Fat Bobby, Kid Millions, and Hanoi Jane are visiting Vancouver for the first time. I warned them it would probably be pouring, but they said it would be better than the ugly white junk that’s been such a party on their coast.
ONLY: I always hear you referred to as “veterans” or whatever. Do you feel like you’re really that old?
FB: (Laughs) Just because we don’t hate ourselves and we still play music. Yeah, we’ve been around for a long time, we’ve been playing for a long time. It’s just something worth doing, I think. We haven’t set ourselves up to not be a band, if that makes any sense. We don’t kill ourselves to get famous. We don’t kill ourselves to get rich. I mean, we work hard, we play a lot, we tour a lot, but it’s all just what we enjoy.
ONLY: People seem to think you’ve put out an excessive number of records…
FB: Not enough, really. When we started being a band, nobody gave a shit about us because DJ culture was really big at the time in New York, so we couldn’t get shows or anything. We just played at warehouses and garages and parties. Gradually people started to say, “Hey, that seems like a good idea,” and the world of rock bands started happening in Brooklyn. New York is a very fashion-conscious place, so it’s kind of nice being set outside of all that a little bit.
ONLY: Do you still play in warehouses and stuff?
FB: Yeah, yeah, yeah. All the time. You know, when we started being a band we would very proudly announce that we were from Brooklyn because it was incredibly uncool. There came a point at which we stopped trumpeting that quite as loudly because it sounded like it was something people say to try to be cool. Don’t think we’re some New York fashion band, we’re from Brooklyn. But it eventually became Brooklyn fashion band. It’s easy for us to stay out side of everything. I mean we’re friends with lots of bands…
ONLY: Like who?
FB: You mean bands that we like or bands that we know? Some that we’ve played with a lot that we like are Sightings, Black Dice, Animal Collective… Those are some great bands from the area. Even the bands that got really popular like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were great bands.
ONLY: What about that split with the Liars, how much fun was that to do?
FB: I love those guys. They’re one of my favourites. That record label (Arena Rock) asked us to do that. They said they were going to do a series of split EPs. So we just called up the Liars and said, “Do you want to do this?” I think their cover of our song is the best thing on that record.
ONLY: It is pretty fucking good. How was doing their song?
FB: It was good. We like to set ourselves a little project. It’s just kind of a way for us to think about new ways of playing music. There were actually some Liars songs that would have been pretty easy–not easy, but pretty appropriate for us to do. But we picked one that was totally different than something we’d normally do just to make it interesting. And it was. It was totally fun.
ONLY: You have a new record coming out…
FB: We have an album coming out in May called The Wedding and it’s lots of little pop songs. There’s string sections and all kinds of weird shit like that all over it.
If somebody just randomly picked up that record and wants to go see a band that sound like that record, my guess is that won’t happen. It’s not like we’re deliberately trying to be perverse or anything. We don’t really associate playing live with selling records. We’re coming out to the West Coast now and we don’t have a new record at all. The last one came out in November.
ONLY: How do you travel on tour?
FB: We’re borrowing some amps from the guys in Black Mountain… We’ve never been to Vancouver before. I’m really looking forward to it. I won‘t say I’ve heard nothing but good things because every single band I’ve ever talked to says, “Watch out, they’ll steal your gear.” Vancouver and Naples, Italy are the two cities that are like the biggest gear rip off cities in the world.
Oneida plays Monday, Mar 14, 2005 at Richards on Richards (1036 Richards) with Kinski and Black Mountain