I was extremely surprised to hear that you and Jonathan had started a new project together, due to the fact that both of you make such different music; it was hard to even imagine what such a project could sound like. What brought you two together?
We toured together in 2007 and have a mutual love of birds. Plus he is an amazing person so why would I not want to?
What inspired you to adopt the name of the ’71 documentary and use it as the name of your new band?
It is from a movie about great white sharks. That was Jonathan's idea, so putting my best guess forward, he being a true naturist, and myself while less dedicated certainly lean in that way, the idea of there being a creature that can in a fair fight, in no uncertain terms obliterate any evil meaning human is appealing. As the idea that something so maligned as the great white shark being in fact so wonderful and beautiful gives one pause as well.
How do you approach the song writing process, especially when someone that’s as talented as Jon is involved too?
It was surprisingly easy. We had a predetermined set of limitations we were trying to adhere to and every day for a week spent all day trying to be as free as possible within those confines. Jon acted as much as producer as engineer, and anytime we had an idea, he had it ready to go within minutes. Whenever we were doubtful about a direction, he gave accurate but encouraging advice. He is superb in the studio.
He, however, did not play on anything and for the next BWWD record he will. That is incredibly exciting to me.
One of our readers said, and I quote, “I love this record so far, that song just scared the hell out of me,” regarding “Song for the Greater Jihad,” while others commented on how the album was their “end of the world” soundtrack. What is your reaction to such comments? Was it [the record] supposed to be “scary”?
Well, it was made in the dead of winter in Dallas, Texas and I thought (mistakenly thank goodness) that I was dying of cystic fibrosis, so the answer is yes.
Xiu Xiu, Former Ghosts, Blue Water White Death… and who knows how many more other projects you might be involved in. How do you find the time to be part of all these bands? And most importantly, when you write a song, how do you decide which projects “gets” to use it?
I don’t have a lot else to do and I love to play music so it works out perfectly for me.
Each band has a totally different writing process. With Xiu Xiu, I either write everything myself or the band gets together and we write specifically for that. With Former Ghosts, Freddy writes everything and I add parts when he is done. As for BWWD, we have only done it once and did everything in the studio at that moment. There really is not any cross over as the methods are so distinct.
Do you ever find it challenging to remain original and consistent with your music, especially when you’re making three albums a year?
What are some of your major influences?
This could be a long list but will whittle it down: The Sublime Frequencies record label, The Wierd record label, Swans, Arvo Part, balck metal, Hello Kitty and all her friends, cats, birds, The Smiths, Nina Simone, Joy Division, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, Penderecki, Deerhoof, Otis Redding, Nico, Martin Hannet, OMD and Prince.
I’ve been curious -- was anyone lucky enough to win that cup of your piss that Graveface Records was giving away to a lucky winner last summer?
Well, it as a JAR! And yes someone did. I had to mail it to him, which I am sure is against the law.
That brings me to my next question: I don’t believe any albums you have worked on previously have actually been released on Graveface Records, and I was surprised to see that they were releasing the album. Did you pick the label, or did they pick you? How did the relationship start?
Jonathan knew Ryan and thought he would be a good fit knowing we would be doing something more far out.
Ryan (Graveface) has made quite an impression, so I just have to ask: is he actually as nice in person as he is online?
He rules. Totally supportive, totally open minded, totally art and mayhem centered.
We’d love to hear the “scary” music in person, so do you guys have any plans to tour at all?
We don’t have enough songs but I think for the next record, I hope we will.
Can we expect any new music from you in ’11? The three albums you released last year are obviously not enough to hold us over for an entire year…
A 7” collaboration with Deerhoof wherein we sing over the tracks of a previously recorded DH song and vice versa. It is called almost Xiu Xiu almost Deerhoof, and another Xiu Xiu 7” in the fall. And wow, I think that is it.
We are recording a new Xiu Xiu record for 2012 and another BWWD for then as well.
Music must take up quite a bit of your time, but what other things do you enjoy doing when you’re not actually making music?
Bird watching, reading, watching movies, going to gym, hiking, going to the museum. RE: ART ***
When I asked my friends to come up with questions, I prohibited them from suggesting “Why are you so (bleep) awesome?” because I expected that to be the first question from fan boys. What is it like to be… Jamie Stewart? But really, why are you so (bleep) awesome?
What are you talking about!?!?!? I am grouchy, anti-social, have no self confidence and am easily depressed. I suppose it is like being like everyone else you ever met.