What were your sentiments regarding the CD leaking so early with respect to the declared release date?
Well at first we were a little bummed since it was so early before it came out ... we even e-mailed a few people who posted it to take it down thinking we could protect it at least until it was closer to the release, but as it turned out we learned it is a positive thing as well...it gets kids to your shows and you start to see kids actually singing along which is an amazing feeling, although since they had no official lyrics yet I would often catch kids singing the wrong words right in my face like I wouldn't notice they were winging it!! ;) But anyways you work very hard on your record and the artwork, and obviously you want people to support you by buying it; but either way if people are listening and coming to the shows then that's absolutely the most important thing and we are thankful for that. Also the record is out now finally as of last week but if you can't find it in stores then you can order it online. Or if you take a time machine back 5 months you can find it on the internet early.
Listeners oftentimes pigeonhole your group as a "dance" band. With other bands emerging and multiplying exponentially only to be mashed into the same classification, what do you think distinguishes your band from others?
Sure, we make dance music. You can dance through our whole record. That was obviously our intent when making it, but we don’t pay attention to what other bands are doing (if we do it isn't on purpose); we listened to hardly any new music when making this album. I rather listen to Curtis Mayfield, or Stevie Wonder – timeless music that challenges me to be a better musician; that’s’ way more interesting to me. A lot of new music I hear these days doesn't make me wanna do anything other than turn it off. I do know many bands are very cookie cutter and probably listen to each others’ bands. Our influences on this record were so all over the place; we just incorporated all the things we have always loved but didn't think we could pull off putting in our music. But for this band we didn't care we just went for it and added a bit of our own love to it. A lot of people put boundaries on their music and you can really tell. We may have 40 things going on in one song but that's because we wanted it to sound like that. The day we say to ourselves "how are we gonna pull that off live?" is the day we should stop making music. The fun part to me is figuring out how to pull it off live. I’ll hire 20 other musicians to run around playing bongos, flutes, and triangles if I have to.
Gang of Four is a revolutionary band that has shaped careers of countless groups today. How was it opening for such a monumental group? Likewise, what do you think about opening for another up-and-coming group such as Panic! at the Disco?
Obviously it’s an honor to go out with such a legendary band like Gang of Four; so many bands rip them off like no other, but whatever, that's pretty obvious – they were still unbelievable live. They also completely understood what we were doing; they completely got our band and would watch us every night and that meant a lot. They also gave us some amazing advice that has inspired us greatly and we will never forget. J. King hit me with some brilliant advice that h e gave to Michael Stipe when R.E.M. opened for them in the back in the day but ill never repeat it out loud. Also Andy Gill is gonna produce a song for us in the near future; we are just working it out.
Regarding Panic!, we haven't played with them yet but we're looking forward to it and definitely looking forward to getting to the U.K. for the first time.
What are planned singles for the future? Will they include B-sides or remixes?
We’re gonna feel it out but there has been talk of “Messy.” Personally, I think “Lightning Strikes” or “Photosynthesis” are options as well. One B-side that I love a lot is this super slow, sexy, funky song we wrote about James Bond called "James Bond;" its still one of my favorite songs and I hope it gets released one way or another (see downloading question).
Your group has earned a reputation as a band with numerous props used during live shows. Why does the group utilize props as often as they do? Is it simply a fun addition to the show or serve deeper meanings as well?
We use props because it makes us laugh when we see live videos back of ourselves. It also helps to bring our songs to life by being very visual. When I'm running around swinging a huge bone, singing about monkeys and cave men, and shooting bubbles all over your friends you won't forget us when you go home after the show; you may even wish to own a huge bone of your own.
Do you have any songs that you prefer playing over others, and if so why?
The whole show is the focus. I love every song differently and love making them all come to life live. A few songs we haven't even played yet like “Celebracion!,” “Vowels, “or “Hurricane,” but we will soon and I'm really excited to add them to our set. I used to be afraid to change the set, but now I love doing it cause it changes the vibe of the show how you begin and end it from night to night.
Did any songs that get cut from the final pressing of the record that you wish made it?
“James Bond!” We may make it a secret track on our album one day. I'm gonna convince someone to let me sneak it on a re-pressing of the album.
What is the story or inspiration behind the artwork for your upcoming album?
Random, fun, weird, maybe even a little classy – oh and we also wanted something that if you walked past at a record store u had to stop and be like what the ??!!@?!?
Why did you change the group's name from Torpedo to Men, Women, and Children?
Because Torpedo was another band. We had a name before that called Easy Tiger but a Chicago cover band owned it and said if we had a million dollars we could buy it from them – www.easytigerband.com – but anyways that was O.K. though cause Men, Women, and Children to me is more of a staple or a brand then some meaningless band name ;and I was worried we were gonna have one of those. I'd turn in my sleep many nights trying to think of stuff. It’s a horrid process. My heart goes out to any band without a name.
What influences from music to literature and all forms of art have shaped the group's sound and makeup most?
Morris Day and the Time
Be Careful Who You Love – Diane Dimond
Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis (Unreal book – that dude’s life was insane. He was shooting China White when he was 12)
Wouldn't It Be Nice: Brian Wilson and the Making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds – Tony Asher
Vurt – Jeff Noon
Do listeners often comment on the fact that both Daryl and Todd of Glassjaw have entered post-Glassjaw danceable groups? Is there anything the group wishes to say about Glassjaw?
Some have. I think it’s funny, but the obvious thing to say is "oh there is a dance beat and a rock guitar part – it’s the same band” or "they were in a band together and are ripping each other off." The Glassjaw connection I think is the most obvious reason or it just could be a lack of overall musical knowledge, but the fact of the matter is we each had no idea what each other was doing when writing; we just wanted to start a fun, sarcastic party band with video game electronics, falsetto, and full orchestration...Todd and Daryl were in a band for 8 years or so and I'm sure shared many musical influences, but regardless our music is very different, listen to our album and you can make up your own mind...but the main thing is we just both realized that music needed something different and fun...not so angry. To me music should make you forget about your problems even if it’s for a short while, but so many bands just cry and whine about their horrible suburban life and their girlfriend problems and ram them down kids’ throats and make tons of money doing it. I grew up in Long Island and got lunch money every day in elementary and middle school. Now I’m grown up and I get to go to all these different cities and countries and play our music to all different types of human being; it’s the best thing ever. What the hell do I have to complain about?
Regarding us and Glassjaw, you can't really make love listening to Glassjaw – well you could, but it would hurt a lot. You can, on the other hand, work out to both.
men, women, and children are really good. i didnt appreciate them when i first saw them with thursday and the blood brothers...i was just like GOD GET IT OVER WITH AND GET TO THURSDAY. but now that i think of it theyre a band with a different style. The singer, TJ, is a great guy. He stood outside chatting with me and some kids for an hour after the show in december. He was explaining to us how he liked to be different then every other band and how each band sounds exactly the same. I dont believe thats true but i can see where hes coming from.