Our newest feature here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Well, sometimes we miss a day, but it will be four each week regardless.
After our social media followers get the first word, we'll later post a wrap-up here at the site and archive 'em here. This week check out Q&As with Way to End, Riverboat Gamblers, Tiny Mix Tapes, and Lemuria.
Way to End
SPB: Who is the first musician whose technique or technicality really stood out to you?
Way to End: Cziffra and, as a consequence, Liszt. When I was very young, my father bought a cd of Liszt played by Cziffra. It was the Hungarian Rhapsodies. I was so struck by the way piano was played, there was something special I cannot describe, maybe because I was so young. It sounded like some improvisation but still there was a goal, something going on...Well, the fact that I can remember it even now, so many years later, it was my first shock in music.
Mike Wiebe (Riverboat Gamblers, High Tension Wires)
SPB: In addition to your multiple bands, you've taken to stand-up comedy recently too. What drew you to the medium, and what has struck you the most about it?
Wiebe: I was drawn to it initially just from being such a huge fan of good stand-up since I was a little kid. The idea of getting up on stage without a band or without songs was just petrifying. I was sort of bothered by how much it scared me and it just set up a challenge. It’s been very humbling to have to truly start over at something. It’s really difficult and I feel very amateurish at times. Its humbling and frustrating and exciting. Even if I never get as good as I want to, I think it’s making me a better overall performer.
Also it’s nice not having to lift heavy things before and after a performance.
Grant Purdum (Tiny Mix Tapes, Gumshoe Grove, Signal to Noise, Onion AV Club)
SPB: What kinds of topics or tone do you like to see when you read an interview with a band?
Purdum: Good question. I was just thinking about this the other day while killing ants in my bathroom actually (Texas + summer = ant party). What I prefer from interviews is to see the veneer/veil of the interviewee drop off until only the human elements are left. This is a fine trick to pull, so rarely brought to fruition it's easy to forget it's even possible. Plus, not every artist is capable of forgoing the PR campaign in favor of a down-to-earth conversation. Unfortunately, to achieve this effect via a phoner or email interview is nearly impossible; you gotta be in the same room, and you should probably do some drugs/have some drinks together or at least have a sit-down meal. This IS rock 'n' roll after all, right? Another thing: The questions have to be crisp and compelling. Most people don't realize how boring/soul-sucking it can be to be on tour, and as a result don't understand the repetitive, and often defensive, nature of many of the musicians they come across. You gotta push, but not prod; probe, but gently. And never, ever, ever ask a musician how they created their music, unless you want to hear the same answer 1,000 times: "The process is organic. We just plug in our instruments and they play themselves. No planning whatsoever is involved. Oh, and we write all our songs in five minutes." I want to know why they feel the need to perform, what their experiences entail, how they grew up and why they've forsaken money to chase a dream that is rapidly becoming less and less possible to live out in the first place.
SPB: What do you think when fans run onstage and sing into the mic while you’re on stage?
Alex: I think it's fun when people jump up on stage and sing along. It brings a great energy to the set for us. But with anybody who does this, they must know when enough is enough. There is a tasteful way to breach the stage and a very obnoxious way. Don't trip over cords and unplug us!
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