atj interview :: fight bite

ATJ presents FIGHT BITE, Sat, Oct. 25, 2008, for After the Jump’s End of CMJ Showcase at 12:00PM at The Yard in Brooklyn, NY, along with High Places, the Homosexuals, Women, Bearsuit, MBAR, Passion Pit, the Ruby Suns and Crystal Stilts. (Please note: This show was cancelled due to stormy weather.)

Listen :: Swissex Lover


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

Leanne: I wrote a bunch of songs a few years ago that didn’t work with the noisier and rough bands  I played in. Finally, I asked Jeff to work with me after seeing his band Teenage Symphony perform.

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.

Leanne: Playing in Denton, TX is a lot of fun. There is a surprising concentration of musicians which means tons of bands we love, easy going DIY venues and comradeship among everyone involved.

Jeff: Some of the best bands around play in Denton regularly and when you play there, there will be an audience to support you, no matter what kind of music you make.

MIA: Do you enjoy to perform live? How does the band like to get ready and is there a favorite song that you like to play for your audience?

Leanne: I love it but I actually kind of dread playing live. Sound guys in Texas hate you if you don’t play “real” instruments like banjos. Our recording process is very tedious and highly controlled, making the live translation a bit difficult. I usually need a bottle of wine to get in front of people — which can lead to some errors I’ll admit — but I’m pretty shy in real life. My favorite song to play live is Swissex Lover, but covers are a lot of fun too.

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

Leanne: The best compliment I’ve every received was seeing a friend of mine moved to tears during a live performance of ours. The harshest criticism that I continually receive is being called ‘talentless’. Not only do I think talent is pretty subjective and obsolete, it’s also meaningless to a musician like myself.  I’m not trying to be Yngwie Malmsteen all over my Casio, and thank god!

Jeff: Leanne only plays Yngwie on upright bass.

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?

Leanne: The songs are lyrically to reflect a melodramatic personally account of love and loss. I tend to feel that the music seems pretty heartbreaking but is also fun. I guess you could say the album took about 4 months to record but I began writing the songs three years ago.

Jeff: Leanne’s voice is the one element that always influences me when I’m writing. I just try to come up with music that’s worthy of such a voice.

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

Leanne: I hope that they find the music to be beautiful and sad. That’s one way to describe how I feel when I listen to the songs.

MIA: Any recommended records so far of ‘08?

Daniel Francis Doyle. Magnetic Fields. Decadent Sluts by Eat Avery’s Bones. Nouns Group 12 inch record.

MIA: Name a visual artist or piece of work that inspires you.

Jeff: I know both of us are influenced by David Lynch’s films and how he manages to find music to match his pretty hallucinatory images. We hope our songs have the same strange but beautiful quality of his movies.

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

Shelter From a World That I Can’t Stand
by Rocket for Ethiopia
Latin Lupe Lu
by The Kingsmen
Bully Boys
by Poison Girls
by Heather Parisi
You Don’t Own Me
by Lesley Gore

5 Responses

  1. musicisart

    michael — sorry for any trouble you were experiencing.

    the only file that is not streaming is heather’s as hers is a rariety that i cant seem to find (if anyone may email it, id be grateful!) but all other files should work properly! thankyou.