LOW: 13 Questions
from Duluth, MN, and they make a quiet storm so beautiful it's not hard
for them to silence a very crowded rock club. When was last time you were
near the stage and could actually hear the bartender making drinks? Probably
the last time you saw Low. The trio released two fantastic records last
year Secret Name and the holiday-themed Christmas, both on Kranky and
now they're taking it easy as drummer/vocalist Mimi Parker awaits the
birth of her baby with husband and Low vocalist/guitarist Alan Sparhawk.
Sparhawk, who answered our 13 questions, gives us this update: "We are
finishing up a couple songs we are collaborating on with Spring Heel Jack
from the U.K. very different stuff. Perhaps will come out this spring
on Tugboat in the U.K. Otherwise, we're just working on new songs."
What was the first song you heard that completely floored you, made you
shiver, made you want to make music? Like typical young teens, I liked
the rock and roll, but seeing my father play drums in a local country
bar band was probably the first time I made the connection between "hearing"
music and "Hey, it's possible for me to make music."
the worst piece of advice anyone's ever given you? Go to college.
3. Who is
your favorite musical artist of all time? Nick Cave.
4. When you
listen to your own records, what other bands do you hear in your songs?
Simon and Garfunkel, Big Star, OMD, Young Marble Giants, Velvet Underground.
5. What song
have you written and/or performed that you’re most embarrassed by? I was
in a band called 3D Psycho Paisley in college and I’d written a song called
"Woman In A Black Veil" that's pretty awful. I think I'm still okay with
all the Low stuff.
6. What was
the last song you heard that made you want to kick that artist's ass?
"I Don't Believe In The Sun" by The Magnetic Fields. Because it's amazing.
He needs to quit writing such good songs. It makes the rest of us look
7. What town
will you never play in again? Why? Maybe Wichita, Kansas. Played there
three or four years ago. All I remember is a guy dressed as "The Crow"
playing slap-metal bass and the folks just sat there.
8. What is
something you've said that you wish you could take back? I can't think
of anything I said, but I regret wearing a cowboy shirt at a recent show
in London because now all our reviews say we're "alt-country."
9. What is
your oddest musical inspiration? Mark Rothko.
10. How do
you feel about the Internet and MP3s and how it's all changing how music
is distributed and consumed? Are you excited or do you fear it all? I
think it will expand to a certain point and be good for artists in some
ways if the majors don't figure out a way to co-opt it. One drawback may
be that due to the ease of making and marketing music, the world will
be flooded with music mostly made by people who are only doing it because
they can, instead of because they really need to. On the other hand, I
think people will still value the tactile nature of going to a store and
buying a record or CD.
11. Do you
believe in God? Do you believe in a higher being? Yes, I have a strong
belief in God.
12. If you
were on death row, what would your final meal consist of? Something with
asparagus and fresh corn bread on the side. Maybe pecan pie for desert.
your favorite piece of equipment that defines your sound? Other than my
voice, I suppose it would be my guitar. I have two Fender Telecasters
that are very reliable and that my hands are able to deal with. I’ve played
through all kinds of amps and pedals but I think I’d be most out of place
without either of those guitars.
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