Well our first ever interactive interview went off with roughly a million hitches last night, but we finally got stuff figured out and many of you were able to participate. To relive the magic of last night, or if you just couldn't make it, click READ MORE for the transcript of our 2 1/2 hour chat with Bob and Mike of Hey Mercedes.
[Introduction and first question lost in the vast space of the internet, my apologies]
21:11 firstly, i love mp3s. i download them all of the time…
21:12 but if i really like what i'm hearing, especially if it's a band that i just downloaded by recommendation, i'll buy it… because…
21:13 the quality is noticably better and i'm a big fan of artwork and (hopefully) lyrics and… giving the band their due. i've found out about so many awesome bands this way.
21:13 And that is all.
21:13 Damon, please take the next one…
21:13 Well, the wait for Loses Control is finally over. And it was damn worth it. I can't stop listening to it and would just like to say congrats for a job well done. Anyway, I was wondering if there are any albums that have just come out that have you all riled up? Or are there any you're looking forward to getting?
21:14 I guess we can both answer so…
21:14 I think Damon is having some problems with public posting.
21:14 So keep talking, monkey.
21:15 I am really excited to pick up the new Murder By Death, the new Iron & Wine, the new Shins, and that new Mark Kozelek project - Sun Kil Moon.
21:15 I also think the new Belle & Sebastian is incredible!
21:15 Ooh ooh ooh. That's my monkey impression.
21:15 Quality. You pick that up from your zoo visit?
21:16 no, i didn't get up close & personal with monkeys. only a bloodthirsty lion.
21:16 everyone should check out the Belle & Sebastian video for "Step Into My Office, Baby" on mtv.com…
21:17 i only wish ours will be half as good.
21:17 Is there any special reason why "Quality Revenge" was chosen as the fist "single"?
21:18 it was a wholly democratic decision. I had my personal preference, but instead of swinging down the hammer, i wanted everyone to have a say in the matter… from our management to our booking agent to our mailing list guy to our designer to Vagrant to some sketchy "radio" people!
21:18 And thus, Quality Revenge At Last received the majority vote.
21:18 Plus it was co-produced by the Neptunes.
21:18 Can you hear that crunk?
21:19 and it was running against Gary Coleman.
21:19 i agree.
21:19 i have no idea what that means.
21:19 Crunk is good. More bands need crunk.
21:19 Moving on…
21:19 "Am I the only person to ever annoy Bob about Rachel Ray in an email or does he get tons a day?"
21:20 Marlon, you are the only one who CONSISTENTLY emails about Rachael. Although there is a sweetheart in Dallas who is making me a Rachael pillowcase. Yes, a pillow case. 30 Minute Dreams.
21:20 By the way, Rachael will not be in our video. Sadly.
21:20 Damn, that actually was the next question.
21:21 At our show in Fredricksburg…
21:21 our *Backstage* was actually a coffeehouse and they had a huge TV projector - projecting the Food Network!
21:22 Rachael. Larger than lifesize. They had to drag me outta there.
21:22 I can only imagine.
21:22 thricechr> who would you really like to tour with? i think you guys and jonah would be a cool pair…same goes for you guys and murder by death
21:23 Jonah Oneline? Yeah, i could see that. Honestly, there are a lot of bands around right now that we'd love to tour with…
21:23 Murder By Death is one. We asked them recently, but they're pretty booked for the rest of the year. I'd also love to tour with Q and Not U. John Davis is an old friend of ours and i think we'd have an awesome time…
21:24 And lastly…
21:24 We're really into dance parties lately. So any band that could get their dance on. Or their bowl on. We bowled with that band Blue Sky Mile, so maybe they could hang.
21:24 Chris Walla of Death Cab For Cutie is producing that band's full-length.
21:25 Chris is doing the Blue Sky Mile?
21:25 The Foo Fighters.
21:25 I believe so, isn't the band on Initial?
21:25 So, as a segue - how great is the new Death Cab record?
21:26 Yes… and yes, i think the new Death Cab is their best stuff yet. I'm going to see them Wed. in Detroit. I'm really excited.
21:26 in adendum to the touring question, what about karate?
21:26 Karate the band or the martial art?
21:26 I would assume the band.
21:27 i'm assuming you mean the band… so, yeah, it would be cool to tour with Karate. I haven't talked to them in about 4 years, so it would be nice to catch up. it's good to see that they're still around and making quality music!
21:26 Rock. Moving on.
21:28 I'm really into touring with bands that don't sound like us. It's just a better show with more variety. I wonder if we could set up a tour with Atmosphere. Man, that would be hot. Dance party at the show!
21:28 For real.
21:28 Okay, quick 30 second break.
21:28 Aubin has to fix something.
21:28 his car?
21:29 Dunno, but while you're all waiting, take this time to send an email to _ with the subject "hey mercedes poster" and include your name and address.
21:31 What you will get in return is a computer virus. Or perhaps, if you're lucky, an autographed Hey Mercedes poster.
21:31 a computer virus, and possibly other viruses.
21:31 Also, there will be posters available for purchase from our online store by the end of the week… along with cds and vinyl..
21:31 And that webpage would be located at www.heymercedes.com
21:32 and we'll have new shirts & hoodies, too. i'm not trying to play hard sell merchant. i'm just excited about something NEW.
21:33 i hope damon comes back. i miss damon.
21:33 ditto for amish mike.
21:34 Aubin is working on it, I promise.
21:34 Our server is going through some growing pains, it's not letting anyone beyond the 20 people already here in.
21:34 we'll just have to do another one next week.
21:34 or tomorrow.
21:36 My drivers license is suspended in Oregon.
21:36 my favorite Belle & Sebastion song on that new album is *Piazza New York Catcher*
21:36 Ok… I can try something drastic.
21:36 but it may kick everyone off?
21:36 Just do it.
21:36 [this chat is brought to you by Nike]
21:37 My brother has the worst taste in movies.
21:38 I really hope they pass a *no smoking in bars* law in chicago.
21:38 There was a rogue beagle in my house the other day.
21:38 Thank you to everyone for being patient, we're working out these kinks as fast as possible.
21:38 [we=Aubin, I'm not smart at all]
21:40 The Chicago Bears are awful.
21:40 cool. i'm ready.
21:40 Okay, Aubin's going to keep plugging away behind the scenes.
21:40 Let the questions begin again.
21:40 will the cubs take it in game 6…or will they make it exciting and win in 7?
21:41 i think they'll take it in game 6. they just wanted to get back and win in Chicago. it's going to be NUTS downtown.
21:41 Bananas, even.
21:41 I concur.
21:41 How has Vagrant been treating you, particularly in regard to promotion? I know that labelmates No Motiv have had their release date repeatedly pushed back.
21:43 yeah, i think that Vagrant wanted more time to properly promote the No Motiv, which is why it got pushed back… but lately Vagrant has been awesome… they've been really on the ball with promotion, etc… however…
21:45 But i seriously love everyone over there. i can still hang and *bro down* with all of em!
21:45 it's nice to know everyone's name at your label.
21:45 we do have a management company, so we constantly have a little bird on their shoulder! I think that has made a huge difference with the handling of this album. Instead of just sitting back and letting them do all of the work, we've taken more of an active role.
21:45 And if you can't bro down, then why even be signed?
21:45 That's my opinion.
21:46 EXACTLY. if your only meeting is in some stuffy office, then well, it's a lot like an office job.
21:46 it's nice to actually be friends with them.
21:47 i do miss James Tweedy, though. But he had to go off with The Bronx so he could better punch dumpsters.
21:47 Okay, everyone listen up - it's looking like we're going to have to kick everyone out of the chat room and reset it, so we can get more than 20 people in here.
21:47 So shortly, when you get a message saying you've been disconnected, just go back and reconnect.
21:48 Until we have to reset the server, we'll still continue.
21:49 Have you heard Brand New's new album? Is it not the best shit ever recorded in the history of music?
21:49 I haven't heard it yet. To be honest, I haven't heard too much of Brand New. Only really they're *hits* which I enjoy.
21:50 I'm still catching up on a few upandcoming bands. but upon your recommendation, i'll check it out.
21:50 their. man, i hate that i just mixed up their and they're. biggest pet peeve.
21:50 Deja Entendu really is a good record.
21:50 Overhyped by some websites, but don't let that affect your opinion.
21:51 maybe i should slow down on these beers.
21:51 Alright, it looks like we're all about to be booted.
21:51 Everyone cool with that?
21:51 Then try reconnecting.
21:51 Wait about 30 seconds. [some of chat lost due to resetting chat room]
22:27 Your favorite touchdown dance?
22:28 i don't know of any to be honest……umm..how about the one where the dude lights himself on fire then jumps into the team mascot..?
22:28 The caterpillar.
22:28 thats a good one
22:29 are there any east coast dates coming up? also, where is your favorite place to play?
22:29 yes there are dates comming up…check our website for the list…..bob? you get the rest
22:29 Yes… we're playing in NYC on the 25th at Irving Plaza… and also DC… And my favorite place to play is by far The Metro in Chicago… the 9:30 Club in DC is in 2nd place.
22:29 Moving on.
22:30 "Can I be the 'Ragged Romeo in Joliet' in the Quality Revenge at last video?"
22:31 Actually, there will be no Romeo character. But maybe you can be Kevin in the Playing Your Song video!
22:31 hopefully your good at pounding beers
22:31 Speaking of songs and characters in said songs…
22:32 Who/what is "Oh Penny" about?
22:32 It's one of my favorite songs on the new record.
22:32 Even though you mocked me when I yelled for it in Champaign a few weeks ago.
22:32 har har
22:33 I wasn't mocking, i was only making note of someone who had an advance copy… Thanks, though. I think it's pretty easy to figure out who/what Oh Penny is about… and that's all i'm going to say! Sorry.
22:33 Well then, moving on.
22:33 there will be a playing your song video after quality revenge?
22:34 not sure what's going to happen! i'd like to do a second video. not sure what song it would be for, though.
22:35 we sorta did a video for *Its Been a Blast* although…
22:35 it will only be released on a dvd early next year along with some other odd exclusive videos.
22:35 Is this just a Hey Mercedes DVD?
22:36 Or another Vagrant compilation DVD?
22:36 neither DVD type…
22:36 well it's not really a "real" video…just a a fun thing.
22:36 i was handcuffed in a cop car. And Mike broke a rib. that's all i can say about that.
22:36 i'm actually curious as to how it will be released. i guess we'll see.
22:36 it will be a bunch of bands actually. Small Brown Bike, Crooked Fingers, a few others…
22:37 What label is putting it out?
22:37 Or is it Bifocal Media or something?
22:37 it's not a label really…
22:38 it's a production company from nyc.
22:38 we all know Del Co Cat Toys is the best SNL sketch, but what is your favorite SNL sketch (and don't say the bruce/cowbell sketch!)?
22:39 i do love that cat sketch. but… i did laugh hard at the schweaty balls one.
22:39 also, have you seen that one alec baldwin one where he's the French teacher? that one is great.
22:39 those are the top 3.
22:39 Mike, you alive?
22:39 Wanna chime in?
22:40 i like the Dan Akroyd toy company scetch….I dunno from like 182 or something
22:40 182 ad.
22:40 I've always been a fan of the Canteen Boy/Alec Baldwin one.
22:40 And the Schmidt's Gay Beer commerical really takes the cake, too.
22:40 not a fan of canteen boy
22:40 Bad scouting experience as a child?
22:41 Or just not a fan of the "Hoobie De Doo!" comedy of one Adam Sandler?
22:41 No. Never a scout. I was a Brownie.
22:41 Just kidding. I was no good at selling cookies.
22:41 Shoulda sold to me.
22:41 'cause he ate them all
22:41 Or tying knots.
22:41 5 points for Mike.
22:41 Moving on.
22:41 Bob, your lyrical style is quite unlike anything else I've ever come by. I'm a huge fan of lyrics and always find myself sitting down and reading them over and over. I love how you use clever puns or throw in conversational phrases like "OH GREAT!" or "ARE YOU KIDDING?". How/when did you discover your inclination for writing? And in terms of writing, what kind student were you? And Mike, when did you start playing guitar?
22:42 I starting playing guitar when i was 12…so for 15 years
22:43 by the way my birthday is in 4 days !!**!!*!*!
22:43 Um, I've been an annoyingly prolific writer for a long long time. I remember writing dumb poems in like 2nd grade… I've probably kept them…
22:44 most of it is just awful, but i feel, if you write a hell of a lot, then at least 10% of it can be salvagable.
22:45 For public consumption… I was an ok student, but like most, i had trouble applying myself. if i was ever FORCED to write something, i hated it, so i'd procrastinate…
22:45 In an interview we did with you last year, I asked you what was the worst song you felt you'd ever written.
22:45 And you answered "anything prior to 1994."
22:45 Still feel the same way?
22:46 well, i always think the newest stuff is best… and it's hard to listen to some of the old old stuff. especially when i'm trying to play drums. Argh.
22:46 The first band i was in was so terrible. We opened every show with Louie Louie.
22:47 Did you at any time consider Braid an emo band? How would you describe the music of Hey Mercedes?
22:50 Yes. At first, if someone labelled you as emo, it didn't carry any marginalization or pre-conceived notions, so we were pretty excited to be an emo band. Our favorite bands were *emo* like Gauge & Capn Jazz & Lincoln & Jawbox & Shudder To Think. It was no big deal. Nowadays, just like any other label, it's been totally bastardized into some lame *catch-all* that personally, i don't wish to be a part of…
22:51 I feel like you're limiting yourself if you accept a label like that. And i'm not talking personally, cause you could call me whatever and i wouldn't bat an eyelash, but i'm talking in terms of publicity or *media coverage*…
22:52 I think Hey Mercedes is just an energetic rock band!
22:52 well i wasn't in braid so i can't really answer the first half…
22:53 Just pretend you're Todd, since he decided not to show up.
22:53 but…back then it was fine to be called emo because it wasn't as generic of a term as it is now….
22:53 who knows, he coulda been waiting in the queue…
22:53 Tis true, tis true.
22:53 Well Mike, what do you feel Hey Mercedes is, musically?
22:54 i just think if were called emo it's not specific enough……*
22:54 now "emo" could mean any thing…it could mean you sound like Thursday…or dashboard - which are pretty far apart…
22:54 If someone called HM "emo," would you take offense? Would you correct them?
22:54 HM is a rock band….'nuff said..
22:54 Exactly Mike. Good examples.
22:54 Okay, end of question.
22:54 Who is going to be supporting you guys on your next big tour and when will that be? and why are you guys not on the vagrant tour, especially with your new cd just hitting stores?
22:55 MIke - you take the first half, i'll take the second!
22:56 well…our next big tour aseems to be a nice big mess right now…..it looks like Damone will be joining us again - i think…for at least some of it…
22:56 … This upcoming Vagrant tour is 100% Alkaline Trio's baby, and so it was them and their management that called all of the shots. I think if Vagrant was truly in charge of the tour, they'd do their best to mix it up… You'd see us, Hot Rod, Moneen, etc etc…
22:57 We actually tried to get on it, but the bill was full and they weren't into changing it. Maybe next year, we'll set up our own Vagrant tour!
22:58 Heh, zing.
22:58 I'm not badmouthing or anything. I'm just setting the record straight…
22:59 Okay, here's one for Mike:
22:59 Mike, did you take guitar lessons,or were you self taught?
23:00 i took one lesson…that was no fun…so i proceeded to just listen and try and figure out all my favorite songs….then when it felt right i wrote my own songs..
23:01 the guy at the lesson insisted that i MUST learn to read music…i just wanted to learn some Zeppelin
23:02 was there a concious effort to produce a more aggressive sound on Loses Control? and what was the inspiration for Stay Six (my cell phone ring)?
23:02 Mike, first, me second half *
23:04 ok well..not to toot…but getting me in the band meant that it was going to get a little more aggressive - thats just the way I play nowadays - that might sound lame but it's kind of the truth - plus we really really wanted to make a 100% rockin' album
23:05 The inspiration for Stay Six came from living alone and basically being cut off from everything. it was written during the months between the end of braid and the start of hey mercedes. i was in a rough place. and by rough place i mean a shitty one bedroom apartment in wicker park
23:05 Good deal.
23:05 that got demolished 7 months after i fixed up the place & moved in.
23:05 it's now a row of condos.
23:05 Not so good deal.
23:06 yeah! i painted, put tiles in the kitchen…
23:06 Since we're on the topic of song meanings, here's another question pertaining to that:
23:06 what is the story behind eleven to your seven?
23:07 i'm hungry
23:08 Well, it's mostly about being unlucky and dealing with that. The actual numbers refer to some competitive score - not craps as was eluded to on the message board! i've never played craps in my life! now roulette…
23:09 and we actually did break down in morgantown. we had to sleep at a gas station. i slept behind the wheel. quite uncomfortable.
23:09 kept beeping the horn.
23:09 [If you want to read about Bob's, Mike's, and the rest of the Hey Mercedes crew's brush with gambling, go to www.heymercedes.com and check out their "Loses Control Countdown."]
23:09 you'll have to go to: www.heymercedes.com/lcc.html - there's no link to it anymore.
23:10 My bad.
23:10 What's the weirdest thing thats ever happened at a show? Or whats the oddest thing a fan has done?
23:11 As for weirdest thing, i can only think of being blindsided with an entire birthday cake at The Rave in Milwaukee by a guy wearing nothing but panties. As for odd things…
23:12 I was definitely at that show.
23:12 And I definitely have pictures.
23:12 hmm….once a drunk guy got n starge danced around…then fell into my amp sending it flying off the back of a 5 foot high stage…that was pre-HM though…
23:12 Once a drunk guy came onstage and Mike de-pantsed him
23:12 oh yeah…forgot about that
23:12 what a sucker
23:12 As for odd things…
23:13 Um, I was presented with a bottle of homemade salad dressing after a show!
23:13 it was tasty.
23:13 but unexpected.
23:13 I'd imagine so.
23:13 Moving on.
23:13 i know of something better…..but it's kind of inapropriate
23:13 How long did it take before audiences yelled "Hey" at the right time in Eleven To Your Seven?
23:14 some still don't!
23:14 there wasn't a peep least night..
23:14 But it's ok. I didn't add it for that effect. Honestly.
23:16 how does being a noteworthy face to more than a few kids around the country (and world) affect your everyday life? As in, how does it affect going to, let's say, a show if you wanted to go?
23:17 people usually don't even recognize me 10 minutes after we get done playing….boo
23:18 It really doesn't actually. I've never not gone to a show because of it. Usually, I can't go to shows anyway because i'm never home… and when i am home, i usually want to hang out backstage with friends…
23:18 like the last Thursday show.
23:19 What went into your decision to go with a different recording/production staff on "Loses Control?" Was J. Robbins not available, or…?
23:20 quite simply…it was time to try something different…..J. Robbins, Mark Trombino, etc…those guys are all really popular right now and doing a lot of records….we didn't want ours to sound like everyone elses
23:21 Yes, it was no offense to J. he's a great producer and a friend… we just wanted to see what someone else would/could do
23:21 This one's for Bob:
23:21 are there any plans to do any city on film stuff in the future?
23:22 Not under City On Film. I'm doing some solo shows but it's just as me. I tend to think as City on Film as more of a collective. In reality, it's just whatever happens…
23:22 It's not a tremendous priority
23:23 Will the previously released CoF material ever be released on one CD?
23:23 Yes. On Grand Theft Autumn. Eventually.
23:23 Here's one for both of you:
23:23 I always wanted to know what you guys think of hardcore music? do either of you guys listen to any 'hardcore' considered bands?
23:25 I was a huge fan of hardcore circa 1980 - 1990…..then it became this weird violent thing where everyone had a "crew" and people got hurt and that suxx…..and harcore basically became metal….I still like metal but I like real metal
23:25 there are still some awesome bands though
23:25 Yeah, i enjoy some *hardcore* bands, although it's such a subjective term! I grew up really into Minor Threat & local bands like Billingsgate… and I dig Refused… It's a lot like the Emo argument. It tends to be judged in terms of aspects unrelated to music (politics, style, etc…) but in the classic terms, some of it is pretty rad.
23:26 Refused destroys.
23:26 of course.
23:26 But that was given.
23:26 Since we're on other types of music right now…
23:26 I'm currently rocking the new Outkast whilst typing this.
23:26 How great is this new Outkast double disc, anyway?
23:27 it's hella great
23:27 oh man. it's awesome.
23:27 Andre totally schools Big Boi.
23:27 Big Boi's disc is good, too, but goddamn, Andre's disc is one tasty burger.
23:27 i don't play that game!
23:28 i like to mix em up randomly!
23:27 what the hell are you talking about
23:28 Someone missed the blatant Quentin Tarantino reference.
23:28 Speaking of which, "Kill BIll" is amazing.
23:28 i'll see kill bill this week
23:28 no i got that….but what is big boi?
23:28 [Big Boi is one half of Outkast - Andre is the other half]
23:28 Back to the last few questions:
23:28 what countries have hey mercedes played outside of the u.s and which city has been the most enjoyable? whats your no 1 travel destination?
23:29 Big Boi…oh ok..
23:29 I just hear the songs…don't know anything else
23:29 i really want to go to Iceland - bad
23:29 Hey Mercedes has only been to Japan & Canada, unfortunately. But our Tokyo show was incredible! And yes, i'd like to get to Iceland… and Australia.
23:30 a big maybe
23:30 Okay, a few more questions, then we're shutting this puppy down.
23:30 Will u guys ever play a show in Alabama? I could always host it in my backyard!
23:31 he's probably wondering…Tuscalosa????
23:31 well, there may be a show being set up in Tuscaloosa… we'll find out tomorroe.
23:31 Good deal. That kid's been sending that question in all night, so I'm sure he's happy.
23:31 And now, it's time for the final question, and I'm not sure anything would be more fitting:
23:31 And finally, why is WussEmmoRock such a cockass?
23:32 I think he was picked on as a kid.
23:32 As were we all.
23:32 'cause he's pissed cause his band probably sucks
23:32 no really…who?
23:32 Alright, and with that the chat will come to a close.
23:33 Hey Mercedes' new album is entitled "Loses Control" and is available in any music store worth their salt right now.
23:33 Thanks go out to all who came in and put up with our myriad technical difficulties.
23:33 Thanks go out to Bob and Mike of Hey Mercedes, and Damon of Hey Mercedes for trying to get in here, as well.
23:34 thanks scott….and PN
23:34 Thanks again to all for coming, look for a transcript of this on punknews.org soon, and congratulations to the 50 people who got an autographed Hey Mercedes poster!
23:34 www.heymercedes.com for more info on the band, as well as free MP3s and the like.
23:35 Thanks to Hey Mercedes and Vagrant Records.
23:35 bro's fo' life
23:35 4 life, broseph.
23:35 Goodnight, all!