I SAID, I'M DYING!
But not as fast as you, skumbag. My eyes are gonna be crusted over and open for ten seconds longer than you. Long enough to snicker as you swirl down the same toilet whirlpool that'll do me in too. Such is the life of the cockroach. But the difference is I'm here to watch you DIE and LAUGH. But who's going to watch me? No One? That's not fair! Fine, I don't want you to die, I WANNA GO FIRST. So while my life is a flash of Syd Barrett and Black Flag and tall cans and cheap rollies and dreams and fun and smashed childhood guitars and the Cheater Slicks and basements and porches and rain and no sunsets but lots of sunrises and hugs and tears. so just cling and watch as I slosh into the void to celebrate "Mom's Day Off" on "Tit Island". Goodbye cruel world.
FUN FACT: The last time the Hunches stayed with me, at some point I noticed a rustling behind a curtain that goes to the laundry room. I pulled it back to reveal Sarah halfway through a fun size bag of old Christmas Hershey Kisses who screeches "I'M SORRY! I'M STARVING!" I give her an old burrito and later find her sleeping wrapped in a blanket in the bathtub with water dripping on her feet. Ben has turned in early with a cutie. Hart is slumped in a chair complaining and ashing and extinguishing his cigarettes on the hardwood floor. Chris is dancing and playing Roy Orbison records. Hart scrapes Roy off for the Electric Eels. Some ladies come over. They put on Michael Jackson and brighten the mood significantly the way pretty girls can. "NO MORE DISCO", Hart moans from his nest. They opt to leave and I go with them, parting with "Don't burn the place down!" I am terrified to return in the morning. They are gone. The front driveway is covered in shredded newspaper. Not so bad. Inside the blankets are folded neatly on the couch. Curious. The Hunches fold up blankets? I lift the blankets and there is a puddle of at least half a bottle of wiskey soaked into the cushion.
They were fun, they were dark, they made a unique mess and I will miss them.
As has become his interview M.O., Lars begins with a track-by-track analysis of the LP. -Ed.
Lars: 'Exit Dreams' - Side A - "Actors"
Chris Gunn: Back in 2004 when the Hunches were on our second and, thankfully, last European tour, we were forced to play a show with the Supersuckers in Rotterdam. Most of us hadn’t slept the night before due to an evening of shitty Belgian speed and, to add insult to injury, were forced to eat dinner at the same table as The Supersuckers. The lead singer of this shitty band is actually named Eddie Spaghetti and we called his butt buddy/guitarist Ron Ravioli. So, there we were at this weird dinner table in the Netherlands, trying to eat in peace, and Mr. Spaghetti shatters the awkward silence by yelling, “HEY EVERYONE, WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE, THE POWER OF INVISIBLITY OR THE POWER OF FLIGHT?!” Ron Ravioli just gazed adoringly at Eddie Spaghetti and trembled, “Gee, Uh, I dunno Eddie, what would YOU rather have?” My mind was blown. We played for twenty minutes and no one clapped and then the Supersuckers took the stage and made fun of us and played for two hours and everyone loved it.
Lars: "Ate My Teeth"
Chris: These lyrics concern Hart’s lifelong battle with night terrors and teeth grinding. The noises he makes while sleeping are otherworldly; imagine the creaking of a covered wagon driven by the pirate Bluebeard’s ghost. It’s complicated. I try not to laugh because Hart is literally eating his teeth. The guitars that come in on the chorus are played through a MOUSE amp. Justin Higgins (the guy that recorded this album) experimented with mic placement until he hit a spot that turned the already distorted sound into a nest of hornets. We were both very happy with that. Justin can be seen, high on acid, on the inner sleeve of 'Exit Dreams'. Hart really shines on the clarinet in the Can jam near the end of this song. It’s hard to believe he’s never taken a lesson in his life.
Lars: "Not Invited"
Chris: Party time in Portland can be odd. This song is sponsored and inspired by Sparks (the former beverage, not the band). Drinking more than five Sparks in an “evening” would undoubtedly bless me with a psychedelic hangover that was disturbingly chemical and fractured. The only thing that helped me through these weekly ordeals was music, masturbation, and crying. We blew up twenty-six balloons and overdubbed the sounds of them popping during the outro. The backing vocal oooohhss and aaahhhhs make me cringe with embarrassment. Ben had a special tambourine overdub that Justin and I took out of the song because it made the tempo seem even slower. Sensitive feelings and fear forced us to lie to young Ben. We told him that his tambourine was still in the mix, that it was just “quiet”. My therapist tells me that keeping secrets is unhealthy so, here goes: Hey Ben, your tambo is not in this song anymore. You’re welcome.
Lars: "Deaf Ambitions"
Chris: Concerns the terrors of riding public transportation and the joys of blasting your ears out with loud music. I have spent so much of my life trying to mask annoying bus conversations with headphones. Unfortunately, the voices always find a way to creep in. Worse yet, someone taps you on the shoulder with a sick need to converse. Eyes watching you blatantly, eyes watching you clandestinely, eyes that aren’t real, you realize you are the one watching, germs, little kids calling you a faggot, teenagers mocking you, and on and on. It makes you want to poke out your eardrums with a stick. Hart wrote the lyrics for the clumsy psychedelic ending. The music and mixing for that ending was inspired by Astral Weeks and Brian Eno. I was going for a Black Flag thing with the beginning part of the song. Justin spent hours hanging a huge piece of sheet metal and making a metal glove to smash it with. This was a lot of effort for a ten second bridge. It was, of course, extremely necessary.
Lars: "From this Window"
Chris: Inspired by a night of alcohol, yellowjackets, and mushrooms. Hart and I hadn’t gone to sleep yet and it was probably 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning and we had listened to that Skip Spence song “Weighted Down” something like twenty times in a row. My room on 13th and Ainsworth had a window that overlooked a bunch of rooftops and the night was fading into a red light with melting seagulls, and sirens drifting somewhere. Reality was creeping uneasily but the view with that morning fog was really eerie and sad but so comforting. I try to write music and lyrics with as little intention as possible so as to let things happen and come out of somewhere less forced. I would say that the tricks of memory and nostalgia as the present shifts into the past and how that changes as your brain filters events through different perspectives of emotion is inherent to this song and this album. As I look back on that scene it feels really good but at the time I know I was feeling insane and really shitty for the most part.
Lars: "Carnival Debris"
Chris: The real reason we played with Rocket From the Tombs was so Hart could meet his long time idol, Craig Bell. After “The Tombs” depressing set, my friend, and former Hunches roadie, Bryce Henry went up to the stage to get a set list. Richard Lloyd intercepted poor Bryce and tossed him on the ground with some sort of old man Aikido throw. Apparently Lloyd is violently protective of of worthless pieces of paper with songs that should never be played again written on them. Later, Hart strolled merrily backstage with the sole intent of telling Craig Bell how much he adored him. Not a chance Hart. There was Lloyd again, blocking the entrance. “NO ONE IS ALLOWED IN THE TOMBS DRESSING ROOM,” Lloyd chortled. Naturally, if you block a man from his idol he’s not going down without a fight. Words were not politely exchanged and Hart was soon escorted from the premises by two huge bouncers. “FUCK YOU DICK LLOYD,” Hart yelled, over and over again, as his dreams shattered. "Carnival Debris" was us trying to write a song that sounded like the Mirrors from Cleveland. We “peppered” 'Exit Dreams' with backing vocals but I would inevitably mix them to the point of inaudibility. There is a miked Skilsaw cutting wood overdubbed on the noisy interludes. We love you Craig! P.S. Fuck You Dick Lloyd!
Lars: Side B - "Street Sweeper"
Chris: This song contains another of Ben Spencer’s overdubs. A majestic glockenspiel solo! His fingers truly soared on that magic day! Ben says that he’s happy Justin and I buried this glorious solo in the mix, but I’m not sure if I believe him. The thing that sounds like a dying cat on the bridge is actually Justin Higgins doing something alone in the bathroom and recording it. I don’t, and still don’t, want to know what that was.
Lars: "Your Sick Blooms"
Chris: One of the biggest music venues in Portland is the Crystal Ballroom and we were, strangely, invited to play there as the openers for Jello Biafra and the Melvins. After about five songs, Hart threw a huge jar of pickled pigs feet out into the audience. There was broken glass everywhere. Hart was rolling around in it and terrorizing people with the pig’s feet. We were promptly kicked out. A pair of huge bouncers led us and our equipment through the big crowd and out onto the street. Sarah's Mom was at this show and she was escorted out with us. As our procession made its sorry way towards the exit she kept saying "this is sooo cool!" Sarah recently told me that, for years, her Mom thought we had been given the rock star treatment and led through the audience as a courtesy to the band. She had no idea we had been given the boot. "Your Sick Blooms" is a lot like that show or a jar of pickled pig’s feet. Disgusting situations can sometimes be a lot of fun, depending on your point of view. Sickness has a way of disguising itself as beauty and vice versa. This song is just a bunch of insults hurled (like pig’s feet) at everything and everyone. It’s fun to yell things like, “FUCK YOU DICK LLOYD!” or get kicked out of the Crystal Ballroom. What else are you going to do? We really had no interest in poor Jello anyways.
Lars: "Pinwheel Spins"
Chris: Hart wrote the lyrics to this song so I asked him to explain them for me. He sent an e-mail in his usual dense and wordy literary style. The following is a rough translation: the lyrics concern the use of meth to beat Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Hunches promotional posters created on meth, taking apart former girlfriends' computers on meth and the night we drank too many Sparks and got into trouble at Larry Hardy’s house.
Lars: "Fall Drive"
Chris: The fall in Oregon is really beautiful. The air is icily crisp and the leaves burn red and orange. At the same time, an intense feeling of dread hangs in the corners as winter is not far away. Winter in Oregon is six months of rain and nothing. It is not good for anxiety, addictions, depression, or psoriasis of the skin. We overdubbed a shower on the chorus of "Fall Drive" and then ran the entire mix of this chorus through a reverb box. The introduction was originally two minutes of feedback but I decided at the last minute to fade it in. Hart and I sang his lyrics together to create a naturally odd delay effect.
Chris: As Dave E. so eloquently put it, “It’s anxiety and it’s really going to kill you.” The cover of 'Exit Dreams' is a picture of Hart chasing me with a piece of seaweed on the beach. It was taken in 2000 when we were recording our first album at The Distillery. I am scared of seaweed so, of course, Hart chases me with it whenever he can. That snapshot in time and how it has changed in ten years is too much to think about sometimes. It’s really hard when you get so worried and depressed that you can’t even enjoy the music that you have thrown every aspect of your life into. 'Exit Dreams' is an album made out of this situation and “Unraveling” really asks the question, "What do I do now that absolutely everything has fallen apart?" Mixing this song was really fun but tedious as volumes were shifting and sounds were panning all over the place. I was trying to make a musical sketch of the extreme panic attacks that I was having where reality cracks and adrenaline starts making things move and twist and the ground starts rolling under you. I remember walking and listening to this on headphones when we had first finished it and feeling like I had finally communicated something solid out of years of self-doubt and crippling overanalysis.
Lars: "Swim Hole"
Chris: Recorded expertly by Rod Meyer (Eat Skull/Hospitals/friend). Rob Enbom (Eat Skull/Hospitals/friend) plays a raging slide whistle in the beginning of this song and I forgot to give him credit. Just listen to that precision and timing! We practiced this about five times and I think the recorded version is the first or second take. One of those perfect moments. I remember having a nervous breakdown over the decision to fade the song in and/or fade it out. This happened a lot in every aspect and stage of this album. Hart wrote the lyrics and, as far as I’m concerned, they are his best ever. I love the way he sings this song. When we were kids in Eugene, Oregon we spent most summers at the Willamette River. There was a swim hole called the toilet bowl. One time our friend David Bear jumped in yelling, “Hey guys look at me,” and then he hit his head on a rock and almost drowned and we were all laughing too hard to save him so he had to pull himself out after a near death experience. We had a group of friends that were pretty inseparable. One of them was David Minor who was the drummer for our high school band the Conmen. Dave was hit and killed by a car while riding his bike and this album is dedicated to him.
Lars: Can you tell me some more about recording the record? (How long did you spend on it? Was the band all together the whole process? I get the impression that you spent a lot of time on it by yourself...)
Chris: It was important for me to record an album outside of The Distillery. I needed to know that our music could stand on its own outside of Mike Mchugh’s talents and sound. The recording and mixing took about a year. It was done sporadically on weekends and evenings with month long breaks here and there. Justin Higgins went to high school with Hart and I but he was a couple grades above us. His studio (Old Standard Sound) is amazing. It’s in this old Victorian house on a hill above P.S.U. It was a ten minute walk from my apartment. This was maybe a little too convenient for my obsessive nature. Justin’s patience, generosity, and creative ideas were essential through the process. Ben and Sarah played their parts well and did their best to sit through the madness. Hart was there for most of it. This was the first time that I had ever been given so much freedom in a studio and I got pretty lost in that. I’m sure it was annoying for those that had to watch and wait. At the same time, 'Exit Dreams' would not be what it is without my "Chinese Democracy" obsessions. It is an album whose base themes are anxiety and the world through the lenses of addiction so it would only make sense that its recording would mirror those themes. I guess the fact that I knew it was our last album made me hold onto it for as long as I could. When you care about something you sit with it until you know that it is done. This can take forever and drive you crazy but it is the only way to get as close as possible to that unattainable picture in your head. This approach to music is probably better served by home recording but it is interesting and unique that I got to use it in a 24 track two-inch tape studio.
Lars: What's the setup with Rod Meyer like?
Chris: When we recorded with Rod he was using a Tascam 388. Rod’s a gem. He did the whole session for free. All we had to do was buy him a burrito and beer. He even let me use his “Strat” on "Swim Hole". I wish I would have asked him to play some guitar on the songs but I was too shy.
Lars: Tell me about recording the Peel Session.
Chris: John Peel is a true inspiration. It was an honor to meet him. He drank wine and grinned from his little booth the whole time. Hart had a miked oil drum, a clarinet, and a delay pedal for his vocals. I was using some shitty Euro Twin Reverb and my guitar had been having problems cutting in and out. A lot could have gone wrong. We thought that we only had twenty minutes to play so we wrote out a really short set list and proceeded to blow through it at a super nervous speed. I recently listened to this and it made me laugh. It sounds like four people playing whatever they want without any regard to what the others are doing. What a mess. Hart is definitely doing his best Dylan on a lot of these songs. He would add an exaggerated Bob Dylan accent onto his singing sometimes ("Lisa tooooooooooooooolllllddd ME!"). He’s really using this in full effect on this session. I think he did this to fuck with me or just for his own amusement, who knows. Another inside joke that no one else would understand. We finished playing after about fifteen minutes and there was this really awkward silence and after a while John Peel says, “Why did you stop, I was rather enjoying that..” so we were able to play a couple more songs but they were still twice as fast for whatever reason. We got wasted and drove around afterwards listening to the broadcast on the car radio. That was a really special moment.
Lars: So how'd you guys come together?
Chris: Hart and I met in the outfield of our sixth grade baseball team. We have played music together since the eighth grade. Sarah and Ben came from Idaho. We met Sarah when our high school bands played together at a burrito shop in Eugene. Hart and I moved to Portland and ran into Sarah and we started a band with a mysterious older man known as Mike “Beefcarver” Floyd. Early shows had The Beefcarver dressed up in a costume of some sort performing his own songs in-between our usual material. One time he wanted to lay down a funky rap, so we did our best to back it up with some funky beats and a thick bass groove. One local “journalist” took this unfortunate event seriously and described us, in a glowing review, as "the New York Dolls meets Public Enemy". Ben Spencer joined up after The Beefcarver moved to Arizona to find himself.
Lars: What are some of the unanimous bands you guys all like?
Chris: Flipper, Velvet Underground, Kinks, Cheater Slicks, Big Star, Electric Eels, Saints, Mirrors, Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart, Syd Barrett, the Fall.
Lars: When, where and why did you start playing the guitar?
Chris: When: I started playing the guitar when I was in middle school in 1993 or 1994. My parents wouldn’t buy me an electric guitar so, for one very merry Christmas, they bought me an acoustic with gorgeous flower decals on it.
Where: My bedroom and an old hippy named Emily’s house. Emily taught me how to finger pick like crazy. I remember her and I hunkered over her little stereo trying to figure out how to play a Sonic Youth song on acoustic guitars. She was a trooper. I learned way more from her than Zoot “I’m into golf now” Horn Rollo. Zoot lives in Eugene. I took a few lessons from him after I finally “went electric.” I asked Zoot how to solo like Ed Kuepper. Mr. Rollo scoffed loudly, tossed a pentatonic scale in my general direction, and put on some CD of New Age jazz nonsense that he proclaimed was the only thing worth listening to.
Why: I was into “Alternative Rock" like Nirvana, Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I wanted to be in a band. I couldn’t talk to girls. Mastrubation was no longer enough. Years later Hart and I would try and explain the term “Alternative Rock” to Mike “Beefcarver” Floyd. The Beefcarver had never heard of Alternative Rock and his mind was truly perplexed. I remember him yelling “ALTERNATIVE TO WHAT?!” over and over again. This phrase was a favorite to shout out at random moments in the tour van.
Lars: Tell me about the name "The Hunches"?
Chris: From Google Dictionary:
1. If you have a hunch about something, you are sure that it is correct or true, even though you do not have any proof.
2. If you hunch forward, you raise your shoulders, put your head down, and lean forward, often because you are cold, ill, or unhappy.
3. THE HUNCH. A song written by Mad Mike and the Maniacs. Covered by the Cheater Slicks.
4. A term used relentlessly by Hasil Adkins. “Out To HUNCH.”
Lars: You're on a desert island and you can only take one disco beat with you...
Chris: John Coltrane "Meditations".
Lars: Tell me about being in the Hospitals.
Chris: This was a mind opening and altering experience in many ways. I learned a ton and gained essential motivation and inspiration at a time that I needed it desperately. Rob, Rod and Adam are three insanely talented and unique individuals, so being in a band with all three was about as rewarding and challenging as it gets. There are countless stories I could tell but that is a different band and a different chapter of my life.
Lars: Tell me about making 'Hairdryer Peace.'
Chris: See above. It really meant a lot to be a part of this album. An early memory is Rod and I laughing as we tried to decipher the guitars on one of the tapes that Adam had sent us. I will always remember the moment when Stony sent me the finished product. My mind split open upon hearing what he had done with those recordings. I learned a lot about patience, obsession, and caring about every aspect of your art. A lot of the recording was done in the basement of Hart’s old house in Portland. This house was haunted as fuck. I remember riding the MAX train through the snow at night to meet up for practice and then going to drink at The White Eagle afterwards. 'Hairdryer Peace', for me, was playing the best I could in new ways with vague direction and a very unknown destination. I trusted Adam; he had a vision that he saw through to the end and that was hugely inspirational for me.
Lars: What's Stonehouse up to these days?
Chris: He’s got plenty of musical ideas brewing upstairs. Whatever he does next will be great. He’s real into baseball right now. We play together on an all-star team that was called “THE GALAXY” but is now called “EGYPT ’84.” Apparently Stony’s in a major baseball slump at the moment but he hopes that this weekend’s game will put an end to that. He was wondering if taking one adderall before playing might help but I told him “no.”
Lars: Do you like touring? Tell me the best and the worst of it.
Chris: I hate touring but that’s mainly due to self sabotage.
1. Hart crouched on all fours in the middle of the road, blocking the Blues Explosion’s tour van as they tried to leave a venue in Europe. He was enraged over our meager payment of fifty dollars and drunkenly yelling “Why don’t you rape me again JON SPENCER!” The confused look on Mr. Spencer’s face was priceless.
2. Driving all the way to Austin from Portland to play one show at SXSW. We did speed the night before the big “gig” and didn’t sleep. The next morning found us hanging out under a bridge with a pack of bums. One of these bums gave Hart a special heart shaped rock. Subsequently, the show was one of our best ever.
3. Brian McMahon (Electric Eels) came to our show in Chicago.
4. Hart finding a missing Sarah passed out drunk in the driver’s seat of the parked van with the window open, an open beer, a lit smoke, and Creedence blasting at full volume.
5. Hart proclaiming in all seriousness that he was going to stab Seetz (our seven foot tall Dutch tour driver) at some point that night.
6. Ben Spencer’s unveiling of the JACK SHACK (apparently a place in the back of the van used for tour masturbation). It was later revealed that the JACK SHACK “could be anywhere.”
7. Throwing apples at the band called “Jet” after we were forced to open for them at their first big show in England. Hart pegged the singer in the head.
1. Opening for The Kills.
2. Driving straight home to Portland from Iowa without sleep.
3. Losing my knees at the Cheater Slicks house.
4. Opening for Jet.
5. Seetz in a silver thong (witnessed by an extremely unfortunate Sarah).
6. Enduring the special moment of the set when the drummer for the Immortal Lee County Killers would “rap” from his drum stool. We had to open for this “wild duo” in Europe so we witnessed this horror on multiple occasions.
7. Hallucinatory alcohol withdrawals in the van on the way home.
8. Seeing a dead body in a car that was on fire on the side of the highway.
9. Wondering if I really saw that dead body in the car that was on fire on the side of the highway.
10. Dick Lloyd.
11. Lost somewhere in Spain, wondering how it could possibly get worse: Bryce Henry (roadie, Dick Lloyd survivor) puked Euro fruit juice all over poor Sarah.
Lars: Why'd you move from Portland?
Chris: My technique for dealing with anxiety and problems is to run as far away from them as I can.
Lars: How do you like San Francisco?
Chris: PROS: the food, the weather, friends, the ocean, my apartment, Natalie, my fish Flipper.
CONS: human shit, dog shit, the weather, panhandlers, the smell of the sewers.
Lars: What's an ideal day there?
Chris: Not hungover.
Lars: What do you do for work?
Chris: I am what’s called a Field Service Representative or “floater.” I work for a company called Ikon Document Solutions that is a parasite on the huge biopharmaceutical company called Genentech. I ride a Genenbus to work and I eat in a Geneteria. I don’t really do anything. I have kind of fallen through the cracks. I collage, work out, read, draw, write, and think myself into fits of panic. Blame my job for the length of this interview. I got paid twelve dollars an hour to write all this crap.
Lars: What's your take on cigarettes?
Chris: I’ve been reading a book that guarantees a successful quit if you finish it. I’ve been reading this book for about four years now and am on the second chapter.
Lars: What new bands do you like?
Chris: The Whines, CCR Headcleaner, The Blimp, Eat Skull, Kurt Vile, Wet Illustrated.
Lars: Weren't you in Eat Skull in the beginning?
Chris: I practiced with Rob and Rod two or three times but I realized that I wouldn’t be able to play in another band and do the Hunches album at the same time.
Lars: What's your dad like?
Chris: Steve Gunn is a great dad and he raised me very well. He is an incredible carpenter but had to get into construction estimation when his body wore out. My dad built the house that I grew up in. He has recently entered a renaissance period of sorts. He takes singing lessons and recently starred in his church’s rendition of the Lewis and Clark story. My dad also sang the song “76 Trombones” at the church talent show. He recruited a bunch of kids to dance around him and he wore a huge Uncle Sam hat. Steve is currently enrolling in dance classes at the U of O. He just got a new girlfriend so, in addition to being a closeted actor, singer, and dancer, he is, apparently, a bit of a player.
Lars: What TV shows are you watching?
Chris: Eastbound and Down.
Lars: Talk to me about breaking up the band. How'd it go down? How come?
Chris: There were many factors involved in the break up but the main reason was that, simply, the band had run its course. I think that every band has a certain amount of time to make relevant music that is filled with life. It took me a long time to understand this concept and to accept that this amount of time, for my band, had run out. Forming The Hunches and watching it grow was the best thing that ever happened to me, so watching, helplessly, as it ended was one of the worst. When we were kids Hart and I used to walk around Eugene talking about how amazing it would be just to play a show. Putting out an album on In the Red was absolutely a dream come true. I was in love with making music and performing it live. It was everything for me. I could not understand what was going on as this thing that that had solved all my problems slowly stopped working, started causing all my problems, and eventually made me nothing but miserable. Anxiety really wrecked me. Being on stage felt like acting, writing songs felt like acting, listening to music felt like acting. I got self conscious to the point of paralysis. It’s still hard for me to talk about and I don’t think we ever talked about it much as a band. We all just kind of faded away from each other. It took years to actually break up. I held onto it for as long as I could because I had no idea what else I was going to do. I think that idea of going past any sort of logical breaking point and exploring what you can find there is really important to the last album. Like addiction; the insanity of repeating things that don’t work and are actually killing you but the other options are even scarier. I was terrified of my life without The Hunches. 'Exit Dreams' was the only logical and illogical way to end it. We turned back around and looked at that void and those memories and said, “well this band is so dead and so malfunctioning and so far gone; I guess we might as well make one last album.” It gave me a chance to say goodbye in the best possible way. As I left my band I was given back my love for making music and my confidence that I could still do it.
Lars: How was the final tour?
Chris: As good as it could have been. My mom came to our show in Portland and I saw genuine pride in her face afterwards and that might have meant the most to me. I didn’t really get the sense of resolution and the return of the original excitement that I was hoping for but I guess that’s not surprising. The whole thing felt kind of unfamiliar and distant. It was nice to have the support of friends and it was cool to see how many people came out to the shows. It was pretty evident that it was time to move on.
Lars: What are you musical plans?
Chris: I don’t want to be in a fixed band again. Drama inevitably gets in the way of the music. I am really interested in purity and honesty in writing and recording. The popularity games of shows and music scenes and selling records can really break down the original love for music and creativity. I just want to record. I would love to put out my own album. I want to play with my little brother who is an insane musician. I hope to play with Ben, Sarah, and Hart, separately or together, as something new and free of the past. That would be very healing.
Lars: What are you going to do with the rest of your life?
Chris: I am moving back to Portland and I’m going to live in a room at Justin’s studio. I’ll be able to record and learn about recording and have a front porch and a back porch and turn 30 in Oregon which, I now realize, is my home.