their own service fees, which was a bummer because then we felt like jackasses. Oh yeah, it's ten bucks! But it's also fourteen dollars.

MR: Okay, I want to thank you guys for the interview, let's do this again in the very near future.

BJ & SS: Thanks so much, Mike.

1. Angel Of Death
2. Glad I've Done What I Did
3. Ohio
4. Don't Know How
5. Turn That Finger Around
6. I Don't Mind
7. Old School Friends
8. Let's Get Wrecked
9. LA River
10. All On You
11. Thin Line

Transcribed by Theo Shier

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