It all happened in the fifties, all that . I used to live in a real hot rod area. They would build hot rod cars and go racing.
So, guys in white T-shirts and blue jeans I presume?
I don’t like nostalgia. I think you should stick to the age you live in…you know.
Yeah, nostalgia can be…a tough thing
That song is a tell tale sign of the excess in the eighties!
…or off how technologies influences our lives… Wait how do we get out of here?
Exit! Who sang that song again? Huey Lewis?
I don’t know. I think it is, I don’t know.
Get out of my dreams and in into my car… Billy Ocean? We are leaving Antwerp a bit late but I think that’s fine. The set up won’t take to long.
Yes, I already informed Maxine about it.
What the hell? Oh, OK, I see. We could have gone the other way. Parking lots always look like roller skating rinks or something.
Hey Dean, Thanks!
Was there supposed to be a seat in the back? Or…
There could be…
When you bought it there where no seats in the back?
There’s no seats no.
That’s good. It’s great for a band to go on tour.
… if your two people, like Randy and me.
You’ll have to learn to drive stick though!
Oh, but Randy can drive stick.
I never learned, isn’t that funny?
Yeah, it is, but not too surprising since your from LA.
When I started driving it was rare, less common, to have a stick shift in America. But all the older cars do. All the Volkswagens. Trucks.
Funny thing, when I was in LA we had a rental car, an automatic. I thought that automatic shift was so scary!
Of course, because I’m not used to it.
You don’t do anything, you just let it go.
I know it’s easy. But so boring as well.
Wait, where am I going…Right!
I’ve driven a stick shift before I wouldn’t trust that I could do it long distance…
…or uphill or things like that. That’s the tricky part right?
Think you just need to go to a dead end street and practice for fifteen minutes or so and then you’ll be fine. So, if you want we can delay our arrival a little bit more…
Do donuts? Do you know what a donut is?
Yeah, of course I know what a donut is.
Not the food, but the trick. Car trick.
Ah, no, what’s that?
You go into an empty parking lot—it’s a very suburban, Californian thing. Maybe it’s a suburban American thing even. I don’t know. Anyway, you go into an empty parking lot and you just spin in a circle very fast, with your car.
Until you get nauseous?
Yeah. It’s kind off fun though. I would do it when I was thirteen or fourteen.
Thirteen or fourteen? And driving?
Yeah, Well no. The kid that was sixteen and had a car, would be driving around and go
‘Donuts’. Then we would all spin around…
Kind of stupid!
So, you would just pull up the handbrakes?
Oh yeah, yeah. Oh maybe that’s what it is. You would go fast and then hit the e-break.
Would be nice to learn some tricks!
Not very smart, but when your thirteen or fourteen, you’re not very smart…your still learning.
Everything is still exhilarating.
Remember what I was telling you yesterday, about the drive I would do with Stefan?
The drive to Paris? Sounds romantic.
Sounds romantic, but doesn’t need to be.
Yeah, Doesn’t need to be. (laughs) Anyway, he mailed me to ask if we where still doing this trip. So, we started talking about it and as it turned out he needed to get some stuff for an exhibition from Hamburg to Paris. And I thought “perfect, we’ll just do it then. Kill two birds with one stone and all that.” Because if he needs to be there anyway, we could do the drive then. At first, it seemed like we where going for that option, but later that week he mailed, that he thought it might not be the best idea for me to fist drive all the way there and then back. But to my opinion is the complete opposite. Of course it’s silly and stupid, but then on the other hand, if it’s possible, then why not? If you have the time, whatever…
How long would it take you?
I think it would be two days
Oh shit, that’s long! Is it worth it?
I think it could be. But, I’m not going to do it if he’s sort off stressed out already about his show…or unsure about the whole idea of driving there. But the reason why I’m telling this story, or what I wanted to point out, is that people are so rational. I don’t know if you are a very rational person but I’m really not. I’m a super irrational person, by choice.
Well, yeah, it is so easy to say no to so many things, just because they are irrational…
… maybe because it’s not the most interesting or smart thing to do.
Like going to an empty parking lot to spin some donuts. But then your life becomes this stable line. And I’m not sure I want that.
I can rationalize a lot of things inside my head. For instance this trip. It wouldn’t have made sense to a lot of people because one, I’m just spending money. I mean. And the performance is different from rock-performances
… there’s not a lot of return in it. Just a trip that bleeds.
Well, some people go to Tibet in search for that.
Yeah right, so, I’ve rationalized this trip in my head so that it makes sense.
A yes, like that. But that’s the good kind of rationalizing. It’s so crazy, that it makes sense.
Yeah, It makes sense!
Aw, I really need to do something about my breaks.
Oh yeah, joyful we’re passing the now.
So, tell me, which was the nicest performance on this trip so far?
Oh, oddly enough Can gallery in Athens.
The actual vases looked pretty amazing.
And last night in was great too. I think.
Hey! Did you take a picture of that?
I did…But, yeah, I thought the sound from last night was the best.
And Kunsthal Athena… They’ve all been really great.
Yeah, very. I’ve been recording them.
Oh that’s going to be interesting to hear. All those different spaces.
Yeah (hesitant), I’ve been looking at it kind of different. I’ll make…
No, I want to make a vinyl, but mainly because of the size I think.
Cool, one escape! You guys don’t have personalized licence plates do you?
We do but they cost so much money.
It’s not like in LA, or even America, where people actually communicate trough them.
Yeah, my dads got a couple.
Oh really? What do they say?
He has one…well, when we where kids he owned a big van that we would use for our travels. There’s my mother, my father, me and my two brothers. So, the licence plate would say ‘SPUNT FIVE’.
Yeah! And then when I was about nineteen I bought the van from him to tour, for bands. And it still said Spunt five. We would travel around and people would call the van the Spunt five…
Yeah, and then he has another one on his car, a Mercedes. And it said DR1S no DCSCV1 which meant Doctor of Chiropractor Santa Cruise Valley and then one, number one.
Wow, look at that guy.
Shit, he looks like…
Kaczynski? The Una bomber?
No, not him. I was thinking of someone more innocent. Oh well, never mind.
That’s a popular look here in Antwerp: older guy with long hair. Balding and long hair.
And a beard!
What’s up with that?
It’s a thing! That’s a style!
I asked Bram about that and he said ‘No. They just let themselves go’.
HA! Maybe he said no because that’s his future look!
He said that’s my look.
Ha! Oh here is where the fashion show is on tonight. The graduation show.
Oh yeah? Vaast was telling me that this is also the time when all his students have juries.
Yes, but that’s kind of nice because normally those shows are for free.
And you can just walk into their studio and have a look. So you don’t only see an end result but also their process.
Right…I avoided school so I don’t relate to this idea of judgement.
When did you drop out? Did you finish high school?
Oh yeah, I finished that. And then after I went to Art summer school at CalArts.
And then from there on I went to community college, called college of the canyons. I was taking art & jazzclass
yeah jazz-theory-class. But then I left and went to Santa Monica city college.
But it failed me, so I left. I didn’t go trough that system of critiquing,so that idea of winning or loosing always seems so off putting to me. Even the idea of grading. You know I understand critique and your friends and the whole ‘hey I don’t get this’, ‘I like this’ but it’s the same reason why I don’t like awards or winning something I mean, it seems having someone tell you if it’s good or bad. Who gives a shit! I don’t need some validation from someone to tell me they like it or not. It’s for me, so.
Yeah, but that’s amazing because for most people, reaching the point where they do not feel the need for validation for the things they do is such a long process.
They need time in school to look for that
Exactly! You are super lucky to have that as a basic instinct
Fancy hair salon. They all have short hair and beards.
What’s up with that, right! Oh, and don’t forget about their fixed gear bikes.
That culture is around everywhere.
That’s also globalization.
Yeah, It’s like the vase.
But a lot of
In LA we call them the new male.
The new male?
Yeah, they dress pretty sharp, they’re aware of street culture, but they are also very sophisticated, almost like an English dandy…Everything is kind of proper, but it’s in this street, masculine way.
It’s consuming a style.
We’re just consuming for an identity.
You find it trough the things you wear, listen to, …Well, let me come back to our validation topic from before then. When you have a band you are going to come across a lot of people that are evaluating what you do. Just by showing up or not showing up to a show, they are already validating or critiquing your music.
Yeah, but that’s different. Especially, where I come from: an underground scene. People don’t come because of the advertising, they come because they seek it out. So it’s not necessarily that you go to impress people. When I was a kid there was one magazine called maximum rock and roll that had revue’s of punk records. It wasn’t necessarily that I listened to the reviewers opinion. It was more about noticing this or that record was out. It was like an add.
In art it’s the same: you have a review or a critique.
But in art it’s different. I think in art a reviewer does have more impact and a more important role. They are able too…
Yeah, in music critique that would be rare. A lot of writers don’t understand the nuances so it doesn’t have such a big impact on the music itself.
This is a great place by the way. Next time your around!
No, but then if you think about it a lot of kids… This is how it is. You do a show and then you just find your own validation in that.
You already have it. For me validation is just I had an idea and I did it. And that’s it.
And if people don’t like it, too bad. But a lot of kids that are just a bit lost, and construct there identity too conscious by picking out certain clothes, listening to this or that,…
That’s part of being young don’t you think?
I’m now just trying to get out of here. Oh, OK, I know how we can go.
I like open studio days. I enjoy it. But that reason is the same reason why I don’t get the awards. It doesn’t mean anything!
We got nominated for a Grammy.
…Yes, and they said ‘come to the Grammy’s’ but we said no. To us that sort of misses the point: someone telling me I won. What did I win? The best show? A bunch of people in a room that decided our shows are great? That happens every day, in some room somewhere, when some kid go’s ‘I like this record more then this record’. We got nominated for best graphic design…best packaging. But we got beat by Metalica.
Yeah, they’re the ones that won the award.
Funny! Having said that—I do like the graphic designer you guys work with.
Yeah! I love his work.
Yeah, we worked together a lot. We grew up in the same town. As a matter a fact his band was one of the first punk-rock bands I ever saw. I was thirteen and we went to this club in Hollywood called Phil’s thrown. He was in a band with this kid called Aaron, that’s now playing in The Liars.
Ah yes, of course.
Well, he was also from the same town and we went to Hollywood to see them and some other bands. This was, by the way, the first time that I ever went to Hollywood on my own. Well, with a group of friends. One of my friend’s dad drove us. Dropped us off and went ‘Ok, I’ll see you kids in a couple of hours’. It was 1993 or something, and this club had been there since the 80ties, and I remember I walked in and it smelled like pis and there was an old punk-ladie looking like Vivian Westwood selling hotdogs in front.
I was taking in everything. In a way it was so confusing! I was listening to punkmusic, but my knowledge was limited. This was something I read and heard off, but to me, at that moment it became real. And very raw. Freaky! But we went in, saw the bands play. Brian, who was the singer ended up throwing pumpkins in the crowed and pulling his pants off. Or maybe it wasn’t him, but somebody did. And to me all of that was just mind blowing cool. After them there played a band called corporate condo, a band from my high school. And right as they started playing, the headline, some older guys from San Diego who dressed like the sex pistols, pulled out a gun on one of the kids of my high school. So, we got rushed into a car by one off the older kids, like ‘ You kids you’ll stay here. Some shit is going down’. All pretty crazy to me. Anyway, that’s how I known Brian.
Does he still play?
Not really. But, he was in the sound-check performance I was telling you about. He played bass or yeah, effects. And we did a record together, eh…
Actually, could you move that.
Yeah what is that? It’s a metal rod with some paper around it?
Yes, blue-print paper.
Why is that in your car?
Don’t ask. Strange things are moved in this car constantly.
OK, when you pull over, I’ll move it.
But we did a record together for this thing called sound screen design. They put out ten inches about artist books. And was asked to do one. So, him Randy and me made some music together.
He’s not a trained musician?
No, but neither are we.
I don’t think that’s a necessity
. I would never thing about learning how to play music an academy.
But, that’s what Bert was talking about in his performance yesterday as well. There is so much beauty in people that don’t know anything about a medium other than the enjoyment they get from it. When you start making something that’s weird or new, like your performances, people always need time to get accustomed to the new perspective. They need to shift the way in which they look or listen to something. In the beginning nobody will even consider it music, but after a certain amount of time it suddenly has a name, a definition, a history. Where now, in this moment, everything is still blurred and out of focus. And very exiting!
Yeah. When there’s no real historical context to put it in.
Damn, I’m so happy we came this way. Look at all that traffic we’ve avoided already.
Shit! Oh, do you want to pull over here? So we can move this thing and I can go pee. Very road-like!
Oh well hello. Dean!
Everything al right? I was just thinking in the bathroom…
Yes, I do my best thinking there.
A lot of people apparently. My Greek friend, Menelaos has a theory about that. He says more blood go’s to your brain, more oxygen…Anyway, tell me, what where you thinking about?
I was just thinking that I would like to avoid all award ceremonies.
In your life?
Uhu! I don’t know how many I would ever get, but I think I would like to avoid it.
Ah man, bad traffic! Antwerp is crazy, getting in and out of the city is always difficult.
And it’s only three o’clock!
Yes, we are almost as bad as
Pffft, this is worse! I mean LA is bad, but only during rush hour. Other than that…
It’s kind of smooth, it’s true!
…and there are a lot of side streets.
Maybe on Friday rush hour will start a bit earlier, because people get of earlier.
But, I don’t know, in LA it’s more about timing. You just avoid going out at certain times; like if I was to go to the store and I thought about it at four thirty then I would wait until about seven. Or, would go to that store and not that one. But, Beth doesn’t mind traffic.
She likes traffic?
Yes, she grew up with it. She enjoys being in the car and driving. Randy as well, he will just go for a drive.
…driving is fine. Traffic, on the other hand. Traffic is horrible, also physically!
I try to avoid it driving all together.
So for you it’s like a necessary evil?
No it’s fine, but I could live without a car.
Even in LA?
Yes, even there. There where periods I didn’t have a car in LA. I would just use the bus or drive my bike. Now that I live in Mt. Washington it’s a bit more complicated. We’re going to Rotterdam?
We’re going to Breda, then to Utrecht and then Amsterdam. It should take us two hours. Now, maybe Three.
Because of the traffic?
Yeps. I always like looking at the logo’s of trucks because all of them handle with the same message but the variety is huge: some of them are ingenious, others are just lame.
Maybe, that’s what you can design…
Maybe you should design…
Maybe the plates! Fuck standardisation!
Go crazy on it: ‘No it’s fine you can use as many letters as you want. Why limit yourself to six’.
Or ‘why would you use a readable font if you can use Dingbats: smiley, hand, square,…’I like emoji.
Me to, The shit with two eyes is the best.
Communicating trough text became so much more fun since emoji exist. Before texting was very vague, it was hard to convey a certain emotion: it was impossible to see if you where yelling or excited. But now, you just add a little shy face and everybody would get it. Or I feel like eating a plate of pasta: now you just text a plate of pasta. It’s mostly the faces and the hands…
And the palm trees. There’s a lot of those in mine! Or, the cool smiley with the sunglasses.
Oh, I know what’s up. Life is just going to get better. Oh, yes!
Yes, I am. Your not? Sitting here in your sweater.
It’s got some holes in it.
That’s good, adds character.
Oh look at that. What is it?
Ah, That’s where they are working on the ecological soft shoulder of the highway.
Why does it have holes like that?
Because it resembles a binocular, so you look at what’s behind the sign. Nothing but nature. Ingenious!
Cute. Yeah, I like it too. Traffic’s moving!
So, you said Beth likes to be in the car to think? I can relate to that. Or like Randy to just go for a drive.
I don’t get so much enjoyment out of it. To just get into my car and drive. I don’t like driving without a destination.
Yes, but then you have a goal: listening to this record.
Right, but I meant no physical destination.
Did you know that at Def Records they have a car in the mixing studio? Just to listen to their mixes?
For the feeling?
Yes, but also for the specific acoustics.
Yeah, I like listening to music in the car. Our last record was really, or maybe even all of our records are thought off as driving records. Maybe because we’re from LA.
Yeah? Do you test how they sound in a car.
We can’t really deny that we think about our music like that. Because that’s how you listen to music most of the time.
and how much variety there is. Makes sense, since everyone just sits in there car for a huge part of the day.
That’s quite specific for LA I think.
Radio’s a funny medium. Where I grew up there where only a few good stations on FM radio and a lot of religious stations on AM.
God, you grew up in boredom?
Yeah, because there wasn’t any radio outlet. It’s funny. While Beth and Randy… Beth grew up in Colombus, Ohio a college town. So she could listen to college radio. Indie stations an such. And Randy grew up near Clearmount college. So he could listen to their radio. So from an early age on they could figure out there interest and saw their interest shift to this more independent scene. …Where you had to go all the way to Hollywood. Where I had to stumble upon things. It would gather more and more information and store it like a squirrel. Oh look, this is why your warm! You have to push this down. Otherwise the air conditioning doesn’t work.
AHA! Thanks Dean!
You’ve never driven your car before?
This is a new feature! Wow, global. And it’s the same here…Wow amazing
You didn’t know that?
No! Oh, this is great!
I’ve never had air conditioning in my car. If it get’s to hot in LA you can deal with it. But if you live in a city like Palm Springs or something you have to have it. Because it really get’s to hot.
I’ve never given it any thought I’m more fascinated by the form of this hidden feature you discovered.
It’s not hidden, it’s right there. You didn’t know about it.
Very nice. This is very road trip, I need to pee again. I had like two cups of coffee, four cups of water. It’s good.
What else did you do this morning?
I just drank all kind of liquids to prepare for our road trip.
Ah! So we can stop more. Smart!
I don’t know. I woke up late. I’m still a bit jetlagged. But, Bram made me tofu scramble. He had never made it, but I walked him trough it.
That can’t be too difficult. How do you do it?
Well, you just start with some oil and some garlic and onions; And then you put some vegi’s in it and crumble the tofu. Simple. Is there a stop coming or?
Yes, there we go! Let’s get a coffee.
I need one!
Only in Europe!
That would never fly in the USA Are you still recording?
Wow that’s going to be the longest…
How many page’s do you think it’ll be?
Well, sometimes I’ll do some editing.
Like when you start talking about some stupid stuff?
Yes, but I normally leave in the directions. The ones where you go ‘Oh, we should have gone left’.
Oh yeah, that’s cool. Because, it’s those things that break up the conversation and put you in to where we’re at.
But, if you leave it on it’s going to be hours and hours and hours. Or yeah, pages. It’ll take for ever to transcribe.
Well, that the nice thing about it, it becomes a kind of essay. I think it can only say something about this space when it’s an ongoing process. An exercise that I repeat over and over for the next two years until it becomes a collection of all kinds of different talks. And trough it I hope you can get a sense of this space and the setting or the wandering. I’m very curious how it will turn out myself…For me transcribing these talks make sense because of my own background with interviews: I enjoy reading an interview in my couch while being somewhere else in my head. And I hope these talks would have a similar effect on others. That’s the whole idea. Wandering!
Would be interesting if you would map out who your going to or where your going to.
Yes, I hear what your saying. Some game rules: like the amount of pages, the time, the fo…Oh no traffic, Quick, switch lanes. This seems to be better.
Are we still in Belgium?
No, we’re in the Netherlands now.
Ah, it’s so beautiful here. In the Netherlands.
Well we’re here. I’m sure you can find Amsterdam on your own from here.
Just a couple of ours to go. What time is it?
Four o’clock. I think.
You need to change the time on this clock. Is it still winter-time?
Yes, I can’t change it, because I took the radio out.
It’s fine. It’ll be winter again one day.
Six months? I think this is us. Oh no wait. Next exit!
(…) As to being defined as a musician; it never felt right. Only because I think about playing music, a lot, I play music it’s a part of what I have to do. But I could as easily call myself a manager…
Sculpter, producer, friend,…
…Booking agent, all sorts of things. With this last record we did though, I accepted the role of professional musician, in interviews When we started the record I thought ‘Yes, it’s true I am a professional rock ‘n’ roll musician. That was sort of the beginning: I make music an you listen to it even though it’s experimental it still is.
It’s very experimental. I don’t know if a lot of people are aware of the music you make. Which is not a bad thing.
Yeah, Yeah it’s sometimes…
But, I don’t mean only the music No Age makes. But a whole scene that just isn’t know with a big audience. I don’t know.
It’s easy to just hear something and form your opinion and move on…We’ll run into situations where the promoters don’t even know how we sound and are surprised. Maybe because they never listened to us before, maybe because we’ve been promoted in a different vibe. That’s happened a few times.
Yes, but it’s also because the genre you guys plays doesn’t get a lot of airtime. So, not a big audience is acquaint with this type of music. And that’s too bad. Maybe if the music that is played on the radio would be more diverse, people would find their way easier to this genre as well. It’s like you where saying earlier that you where triggered by this music before. When you where young and that you went on some sort of treasure hunt looking for more. Well, not everybody has that energy, but this doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like it once they hear it. And not only that one commercial wonder of the moment over and over again.
But commercial radio is still interesting, because there’s the phenomena of the DJ but often they are not the ones that pick the music. They have a list of things they get to play whatever advertisers or supporters of their label wants them to play.
Car-radio, its a funny thing.
Yes. You know, people singing. I play drums a lot on the steering wheel.
I’m reading a book about the history of sound in motion (Footnote: LINK TO PDF) at the moment.
Yes, It fits very well with what you where describing earlier. But also with one of my future drives with Yuri Suzuki. He’s an artist that works a lot with or around the notion of these two aspects together. His whole practice is based on it. For instance, he transformed one of those typical black cabs into a receptor for citynoises that then be translated by the ‘car’ and converted into a musical piece. Which would then be broadcasted again while moving trough the same streets.
Like you mentioned before, sound is made to listen to or aims to be listened to in a specific place. But, It’s also nice to notice how a space can be present in music or in a conversation.
The simple fact that a car is one of the only place where you can still take the time to sit down and listen to something or someone blows my mind. Most of the time the car is where I would listen to a whole new album, simply because that’s when I have time for it and am not distracted.
Yes, it’s becoming a rarity that you just sit down and listen to a whole record. Looking at it’s sleave. I mean, I do that. But probably less often then before.
But in a car, you can’t or at least you shouldn’t be watching your phone. You need to focus on the road a bit, maybe your talking to someone, but other then that this time is yours. And there’s this constant movement.
The scenery that changes…
Exactly! Instantly everything becomes filmic.
Good talk Dean. Good Talk.
Yeah, kicking ass!
It’s too late… nice.(maybe a extract to the song on mouse-over ?)
baby, now,it’s too late.
Though we really did try to make it. Oh, a cherry orchard!
A cherry orchard?
Should we go and buy some?
I can just jump out and grab some.
Deal! Do it now!
We used to do that when I was a kid. From where I lived there was a “small” road, the 126, it would take you around 45 minutes to get to the beach. The whole drive you would be surrounded by orange groves. So we would just get out and pick some.
Yeah, reminds me of one of my earliest memories. When I was younger we would often go to the south of France. And one summer we rented a house that was surrounded by cherry orchards. So, at night, me and my cousin would sneak out to eat cherries until sunrise.
How many times have you been on tour in Europe? Six? Ten? Twenty?
Do you mean by car? Because sometimes we just fly in to do a show. Driving I bet we’ve done around fifteen.
So you must have seen a lot of it
Yes, A lot of truck stops.
Touring is a funny way to see a continent.
I’ve been working on this idea of making a record that is from the public domain and combining it with clip art. There’s really not a lot of input from me aside form the selection. Maybe I’ll even hire someone to play the music for me instead of playing it myself.
You mean like elevator music or???
Anything that’s made to be used for free, things that are free from copy writes. I read this book recently, it’s called the sounds of capitalism, it tells the history of how music was used in advertising or how music originally became mass produced and how, trough radio mainly, music became adopted for selling products . Because originally radio programs had to be funded to get airtime. So for instance you would have radio shows named after products; like the Kodak radio hour.
Kind of like the record you showed me before from the Renault company.
Yes, exactly. So it started like this. Before advertisements there would be funding or sponsorship. But the programs would try to be tasteful, because this idea of selling something was not yet in the conversation. It wasn’t about the money yet, more about the prestige. As it go’s on they developed these ways of using songs in jingles and then finally ended up actually making songs for a specific product It’s a nice book. It just go’s trough the history of all that.
It sounds interesting! Who wrote it?
The writer is a professor at UCLA. His main argument in the book is that these days the distinction between popular music and advertising music is nonexistent You can’t differentiate anymore between the two. Pop music is commercial and visa versa.
You mean like how certain songs get written for certain artists, not because the artist is interesting or promising but because they can reach a certain crowed of people trough this music.
In this book it’s not as open and clear as that. He talks more about the sound that is more open and commercial…Almost as if our tastes have adopted a certain commercial aspect.
And we are trying to move away from that again.
It’s funny, we became more global but also became more localized.
That’s because when we leave our own surrounding, when we go to another city, when we leave everything behind, we get confronted with the fact that—because we’re so globalized—everything is just the same, but different. And as soon as we touch ground we are confronted with that fact. I think that this disappointment makes us want to protect the things or traditions we think are unique or local.
Yes, it’s true, there’s not so much difference.
It’s a bit the same as when people move from county A to county B. You become more nostalgic of your own heritage and traditions, just because you need to get a grip on all the changes happening around you. I never would have guessed to whiteness that within myself, in my own behaviour. But ever since I’m living in The Netherlands I’m more proud of Belgian products, behaviours and things… All of a sudden…
You want Frensh fries?
Well yeah, obviously. It’s like all of a sudden Belgium is the best. Though, I think it is a weird country as well.
Of course. Your always are going to miss home.
Yes, but I think it’s more because, from a certain distance, everything becomes lovable again. Even though the trend of loving something local is as well global.
What surprises me is that my generation, or our generation doesn’t seem to have so much rage. We have this giant crisis and, unlike the 80ties punks, we sort of go with it. ‘Oh yeah, it’s a crisis. It’ll pass’.
Maybe because we can see much more trough our Google searches and Wikipedia annotations and are like ‘yeah, seen this before. civilisations fall’
‘meantime, what text did I get’. But, maybe it’s also because we take matters into our own hands more. This performance tour is a great example of that. You got up and did it.
We seem to blame less people. If nobody knocks on your door to come and find you, you go looking.
It’s interesting that you can seek out your own more efficient then before. You don’t even need to like the same things as your friends. There’s no cultural perimeter that tells you what is good or bad. Now. My reality is so much more different then somebody else’s reality just because we have so much more options; in food, the music, art, clothes.
I wonder if now, since it’s so open if kids are still finding a connection?
I think its also because parents want their kids to fit in. You still want them to feel part of the same group.And kids play with others and then discover these new things. So how was highschool in America? That must have been horrible? It is in any case so…
It was alright. I didn’t do any of the…is that a swan.
Yeah! And a windmill! There you go! You don’t see those in the states?
We’re almost in Amsterdam aren’t we?
Yes, That’s the city right there.
That wasn’t too bad.
Pretty painless drive.
Hamstertown. Isn’t that what they call it?
Hamstertown? No. They say Dam’k. I don’t know where they get it from.
It’s like Vegas. The European version. That’s what we call it in America. Are you ok?
I’m just a bit tired. Still.
Well, we are almost there.
Time to get some fresh air…
We can go out, walk around.
Yes, we should. It’s a interesting neighbourhood…I wonder if they, at one point would be interested in setting up Kunstverein LA.
Well, I wonder. Supposably LA is a big art town so, it’s good to look into. There’s always something happening.
It is! Always was, ever since the 70ties.
Always, kind off.
Baldasari made sure of that!
But then nobody really turned their heads toward the city because of him. It wasn’t until Mike Kelly came around, who stayed in LA and didn’t move to NY after school, that things started changing. But I think LA’s underground culture, has always been attractive. For the music scene at least.
Yes, It’s weird that there is this destict LA sound, even bands from totally different genres can sound similar.
Kind off. In the early 2000, coming from LA was very unreal. Everyone lived in Portland or Brooklyn. LA wasn’t a cool place. It was a place bands would avoid because there wasn’t really a scene. But it was always good for the stuff we where into, the particular underground scene.
I don’t even know what it was. Experimentation. But no real scene. House shows. Not anything more then Roy Allen and stuff.
There’s a photo on one of your record sleeves. It’s You and Randy and all these others standing in front of this place…
Yes. I think that place did a lot in terms of establishing an actual scene in LA. A gathering point. It’s a bit similar to what Vally is now doing with his space, 019.
Yeah, great space.
Yes, hang out, but we would also work on things together there.
I think it was similar to what Scheld’apen was for Antwerp in the early days. And you will find it in any city you go to: a place that sparks.
Well, it’s something that’s needed. That’s not found in the regular circuit of galleries and museums or institutions. You don’t get that amount of freedom.
Yes. No rules.
No the only rule is that you show up.
And aesthetic of it all is still open, still to be determined.
Yes, and it grows organically out of the events. For instance if you look at historical music scenes like punk or new wave bands.
Or whatwas for the Manchester scene…
In one sentence, you can’t help it. Or you do it on purpose. When we where young, and played at , we would champion the differences in a way. We would play together with a hard core electronic band, but then the band that came after would be rapping. Or there would be a guy painting. Different styles and different ideas of what music was would mix. So, when we started touring with No Age people would be like ‘Oh, wow, a two person band, how did you come up with that?’ And really, there was no thought behind that. It wasn’t that thought out.
What is this street? Damn, it’s beautiful out.
Yeah, welcome to Amsterdam by the way! Oh, should I go right here? I think I should.
Oh wait, I know where we’re at I stayed in a hotel down this street.
Well, maybe you’re going to stay there again tonight.
I hope not, it was the smallest room ever! And we shared it with, maybe, eight people? It was when we toured with No Age and Mika Miko.
True, because that’s your ex-girlfriends band? Right?
Yeah, and her sister Jenna. And Kate.
I don’t know them. The band quite before I started interviewing.
Kate just graduated from CalArts.
Good for her!
Well, maybe one day you’ll hear about her art or something.
Maybe one day I’ll book her.
Yeah, your going to book her? I could see that. I feel your going to be a curator or something. Is that what you want to do?
No not really, but I think it’s something I’m becoming more and more.
You could also be…
I want to be. Well, if I could choose what I’m going to be, I would choose to be part of a editorial board for a magazine. And I’m pretty sure that I’m always going to be a curator of some sort of space. And I wouldn’t mind doing some tours before I’m thirty, just so I can drive around a little bit and take care of things.
Like your doing now. Maybe you can curate a space in which you are also part of a editorial team.
Oh well, we’ll see. We are here now. Thanks so much for the talk!