What was the first album you ever bought?
In the now extinct Tower Records of Sunset Boulevard I have a distinct memory of buying something Duran Duran with a woman, Diana, charged with occasionally looking after me in my early days. What it actually was is over shadowed by the fact that somehow an unpaid VHS of theirs also ended up in the bag. This at the time seemed to me nothing short of a minor miracle. Unfortunately she had a better-developed sense of morality and we took it back like good citizens.
What sound do you love to hear?
the accidental music of machinery. the overtone singing of public buses, the whale calls of trash trucks, etc. No matter how hard they try to materialize and secularize reality they can't take the waves and the songs out of the big picture.
Name five items you would need on a desert island?
flint, a good knife, rope, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat
Finish this sentence…I couldn’t live without __the sense that life is worth living___________?
If you could choose an occupation other than your current one, what would it be and why? I suppose I would be a farmer. It's not easy to feel alive and connected to elemental things in the modern western paradigm and I think this would be a way to be both useful to society and dealing constantly with real live reality. Being so casually in the dark about the food we eat I think perpetuates a certain disconnect with regards to being a living part of a larger living system which must lead to the confusion, loneliness, depression and other modern favorites.
Name a place you haven’t toured before but are really interested in playing and tell us why?
I've never played in Japan but sure hope to before the jig is up. I was there once as a smaller person, actually on a film tour now that I think of it, and really loved it. I've since been exposed to the history of its poetry which is wonderful and if I had to choose a single restaurant to take with me to this desert island which, based on the frequency of its popping up in recent interviews, might in fact be the next stop, it would be a Japanese one.
Tell us about “The Doomsday EP”, why Doomsday? Are things looking bleak?
well, things are looking bleak if we don't decide and decide real soon to rethink a lot of what we think we hold dear in our lifestyles. that said I didn't intend to sing about it in such a way, but it was something that came to mind and had a good enough ring, "'til Doomsday". I think It must go back to Dr. Strangelove and probably beyond. The Doomsday EP is so called because we have two versions of the song bookending the thing. One fast, a version anyone who has come to see me and Dearland play in the past couple years knows, and one slow, which is how I originally conceived it.
What are bands/artists/songs are you currently listening to?
We played a show a few days ago with one Angie Correa (aka Correatown) and two Tom Brosseau and ever since I've been listening to them in my head as I've yet to get home to play their pre-recorded stuff I bought after the show. They were great. Upon the death, or at least deep coma, of my own phone I borrowed an old one of my brothers and upon it he had quite the collection of old and obscure Elvis Perkins jams which was the last thing I actually heard. Oh, and Au Revoir Simone's most recent record which is great and a Brittish songwriter called Sam Beer. Super voice. Try " A Stitch or Two".
Tell us about your axes?
I have an old Martin dreadnought and I can never remember whether it is an 18 or a 28 or some other thing. I guess it never much mattered to me what the number was as it sure always sounded sweet. There's an 1988 Rodriguez nylon string which has been with me forever and which has graciously handed over many a song. My first guitar was a dark blue, yet sparkly, Series 10 (that is the name itself, it doesn't describe the evolution of any more-uttered brand). I think it's in Jamaica now. In current action is a Starcaster, a J-45, and a cherry red 335. In the dust-gathering arsenal lies, among others, a fine sitar, a 4 stringed Framus, and a banjo long ago lifted from my highschool by god knows who.
What is your current dream guitar/instrument? Describe in detail.
for years I've thought of having made an elecric guitar with a neck the thickness of a classical guitar. the way my hands were wrought seems to agree most with the wide plane of a nylon string but I've never seen that carried over into a steel-stringed electric. I don't know if there is something in the physics of it all which would defy such a thing and I've never even taken the thought into the theoretical shape or color of the thing, but there you have it. And while I'm here I guess I should say there would most certainly be flames involved and the headstock would resemble a pineapple.
Elvis Perkins in Dearland releases The Doomsday EP on XL records Oct 20, 2009.