atj interview :: muggabears

ATJ presents the MUGGABEARS, Wednesday October 22, 2008, for After the Jump’s CMJ Showcase at the Knitting Factory NYC, performing at 12:00AM inside the Old Office (Best of NYC), along with the Beets, the Lisps, Inlets, Motel Motel and Alina Simone.

Listen :: The Goth Tarts

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

Gabi tripped on an accordion, fell into Emily, who braced herself by grabbing onto my arm, and we started playing music. Actually, it’s been an evolving thing for a long time now; it’s a band I started with a friend in high school in a way.. but the way it is now, is so distant and different from the way it was even two years ago.

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.

Both living and making music in New York are much better in fall and winter. Those seasons come with possibilities the other two seasons could only dream of. I feel mostly at home when I’m in bed, covered with covers. Also, sometimes at Death by Audio.

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

We love to play live, and prepare for such live playing in the traditional way of just playing things over and over again until it’s good enough to present. I like to play a new song of ours, “At the Pool” the most.

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

Someone recently said something so hyperbolically positive about our music, that I’m almost embarrassed to repeat it. That doesn’t really answer the question. Criticism: someone said I played guitar like a trash bag once.

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?

Not any one element, no. A few concepts have informed it more now than at the beginning, things you learn from instrumental music mostly, jazz specifically. Even if you don’t know how to technically understand it. I suppose the peace/fear dialectic is the most driving element, if I had to pick one. Recording is ongoing still. Its actually kind of maddening to try and decide when a record is ready, so I couldn’t answer that one!

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

I just hope they feel something strongly when they hear it. That’s more important than them coming away thinking of how cool it was.

MIA: Any recommended records so far of ‘08?

Portishead – Third: I think of this as a really really great psych/krautrock record. I love the drum sound.

Joan of Arc – Boo Human: This one brings out lots of feelings that you have to focus on to be able to give words to, and features the amazing line, “the only impossible thing has happened.”

Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual: being a kid. And really lovable lovely people make the music.

High Places: I like how, when I listen to their stuff, I have no idea how it’s made.

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

Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm” and “Number 1, 1950” are like a language primer for seeing music when you hear it.

MIA: Please share a mix-tape within a theme of your choice.

Fall’s here, so the theme is fall.

1. Red ApplesSmog
2. Lonely WomanOrnette Coleman
3. Dead Flag BluesGYBE
4. Ghost HardwareBurial
5. SubterraneansDavid Bowie
6. Pet PoliticsSilver Jews
7. Remember a DayPink Floyd
8. This Night Has Opened My EyesThe Smiths
9. MysteryOlivia Tremor Control
10. BrotherBeck

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