A year ago when I started up Starcityscene.com, at approximately the same time, I accidentally caught a show by a band that blew me away. That story of my first meeting with Rent Money Big is detailed in my first interview with them. I figured since Rent Money Big was the first feature band on the site, I'd go back and catch up with them, to see how the last year has been for them, what's going on now, and what their future plans are.
SCS: Ok, here’s a broad question for you...What has the last year brought for Rent Money Big...like how do you think you’ve come along over the past year?
Drew: Our song writing has definitely evolved since we’ve been living together. I used to arrange a lot of songs by myself, and I got bored with it. Now we’re able to play off each other and push the songs more. Other than that, we’ve just been doing what bands do: playing shows, breaking strings/drumsticks, doing drugs, banging hookers, etc.
Will: When we first got together, there was a sort of continual collision of personalities and what we each hoped to do with the band. I think that most of the year was about us figuring out how to play the same music at the same time.
Tim: 2003 was the Chinese year of the Rent Money Big.
Nate: Ummm… lalala… ffff… tttsssss… phhht… nnnnn… lalala… tu tu tu tu tu tu…
SCS: What stands out for the band over the course of the last year?
Drew: Playing with Rye Coalition was the most exciting thing for me. I love that band. Last summer was cool, in general. We grew a lot during that period in terms of how we communicate with each other when writing songs and just playing live. Also, I’ve seen Nate in a pair of boxer shorts with the ass blown out a few too many times.
Will: My personal life has changed a lot in the past year in many ways and I think the band was a worthwhile thing to focus on while I played out other, more subtle shit. That and way too many naked guys. And sleeping in the afternoon, because the bars have tractor beams aimed at my goofy ass.
Tim: Borrowing money from Will to go to the bars with him.
Nate: Will got a new bass, Drew got a new guitar, Will got a new bass amp, Drew gets a new pedal, like, every week, and all my cymbals are broken.
SCS: That's very sad Nate, but most drummers quickly learn the connection between delivering pizza and new cymbals, I guess you haven't figured that one out yet. Share the story of your Chicago trip with the Starcityscene.com readers. Feel free to embellish to make it more gory if you want.
Drew: We went, we played, we almost died on the way home. They had a lot of different kinds of beers at Quenchers and a drawing by Wesley Willis. Some guy tried to sell me, Tim, and Chauncey Patton some stolen coats, and then he called me Kenny G. I laughed because I knew he was probably on crack. We woke up in the morning in Charles’ basement apartment and embarked on a 14 hour road trip through a snow storm. Somewhere in Illinois, we fell off the Interstate and got stuck in the ditch. The tow dude told us it would be $80 to pull us out of the ditch, but we told him we only had $40 and he believed it. Pansy. We got home at about 3 a.m., smoked the stickiest of the icky, and proceeded to drink Lone Star, the beer of Texas.
SCS: I’ve notice Will makes a lot of funny faces when you guys play, is he ok?
Drew: No, Will is not ok.
Will: No, Will is not ok. "O.K." is just a relative concept that means different things to different people. I am no more or less "o.k." than any business serf chained to a cubicle, just more likely to be drunk.
Nate: It’s the combination of an ulcer and a corn cob in his poo-chute.
Tim:It’s his "metal" face!
SCS: You’re getting ready to head out on your first “real” tour this summer, what do you have lined up for it, where will you be heading? How many shows?
Drew: We’re still trying to get things finalized. We wanted to wait until the recording/mixing process was done before booking the tour. We just wanted to make the best record possible. So far, we’re for sure going to the west coast with The Show is the Rainbow for all of June. We’re trying to put together a brief tour to Chicago and back with Mr. 1986 before we leave for that. We’d also like to head east with Caesar the Greaser. We want to play as much as possible.
SCS: You finished an album with Nick Westra at The Laboratory recently, how do you like it, and when do you expect it to come out?
Drew: Recording with Nick was fuckin’ sweet, man. It’s gonna be the illest shit.
Nate: It’s the hottest shit ever. Nick is the shiz-nit!
tim: I like the record. I hope it comes out sooner than later.
SCS: Last I checked, at the beginning of February, the album was untitled. Does it have a name yet?
Nate and Tim: (simultaneously, like in Full House) Yes, it does! Are we going to tell you? No, we aren’t!
SCS: How was the experience working with Nick?
Drew: Nick just wanted to make the best recording we possibly could, and he was really open to trying new ideas during the process. It was really laid back, and we definitely took our time with the mixing process. I think we got a really good recording.
Will: Nick really knows what he’s doing, but he doesn’t act in a way that would suggest this. I thought the atmosphere helped a lot, because his couches are so nice and he makes a lot of coffee.
Tim: I like Nick’s place. I feel very relaxed there… so relaxed in fact we all fell asleep (including Nick) during mixing one day.
SCS: Did his dog hump any of your legs during the recording process?
Drew: No, but Tim did.
Tim: Shhh! Seriously though, Zoe is a bad ass dog!
SCS: Most people don't know this, but there was a brief love affair between Zoe and Sean Moon. So when you guys are recording, does Drew drop to his knees and roll around on the floor just like when you play live?
Drew: Yes, and we mic it. I have an ass-and-knees solo on the album.
tim: we had to turn Drew’s ass mic way up because he’s got no ass!
Nate: Drew’s ass was much of my motivation, as well as Drew on his knees.
SCS: If I’m not mistaken, you had originally planned to record the album with A.J. Mogis at Presto, but then Nate found the money, blew it all on crack and cheap hookers and so you couldn’t afford it after that. Is it your hope to do an album at Presto in the future?
Drew: It would be nice to give it a try some time. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if we made 100 albums in basements, though. As long as we’re writing new songs I’ll be happy.
Will: Actually, I was supposed to deliver the money, went to N Street Liquor
And managed to score some hash in the parking lot. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the money. Things became fuzzy after that.
Nate: It would be a good thing to shoot for, provided I can get off the junk!
Tim: I’m with Drew… I just want to write shit. Although Presto did some good work with Mr.1986’s record w/ Tie These Hands, I don’t think they mic’d Jim’s ass properly.
Drew: Yes, Jim’s ass is definitely in need of more in-your-face-edness.
SCS: Aside from more crack and cheap hookers for Nate, what does the future hold for R$B, or rather, where would you like to see yourselves a year from now?
Drew: Hopefully we make a big impact on people when we tour this summer. We’ve always wanted to be the kind of band that can keep on recording albums, keep touring, and keep surprising people. As far as next year, I’m basically aiming to be bigger than Mr. 1986. Bitches.
Will: I think if we keep reassessing our music and trying to change it in innovative ways whenever possible, we will get where we want to go. There was something kind of lacking in what we came into this year with. Now, I think that we’ve gotten over our old style and come up with something newer, with just a kiss of the hops. Hopefully, we continue this.
Tim: Yes... hops!
Nate: Cocaine and more expensive hookers.
SCS: Aside from a nasty case of the clap that Drew picked up while in Chicago, is there anything else you’d like to share with the folks of Lincoln?
Tim: Dance, please! For the love of god, I’m so lonely!
SCS: Thanks very much, Ladies. I'll be back in touch again with you one year from today.
- Tery Daly