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For awhile there, every time I would be editing an interview Lars did, he and his subject would come around to what new bands they thought were cool. And the name Fresh and Onlys would come up every time. I liked the band name. I had a feeling they were going to be some bunch of bratty kids from the Bay, like total snot-punk moves. Maybe a girl in the band. But definitely punk. I don't really look bands up on Myspace (I like my introduction to a band to be a record or at least a CD, not a song through shitty computer speakers...), so I was just waiting for a single or something to pounce on so I could catch up. So, the 7" on Chuffed gets released, feeding frenzy begins, I get the record in the mail a week or whatever later and it's not punk. But it's also better than I could have hoped. For anyone who thought Thee Oh Sees were channeling some flower-power Sixties Cali-vibes and crossing it with the modern garage concept, Fresh and Onlys were pushing it even further. Complex songwriting and melodies, some girl-group sounds, a gentle/mellow aesthetic with a definite rock foundation underneath. I've never been one for the softer side of indie-rock (and I'm not calling the F&Os softies), but the sheer beauty of those songs and the lo-fi dust they were recorded under really made me swoon a little. After that I obtained some more songs from a tape via the record trading black market, and was soon so hooked I reached out to the band, who were more than obliging to fix me up nice. After some correspondence with Shayde I figured we might as well do an interview since I was going to be asking him a million questions anyway. Here it is. They have quite a deluge of records forthcoming, which I'm sure will result in some peanut gallery backlash, but for now I think people should just try and enjoy a band who I feel have a uniquely ambitious approach and enough talent to make more than a few great records...
TB: Who is currently in Fresh and Onlys and what do they do?
TB: How did you all come together as a band?
TB: What bands have you been in previously?
TB: You've recorded a mountain of material in a very short time. What's the secret to this prolificity?
TB: How did the tour with Rodriguez go? How did you guys get that gig?
TB: How did you hook up with Kelley Stoltz and release your first 7" through his label?
TB: HA! Shit, I think I met you on the Dutchess & The Duke tour in Buffalo? Yes? That show was so poorly attended but I had so much fun...that seemed like a rough tour to be on...
TB: I do remember butt tambourine! I was really fucked up that night. I thought it was hilarious the way Jesse went after those girls who were talking so loud during their set. He sang "I Am Just A Ghost" right into her face. She had to pay attention!
TB: That's cool about Kelley bringing you up though. Was that your real introduction to the "underground"? Were you a punk kid in your youth?
TB: Things took off rather quickly for the band after the Chuffed 7", did you expect things to move that quickly? Were the offers from labels flying in after that or had you already had things lined-up?
TB: "Come Dance With Me" is definitely not an album track. Totally a singles cut. And such a beautiful song too. What is the instrumentation on that and who played what? Is that a xylophone? And is someone playing like big timpani drums? The bass drum is so loud and deep towards the end...
TB: The first time I heard of you guys was John Dwyer mentioning you as one of his favorite current bands in an interview. Is there a kinship of sorts between Oh Sees, Sic Alps and other Bay Area units sort of playing this resurgent brand of modern psych-pop? Is there a neo-hippie commune where you all live together or something?
TB: You mention being in Skygreen Leopards, Wooden Wand, Papercuts, and others whose audiences might not be the same as Fresh & Onlys. Do you notice any difference in the crowds you're attracting with F&O. Meaning I wouldn't imagine Wooden Wand getting asked to play Gonerfest, but the Fresh and Onlys have crossed into that realm rather easily...
TB: Who came up with the name Fresh & Onlys and what inspired it?
TB: I like the thought of it being slang for a virgin. Honestly, I thought it sounded like a feminine hygiene product. When I hear the song "Fresh & Only" I sometimes think of it as a jingle for a commercial with like a mother and daughter discussing "things"...
TB:Tell me about "Fog Machine" and how it came about. I think it's my favorite F&O song. I love the sentiment of the line "It's not real fog baby / It's a fog machine..."
TB: I'd like to know about "Imaginary Friends" too. What was the process behind that one?
TB: You mentioned playing in Personal & The Pizzas...what's Personal really like?
TB: How was the Woodsist "fest" thing in Brooklyn on the 4th? Patriotic?
TB: Is the Woodsist LP almost ready? What else do you have coming up that we can talk about? I heard there is a big fall tour in the works?
TB: Is the stuff on the Bomb Wombs tape going to appear on a future LP?
TB: I think you guys are one of the few bands who could really benefit from big production in a studio. There's so much going on in the songs, so many intricacies you could flesh out even more. Or do you think the self-recorded charm is a necessary component of the F&Os formula?
To read other interviews, go here.
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