May 3, 2008

Misquoted: Air Traffic

So I've decided to start doing a new ... segment I guess it could be called. It's just going to be me interviewing touring bands and asking whatever I feel like. it will be called Misquoted, and then a colon (":"), and then the name of the band I talked to. It'll look very much like this (because this is what it is):

Misquoted: w/ Air Traffic

So just the other night I had the grand opportunity to do a pre-show interview with Air Traffic, a band I've talked about a few times, but certainly haven't talked about enough. Air Traffic has just started their first US tour, and decided to start it off right ... in Denver. They're supporting their fine debut by the name of Fractured Life, and I strongly recommend it. These fine UK fellas were nice enough to entertain my whim-inspired questions. Here's how it broke down:


Luke Hunter James-Erickson (me): You guys get interviewed by people a lot, so, yeah, I'm not gonna waste too much of you guys' time. I'm just some blogger guy just wondering some stuff. So I guess all I really want to know is what really got you guys into music? I know that's kind of a BS question, but, if you think about it, there's all sorts of types of enjoying music: you sit around and you like to listen to music, or you start up a band that's basically just okay, but to start up a band that's a touring band, a touring band that tours through other countries, I think that takes something else, and I was just wondering what, for each of you guys, helped you do that? What, inside of you, summoned that strength to be in a touring band?

(laughter)

David Ryan Jordan (Drums): I mean, I think it's just like obviously, like, who you listen to from a young age. Obviously it comes a lot from parents and stuff like what music they listened to. Especially for me, listening to stuff like, I dunno, like the Beatles and the Beach Boys and Neal Young and stuff. I suppose some people embrace music a lot more than others and want a band as well. That's what happened to me when I started playing drums and stuff. And then, I met these guys in school and stuff, and formed a band and ... wanted to take it really far and ... here we are.

Chris Wall (Piano, Lead Vocals, etc.): I didn't really listen to a lot of music when I was growing up but, uh, my parents sort of played. My mom used to play flute and my dad used to play guitar. As embarrassing as that is ... and, uh, yeah, so I kind of was exposed to it that way, but never really listened to music on records and stuff. And then I found out when I was about 3 or 4 that my uncle was kind of a musician and he used to go on the road and play and I just really wanted to play myself. So that's how I got into it really. I've always wanted it from that young age, I always wanted to, like, play music.

Tom Pritchard (Lead Guitar): Um, I'm almost the same, with my parents. I used to grow up listening to my dad's punk records. My dad plays piano, and a lot of his friends play guitar so its always like a lot of people coming around and just getting drunk and messing around, and I think going to art school and they got people pickin up and playing stuff early, so I kind of thought I'd try it myself. I picked up a guitar and learned it and turned up in a band. So, kind of, here I am now.

Jim Maddock (Bass, Backing vocals): I guess it was just like going to shows and stuff when I was younger. I didn't really start listening to it, rock music, until a bit later on. After that point, I guess, like, got a guitar. My friends liked playing, and they showed me a few things, and then I was in a position to be in a band. I think, really, you need a lot of determination and perseverance to want to be in a touring band.

LHJE:
Especially one that's touring outside of your own country. I dunno, maybe it's different for people in the United Kingdom, than, instead, American bands touring outside of America always seems a little bit harder. I know a lot of local bands who think that going out of the states is a little risky for them ... but I suppose as you get bigger and bigger, it's not that crazy.

Tom:
It's just a completely different world, like the deep end of the pool, and it's like, you know, we're so used to how everything works in England and the rest of Europe and we kind of know what to do and what not to do and to come out here, it's like, a 3 day drive to get from one place to another place or something. It's just, like, insane.

Chris:
You can make it sound like a chore, but it's like, what we really like doing. So, like, we really want to do this. When we're not touring, that's when we're like ...

LHJE: "why are we touring!"

Chris: Yeah, yeah, "why are we not doing something?"

LHJE: And I didn't mean to emphasize it as a chore, it's just, it's a big piece of work. I mean ... this is not something for lazy people.

Chris: yeah, it's a lifestyle.

Jim: Everything you do is, like, just this really.

LHJE: That's pretty awesome. Um, I guess, another thing I was wondering, and these were just things I was throwing around in my head, is just like, with different musicians and stuff... well you don't really know, when you're in the band, whether or not your music is pertinent, you know, like, well whatever that even freakin means... But, does that drive you guys at all, to make pertinent music, or do you guys just do it for fun, or is it, like, a mix of that?

Chris: Um, I think there is some level of pressure now that we've, like, made an album and it's out in the UK, and has been for a long time, and I think theres some amount of pressure to write music for people. In the next album, I don't want to be drawn into that, we just write music because we like it. You write music because you want to hear music, and no body else is making the kind of music that you want to hear, so you're like, "screw it, we're gonna write our own music." And you're not trying to write music for people, you're just trying to write music ... it just happens to be pertinent.

LHJE: Yeah. Well, really, that's about it. Um, is there anything you guys ever don't get asked? Is there anything you guys ever want someone to ask you? Anything you ever want to say to interviewers that no body ever asks you?

Jim: I prefer interviews where they sort of ask you random, sort of off the cuff kind of questions

LHJE: (laughs) Like what are your favorite types of cookies?

Jim: (laughs) yeah, those kind of things. I like chocolate, by the way.

LHJE: (laughs) Oh awesome

Tom: Favorite cookie? Well we've just experienced these new Pim's cookies ... kind like Jaffa Cakes, so they're very nice

Chris: Quite a big fan of Oreo's, personally

(laughter)

David: Yeah, Oreo's ...

LHJE: Favorite type of lettuce? I dunno, do you really want off the cuff things?

(laughter [which got kind of loud all of a sudden and I didn't hear all of what everyone said, and the recording didn't pick it all up {so please excuse misquotes if any}])

Jim: Iceberg

Chris: yeah, Iceberg

Tom: Italian

(laughter)

LHJE: Well, all right. I loved you guys' album, I freakin loved it. Its good. I really liked it.

Tom: You watching the show tonight?

LHJE: Oh heck yeah.

Tom: Cool man.

LHJE: So yeah, I'm excited, you know, that you guys let me have this chance. Thank you so much.

Tom: It was nice meeting you

David: Enjoy the show.


So yeah, there ya go. We actually ended up doing the interview in a kind of noisy spot, and, since I recorded it (because I can't be expected to remember everything everyone said), some of the things said may be a bit off, or may have been said by someone else, but it was all basically there and correct. These guys were freaking rad-tastic, not only on stage, but in person.

Expect to see a review of the show and mp3's of Air Traffic's set here in a day or so.

See these guys if you get a chance:

May 5 2008: the Market w/ Elbow - Seattle, Washington
May 6 2008: St. Andrews Wesley Church w/ Elbow - Vancouver, BC, Canada
May 8 2008: Bimbo’s 365 Club w/ Elbow - San Francisco, California
May 9 2008: Avalon w/ Elbow - Los Angeles, California
May 10 2008: Spaceland - Los Angeles, California
May 11 2008: Soma - San Diego, California
May 12 2008: Brickhouse - Phoenix, Arizona
May 14 2008: House Of Blues - Dallas, Texas
May 15 2008: Bob at Cain’s - Tulsa, Oklahoma
May 17 2008: Record Bar - Kansas City, Missouri
May 18 2008: The Bottom Lounge - Chicago, Illinois
May 19 2008: The Basement - Columbus, Ohio
May 20 2008: Shelter - Detriot, Michigan
May 22 2008: T.T. The Bears - Cambridge, Massachusetts
May 23 2008: Johnny Brenda’s - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 24 2008: Knitting Factory (8PM Show) - New York, New York
May 30 2008: Tsunami - Cologne
May 31 2008: Pinkpop Festival - Holland
Jun 1 2008: Papillons De Nuit Festival - St Laurent de Cuves
Jun 2 2008: Molotow - Hamburg
Jun 3 2008: Magnet - Berlin
Jun 5 2008: 59 to 1 - Munich
Jun 27 2008: La Boule Noire - Paris
Jun 28 2008: Maubeuge Festival - D├ępartement de Nord
Jul 3 2008: Rock Werchter Festival - Belgium
Jul 5 2008: Rheinkultur Festival - Germany

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