Intercept - 08.10.10

Interviewed by
Intercept - 08.10.10The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:


If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?

Jason: Furries right out of the gate!
Jeff: A bunny. Duh.
Phil: An Easter bunny… no, a Clydesdale.
Christian: That’s no good… you go with Clydesales and hippos and elephants and you set the bar too high. Start from a place like “Platypus” and you’ve got nowhere to go but up.
Jason: No comment on what he just said. I’d be a giraffe. They are graceful as they munch through the savanna.
Christian: The opossum has a forked penis.

What music reminds you of your childhood?

Jeff: I was in a cover band and we played Bush, Silverchair and Nirvana. Hearing any of those bands makes me feel like I’m in Middle school.
Jason: Nirvana and Weird Al Yankovic.
Phil: Jazz fusion – my dad had an extensive LP collection like Return to Forever, Weather Report or Frank Zappa.
Christian: I was the nerd with the dual cassette player, auto-dubbing things and trying to create weird sounds. Phil Collins, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Grateful Dead… practically anything that came out in the 80’s found its way into my fucked up mix tapes.

How did this band get started?

Jeff: It’s the common story of guys trying out different projects and all arriving at the one that works sort of by accident. What’s interesting with us, though, is how ‘temporary’ we all felt it was – it was just a little project originally and we were all just doing it for fun, with no ego or ambition, really. But the doors started opening for the music in a way that none of our other projects had ever seen, so we started to stick with it and explore it and good things kept coming.
Phil: Which doesn’t mean it was always easy.
Jeff: For sure – we had tons of bad news and rejection. But it was just those little pieces of good news – they were always spaced out just right and you got the feeling you were being kept on a certain track.

Why should people listen to your band?
Jeff: We make the music that we want to listen to… we work every day to make sure that we’ve got material that doesn’t sound like something else. You never get away from people making comparisons, but if someone brings something to the writing session that is immediately recognizable – maybe it sounds exactly like the same chord changes or guitar sound from some really famous song or album – we ditch it.
Jason: We want to come from as original a place as possible, so you have to kick that off at the very beginning of the songwriting process. If it starts out sounding like something else, you spend the rest of the time chasing after that feel… you compromise to get it to sound specific to some idea instead of growing the song organically.

Memorable tour experience?

Jeff: We took some time to take a tour of the bayou somewhere in Louisiana. We fed alligators with marshmallows. Our tour guide was awesome and told us how you can catch Flathead catfish with Ivory soap.
Jason: Finding out Idaho isn’t just good for potatoes…we drove through the entire northern part and it was the most beautiful place we saw.
Phil: Let’s say it was in an “undisclosed city.” We were offered meth by a white supremacist.
Christian: We have so many friends and family in Kansas…hard to beat feeling at home when so much of the rest of the tour is spent worrying about your gear and trying to figure out where you are.

If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
Jeff: “Made To Fall” – it would be easy if it was from the record, but the live version would be almost impossible.
Jason: “A Hundred Times.” It’d be in the realm of “My Name is Jonas” from Weezer…you can get the 5 stars, but it’ll take a while.
Phil: “On My Own” – it’s such a heavy song and there are so many notes.
Christian: “No Surprise.” Or maybe “So Say Whatever.” Several riffs on the album are deceptively simple – I remember hearing “Satellite” by Dave Matthews and thinking, “Cool song, I’ll learn that real quick and play it for my friends when we’re drunk.” A couple of our songs are like that…just a little tougher to actually perform than you think.

What does AP.net mean to you?

Jeff: It’s a place where every artist can have a voice. It’s so hard to find sites or radio stations that will let you stand shoulder to shoulder with the bands that are currently being shoved down everyone’s throats.
Christian: We’re an independent band. The music industry has changed so much that “getting signed” has a whole different meaning than it used to. Nothing at all against the major labels - but the way things are today you have to make some really honest decisions about how much control you’re ready to give up. Absolutepunk gives us a chance to get some attention as a small band and see what we can do on our own for a little while, instead of shutting us out because we didn’t grease the right palm.

What is your favorite song to play?
Jason: “One Hundred Times.” It’s got the most changes and different times. It’s a nice little 3 minute roller coaster ride.
Jeff: “Last One to Show” – I think it’s a powerful and likeable rock song.
Phil: Because of the time changes – “So Say Whatever”… it’s a challenge to keep track.
Christian: “So Say Whatever.” I’m proud of it…making something that sounds like it flows even though it actually moves around quite a bit was a challenge, and I think it works.

What is your vacation spot of choice?

Jeff: Somewhere I can learn something. You could say “Cancun” or “Bora Bora,” but really I can get drunk and lie in the sun at home. Paris, Thailand…someplace you can get some culture and see what else the world has to offer. And then go get drunk and lie in the sun afterward.
Jason: Fuck that: Bora Bora. Because it’s awesome looking. It’s the place where they have the crystal blue water, white sand and huts on the water. It looks bad ass.
Phil: Mexico City – I’ve never been there, and I’d like to see where my parents were born and what they saw early in their life.
Christian: If I dropped everything to transport someplace, I’d have to go to Ireland. I just have to see it before I die – I want to live in a small Irish town, full of interesting characters and strong beer.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

Jeff: Just flying. Because it would be awesome.
Jason: Me, too – flight! I wouldn’t have to pay for parking.
Phil: I would like to be immortal. I want to see the span of civilization and how it ends.
Christian: Would you die at the end?
Phil: No I’d keep on going on – a vampire that does not suck blood, because there’s no blood left.
Christian: OK…well, I wish I could focus on one. But I always imagined what I’d do with three wishes: flying, the ability to stop/restart time, and invisibility. Then I could see historical moments as they happened just by figuring out where to go by reading the newspaper, stopping time and flying there, restarting time and turning invisible.

Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
Jeff: Yes – every time I struggle to pay the rent, it reminds me of how big we are.
Jason: If by “it” you mean “serving shrimp to patrons.” OK, we’ve done a lot, but there’s always room to grow. Unless you are one of like 10 bands – Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Radiohead, etc., -- you can’t really ever say you’ve “made it.”
Phil: Yeah…but not having to worry about paying the electricity bill is a good mile-marker.

What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Jeff: Growing up I wanted to be a herpetologist and I spent my days catching snakes and lizards.
Christian: That’s absolutely true about him.
Jason : When I was 12 I entered a karate tournament and I took 4th place out of 4 people.
Phil: I used to want to be a priest. I went to church a lot and I thought it was cool that everyone had to listen to the guy in the front. That seemed really cool.
Christian: I misspelled “tidal” in my 2nd grade spelling bee - even though the judge defined it. I was so excited to get “TITLE” right that I didn’t even listen.

How did you get your band name?

Christian: My brother and I come from the same place, but settled on widely different styles of music. I originally focused on singer/songwriters, while Jeff loved much harder stuff. He used to sit in his room and learn the changes to songs by Tool and note-by-note Eddie Van Halen solos by pausing the music every few measures. He’d be in there for days until he could play a solo perfectly. The name “Intercept” seemed perfect because it expressed how each song we wrote together featured both of us pulling in our respective directions and settling on a middle ground, where the styles intercept. Jason and Phil bring even more diversity to the songwriting, so when you hear a track from us you can hear four creative guys each contributing a little piece of themselves and what they like musically. It makes the compositions uniquely “us” and has helped to give us an identity.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Phil: Netflix.
Christian: I have many leather bound books.
Jason: What do cool people do? Hiking, biking and fishing? I like to play Angry Birds on my iPhone. But also say: while hiking in the mountains.
Jeff: Play rock music in a rock band.

What's your favorite holiday?

Christian: Thanksgiving. Amazing food, football…why don’t I make green bean casserole more than once a year? That makes no sense!
Jeff: As a whole: Christmas. But 4th of July if I was still living in Kansas. You can’t legally buy any good fireworks (in Los Angeles). Sparklers are good. Nothing against sparklers - except that Roman Candles kick their ass.
Jason: When we were on tour we found this awesome spot outside of Las Vegas – an Indian reservation where you can buy every kind of firework known to man and then fire it off in a huge dirt lot out back.
Jeff: But Phil never did an artillery shell before and he lit it upside down. We have video of everyone running for their lives as it blows up on the ground and fireballs are flying past us.
Phil: (Laughing) – OK…Christmas. Downtime from work, friends and family…and in California it’s the closest we get to winter.
Jason: Passover – it allowed me to pass over school when I was young.

What kind of hidden talents do you have?

Jeff: I can make a mean cocktail. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeff is a professionally trained “Mixologist.” Should Intercept come to your town, supply him with a full bar and prepare yourself). Also, I could probably hold my own in a pro fishing tournament.
Christian: I can say all 50 states in alphabetical order in less than 15 seconds.
Phil: I know every lyric to every hip hop song made in 1992.
Jason: I can unscrew a bottle cap with my bicep. But it has to be a twist off. Also: drumming.
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