Kongos on the Cutting Room Floor

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Up on the Sun: Lyrically this album almost divides down the middle into being songs about leaving and coming home. Since all four of you write the songs, who's all for leaving and who's for coming home? Show of hands!

Jesse: If the song is about friends or going home, it's Johnny, if it's about wanderlust it's Dylan or me, and if it's fucking sardonic and condescending, it's Danny.

Yeah Danny, what's with all the sardonic and condescending songs? Like "Kids These Days" -- did you really have a teacher that moaned about kids and their cellphones and cassette tapes?

Danny: No, I was just trying to point up someone who was out of touch, but now that I think of it, cassettes are sort of cool with hipsters aren't they? No?

I still think a band should put their album out on an Edison cylinder - it would be the height of hipness at the merch booth--round, metallic and unplayable!

Jesse: Or maybe we should put out our album on piano rolls!

"We just wanted to make sure we were rejected by [every major label] at least once so that if we do make it, we can do the story everyone else does.

-- Johnny Kongos

Even better. Yep, no getting around it, you have put out Lunatic the old fashioned way. Around the time of the first album, though, there was still a sense of doing things the old fashioned way in terms of trying to get a major label's interest. That mindset's all gone now.

Johnny: That mindset was when we released our first EP, around 2005, 2006. When we released the first album ourselves, that was 2007, right around the time things were changing drastically. You could still do it the old fashioned way.

Jesse: There was pretty much a consensus of "This is great but come back when you've got a touring base." They want you to do a lot of work yourself.

Johnny: We just wanted to make sure we were rejected by everyone at least once so that if we do make it, we can do the story everyone else does.

Yes but then the company that rejected you the most times has to sign you, the clouds part and the credits roll. But then you started releasing songs individually. A new track once a month, right?

Jesse: Yeah. It was once a month for the first month. [Laughs] That was the plan.We did the first two around a month apart and we waited two months before we did the third and two months before doing the fourth. After doing the last album, we decided we weren't going to do an album unless something started happening, so we decided to focus on individual tracks, one at a time. We probably could have gone a little quicker, [we took] one song at a [time] seeing if someone would bite.

Dylan: We just wanted to build a little buzz. What we did in Phoenix was just gave everything away. If they came to shows and signed a clipboard they got a CD and though it's still relatively small, it's much larger than it used to be. Our fan base [grows] every time we played a show.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic