Jason Falkner Interview
Bellingham, Washington - April 10, 1999

by Pooja Khandekar

P: I know pretty much your whole history.. Jellyfish, the Grays, all that stuff. So.. when was it that you decided to break out and go solo? Was it during Jellyfish, before, after?

J: Uh yeah, it was kinda during everything that I've done in the past. I always felt like I was sort of outside the bands that I was in, anyways. I never felt like that much a part of it, or at least enough of a part of it.

P: Is that meaning your input into the music and.. ?

J: Just my emotional investment, really. I mean, I was really into Jellyfish when I joined the band and I was really.. For the first time I felt like I'd met some musical allies in those guys. But yeah, I wasn't really able to write as much as I wanted to in that band.. And I was writing, a lot at the time.. There wasn't an open window to do that in the band. So I've always been making little 4-tracks at my house that sounded like a band, you know.. That was my whole goal, to make it sound like a group with just me. Oooh, oooh [Jason makes funny noises as a bus comes to a sqeaky stop at the sidewalk] And uh.. so yeah, there wasn't like a.. there was never like a day or a moment that was the deciding moment. I just finally realized okay, you know what, I gotta stop just agreeing to these things that come my way, these bands, you know. Cause it's hard to turn down, especially, you know, when I was in Jellyfish I was 20 when I joined that band. And I.. you know, we got a record deal ... I was working with people who I thought were also really great.

P: [laughs] you "thought"..

J: Yeah, I mean musically I still, I'm really proud of that record. It's just personally we didn't get along [laughs]. That doesn't matter. Um. But the whole time I was always making these things at my house. Anytime we'd have a break, a week off of a three week tour, or a month tour, I'd come home and I'd be recording. I'd come back with like five songs, I'd play them for Roger and the band and he'd be like "Those are great, but we're not going to do them" [laughs]. And so yeah.. I couldn't have been happier once I finally made the step to.. when I did my first solo record.

P: Why did it take so long? I mean, you could've done that stuff on the side, right? While you were...

J: Umm.. There wasn't a lot of time for that. And our deal didn't really enable me to have an outlet like that, like I have now with Lovitt and SubPop and stuff, where I can put other things out simultaneously. We didn't really have anything like that worked out with the Jellyfish deal. And I'm also.. the way my personality is, I'm really loyal when it comes to like bands and whatever, and people, and I thought that I would be sort of betraying them or deceiving them if I had my own thing going on the side, even though that's like a retarded concept, because everybody does that. Especially if you're not being satisfied in your situation, you get satisfied elsewhere, you know. But I just didn't do it for those reasons.

P: Okay.. now um.. what instrument did you start on. I mean, how did it progress to doing...Everything?

J: I started on piano I studied that for, let's see My sister was enrolled in a piano class, like a Yamaha piano class..

P: [mumbles something]

J: Did you take that?

P: Yeah, like in 5th grade.. and we always had to wash our hands before we went over there.. [

J: uh huh] because diseases can be spread..

J: My god.. [chuckles]

P: Yeah

J: It was a different era, see.. When I was doing it there was no.. You didn't have to wash your hands!

P: No, this was just the teacher..

J: Right, okay.. [laughs]

P: Yeah, I did, though..

J: Um.. Yeah, well my sister was in that, and it was like 15 kids, and the teacher would go [sings:] "da na na na na na na..", or something, and all the kids would have to play that on their little electric piano thing. And.. I guess.. I mean, my mom tells the story that I started harmonizing with that on my sister's piano. And as we were leaving the teacher's like "dheeeey! Is that your boy," you know, and my mom was like "Well yesss.." and the teacher said "well, he should really be in this class as much as your daughter." So that's when I started with that, and I went through that, and the teacher said "You should put him with this teacher who I know, that lives down the street" So I studied with this Japanese woman for about 3 years, and then she felt like I'd outgrown her thing, so she..

P: Passed you on..

J: What's that?

P: Passsed you on..

J: She passed me on to the guru of my area of the suburbs of L.A. This woman was unbelievable, I mean.. She taught me a lot. So that was the first instrument, but I'll always, again, simultaneously I was, you know, I wanted a guitar because I was totally into like rock bands. And I got a drum set when I was about 8. So.. all pretty much before I was a teenager, I had guitar, bass and drum or - guitar, drums and piano. And I always heard music on all those instruments at the same time, you know, it's like, people asked me like "well, what do you write on and what instrument do you think of first when you're starting to formulate a song," and.. I hear them really all at the same time.. I can transpose really easily from guitar to piano, or just even strings or whatever. Um.. so.. ways of expression - each instrument, you know.

P: Okay.. so..

J: [in a silly voice:] If that makes ANY sense!

P: It does.. it does, don't worry.. Um.. I hear that this is your last solo record.. "Can You Still Feel" was basically your last -

J: [raises eyebrows]

P: Or at least that's what I've read in other interviews..

J: Oh really?

P: Something about playing in your sandbox.. ?

J: Oh.. yeah, yeah.. the sad guy, alone.. little Richie Rich kid. Um, yeah..

P: Is that true, or are you?

J: No.. it was true the day I said it [laughs], but I don't know if I'm gonna make a band record next. I do get excited about the prospect of making a record with other people, especially like, people that I.. maybe I could handpick some people out of other bands and just put this Thing together..

P: Like a project..

J: Yeah.. That would almost be a side project for my solo thing. But.. I don't know, I like making records.. I Do like making records by myself. And I think, um.. I don't know what the next one's gonna be. I've already got a sound that I'm going towards, it's impossible to describe. But.. I don't know who to work with again. But I'll work with somebody else, like I did with Nigel. I don't know if I'll work with Nigel again, on the next one, but.. I'll probably find another person, and then maybe bring in some guests, but not have it be a "band" band.

P: Would it be collaborative, or would you say "this is what You're gonna play"..

J: No, I would like it to be collaborative, I don't like being a wanker like that [

P: laughs]. I mean, I'm kinda like that with my band now because..

P: It's your music, obviously..

J: The record's done, you know. But when we're recording it, no.. That's why I would handpick them, cause I would pick people that I already like what they do, so I don't have to like, shape them at all [

P: right], they already do something that I totally.. that I love, you know.

P: Cause that's what I really like about your music, is how it fits together, and I think that has to do with the fact that it's You.. [

J: It has to, yeah] who puts everything together, and it just.. I don't know, it's always "On"

J: Ah ha ha.. that's cool! [

P: Yeah] Then you're getting, you know.. the reason that I do it autonomously like that. I mean, my whole thing is really to try and make it sound like a group [

P: mm hmm], but a group that's, like..[

P: on the same wavelength] really, Really on the same wavelength [laughs], which is hard to find. There's always some loose cannon in the band, you know.. there's one guy that just can't join forces. I was that guy in Jellyfish, and there was another guy that was that in the Grays. You know [laughs], there's just.. because if you're a personality like mine, you know, you.. I kinda rail against whatever's happening..

P: Well plus, if you, like you said, you hear everything in your head already and someone's like "Oh, this is what I should do here," you're like "No, no, no.. [

J: Yeah] , that's all wrong.. go like this" and the person's isn't always going to be like "okay."

J: Oh no, I know. Especially the people that I ended up working with in those bands, they were all very strong personalities like myself, so.. that's why they didn't last very long.

P: Yeah.. I think I would be the same way, if I had my own band.

J: Yeah

P: Music is a really personal for me [

J: yeah] , so I'd be a perfectionist about it, so you know..

J: Yeah!

P: So. Okay, some other rumors I'm just [

J: okay] wondering about.. Um.. I know that "Can You Still Feel" was at least partially done about a year ago [

J: uh huh] , you know.. a long time ago. And then I heard that it was delayed because Elektra wanted a radio hit, or they wanted you to produce one song that, you know, that...

J: Right. Your finger is on the pulse, you know [

P: laughs].. you've heard what's happened! It's true!

P: Yeah.. so that's just what I heard about. I actually got a copy of your record, I think it was last May..

J: Uh huh.. you had a cassette? [

P: yeah..] The cassette that was floating around?

P: The one that called "Great Big Yes" "Great Big Eyes."

J: Oh, okay.. I never saw..

P: And it was typewritten.. it had "Great Big Eyes," and that's what I thought the song was called for months.

J: [laughs] Oh really?

P: And then no, it's "Great Big Yes".. and I love that song [

J: oh thanks] , and I'm mad you took it off [laughs], anyways..

J: You're mad that I took it off?

P: Yeah! I loved it! The lyrics were just [

J: Ah yes] .. I felt it was kinda laughing the music industry, you know..

J: Yeah, it certainly was.

P: Yeah, so that's.. I really liked..

J: You like those kinda things?

P: It was clever.. [enter the guitarist from Mercury Rev.. whom Jason referred to as his "invisible brother" because (as I found out later) Jason couldn't remember the guy's name! the guy sat down on a nearby bench, smoking, as we continued to chat]

J: Um.. I just took it off, you know, cause.. I felt like there was gonna be a better version of that song in the future. I do that a lot, that's what happened with "Author Unknown" [

P: yeah], and that's why it ended up on this record, cause there was a version that was supposed to be on the first record. But.. I just didn't like my performances that much, I didn't like the sound of it, so.. I [laughs], I guess.. sort of just coincidentally, it ended up in that exclusive club of like, Led Zeppelin and Elvis Costello - people who have a song with an album title that shows up like three albums later or whatever, the next album. But I didn't mean to do that. Um.. but "Great Big Yes" will be on the next one. I just didn't like the sound of it. And also, the drums.. the drums are totally screwed up. If you listen to it now, after I've pointed this out, some of those fills are unbelievably... uh.. like a guy falling down a staircase. Which sometimes is good, but in this situation.. See, sometimes what I do is when I'm going to make a record, it's hard cause when I do demos, they're really raw and loose.. I'm just in a hurry to finish it, so I can hear it. So I do everything in like 3 hours.. and the song is done, it's arranged, and blah blah blah, it's got all these parts. And then I go in and make the record, and I'm like "Well shit..." you know, "maybe I should.. maybe I should use a click track on this one", cause I Never use click tracks.. for drums, you know, to keep time.. perfect time.

P: Oh yeah, yeah.. like a metronome or something in your ear.

J: Yeah, I never use that because I play like shit when I use them. And yet, sometimes when I'm in the studio, I don't know what happens, but I start thinking that this time's gonna be different, [

P: mm hmm] that I want this song to be perfectly chugging along at the same tempo and not all my peaks and valleys like my natural playing does. So.. I did. I used a click track on that song, and my fills, I rush. I think it's kinda natural to rush fills.

P: Are you distracted or something? I mean..

J: No, no, no.. I mean, I rush them without a click track, but.. it sounds all right because.. when I play to it, it's still my feel so it, like, goes along with it? But when I use a click track, you see, I'm very aware that I rush. So then I really drag [laughs].. and when you hear this now, you're gonna go, "Oh, he's so right. He shouldn't have put this on the record. I should have never heard this song!"

P: [laughs] Oh, no no..

J: Wait for the real version, with no click track..

P: Okay, okay.. So back to the first part of the question, about the radio single.

J: Mm hmm.. Yes. It is all true. I did finish my record and everybody said [silly voice:] "It's billiant!" and then two weeks later when my A&R woman flew out from New York and said [whispery voice:] "But there's no single!" [

P: yeah?] And I was like "well, well.. wait a second.." you know, "head of every department called me last week and said how amazing this record is, and how it's gonna be a blast to work, what are you talking about?" ..but somehow, I wasn't surprised, because this has happened to me before. And.. So, yeah you know what, I sort of ascertained whether I should have my usual attitude, which is, you know, uh.. "Flip off", you know [laughs]..

P: Well they're your bosses, so it's.. [laughs]

J: Well, sort of.. But they've actually never been around the studio. I don't let them into the studio, I don't give any rough tapes out so that they fall in love with the wrong things. I've been really left alone. And when they said this, I think it was them going, you know, "you might not have a very long career at Elektra unless you have some sort of radio hit," you know. My normal stance is to go "fuck off" and I finish the record and that's how it goes. And you know, that's what I always did in the past. But this time, I thought well, this is kind of a cool experiment, and I had also just built a studio in my house with money that I allocated from my recording budget. And.. I wanted to work in my studio, so I started writing this song, and you know, my A&R woman was.. this is the quote - she was like, [woman's voice:] "Fer cryin' out loud, Jason (or 'for God's sake'), just write something simple!" And I'm like, well, there's a lot of simplicity on my record. I mean, I love like really direct, simple stuff, and I also like things that are kinda transcendent, you know. I knew what she meant, and so I wrote this like two, whatever, three chord song, and it ended up accidentally.. the lyric ended up being about this whole scenario that I was in or, I mean, to start over, you know. I mean, you go down a road, and you're really, you know, sort of strong-willed about it, you've been going down it for years and years and years, and all of a sudden you're faced with this potential dilemma of having to start over again, and like go back and go down another road, and it's very... it's actually frightening. And so.. that's what the song is about, and I sent it in to them.. my manager at the time called up and said, "Nancy your A&R woman has two words for you.. 'Thank You,' that's it, that's the song." And then she played it for the radio department and they were like "Naa.. the rest of the record's better than that" [laughs].

P: Well it's true.. But if you think about the average listener - the radio listener today - I mean..

J: Yeah, but that's where their heads are at. They're not thinking about like the art, they're thinking about, you know, does he have a song to uh.. my ghost is talking to me[laughs].. ! [in reference to the "invisible brother on the bench].. they're thinking about, you know..

P: Well, money, and..

J: Money and sales, and keeping me -

P: It's just a Catch-22 to get out on the radio. You have to kind of.. I don't know, just seems like you kind of have to lower yourself a little bit to play to the masses. That's what it seems like for ME. I try not to listen to the radio..

J: That's what it Seems like.. But I can't.. I guess the moral of my long story is that it didn't even work for me, to try and do that, because I ended up taking it [the radio single] off the record, and nobody was bummed out that I took it off the record.

P: Oh, are you talking about years ago, then.. I mean..

J: No, this was on this record! This was on this last record [

P: oh!], but the song is not on the album. It's called "Start Over Again." It never made it on the record. It might be on that tape..

P: No, it's not..

J: It's not? It's not the one that goes [starts singing and playing air drums:] da na na na.. "hit it!" dooonch, doo dooonch..

P: No! I've heard people have it..

J: Oh, they do?

P: I just haven't gotten a copy yet.

J: Yeah, well, I'm gonna probably do that on the next album, cause I do like the song. But the version I did of it sounds kinda.. kinda 80s or something. It's like you do the Molly Ringwald dance to it, you know? It's kinda scary.

P: The [early] version I have [of "Can You Still Feel?"] has the intro/outro "The Land.."

J: [singing:] ah hoo wah hoo wah..

P: Yeah! I love that, it's..

J: Well, it's good the outro now.. (?) It's just on the outro..

P: Yeah, but I wish it was at the beginning too, cause then it kind of..

J: Oh, but this beginning is.. the bookend thing was cool, but it was too long in the beginning, don't you think?

P: It was.. but I still liked it.

J: I would play that for people and they'd be like, "Okay.. when is your record gonna start?"

P: But I liked how it.. you know, it went into "Honey" [

J: Yeah] [P sings:] "Who's that" and now it's just like [imitating maracas] "ch ch ch ch.." You like the maracas, I think [laughs]

J: I love the maracas..

P: You had them in a lot of songs. I've played those before..

J: You've played maracas?

P: Yeah, I was in band for 9 years, playing the flute.

J: Oh cool, I played clarinet in band.

P: Oh wow, my sister [plays clarinet].. Yeah, so I got to [makes movement with hands] shake and swirl..

J: [smiling] You shake your groove thing?

P: Yeah, and I kept doing it wrong.. my instructor was like "No! This is where you swirl.. like this" and he comes up there.. [more hand motions]

J: Oh, I don't do this..

P: Yeah, there's different markings.. there's shaking [demonstrates], and then there's swirl [demonstrates].

J: The swirl [imitates while making maraca sounds:] "shhh, shhh, shhh.." [

P: Yeah] It has a start point, [more sounds:] "shhh, shhh, shh.."

P: Yeah

J: Right, you're not just going "shh"

P: It's more of a continuous sound than a "ch ch ch ch.."

J: Ahh.. Yeah, I have many techniques [

P: laughs].. They're all self-taught. [laughs all around] I do love the maracas, I'm glad you noticed that.

P: Oh yeah, yeah..

J: You think there's gonna be a lot of people at this show? [then follows a discussion about that night's show]

P: So.. what's the meaning behind "Can You Still Feel?" Is it just as simple as it sounds? You know..

J: Um.. sort of. But it's kind of about the sort of onslaught of technology, you know.. How fast it's moving and -

P: [smiling] "In Awe of Industry"

J: "In Awe of Industry," yes! You know that song!

P: Oh yeah, I have like [embarassed]....yeah.

J: You have all of the stuff! That's right on. Do you have my version of "Photograph"? [then follows a discussion of exactly which b-sides I do/don't have]

J: But uh yeah.. it's just about. I mean, it's the question I was asking myself you know, I sometimes feel like I'm just kinda skating through life and not really present for the things that happen to me, and especially, you know, the achievement of goals and everything like that. I mean.. reaching pinnacles, that you dreamt about, and then you reach them and then you don't even - "whatever.. next!" you know. I never wanted to be that jaded, you know. It's kind of about that. I think everybody can relate to that, especially sort of at this time in the history of [weird voice:] *man*.. You know, it's kind of a weird time. Everything's moving so fast. There's really no sort of conscious human goal, it doesn't seem. It's just like progress, you know.. and information, more information. And it makes it harder to appreciate what you get when there's so much. Something that I miss is like the process - and I still do it because I don't even have a computer, I'm a total dinosaur [

P: laughs] - but the process of finding something that you've been looking for - whatever it is.. a record, or a piece of clothing or a book.. whatever it is - the actual search, instead of just punching it up and finding it immediately on a computer and then having it sent to you that minute, you know, having it in the mail. that's cool.. it's like.. it's amazing, but it kinda robs you of that process of searching, which I think once, when you had a long process of searching for whatever it is, and then you obtain it, you appreciate it a hundred times more. So that's kinda what it's about.

P: Well, because you've gone through the work, and..

J: Yeah, anything you work for..

P: Um.. do you have any frustrations with the current radio/music industry?

J: [being silly:] AH! Ah, I have nothing BUT frustration for the current state of radio!

P: Cause one thing we talk about a lot on the Jellyfish list is how we love all these artists that are never on the radio.. and that sucks for them because obviously then they don't get the big money and big tours and all this.. But at the same time.. if I heard you on the radio, I think I would just.. I don't know.. I would freak out, and be like "oh my god!"

J: It would be bad?

P: Yeah, I'd be a little curious.. Just because the radio stations here.. I mean, they wouldn't be playing it because they thought it was good.. I.. it's hard to explain.

J: Oh, you would think that it was payola (?) or something, or.. ?

P: Yeah, I would..

J: You would question the..

P: Well, it's like.. you know.. the people listening to the radio won't appreciate it. They'll just.. because what they appreciate is Alanis Morisette, Eve 6, and Third Eye Blind, and.. [

J: right] all these bands that sound the same. And what are they gonna do if they hear something that's different?

J: They're gonna turn the dial, that's why they don't play it.

P: Yeah, you know.. "strings? what's this?"

J: Right.. "melody?"

P: Right! So..

J: Yeah, well.. Don't question it too quickly, because the thing is, you know, there is such a thing.. there have been very few examples, but there are examples of people who.. I mean, they're getting scarcer and scarcer to find, but.. certainly in the past, people who Were making engaging music that was, you know, trying to transcend what was happening..

P: Well yeah, like Radiohead, kind of.. Ben Folds Five..

J: Exactly, that's a good example.. and Beck, you know. I mean, Beck's really good, and Ben Folds Five. There Are examples.. so maybe I would luck out and become one of those examples, you know? Cause, I mean, all those guys are doing just fine, as far as selling concerts, you know, and it's like.. you know, I'm sick of like opening up. It's nice.. it's a good tour, but.. I wanna have a light show, and y'know..

P: Yeah, to have people come see YOU, rather than just [

J: Yeah] "Oh, we showed up early, so we're gonna watch this guy before we see this Other band."

J: Right.. the "warm-up" slot is kinda frustrating. Definitely. Especially cause I can't do any production, you know, I wanna like do some production.. I wanna come out of the..

P: In flames [laughes]

J: In flames! Yeah, I want my suit to be on fire.. I wanna come out from underneath the stage.. You know, with a g-string on and stuff

P: [laughs] Okay, that might.. Marilyn Manson or something..

J: [laughs] No, no, not like that [

P: whooo!], more of a Freddie Mercury thing [laughs].. I'm just kidding [laughs] With my half mic stand.. [hand motions]

P: [laughs] Okay..

J: No.. But I would like to have lasers and shit.

P: Do you think that's gonna happen anytime soon?

J: Um.. I don't know..

P: Are you optimistic, at least?

J: I'm optimistic, yeah.. I am optimistic about the future, but.. If it doesn't happen, you know, it's like, I mean, I would.whatever. I'll just produce people, I mean that's definitely something that I will easily be able to fall back on. But, you know, I think kind of.. the first record had like no promotion, but still became a big kinda word of mouth thing [

P: Oh yeah], and a very underground thing.. Which is great, and I kinda like that, but at the same time, sometimes when I listen to that record I get really sad cause I think it sort of fell on deaf ears, you know. And only a few people really heard it and.. But I think it's kinda growing, and this record is getting a little bit more press so far and..

P: Especially because of Nigel, too. I think that helped a lot.

J: It's helping a little bit.. I don't think it's helped a lot. [

P: Really?] I don't think it's done jack shit in England.. I thought it would do something in England.

P: Well, at least when I tell people.. They're like "Jason who?", and I explain.. "His record was produced by the guy who works with Radiohead," and they're like "Oh wow.."

J: Yeah.. That's so unfortunate..

P: It's kind of in a roundabout way, but they listen to the music and they're like "Okay, yeah, I see what you mean." But.. I don't know, it feels kinda special when you tell someone "oh yeah, my favoritest guy.. his name is Jason Falkner," and they say "I don't know who you're talking about.." and you're like "too bad!" [laughs]

J: Yeah, I know.. I've become one of those bands.. One of those people that I've searched out when I was like in my teens.. All these bands that no one knew about. But it's kinda sad at the same time [

P: It is]. It's very hard to think that that's like my fate. That's certainly not enough for me. I definitely wanna be able to play.. like I said, headline my own tour. And I don't care about like selling a bazillion records. I really don't care about that. If I did, I could probably.. I could easily change things about my music to make it more palatable. Easily. But.. that's not interesting to me. I think that I could still reach more people and not compromise at all in my music, you know. So.. that's the goal.

P: Long, hard road, I think [laughs].

J: I hope it's not! I mean.. every band I hear about is like my hugest fans. Every band that you've.. - Alanis Morissette is like.. That's like a joke!

P: People in bands that I know, I say "Oh, have you heard of Jason Falkner?" and they're like "oh yeah, yeah.. and Jellyfish.. the Grays.."

J: Right. It's like a "musician's favorite" kinda thing. [

P: yeah] Because it's music.. that's why.

P: It's different, you're right.

J: But this is kinda sad, at the same time.

P: But it's funny.. cause like you said, word of mouth is pretty much the only way bands like you can get around. And I've been making a lot of mix tapes, and I'll just give them to random people with your stuff on it. Then they like it! [

J: right] And then they won't necessarily be Changed.. like they won't say "oh, I don't like Eve 6 now," but..

J: But that's the goal [smiling], you gotta keep trying!

P: I know, I am!

J: Keep trying to convert the unconvertable [laughs].

P: I'm working on it..!

J: That's a noble pursuit.

P: Okay.. do you have any music recommendations? What're you listening to these days?

J: Um.. I listen to.. I still listen to the last Lilys record a lot - "Better Can't Make Life Better" (?), and uh.. what else do I like..

P: Aren't you working with Brown Eyed Susans right now?

J: No.. no, I was.. no, they asked me to produce it, I can't do it. I don't have time. But uh.. what else do I like that's New.. I like Supergrass a lot, but I haven't heard the new one. It's gonna come out I think in August? Little while away. There's a friend of mine called Mike Andrews that has this band called Elgin Park.

P: I've heard of him.. [

J: You have?] He played with Brendan Benson on his record

J: Yeahh.. He worked with Brendan after I did. But his record's amazing..the Elgin Park record. And I like the Olivia Tremor Control.

P: I haven't heard them yet.. I've heard OF them, but no..

J: Yeah, I like that. I like Neutral Milk Hotel, they're all like.. part of this whole group of people.

P: Have you heard of Owsley?

J: Yeah, I know that guy.

P: I just got that record, it's really great.

J: It is pretty good. Yeah, it is good. He's like a huge fan of mine, like.. he used to call me all the time. But.. what else do I like.. I like Guided by Voices a lot - A Lot. Actually, I like the latest Tobin Sprout record, he's from that band. That's gooood.. that's really like dirty, noisy kind of pop. It's really good, though. God, I don't know.. I haven't heard the new Lilys.. have you heard that?

P: No..

J: Yeah, it got trashed in Rolling Stone. I wanna check it out. I like Kurt (sp?) a lot. Have you ever seen them?

P: No

J: Oh, you need to see them if they come through here.

P: "Hurt"?

J: Kurt, from the Lilys [

P: oh "Kurt".. uh huh] His between song banter is worth the price of the show.. Just to hear what he says between songs. It's unbelievable.. He just goes off on these like.. these William Reich (?) kinda tangents.. it's unbelievable. Ah, it's good stuff.

P: Cool..

J: Yeah.

P: Um.. and then.. what're you doing after this tour? How long do you guys..?

J: We're out with them [Mercury Rev] for two weeks, and then we have like a week of shows in the L.A. area, and then in San Fransisco, and then.. and then, I don't know. We're trying to talk about maybe a Ben Folds Five tour of Europe or Japan or something like that, which would be nice. Uh.. and I don't know what else. I've been submitted for probably 25 tours, but you know.. it's just waiting to see if there's somebody that'll take me up. It's hard.. It's really hard to get a good tour without radio.

P: Yeah, yeah..

J: The thing is, I hate radio. I mean, I don't listen to the radio [

P: I'm the same way]. I used to love the radio when I was younger.. There's a station in L.A. called KROC, which unfortunately is like the tastemaker for the rest of the country, as far as like, with whatever it's called.. "modern rock" or "modern rock alternative."

P: Top 40..

J: Yeah, but it's not Top 40, it's not Supposed to be, but it Is. But.. that station won't play me, so subsequently, none of the other stations that all copy their format will play it either. It's very frustrating.

P: Are you coming to Seattle again anytime soon..? Or will you have to wait and see..

J: Uh.. let's put it this way - if I can't get on another tour, like the opening or whatever, then we'll probably just jump in a dunebuggy and.. [Then follows a discussion about my upcoming 21st birthday and the concert that will hopefully be going on to celebrate it.. talk about personal stuff, blah blah blah..]

P: Well, that's pretty much it!

J: Right on!

Falk Speaks