atj interview :: best friends forever

ATJ presents BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, Wed, Oct. 22, 2008, for After the Jump’s CMJ Showcase at the Knitting Factory NYC, performing at 8pm inside the Tap Room, along with the Depreciation Guild, My Teenage StrideA Sunny Day in Glasgow, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, & Ringo Deathstarr.

Listen :: Einsehower is the Father

MIA: Musically, how did the band form, what past experiences do you carry with you?

Jes and I have been in bands since we were 13 years old. Beginning with a smashing pumpkins cover band, followed by instrumental math rock, followed by our creation of the genre of raunch rock, and finally we became best friends forever in 2003. Jes had ‘retired’ from music, but I was able to yank her out of retirement to be in a band in which we would once again have total creative control and would be able to sing about such themes as our friendship!

MIA: Describe the feeling of living and making music in your city, feel free to share a memory or a certain place that makes you feel like home.

All of my memories from when we first started writing songs for best friends forever are of driving on cold snowy nights to pick up Jes and bring us to our practice space, working until late in the night and returning to the cold snowy night to bring Jes home. It was a lot of driving and far more ‘going out’ in the winter then would normally be attempted. We were just so excited about what we were doing that it didn’t matter. It is a good feeling to leave Minneapolis on tour and then come back and endure the winter with your friends and use the winter as a time to work hard on projects and then come out in the spring to share them with other people.

MIA: How does the band like to get ready for a live show? Is there a favorite song that you enjoy to perform live?

Yes. BFF exists to play live. Jes is a perfectionist so recording projects are very difficult. Playing live is just the funnest thing there is to do because we usually don’t have to make things perfect just as fun for people watching and for ourselves as possible. Our favorite songs to play live are the newest songs. We don’t write songs very fast so new ones are few and far between, and the rest of the songs have been played hundreds of times and are harder for us to get into. But if the crowd is really into it…even the most tired songs to us can be fun.

MIA: What has been the most impacting compliment, or criticism, your band has ever received?

“You guys would be even better if you were to carry a mattress on the stage and jump on it in your underwear” No. I wouldn’t consider that a compliment or criticism, just an instance of the ridiculous things people think of and actually just the opposite kind of thing we want people to be thinking about when they see us play. But. It just came to mind because it surely left an impact and got referenced in a song.

MIA: Within your songwriting, is there some type of element that has brought about a certain mood in yr writing, making you feel more/less different than when you started? How long has the recording process taken to complete your album and to finally believe that it’s ready?

Our songwriting and the mood of our songs has definitely changed, but as a result of us being 25 now and not 19 and as a result of songwriting not being a new thing but instead something we have been working hard on for nearly 6 years. Back then we were excited just to have songs and we didn’t know if they would be liked by anyone. Now we have to try to keep writing songs that people like and have to find ways to keep from writing songs that all sound the same and that are new and exciting for us to play. It is more challenging now than it was when we didn’t know what we were doing! Recording always has some arbitrary end. We never get to work on albums as long as we want. We are usually due to go on tour for a month and have to finish it in time to have it pressed and back in our hands before we leave. Maybe someday we’ll do it differently. But probably not. We are a band of procrastinators.

MIA: What qualities do you hope listeners may take from listening to your music?

Not taking ourselves too seriously but talking about serious things at the same time… Positivity. Honesty. No Pretention.

MIA: Please share a mixtape with a theme of your choice.

Tour songs..

let me take you to the beach by frank zappa
secondhand news by fleetwood mac
under pressure by freddy mercury/david bowie
not on top by herman dune
judy blue eyes by crosby stills nash and young

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