kNIFE & fORK through the people that know them best #2
Second part of our kNIFE & fORK expose with some of their friends!
Charles Bobuck (composer for The Residents):
The mystery that I have never fathomed is how Eric ends up playing in and producing so many curious bands. Tell me Eric, what is the secret?
The secret is to not appear to be trying at all, while undetectably releasing specific pheromones on my unsuspecting collaborators, similar in style to a Venus fly trap.
Tim DeLaughter (composer, singer w/Tripping Daisy and The Polyphonic Spree):
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Hmmmmm……probably chasing butterflies with a net in Golden Gate Park. Or perhaps organizing my long-neglected Civil War stamp collection would be my #1 priority. And getting my records and cd’s set in alphabetical order. There would also be more time for the therapeutic act of drawing and painting.
Joey Santiago (guitarist w/Pixies):
You are a multi instrumentalist. Pick 3 of the instruments that you play. Which ONE of many moods do you have to be in to best perform each instrument and why? No cheating...one mood for each instrument.
For piano, I tend to need to be curious, because if I get curious, I will figure out something about the piece that will help unlock some feeling to tell me what it’s all about.
For bass, I need to be blank in mood. Generally, I just look for a quick response to the beat, if there is one. If it seems beneficial, the blankness can turn to a rough aggressiveness. If there is no beat, then the bass becomes a whole different ballgame, a melodic instrument, and the mood will hopefully achieve bliss.
For everything else, and the instruments mentioned above, I look for something a bit unhinged, because that is what interests me. (I’m not sure, Joe, but I think I just cheated).
Josh Klinghoffer (guitar w/Red Hot Chili Peppers, keyboards w’Gnarls Barkley, guitar, drums w/PJ Harvey, drums w/kNIFE & fORK etc):
Being a writer, composer, and frequent collaborator, can you articulate your personal goals you set out to achieve when writing and composing? Do they change depending on the situation they are being attributed to, or are they, the goals, always the same?
When composing for a film, or play, one icollaborates with a director, and sometimes the writer. My goal is primarily to find an appropriate mood, or spell to make them happy and comfortable. If I give them something that pleases, I’m happy. Goal achieved. I don’t have much more ego about it than that. If I’m contributing as a player for someone else’s music, I also feel the need to suspend as much ego as I can, and try to find what will please them. People often don’t know what exactly it is that they want. Sometimes they know what they don’t want when the unwanted is what they hear. You try not to give much of that, or they can get cranky. So you help them find something. If you don’t find something that woos them fairly quickly, one can feel them get anxious. So I try to spew out a number of fresh, but unformed ideas, as quickly as possible until I see or feel some visceral response. But I need to like it as well, or I get cranky. But when I play something on somebody’s record, I always hope to make them feel weak-kneed and make them drool. Then the goal is achieved.
John Parish (multi-instrumentalist w/PJ Harvey, composer, producer):
Throughout your career Eric, you’ve been involved in different levels, from guest player to band member, to producer, to ‘artist’. You seem to find it easy to step between these different hierarchical positions. How do you recalibrate?
As much as I protest to anyone that will listen about how much I hate change, I like ‘recalibrating’ for these situations. I just try to keep my mind uncluttered and react to what is going on. When the right new projects are offered to me, I’m happy to respond and accept the challenge. It is when not much is tossed in my direction that I get despondent. Then I need to figure out how to stir things up, which is a lot more exhausting.