By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
Instead of a kinder, gentler AmAnSet for the new Bush era, is the band shooting for leaner and meaner? Death to slow-core and placid rock? Will the band rock fans like the proverbial hurricane on its U.S. tour?
"Well . . ." Kenny considers the implications, then snickers conspiratorially. "I can't give too much away. I have to qualify this: For us, it will be the most 'rock' tour ever. Tom and Sean have both brought a lot of creativity influx to the band. As soon as they got involved, it seemed like the songs had gotten shorter, maybe a little more upbeat, and when it comes to playing them, now that we have four albums we've been choosing more of the upbeat songs and less of the 'anemic sounding' songs. It used to be that we'd play out and if we made it through six songs in 40 minutes we'd be doing good. Now we play a strong 10 or 12.
"But the last thing I want to do is overstate our importance in the musical community. We're just five guys that enjoy playing together, and I really think we're gonna have a lot of fun on this tour. The songs just have a new kind of energy to them. We were kinda out of the game for a little while. I went back to school and we only played two shows in Austin in two years. Then we put on a show at this new club, The Mercury, where we said it would be all or nothing, go as hard as we can, and the place just exploded! I've never had a response like that from a crowd before. For just a microsecond I felt like a real musician! It was brief, we cherished it, and then we moved on, broke down and went back to our day jobs. But it was awesome. And now I really can't wait to go out and turn some people on."
Regardless of whatever success the AmAnSet enjoys in the wake of its most expansive, mature and diverse-sounding album to date, Kenny still has plans to wave his fruit fly flag high.
"[Music and molecular biology] have been pretty musically exclusive up until this point. I just graduated from UT in May, and I told the gang I'd take a year off to push the record and make another one. But then I get to go to graduate school somewhere for molecular biology and biochemistry. I dunno; maybe they'll move with me. It took me a long time to find something I actually wanted a degree in, but I'm pretty happy with it and I like it a lot."
One small step for drosophila, one giant leap for mankind. And human cloning is set to be all the rage in the next few years . . .
"Surprisingly, I'll probably be right in the line of fire for that! That's precisely what my degree is in. So it's gonna be right up my alley," he says, laughing. "Hopefully, I'm not gonna be one of the ones making the decisions; I don't want someone like medeciding whether or not people should be cloned."