What do you think of the new album in contrast to March On Electric Children? Is it what you wanted to accomplish?
At the time, and looking back at it now, it was exactly what we wanted to do both musically and lyrically. We approached it with the mindset of trying to expand and grow as much as possible, while still maintaining a certain amount of the identity we'd created prior. I think we succeeded, and we're all happy.
Burn, Piano Island, Burn seems to have changed (from March On...) in overall demeanour (meaning that changes have been made in tone and melody to make BPIP sound less malicious; i.e.: the addition of the child-like xylophone on Ambulance vs Ambulance, the slower, melodic play of the acoustic guitar on The Salesman, Denver Max). Is this a correct assessment? If so, why the change? I'd say that's a correct statement, but I'd add that it wasn't a heavily thought out, contrived change. I think of it more as a natural progression, and also the result of having six months to work solely on the creation of a record. In everything we do, we try to challenge ourselves and keep expanding on what a Blood Brothers song can be. We're very careful not to pigeonhole ourselves, making the same record three of four times over. That's why we took the opportunity to fool around with some different instruments and song structures.
A lot of your lyrics sound like acid trips from a William Burroughs / Hunter S. Thompson novel. Do you guys read either of those two writers? Or any books, for that matter?
Johnny's read some Burroughs, I haven't read either, though. The authors/books that have been most influential to me in the present and recent past have been Jerzey Kosinksi (The Painted Bird, Steps), Yevgeney Zamyatin (We) and J.T. LeRoy (The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things). All of those authors create very brutal, vivid imagery, and their subject matters are absolutely incredible. Lately, for all of us, it's been primarily non-fiction, trying to understand out country's awful role in this world from a perspective independent of multinational corporation owned/controlled media. A lot of Zinn, Chomsky, websites like Guardian UK, Common Dreams, anything from publishers like Seven Stories Press and Disinformation.
Do you do anything to relax when you're off the road and not touring? Like seeing family, paying attention to sports, anything along those lines?
I try to read and write as much as possible during the day while my friends are all at work. Cooking dinner with friends, seeing movies, relaxing is all I really look forward to when I get home. That and taking an occasional trip to see people in other parts of the country.
Interview by Charlie.