Do you feel like the first record didn’t properly
represent the songs?
Brian: Well, there weren’t a lot of other options. And we were excited to work with this guy, who was really great at his job… But we just didn’t have a lot of time to make the decisions we wanted to.
Amber: Money. It was basically money.
The word “twee” was thrown around a lot in reviews of the first record. Is that something you guys ever felt close to, or did you resent it?
Nathan: Generally, I hate the word, and we didn’t like being called that. But I can understand it. I guess I don’t mind it if it refers more to that original 80s stuff. But it has this more recent connotation of, like, ukuleles.
Amber: It seems sort of negative, even though I like a lot of the records that have been called twee.
It’s like the word hipster. No one uses it for
themselves… just for other people.
Nathan: It’s weird how “indie rock” is still ok to say.
Amber: Do you think so?
Nathan: I mean, you don’t say “college rock” anymore.
That’s because you’re not in R.E.M. in 1987.
Brian: Though we wish we were.
Nathan: If your mom’s friend asks what you make, you just want to somehow differentiate it from what’s on American Idol.
Brian: My parents don’t know what that means. I just say rock and roll.
Nathan: Then I define it. They say, “What does ‘indie’ mean?” And you say it’s on an independent label, as opposed to a major, just so then at least they know that you don’t actually make any money. A lot of them think, like, “Oh, you were mentioned in this magazine or that magazine… you must be loaded!”