Agrees Strub, "Yeah, that's pretty much the way it is now with us. Our sound man is on the search [for tapes] constantly. Also, our film man is pretty damn important. It's a five-man team. And it's different every night--no set lists."

Ed Hall: indie to the core. Although if the Butthole Surfers can ink a deal with the Beatles' old label. . . . Ahem, Larry, what if a man in a suit comes up with some money and wants to sign the band, providing. . . ? Are you a whore for hire?

"Oh, yesss, absolutely!" hisses Strub. "Ah--no fucking way! That's one thing that's cool about King and Trance--he's totally hands-off. If you spend less money on recording, then we get our profits back quicker."
Considering that Ed Hall plans to record its fourth album during one short week prior to hitting the road--the Phoenix show is the first date of the tour--it's safe to say that the band plans to keep a firm hand on the D.I.Y. throttle. To wit: As with the last album, there will be no producer, just an engineer.

"We prefer that over having to contend with that extra ego/speed bump," says Strub. "I can't imagine leaving the room and letting someone else mix your stuff--you have control over it all the way until the very end and then give it up? You're gonna have to live with that record the rest of your life!

"I'm not saying all producers are egomaniacs. But there's an agenda they have, whether they're conscious of it or not, and that's something you have to contend with. You can just talk around and around forever with a producer, whereas with an engineer you can go, 'Why don't you just turn this up a little bit, and we'll see how that sounds?'"
Yeah, I like this guy. He thinks like I do. He even raises the deep, defining issues for me. "There was this article in the weekly paper the other day about how [Austin is] renowned as such a great music town, but not that many bands have become megastars and sold millions of records, but we're right around the corner," Strub says.

"The whole idea of a region 'making it' is stupid! It's band by band! I mean, if a band gets a reputation and then there's a homogeneous bunch of bands, that's pretty suspect to me. There's something fake going on there. Like the Minneapolis thing with Soul Asylum and Hsker D, and in Seattle. The whole idea of, 'Oh, this region must have something in the water!' That's fucking ridiculous!

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