Schwein!
Interview and “Cindy Make Him” Single Release

Interview by Jay Armstrong
Photographs by Isaiah Mancha

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

More often than not the people you encounter with music have an ego overshadowing their skill, the art taking a backseat to the caricature they align their lives to portray. Then there is the anomaly that is Matt Schwein—all substance, no ego, a dedication to his craft unparalleled, all with a positive heart of gold and an always friendly disposition. Both of us arriving in Austin within months of each other and having taken notice early on how both our paths crossed and mirrored the other rather similarly with our assimilation and ever developing identities in this town, a camaraderie has grown between then and now of an honesty and openness which I have experienced only a handful of times over the course of this life of which I have spent drunkenly stumbling down the long and lonely path of rock n roll. The bond between us of a heightened appreciation I thirst for constantly yet have found most seem want only to avoid. There are few people in life we come across who manage to make you thankful for being in their presence and inspired by their integrity, an integrity embodied within their entire being. Schwein is one of the rare ones. Over a few beers behind Hotel Vegas we became caught up in conversation on a new area of creative inspiration he was finding through the positives and negatives of his experience and, as I usually feel when tasting his words, I really wanted the world to see the side of this substantially significant yet often understated artist most will never get to experience. Whether it is playing guitar in Annabelle Chairlegs, drums in The Diamond Center, or fronting his ever evolving project of Schwein!, it is criminal for people only to experience the outburst of his skill so often without ever immersing themselves in the humbly mystified, rarely substantiated, “artist” which he as human being manifests. Accompanied by photographer and Goldbloom drummer Isaiah Mancha, we agreed to meet up at his place the next afternoon for this conversation where what was slated as a twenty minute interview flowed over into an hour and a half beer and bowl hang of the best kind. Although his words speak for themselves, assume all of his responses are delivered with tangible sunshine optimism.

Editors note: although doing my best to retain the integrity of the afternoon, we did have to edit out roughly seven hundred “likes” and “ya knows” thrown in by all three parties just to steer you from seeing us as merely early nineties supporting actors in a ninja surf film.

Anon Magazine: How’s it going man, what’s been up with you lately?

Schwein: Just been trying to release this new song, that’s like the coolest thing for me right now. I have like over twenty songs recorded that are in various stages, just been figuring out what to do with all of that. I’ve got Coffee if y’all want some (we decline and open beers instead….. he pauses) good to see you guys.

Anon: Good to see you too man….play something for us.

Schwein: You want to hear what I’m working on?

Anon: I want to hear that one you were talking about the other night, the one with strings.

Schwein: It might not be the final mix but it’s getting there.

 

 

Isaiah: Did you like record these live? The strings.

Schwein: My friend Lisa Lam—she plays with Chris Catalina and I think she plays in Mother Falcon—she played the violin. (We listen to the song for like forty-five seconds without interruption)

Anon: Why don’t you put this song out with the interview?

Schwein: Yeah, that would be sweet. I’m just not sure if it’s finished yet, I should have it close enough I guess.

Anon: Anybody else play on this?

Schwein: Just me and the violin player.

Anon: That’s it? The one instrument you can’t play, that’s the one you need someone else for I guess.

Schwein: Pretty much (we pause). I could show you track by and track all the shit that’s on here,this songit was a bitch to mix it.

Anon: Is this your Pet Sounds?

Schwein: Yeah kinda. I told you what it was about, right? My buddy’s dad died in a motorcycle wreck—

Anon: You mentioned it the other night at Vegas but—We talked about the wreck, I didn’t know that’s what this song was about.

Schwein: Yeah (pauses) it was so cool man, I was just sitting outside on the front porch just writing my song, I was trying to figure out a second verse and all of a sudden this little lizard comes up, he was a little guy, he just comes up and he starts looking at me, his neck was this big bright pink, and I’m just sitting here playing this song and while I’m playing this lizard’s like digging it and it’s like uh “on my front porch looking at me, blending in to the color green,” like—I was just thinking a lot about reincarnation, cause my buddy’s dad still hadn’t died yet, so I was like, ‘I wonder what he would turn into,’ ya know? Like I wonder who he would represent and all of a sudden this lizard guy just comes up and he’s just chilling there, I ended up getting a really good verse out of it.

Isaiah: What’s this song called?

Schwein: “Cindy Make Him”. Which is my buddy’s mom, about her husband, the chorus is “Cindy mak—” he was on life support, “Cindy make him please wake up” that’s the chorus, but then he didn’t make it, a couple of days later he actually didn’t make it. But he was SO cool man (we all kind of deflate for a few seconds) but he was the kind of guy who would always just be rollerblading through the neighborhood with his dog just loving everything, all the punk kids would go to his house, I recorded his son’s punk band like ten years ago and

Anon: What band was that?

Schwein: They were called The Capones, which are recently reunited, the singer was in Iraq for three or four years like watching people getting killed.

Isaiah: He was in the military?

Schwein: Yeah and I was like whenever you get back from leave, let’s record, that was in downtown Chicago when I lived there and sure enough he came by and and I got to record him, weso yeah this guy was just like a father to everybody in the neighborhood, and that’s—the beginning of the song is “he’s a father to them, he’s a father to us” and he always was. It’s like all the mohawk kids, all the fucking Ramones kids,all of us punk kids went to this guy’s house and, I don’t know, it’s just a huge loss. He gave us a place for all the weirdos to go, and his wife, I changed the name to Cindy cause, I don’t know, but they were so in love, it was crazy. My buddy’s parents, it was always lke “oh go get a room, get a room”  as kids, and they were even to this day it was like damn they are in love, it was crazy.

Isaiah: The kind of love you only hear about or see in movies or whatever?

Schwein: Mmmhmmmbut that’s why I can only use a song like this for something like that.

Anon: That’s a deep connection in this song though, I mean, most people won’t even scrape in on it but it’s there.

Schwein: I love it. That’s why I tried to make the vocals really loud so you can hear every word.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Anon: What made you chill out so much on this record?

Schwein: Man (elongated, soft, positive)— I don’t know. Kyle and Brandi, probably, from The Diamond Center. I’d say definitely Kyle and Brandi and their three year old daughter—that’s the thing that made me chill out a lot, spiritually like on another level.

 

 

Anon: You’re just playing with The Diamond Center and Annabelle Chairlegs at the moment?

Schwein: Yeah

Anon: And Schwein! is reforming or what’s up with that?

Schwein: I really want to get it going again but I really know that these two bands deserve a lot of my time, especially Annabelle, we’ve worked so hard on that band, I don’t want to sacrifice any of these opportunities, I just want to work on one or two really great things, which I’m really happy with actually.

 

 

Anon: Well maybe you could get a few great musicians together that can just jump in whenever and then you could lineup Schwein! like four or five shows a year or something.

Schwein: Yeah, yeah, that’s kinda what I’m thinking. Do Schwein! just every once in a while. It’s probably going to be somewhat incestual where members of these other bands will also back me up with Schwein! which is something I’m looking forward (pauses) but I definitely want to have like Saxophone live or maybe a violin or cello, and a twelve string or all of those things, like have a bigger sound that’s way more mellow. What’s interesting, I have two records, the second is very bipolar from the first one. Where the first one I had to get out all of this angsty kind of punk energy, growing up stuff,  and now I just wanna make it mellow, so  I know people are gonna come to the show and want to see one thing but get something different but in a way I think that’s kind of beautiful.

Anon: Yeah, you’ve already done the other record, that’s what you keep telling me is that you didn’t want to remake that first record.

Schwein: Exactly, I already made that punk rock n roll old school sounding record so now I want to do something people haven’t heard, it’ll be interesting, it’s gonna be so different, on this new record I have so many things going on; I have tape loops of, so I took three violin tracks and then I slowed down one of those violin tracks on the tape machine, so I slowed it down and it made it sound like a cello, ya know, and then I put that in with those three so now you have three violins and a cello and I took those four things and I sent those out into the tape machine and slowed down the whole group of those and then I put them in there again and I sped them all of so you get like a whiiiirrrrrrrr wheeeeerrrrrrr (funny sing/humming high-to-low thing which sounds almost michael-bay-trailer-esque, it’s great on the record but Matt’s ability to recreate a multiple-tape loop organically with his mouth is comically flawed, you should try sing/humming it yourself, lemme know how that turns out) and then you get eeeeee-ehhhhhhh (read previous description but the notes go up and up this time) like (he kicks on the tape player to the spot of the actual sound which is full and beautiful and slightly eery on its own) these are the normal ones that are kind of abstract, then sped up (turning and pushing knobs) then slowed down. It’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot going on. It’s going to be hard to recreate. Then there’s another part where it’s like I have the normal one, like the normal keyboard organ, and then I have (pressing keys on the keyboard now) a sped up version of it.

Anon: Where’d you get those samples from?

Schwein: I played them into the tape machine at a low speed and it would be recording normal and then I’d go back and I’d play it off of this tape machine and then I’d speed it up and as it was going in I’d make it kind of worble where I’d touch it so it would slow down the tape and just do like weird stuff to it like where it makes crazy fucking noises.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Anon: It sounds like when you put on a record that’s sat in your car for a little too long—

Schwein: Yeah like a messed up old record. Most of this I was just messing with the delay on an organ. It’s psychotic though man (pauses with this organ noise that would have gotten Kubrick hard droning on for a few seconds) and that’s just me and one violin player, ya know what I mean. It’s pretty crazy, I’ve learned a lot over this last year and I definitely have to credit a lot of the stuff I’ve learned to Ramiro (Verdooren) from The Rotten Mangos. I feel like I’ve learned all of these cool little tricks, just weird things about slowing down tape or—

Anon: What is it about that guy that makes you—

Schwein: Ummm just that he’s so adamant about not using any digital gear. Like his entire signal flow is completely analog, it never turns into zeros and ones, there’s no computer processing at all it’s like you have to work harder to make something that can even sound more lofi than if you just did it on a computer but the craftmanship behind it forces so much more creativity. It’s like if you want to get a reverb sound well you’re not just gonna put it through a reverb pedal, you’re gonna put an amp out in a big room and then put a microphone at the end of the room to make it sound like it’s in a big room because it actually is in a big room, ya know instead of just turning up your digital reverb as an effect. Or he’ll bring over things like a space echo, a tape delay, and just what you can do with that. I don’t know, he constantly brings me weird instruments to use; twelve strings or like really great microphones and preamps, this preamp right here (points to one directly over his computer which is currently in use) ya know what I mean. And he’s always here to hang out, now I’m lucky enough to play in a band with him too cause he joined Diamond Center, he’s our keyboardist for Diamond Center. But uh (Clicks a track on his computer) this is another thing I’m pretty stoked on. I’m finishing up Rattlesnake Milk’s new record. It really was great. I didn’t really know them too well before the session. I loved the music but….. it was really exciting, they came in with such great attitudes and my whole thing when I bring in a band, I just want to create a good vibe, make sure everyone is real comfortable and just fun ya know and they came in the first day, they booked two days studio time, and by the end of the first day they had nine tracks done, that they were happy with, and the next day they did one more and all of the overdubs and we mixed half of the record the next day. So by the end of the second day almost ten songs were completed, done, and mixed. Usually a band will come in and maybe three or five will be done in a day and they just came in and nailed every take. It was really fun man.

Anon: Country music, it amazes me how many people hate it, I mean I get to some extent why people might not be attracted to the sound of the music but when you get around that bias or your playing shows with dudes that do it, it—you have to see it—it seems as though it’s very formatted, ya know,  A B A B C B or whatever but when you look at these dudes who are really fucking talented but instead of having an entire space to play around in, the way psyche or metal players get to, these guys are limited to five second spurts and they are playing shit most great players can’t pull off in forty-five seconds,

Schwein: Exactly!

Anon: —Most players need an entire solo and these guys jump into it in a flash and fall back into some repetitive line in E they’ve been ghosting on behind the lyrics and it is insane. I hear someone say they “hate” country music and I instantly know they have their head up their ass you know. And on top of having that restrained skill standing out you can tell with Rattlesnake Milk that these guys are super tight—

Schwein: You can tell they’ve been friends for a loooooong time. I met em first time I went out to Lubick with Diamond Center and they were just as sweet as could be so it’s cool to work with them about a year later. It was just really great vibes. We were just cookin out, Barbecuin,’ hangin’ out. I’m excited to see what happens with their record.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Anon: For a while you were like, “I’m only recording maybe one or two bands and that’ll be it” now your like—

Schwein: I feel like I have an obligation to the community

Anon: Is that what it is?

Schwein: Somewhat. Kinda.

Isaiah: You’re one of the few locals who’s like, “Yeeaahh, come by and record,” it’s interesting to hear you say it feels like it’s an obligation to the community.

Schwein: I really do. Cause sometimes I wish there was someone like me, like maybe five years ago when I first started off in Austin, that had a low rate that wasn’t an arm and a leg for a good recording and as well get the comfort of doing it at a house where everyone’s supportive, I live with some of my biggest inspirations, these two houses here, like Fez is my biggest inspiration who is nothing but supportive.

Anon: Who all lives here?

Schwein: Right now it’s Fez—Federico Moreno—Dallas Cloud and Matt Roth; so I have just a really creative group. And then in the back house is Lindsey from Annabelle Chairlegs and Jenny Carson (The Reputations, Evan Joyce & Jenny Lane), so we have two amazing singers living in the back house and Derek’s(Annabelle Chairlegs, The Diamond Center), that’s my best friend in the world, moving into the back house with them. It’s cool to have all of my inspirations living so close. This space is a healthy place to create. And then to see these guys (Rattlesnake Milk) smile at the end of a recording session, it all just makes me wanna do it more. It’s all very motivating. All the way back to when I had my heart surgeries, music just took on this whole new meaning and ever since I moved in here it’s just been—

Anon:How old are you now?

Schwein: Twenty-nine…. Twenty-nine.

Anon: I always forget you’re not in your early twenties, I mean how many times have I asked you your age, feels like fifty. How long have you lived here (referencing the house)?

Schwein: Coming up on two…. two years.

Anon: Two years? Jesus, so much has happened since then. How do you feel about living here compared to Chicago? What do you like about it, what do you miss?

Schwein: Um of course I’ve got family and great friends in Chicago but for me as a musician it was way too expensive to get by

Anon: It was expensive compared to here?

Schwein: Yeah, it was expensive to rent a space and there wasn’t much of a happening scene. So I don’t see myself leaving here any time soon. There’s just so many more opportunities and this warm sense of love from the community that makes me want to like keep making music. And like I said now I feel obligated to stay. I love it so much. I just don’t see myself being able to afford living somewhere else and having a recording studio out of my house.

Anon: Like the only logical step from here is what San Francisco and none of us can afford that. I romanticize about that… the whole Janis Joplin go from Austin to San Francisco, the whole fucking watever.

Schwein: Now it’s the other way around. I feel like this is that now.

Anon: Here’s where you’re like okay now I’m going to figure out my craft, you move out there thinking it’s going to be this wild ride, here’s where you—I mean here it’s the velvet coffin, you comfortably die here, there’s more opportunity to develop into a better version of yourself here—

Schwein: Yeah, aside from maybe L.A. and New York.

Anon: And what is really coming out of those places now, ya know?

Schwein: I don’t really like what I’m hearing coming out of L.A. lately or anymore, there’s tons of great music being made in those plac—

Isaiah: I feel like there’s, I don’t know, I feel like Austin’s on the rise of something really big happening here. As far as music or working in the film industry here, like I don’t know, I’ve worked with a lot of people in L.A—the film industry community, like the way it works, and the feel of it, is very much the same as the the music community here—there’s a lot of people I work with in L.A., and over there it’s super cutthroat, people will do whatever they need to do to get ahead. Here people are so willing to help out whether they need to, it’s so supportive like, “oh you need some help, I’ll come help you out,” like “you’re making a movie? I’ll come help you with whatever you need.” And they’re there to do it for art’s sake, ya know it’s not like I’m just trying to make money or I’m trying to make a living, ya know. I mean, it’s great when that shit happens but at the same time you’re a friend and you’re doing something that I wanna do also, so I’m willing to put in my time to help you do it. That’s the way it is here. The music community is way different than it was when I first moved here it’s—

Schwein: We have to be here for each other as a music scene.

Anon: Five years ago it felt like everyone was just on fire. Like everybody was a rocket, the wick was lit, and everybody was just shrrrrww shrrrwww shrrwwww, and suddenly it kind of sank in that we were all young and stupid and delusional but it turns out we are all really good at certain things which we can offer to one another. And we all love being here, it’s like—I think you are absolutely right. That’s what I love about Austin, you can just talk to the person next to you that’s a friend and be “I’m trying to do this thing” whatever random thing you’ve kind of wanted to just do and friends, people you wouldn’t ever expect to even be on board with it get super positive about it, just wanting to lend a hand in whatever way they can, You don’t seem to see that anywhere else.

Schwein: I don’t feel it anywhere else.

Anon: Like you ended up recording Goldbloom, how’d that come about. I’m sure that was like over a beer

Schwein: Yeah, Goldbloom—

Isaiah: Yeah, that was just like “I’ve got a recording studio lets just like go and see wh—”

Schwein: I mean it’s like that sense of obligation I was talking about, it’s like who else is going to, I mean somebody has got to help these bands. A lot of bands are scared to go into bigger studios where they are going to spend four hundred bucks a day to get something they’re not even sure if they are going to like.

Anon: And four hundred is low balling it.

Schwein: Four hundred is low balling it for sure with a lot of studios. I love what I do, so for it to be under two hundred a day is really great for bands. Especially—

Isaiah: There’s not a lot of this either. You either do something which is really lo fi like home recordings or you pay a shitload of money for a brand name studio.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Schwein: I’ve gotten competent enough to feel like I can start putting out records for people. It was really great working with Lindsey making that first Annabelle record. It was good to work with someone who knew what they really wanted and that’s what’s great cause sure it was stressful but I’ve become such a patient person through all of it. I feel like I’ve become some sort of Buddhist after all of this, okay another take, another take, another take, and I have to just be like breathe deep, keep doing it. It’s not about me, it’s about making sure the band is happy, it’s not about if I’m happy as a producer. I want the band to come in and have full say and control and let them get on the mixer and the EQ’s and mess with things. I’m all about it now. I just want them to leave happy.

Anon: It’s like how many times have you had a band hand you a record and immediately say “but the recording guy he like,” and they immediately start giving you excuses.

Schwein: That’s exactly what I don’t want. I want them to get their hands in there, get it the way you want it.

Anon: Most studios, I mean there’s fifty studios in town and I only recommend recording with you or over at Sweetheart when talking with bands, that’s kind of sad. Not to downplay the quality, there’s certainly some perfect albums coming out of studios all over, but when you choose a studio you’re kind of saying that the records they’ve already done are what you are subscribing to your band sounding like, it shouldn’t be so rare, even in a place where everyone wants to see the other do well, to find guys producing those albums to say, “let’s get this thing how you want it and not just force you into the box we’ve built to define our business.”

Schwein: There’s some great engineers in this town that are very inspiring, I’m really looking forward to working with some of them because I don’t necessarily want to make all of my own records, or like Annabelle Chairlegs records, ya know I’d like to get the experience of being around more experienced engineers and really pick their brains as well, to be able to just go in and be the artist and not be the engineer. I’m really looking forward to working with others in town and seeing their studios so I can develop this craft even further. It’s very stressful recording your own band, now I have a more streamline setup as well as band mates who are competent engineers as well, like for example Ramiro wanting a Diamond Center session around the house here, it’s great because we all have a different array of equipment we can all bring in here together and now have the baffles setup so we no longer have to worry about the bleed over from the drums, it’s great having engineer friends around, but there certainly is some freedom or less stress, ya know, that comes with having someone else recording it. Still recording other people, I just find myself with all of this neat gear, it’s almost like it finds me, like my buddy posted a little something about this mixer, something I’ve been wanting forever, and wanted one, cause it was like a Tascam 388, a classic tape machine, but here is like a bigger version of it without the tape machine, and my buddy Dillon’s just like I’m trying to get rid of this thing and actually I’ve got a rack that goes with it and two snakes and a board, two hundred bucks. It’s like uh YEAH. And he just shows up like I’ve got it in my truck, you want me to bring it in? And he just plops it down right here and I’m like, “that’s not going anywhere man. That’s mine, I’m keeping that.” I’ve fallen in love with it. Everything goes through this thing, it’s twelve channel four bus, everything is streamlined now so I just turn it on and it’s ready to go and like this gear found me. When I use to try to have studios with friends that I was living with it would be like the living room was just scattered with guitars, fifty cables all over, dogs are tripping over stuff, and now it’s embraced, no one touches the gear and at the end of each day I’m not having to put away all of my toys, now it’s all set up so we can jump right into the session again tomorrow. I love that about it.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

(After working our way through a good portion of a case of Budweiser I excuse myself to use the restroom and come back to Isaiah and Matt listening to a new Annabelle Chairlegs song, Matt in mid-sentence—)

Schwein:—dude Lindsey’s songs pull my heartstrings, it’s really great to work with your biggest inspirations, it’s a great bond and we’re growing stronger too, which is like, I don’t feel bad putting my own music on the back burner for these other bands at all. I couldn’t be happier honestly. I’m always so impressed with her new songs.

(He puts on a new slow one Annabelle is in the process of recording and we space out for a few minutes, Matt chiming in every few moments to lament over how much he respects her songwriting and how incredible it feels to play with a group of people who grow stronger and stronger together in her vision. When the song is over we sit in peace for a few moments. He then puts on a real spaced out Diamond Center song.)

Anon: So what’s still frustrating you about music? Does anything still feel heavy about it?

Schwein: Honestly, nothing. This is beginning (referencing the Annabelle song) to be a bigger part of my life and like just awareness of spirituality, honestly nothing. I feel like less and less stresses me out. I mean maybe not seeing family stresses me out a little bit but in Austin nothing stresses me out. Maybe it’s the Jerry Garcia in me that keeps me so mellow. I don’t know, I think a lot of it has to do with Kyle and Brandi and my band mates keeping me level. And maybe even a little bit more spirituality; awareness—

Anon: What does that mean to you? What is spirituality to you?

Schwein: Kind of realizing—it’s what Roky Erikson meant, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” It’s like the spirituality, the higher being, it’s already in you if you realize it and it’s like there if you want it to be. And realizing I am a bit more spiritual and grateful for what I’ve been given. I don’t know, maybe it’s just like kicking in that I’m happy to be alive. I think that has a lot to do with my friends. Yeah, learning how to just mellow out into the music, with friends that’s spirituality. Like with Diamond Center, I have no problem playing a nine or ten minute song now. It’s like ‘just mellow out,’ it’s about us being one and all playing together instead of one person doing a solo and another person—it’s a bigger picture. It’s a group meditation.

(I’m struck by the ending washout note on the Diamond Center song playing just as he finishes his sentence.)

Anon: What was that sound? That last note on the song?

Schwein: (queuing up the song to play that note one more time for me) That finishing sound? It was a mellotron going through a space echo  and I was effecting the—a space echo is a tape delay—uh you’ll hear it, most people know it nowadays from John Dwyer’s (Coachwhips, Thee Oh Sees, etc,) vocals. He always has that space echo. A space echo is a physical tape delay, basically there’s a few tape heads and it takes the sound from one tape to another so it’s a physical delay, it’s a little hard to explain but it’s the nicest sounding delay you’ll ever hear. We did that on a bunch of instruments, I would feedback the delay, it sounds like a spaceship landing. Like for this recording we each had the overdub of a mellotron going on and then we have clean signal and another going through the effected space echo, so you have the clean one and on another channel you can mess with it as a delay. We did that to the flute, we did that to Brandi’s vocals, and I think we might have done that to the mellotron so it’s basically like an instrument in itself. You hear that effect often on The Future Is Gnar, the first Schwein! record. I was all about that feedbacking the delay and twisting it around.

 

 

Anon: Everything about The Future Is Gnar from m the artwork to the songs is perfect. I remember when you gave that to me I threw it on the seat in my car and just kept putting it off for weeks, I don’t know why but I just kept putting it off thinking I wasn’t going to be in the mood for it or whatever and wanted my first listen to be in the right mindset and then I was driving home one night at like two in the morning and was only on like the third song by the time I got home and I just sat in the parking lot listening to it all the way through, it stayed in my cd player for months after that, playing everywhere I went, that’s an incredible album, it really is.

 

 

Schwein: It’s funny cause like years later it seems like people are just now starting to catch on to that record.

 

 

Anon: It’s such a bummer. That seems to be the case with every single band we love in town, like we see it on stage each night and can feel how truly unique and amazing these records everyone is putting out and it feels like it should be instantaneous but it’s like years down the road and—

Isaiah: Yeah, I know that’s true. That’s how it always is, I’ll like listen to an album like right away and then I kind of put it on the shelf or whatever and then some time will pass and I put it back in and I’m like, “why have I not been really listening to this sooner.”

Anon: There’s so many records I’m obsessed with now that I couldn’t give a fuck about when even other people— you know there’s certain people who you really respect what they listen to, stuff you’ve never heard of and always really dig their opinion—and they’ll say to check a band out and I just don’t. And then something hits me and I’m like “today’s the day I give this band a chance” and it makes my life, I’m almost upset with myself for having blown it for as long as I did having not listened to it sooner.

Isaiah: You’re finally like “man, I’m so glad I’m listening to this.”

Schwein: It’s crazy how that happens. Even with the Annabelle album, it seems like people are just now giving it a chance. Like that’s been out for a year and people are just now starting to listen to it, getting into it, getting used to it.

Anon: That makes sense how, you remember how when you were younger you’d get into a band and realize they hadn’t put out a record in two or three years, it’s not that they aren’t able to write songs, it must be a universal realization among bands who have been at it for a while that unless you have reached that top level of awareness it’s gonna to be a long time before your record gets close to the appreciation it probably deserves. I bet that’s exactly it. So as we’re wrapping this up, let’s end with a few fluff one’s that might turn people on to something new and give a small look at what your creativity stems out of. What are you’re five favorite, emphasis on favorite not best, five favorite bands of all-time?

Schwein: Five favorite bands of all-time? Yeah. I would say The Grateful Dead of course, The Ramones, The Talking Heads, The Flying Burrito Brothers and I would have to say The Beatles.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Anon: You just “haaaad” to toss The Beatles on there?

Schwein: Yeah, it’s like I have to, it’s an obligation.

Isaiah: The Beatles are great, they’re one of my favorite bands.

Anon: It’s just the way he said it, not that he said it.

Schwein: Yeah— The Beatles.

Isaiah: I feel like some people hate on that, when you say The Beatles, people think it’s a cliche to have them as one of your favorite bands but it’s like, there’s a reason why they’re my favorite band. It’s not just like, “oh I like them because they are The Beatles.” I like them because—

Schwein: They were like one of the first to do like Chorus sounds and like—

Isaiah: Using mono to stereo—

Schwein: They were studio pioneers. They did things in the studio that people would never think of because they could. That alone is—I mean the question was five favorite bands ya know.

 

 

Anon: Quickfire, you can’t think about it at all. Most overrated band of all-time?

Schwein: Overrated (heavy sigh) maaaannn. That’s a good one. Ummmm————

Anon: Like it’s gotta be one that a friend might have in their top five and you’d instantly be, “what the fuck are you talking about man.”

Isaiah: Like The Beatles is definitely one of those. What would you say?

Anon: Me? Two way tie between Led Zeppelin and Rush maybe even Van Halen if I’m being honest. Both are really good at what they do, I’m not arguing that at all, but seriously I couldn’t give a single fuck about what Zeppelin or Rush do—I actually really like Van Halen, I just can’t wrap my mind around any other reason than some childhood nostalgia as to how they would ever become someone’s absolute favorite. Zeppelin and Rush are lame as fuck. I’ve been stuck on so many tours and road trips just fucking miserable for hours— I’ve been catching shit from people forever about those two and I don’t even like getting into it, the argument is irrelevant to me, that’s how much I think their music sucks. (editors note; given time to actually think about this answer rather than responding by reflex The Strokes would have without a doubt been inserted into the number one slot. Although I can’t imagine any friend I respect would ever mention The Strokes so they may by default be disqualified but they’ve been pedestalled by so many writers and critics for so long that I’m left assuming people such as myself who think their opinion means something when at best it is merely worthless might actually put it on their top five so….)

Schwein: Oh man, I really can’t think of anything.

Anon: That’s cool, it’s way harder to talk shit about a band when you know what you’re talking about than it is to be positive.

Isaiah: You can see why some people like a certain band so to really talk shit can be difficult. (pauses and half smiles) I would say Tool.

Anon: Or even The Doors

Schwein: Yeah I would say Jim Morrison as a lyricist is definitely overrated.

Anon: I loved The Doors when I was younger, I still respect them, I mean hell just out of how their peers talked about them at the time it’s hard to not believe that what people think about Jim Morrison as a “rock god” or whatever is just really over romanticized.

Schwein: I would say MC5.

Anon: Shit yeah! What the band did is important but Rob Tyner, that dude was a fucking fake with his whole “brothers and sisters” bullshit, the cops show and that dude is the first one in the limo. I get they didn’t want to be the revolutionaries they were painted as but they still got on that stage and played the role, Tyner was a spineless, cowardly, bitch.

Schwein: Yeah, I would definitely say MC5 in a way but they kicked ass. But—

Isaiah: I think that was the thing, their shows were just so wild—

Schwein: I love MC5 but to me they are definitely the most overrated for sure.

Anon: Damn, that’s perfect. Probably the strongest answer I’ve gotten yet.

Schwein: I’ve listened to their records—I just can’t keep listening to their records if that makes sense. I don’t want to hear it over and over again. Like Isaiah was saying, them as a live show was undeniably great but the records overall are kind of overrated.

 

Photo by Isaiah Mancha

 

Anon: Alright, last one, what are your three favorite local bands you think other people should be paying attention to? And you cannot be in the band.

Schwein: Man, Three, uh—

Isaiah: Don’t feel obligated to say my band (real pompously cool… we all laugh).

Schwein: I would say definitely Rotten Mangos— Holy Wave, and Spray Paint. They are so unique, each in their own way, those three for sure.

Isaiah: Can we listen to that song again, the one you want to release with this interview?

He turns and presses play and we all absorb it, this time taking on the full weight of how it came into existence, goddamn what a beautiful song.