With your record's
anti-corporate stance, what do you tell people who say appearing
on MTV is like selling out?
This band is different
because Bright Eyes limits how much time we have together to tour
and work on music. I don't really feel bad about using whatever
media is out there. We'll always be an on-the-brink thing, and we're
gonna ride that line of whether or not we sold out.
You have to admit
there's a certain irony appearing on MTV.
Yeah it's ironic, we
realize what's going on. But your CD is going to be on the shelves
of the Best Buys even if you're on an independent label. You're
dependent on the corporate world whether you like it or not. We
have a lot of people to satisfy. We want to see label do well because
Robb, Jason (Kulbel) and Matt (Maginn) are putting their efforts
into it, even more so than the bands. You also want to do your fans
right. As long as we're having fun and having a good time I have
What kind of impact
has the MTV appearance had?
We've got a lot of e-mail
and there has been a ton of kids at shows who saw it. We haven't
even seen it yet. We've got a copy of it on video but haven't had
a chance to watch it.
So have you talked
about making a video?
We've joked about it.
If we did, it would be extremely tongue-in-cheek, very homemade.
It hasn't gone past the joking stage.
How did you guys land
the opening slot for Jimmy Eat World?
They heard our album
and contacted our booker, Ground Control. They're fans of ours and
we're fans of theirs. They're the nicest guys in the world.
Opening their shows is
a whole different scene than our club shows. At our more traditional
shows like at Sokol, everyone's really critiquing the performance,
which is good. But at Jimmy shows, the crowd just wants to rock.
It's a very different scene, but both are fun.
The average draw at a
club show is 500 or so. Our first show with Jimmy Eat World drew
3,800. That first night when we went on stage was like 'Whoa.' We
weren't nervous, we were just taking it in. It was all right the
second night. It was kind of crazy how quickly I adjusted to it.
It's changed my perspective. When we played with Cursive at The
Middle East in Boston in October I thought that was huge venue.
Now after Jimmy Eat World it doesn't seem so huge.
Do you hang out with
Jimmy Eat World before the show?
We definitely hang out
with them in the Green Room, but we don't go on their bus. We were
welcome to, but when you're on tour for a year, that's your home.
Green rooms are really cool. It was really the first "rock
star" sort of thing we experienced, with the catering and backstage
tags. We've never experienced anything like it, so it's kind of
Do you think you can
sell out the 1,400 capacity Sokol Auditorium Friday?
I don't care if we fill
it. We decided to play upstairs because we didn't want kids getting
turned away at the door or having to wait outside.
So what's next for you and the band?
Conor will now go out
with Bright Eyes. We've been working on some new songs and will
probably start a new album late next year. I've been talking about
starting a band with Matt and Ian, and I'm defiantly gonna keep
working on my solo stuff. And there's a small chance that I might
move to New York right after this tour is done.
Tell me about your
new bass player.
His name is Casey Scott.
He's from Athens. He first made a connection back in the Commander
Venus days. He played in Drip with Andy LeMaster (of Now It's Overhead).
He's a longtime friend and had just moved to Omaha before this tour
What do you think
of Saddle Creek's recent notoriety in the music world?
I think it's great. Robb,
Jason, and Matt really pour their hearts into it. It's good to see
their hard work pay off. I think it's great, but it's one of those
things. The music industry is so shaky. This could be the start
of something or we could be at the high point.
Originally published in The Omaha Weekly Aug. 7, 2002. Copyright
© 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved. Top photograph copyright
© 2002 by Bill Sitzmann,
used by permission.