What are Fountains Of Wayne up to?

Finishing up a record that we’ve been working on for a long time.

Can you tell us anything about the new record?

In terms of the songs, it’s pretty diverse – hard to generalize. Sonically, maybe the whole thing’s a bit warmer  than the last couple.

How’s Stratosphere Sound doing?

Keeping busy…we just had Flood in producing Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, as well as some other cool album projects.

Any music inspiring you currently, new or otherwise?

I like the new Crowded House record a lot. Just got it.

Do you have a favorite bar in Chicago?

I mostly know the bars at the places we’ve played in, like Double Door. I’ve been taken to a lot of cool bars but I don’t always remember the names afterwards.

Do you ever write on bass?

Usually not, but I have once in a while. I tend to write on guitar or piano, or just in my head.

There’s a gun to your head; what is your favorite classic rock guitar solo of all time…okay top two then?

My Sharona. Do You Feel Like We Do.

Jets or Giants? Mets or Yankees?

Giants. Yankees. Although I don’t really care too much anymore to be honest.

Do you still have to have a ‘single’ for a record company to get behind a release?

I have no idea. I suppose you need one if you’re going for Top 40 radio. Not sure if it matters as much for most bands though.

How was your band in college? did you play any covers and, if so, can you name a few?

I played in a few cover bands in college – we did stuff like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Squeeze, Smithereens, Pretenders.

Does Stacey’s mom still have it going on?

I hope so, for our sake.



1.0  You have a rich, deep voice, when did you realize you could really sing? We had a fan years ago that said she had a loop of my singing voice in the birthing room when she had her daughter. I think that painted a picture of the effect my singing voice had on people. I still think I am learning, getting better, so I am a bad one to ask.

2.0  Does it mean anything to be from Chicago? I think there is a real advantage to being from Chicago. I have found in my years in the business that there is a really strong and tight knit community here. Also, the history of music here is always being addressed, so it is really connected to something bigger. I think this is the greatest city in the world, so it has definitely shaped the way I write and the way I perform.

3.0  Who is your all-time favorite Chicago Cub and why? My all time favorite is Ernie Banks. When I was in 5th grade I transferred schools and his sons Joel and Joseph were in my class. They invited me over after school, and their dad came out and played catch with us on the front lawn. He even went in-himself-and got me a lefty glove to catch with. Simplest thing in the world, but it taught me a lot about celebrity and fame. He was just a dad playing catch with his kids. It is part of the reason I have never been star struck, or patient with assholes.

4.0  When you did you catch the acting bug? I have been an actor all my life. I think I was sure about it the first time I saw a play. I just have never thought of myself as NOT being an actor. I did it in grade school and throughout high school, and it just seemed like the most natural thing in the world. It is one of those things I have just always known. And there was no one in my family to make me think it was a possibility, but nobody ever told me it wasn’t, so…

5.0  Does performing music live differ much from acting on stage? which do you prefer? I learned more about being an actor when I began treating music with the same discipline. I believe there is no difference. We are, in effect, storytellers. Our goal is to connect with the audience, and whether it is intellectual, emotional, physical, or visceral, or ALL of those, the goal in theater and in music-in fact all of the arts-is the same: tell a good story.

6.0  Does one have to experience heartache to sing with soul? This is a hard one for me to answer, because I had never sung without experiencing heartache, as I started professionally pretty late. I guess life experience helps, but I can act a song as well as I can sing it. I believe most singers feel that way.

7.0  You enjoy carpentry, are you a dreamer or a pragmatist? Full on dreamer. I firmly believe that any craft can be elevated to art. That is where my love for building-and creating in general-comes from; the potential, and the leap of fatih you have to take to try to reach that potential.

8.0  What advice would give a youngster who has natural singing ability? Sing. Go listen to people sing. Get help from people more experienced than you. Decide who you like, and try to figure out what it is about them that you like. The best way to get better is to figure out who you are. Singing isn’t a comparative sport-contrary to what so many believe-so you have to focus on what it is about your voice that you like, and develop that.

9.0  Mick Jagger once sang “It’s the singer, not the song”, what do you think he meant? I think he meant if you have a great song, and you don’t sing it great, how will people know it is great? We have all heard rotten versions of classic songs.

10.0  If you could time travel, where would you go? I am not really interested in reliving the past, and to preoccupied with the present to travel to the future. As an acting teacher I talk all the time to my students about being in the moment. I believe that is the best advice I could give to anyone. Enjoy the moment ~


1.0  What is the most recent song you have written and what is it about? Daze Long.  It’s about 2 months old and I have recorded it.  Waiting to mix it.  It’s about being on the cusp of losing your job and all of the fears associated with that.  But at the end of the day, life is still good.  It’s good to be alive.

2.0  Has your approach to song writing changed over the years? I’m more critical of the material.  I’ve gotten to a place where I consciously need to let go, do the work and not self-edit to early in the process. I’d gotten to a point where I was doing a little something then dismissing it because it either reminded me of something I’ve done or possible something someone else had done.

3.0  Material wise, when do you know you have something? When it feels right.  It’s a gut thing.

4.0  You can take Boom Hank out of the south-side, but can you take the south-side out of Boom Hank? LOL. I must say, Boom Hank is very un-south-side for south-siders but having said that, it is a part of who we are, whether we like it or not.  That is the thing that makes us “unique”.

5.0  How do you feel about sharing mp3’s?  I’m all for sharing music, just as I did as a teenager.  I’d make as many mixtapes and dubs as I could to spread the love and turn people on to, what I thought, was great new music.  I’m not for file sharing networks where millions of people can grab it for free…unless the artist allows it as apart of their marketing strategy.

6.0  Have you ever set anything on fire? Oh yes!  It was spectacularly out of control and scared the shit out of me.  I was very young and a girl was involved.  I could see how an event like that, at a very young age, could have had an inverse effect and a person being very much enthralled with the power of being able to create that kind of event.  That’s where the inspiration for the song “Kindling” came from.

7.0  Is it still important for bands to rehearse a lot before entering the studio? I think it depends on the level of ability that a band has and what it is they are trying to accomplish with the recording.  A band that is too well rehearsed can take the edge out of a song that should have it…and vice-versa.  The tricky thing about recording is that you try and capture some kind of “magic” and the conditions for catching it are constantly changing.

8.0  You have been an engineer for many years, how does that impact your approach in the studio? It makes me nuts.  I would rather have a bit more ignorance to the process.  I know of all the choices and that can drag me down. Keep it simple stupid!

9.0  Your stuck on i-94, what have you to listen to? In my car now is, The Tallest Man On Earth’s “The Wild Hunt”, Bon Iver’s “Blood Bank” EP, Frightened Rabbit’s “The Winter Of Mixed Drinks” and The xx’s “XX”.

10.0  There’s an alien is the backyard; he’s got a record in his hand, what is it? “Rocket 88’”….it’s his/her first rock ‘n roll experience and what sent them here ~