The Interview, Part 3
In this concluding part of the Chloës interview, we hear the never-before-told story behind crowd-pleaser “Put that Dick Away”, plus we learn how the ladies really feel about men. Then we conclude with our regular feature,
Redeem a Song, in which we learn about some musical guilty pleasures.
In part 2 of this interview, the Chloës’ Tiffany Byrd started to tell us about her favorite band songs. She had a little more to say on that:
Tiffany ByrdI like Arms, too. ’cause it’s got a country vibe to it?
Mercury Photo BureauThat’s the title track on the new EP. Would you like to talk about that?
Leila WrightCan we pause for a second and talk about favorite songs? Nothing Lasts — it’s my favorite song; I’m always sad when we don’t get to play it at a gig, ’cause it’s like
Arroooaarer! So, when we 1st started playing together, it was really emotional to play? So we didn’t practice it that much, ’cause it was always like,
Do I want to go there? Eh. And the lines are so moving; it’s like,
Dirty ashtray and a torn letter, and it’s like this idea of, like —
Lysandra ChapmanWell, it’s clearly written. And let’s not say, uh, we didn’t revisit what April’s rôle is; April does write 99.9% of [the songs] — which is great […]; I’ve been in bands that I’m responsible for writing in it, and I’m not very happy about that. It’s so great when someone writes really well, and says,
Hey, you guys figure out your parts; what do you think about this; awesome! Done. It’s […] more efficient […], but very open if someone wants to add, or write their own songs.
Brandie DawsonWe change things.
LysandraYeah, we change things. But, obviously, the song’s about her. I mean, it’s very — I don’t want to give any thing away, but if you listen to it, it’s very 1st hand. […] It is very specific, and yeah,
Dirty ashtray and a torn letter/Nothing lasts forever. Yeah, it’s pretty intense. […]
Arms is very interesting; it is about thinking that you’ve fallen in love with somebody, and you think they’re free and open and you’re really excited […] and all of a sudden, [you learn that] they’ve got someone who’s been hanging around for a while who they’ve got a physical or emotional attachment to.
LeilaAnd the line is,
He touched my elbow like it’s made out of gold, and then,
She steps into the conversation like a lightning storm. It’s like,
LysandraI love [that] I know when she thought about this, because I’m not very good with lyrics, obviously; so I actually know when this happened. Even if it wasn’t about her, I knew that she knew what was going on. And it’s like, I could totally picture it in my head, which makes it more exciting. But then I realize […] everybody knows about that lightning storm.
MPBThat’s such a beautiful metaphor. A lighting storm is beautiful, powerful and destructive.
LysandraDestructive, yeah. […]
MPBI can’t do this interview without asking you about [clears throat] the “crowd pleaser.” What’s the story behind Put That Dick Away?
LysandraNobody [but us] knows this story. […] My neighbor liked to come over and listen; he loved music, and I was actually with [ Kevin] [Sidenote: Kevin is Lysandra’s husband.] at the time; we had a little rehearsal space in back. Part of [the neighbor’s] pants had a hole in them, and he was hanging out while I was playing drums […]. I got very uncomfortable and I was like,
I have to go, ’cause your penis is hanging out of your pants. So, we thought it was a 1-off [Sidenote: More like a jerk-off. — Ed.] , and then the girls came over next week. I had told them the story; I was like,
This crazy thing happened! So he came over, I was like,
Yeah, sure, come in; come and hear us rehearse, and he-e-e had a hole in his pants again! — and had his junk out, and he backed himself into a corner and started touching himself. Which is … really inappropriate! Any time! But especially […] when it’s 4 girls […] rehearsing. And so I had to have Kevin […] come and escort him out.
And then, about 2 weeks later, all of a sudden — or maybe not even that; maybe a week later, [April] had the song written. I hated it. I hated it; I thought it was like, very hokey, and I was like,
This is like — are we Ween all of a sudden? […] I don’t want to be [in] a joke band! And then all of a sudden, [April]’s playing triads, and she’s playing really hardcore, like, rock stuff, and I was like,
That’s actually really good. And then it became […] our anthem!
But it has a really hardcore message to it; like,
Seriously, yeah, we will do what we have to do, which we did; but why are you doing that? Why do you feel the need to pull your dick out and masturbate while we’re rehearsing? That’s totally inappropriate. And, so it is a bigger message, and, I kinda like it now that it’s become our anthem.
MPBYou told me that you were happy, last night, to see so many men in the audience singing along on the chorus.
LysandraThat’s maybe the 1st time that’s ever happened! Our CD release was really big with the guys getting into it, but last night at Norman Music Festival, all these guys! They were like, […] all these new fans! Never seen us before; I could see them walk in, all of a sudden, oh yeah, they hear it, yeah!
Put that dick away!
LeilaAt the CD release the bartender was up on the bar —
LysandraYeah, yelling [the chorus]!
LeilaI will add this; that we love men — good men. All of our songs are about men and relationships; it’s not bashin’ on men; it’s kind of a different —
Lysandra[speaking to Leila] I think you represent April very well there; I think what she wants to put across is that we’re not a man-hater girl group. And that is probably — I’m not saying all girl groups —
MPBSome of them are, but I don’t think you come across that way.
LysandraIt’s even less so than when the riot grrrl stuff started; there was a lot of man-bashing then, but we really love men, and I love to see dudes supporting us.
MPB1 of the things that may have happened is that when the riot grrrl movement was beginning, that was near the tail end of 2nd wave feminism, and now we’re well into 3rd wave feminism. You really have
come a long way, baby.
LysandraConsidering when we started this, April and I could have easily been part of the riot grrrl movement; all things considered, maybe that’s why the universe didn’t put us into this until now. Because we did always like men, and there was never a vibe in us to hate on men.
I just have to put this out there: we just got mentioned in the [Dallas] Observer; [they] recognized us as 1 of the top 13 female-led bands [in the Dallas-Fort Worth area].
LeilaWe were number 1.
LysandraAnd so [April] said something that’s poignant and very accurate, that our biggest fans are men. You would think that that [would be] women, and it’s not. The guys buy our vinyl; the guys support us and come out [to the shows]. […]
LeilaWe [also have] an awesome lesbian following […]; they’re awesome chicks! But that’s more a relationship thing; we do have a great following of women, and I love to see the women in the crowd who are standing with their boyfriends […]. At every show we’ve had, there’s at least 1 girl [who’s] unusually enthusiastic. I think it resonates with [women], but music is in a boys’ world, so they’re the ones who more control the — the purchasing power feels like it’s coming from the men.
LysandraIt’s hard [for women]; look, I’m the only 1 [in the band] who has kids. And I know […] a lot of women our age are […] marrying, having kids; there’s a focus on something different [than music]. And I think it’s very confusing to women at that point in their lives:
Is there a place in my life for music? Is that lame that I don’t want to put all my focus on my kids? Can I say that I still love music and I want to go out and see bands? Very hard for women, and I can tell you, I battle with it every day, about being in a band and raising 2 kids and being married. […] I think that’s why we’re missing that contingent of women, who are, maybe, our silent observers and do like us. We just don’t see them at shows; they’ve got other responsibilities. Men [who] are single, or even have wives at home who take care of the kids are able to come out and see us.
LeilaIt’s more acceptable for them to geek out on music, even into their — up until their — there’s no age limit; for women there’s […] a sweet spot: they’re expected to geek out on music if they do, and then it kinda drops off after you have kids.
LysandraSo, I think that we do have that audience; we just don’t know so much about it. We don’t see them at the shows, but we get sales, and we have “listens” and we have “likes.” I think that they’re there. We would just like to [say] that,
You can find a place for music; there’s nothing wrong with that.
[While we take a break so I can check the battery usage on the recorder, Chris Sanders joins us and tells us his utterly depraved idea for a music video which involves baseball uniforms and sex coaches — Ed.]
MPBLet’s wrap up with our regular feature,
Redeem a Song, where you tell me about a song you love that doesn’t get much respect, and explain why you think it’s a great song.
LysandraYou know, 1 song that I would never, ever admit this —
MPBExcept for right now —
LysandraMy husband would totally back me on this; you know that Cake song? The Distance is a good, damn song. And, if you think about it, everything that we encompass is in that song. You know,
He’s going the distance; he’s going for speed, it’s a good song. […]
TiffanyI’m pretty open about what I like; I don’t deny it. I like … country; I’m a big country [music] person. I am a small town country person.
LeilaI’ve got my song! I tried … so hard … to get us to do a cover of this song! And, it failed miserably, but it’s alright. It’s Like a G6; [I] f*cking love that song, and it’s like, when you’re in the zone, and —
LysandraWho does that song?
LeilaI don’t know; it’s, like, their 1 hit. [Sidenote: It’s party rap outfit Far East Movement]
Like a G6! Like a G6!
LysandraShe tried [to get us to play it] for 6 months! She wanted it!
Leila— and my karaoke song is Bust a Move. I do have legitimate music taste; I’m not all stupid electronic club music; but I love that song, and it’s — [cracking up] I f*ckin’ love it! So, this is our opportunity for the Chloës’ to cover that!
BrandieWe’re big Tool fans; my cat’s name is Maynard [Sidenote: After Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan] . [laughter] My favorite Tool song is Ænema. I don’t know; that song — it’s so angry. I love Maynard’s voice. And I’ve been to a Tool concert, and that was, like, the best song ever, because the whole crowd was, like, swirling and jumping. It was crazy.
MPBWell, Chloës, thank you for the interview!
The ChloësThank you; yay!