Is Rock & Roll dead yet? Rock & Roll is hanging by the skin of its ass. We are that skin.
What is your favorite stage guitar and why? I can get by with just about any Gibson. For me, at this point, the pedals are almost more crucial than any specific guitar.
How would you describe Tomorrow The Moon? Tomorrow The Moon is about quality songs and a spacey rock vibe. We don’t go out of our way to try and be “different,” but some people still seem to think that a band can’t have prog leanings and still be ‘punk.’ The fact is, music is still evolving, or at least trying to. But if you try too hard, you’ll lose sight of the songs. If you don’t have a song, you don’t have anything. There are things ‘Tomorrow The Moon’ will never do. “Jamming” is one of them. There are others, too, like growing beards.
You have toured a good deal, how do you like the road? I enjoy the bits of touring I’ve done because I know they will end. Some people don’t want it to end. I have a life here in Chicago, and particularly in the summer, I don’t have an urge to leave. But music has taken me places I wouldn’t have otherwise gone, and I have no regrets.
Have you ever smashed a guitar? I did sort of smash the hell out of one of my favorites due to a terrible monitor mix that only got worse. The neck was badly broken… I immediately felt bad about it, but it made some cool noises when I jumped all over it, so I guess the audience must have loved it, not that I was aware… I had pretty bad bruises on my knees the next day. Tommy Keene refers to those sort of incidents as “glamour fits.” The guitar recovered fully.
Why do you love The Kinks so much? Songs! I saw them on Sept. 17th, 1980 and it was super high-energy. By that time they had a wealth of material, the best material any band ever had. And they just totally rocked.
Do you ever get angry when you are playing guitar? Is that an emotion that makes sense in rock? If the song is angry, sure. Not as many things make me angry now as when I was young. One of the things that makes me want to slit my wrists is that happy, upbeat positive music that you hear on ‘adult rock’ radio stations. There’s a place for that stuff, I guess, but that place is not anywhere near me.
Will radio ever have a “Tivo” feature? I don’t know if there are enough people listening to radio for the development of a Tivo-type feature to make sense. Satellite radio and Pandora have that covered more or less, right? If it’s cost-effective, then it will happen.
Does every band need a love song? No, I don’t think every band needs a love song; in fact, it can be very awkward when a band whose range has never included love songs tries to go there. Metallica suddenly tried to add that layer to their bag of tricks one day, and if it wasn’t a commercial flop, well, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an artistic flop.
What happened to Sting? Sting got famous writing songs that were inspired by and about being very unhappy, and then all of the sudden he couldn’t tap into that emotion anymore because has was too happy. Success completely changed him, as it does to almost anyone. McCartney was happy to begin with, so he was relatively unfazed by success, whereas Lennon started whining about his childhood after the Beatles broke up. The truth is, he was out of ideas, so he started trying to tap into his unhappy youth. Who cares? He had already peaked. I’m starting to sound like Gene Simmons, so it must be time to go ~