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April 2004 - Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares

Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares


Sure, I run starcityscene.com, but I also play in a band too, and I usually don't give it much attention here, cause it's my band. We've got some changes going on in the band that the music community should know about, so I'm turning the editorial reins over to Katie Harr for this interview with Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares - - T.D.



Suzy Dreamer & Her Nightmares' line-up has included current and former members of several bands, notably The Honey Hush and The Black Dahlias, but we'd best clear one point before we go any further: Suzy Dreamer rises from the ashes of no one. While it may be some of the same people playing and writing songs together, the band is an entity unto itself -- and a unique one at that. Using the vivid, bizarre imagery created by an unconventional songwriting style, Suzy Dreamer has marked new artistic territory for a local band. Their macabre, surrealist pop songs spiked with lyrical celebrity cameos bring to mind the ambitious forms of 1970s psychedelia with enough punk to keep things honest. Suzy Dreamer's current personnel includes its own muse, Kristen Bailey, on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and singing saw, Tery Daly on backing vocals and lead guitar, Amos Joseph on bass, and Jefferson Gustaf on drums. As for the rest of the details, let's let the band do the talking....



Katie: How and when did Suzy Dreamer form as a band?

Kristen: It was about this time last year, and Tery and I and Charles and Sean and Eric were in The Honey Hush. We had all these shows booked for April with The Holy Ghost, and suddenly Charles, the king of disappearing acts, just up and moved back to Chicago. Tery and I decided we'd do the shows anyway and play my dream songs, and we asked Sean and Eric if they'd be interested and they said, Sure, what the hell. So we named ourselves Suzy Dreamer and Her Nightmares and here we are.

Tery: Yeah, in March of 2002, The Honey Hush, imploded. (any bands with Charles Lieurance as a member don’t just break up, they implode). The lineup of Suzy Dreamer originally included the bass player and drummer who played with us in The Honey Hush. We had several shows booked at various venues around Lincoln and Omaha, and Kristen and I didn’t want to just cancel out of on them, so we decided to just switch over and do Kristen’s dream songs that she had occasionally been doing, either as a solo act, or with her sister and Lori Allison playing with her.



Katie: Where did the band's name come from?

Kristen: Tery said, we need a name and sent me a twenty-page list of band names he'd been compiling for fifty years. I emailed him and said, "do you have something like, 'Suzie Dreamer and The Nightmares?'" Because I've always liked bands with names like that. And about twenty minutes later (I'm not kidding. It was about twenty minutes later.) he emailed me with a link to the Suzie Dreamer and The Nightmares website. I said, "Wait! I didn't mean we should call it that; I was just saying that I like that kind of name!" And he said, "No, I like it!" So that was that. Shortly thereafter, we changed the spelling of Suzy (we think the Z makes it look better) and later we changed the "The" to "Her" since I consider my bandmates my property, and also I like the possessive pronoun of "her" in relation to the nightmares, since these songs are my nightmares. Funny thing here: people who don't know me but have seen the band call me Suzy because they think it's my name.

Tery: Actually, I think Kristen first had "Suzy Nightmare". She said she wanted it to be like Suzy Nightmare and the somethings, or Suzy Dreamer and the somethings. She wasn't necesarily meaning she wanted it to specifically be Suzy whatever, she was just using it as an example, but I really liked it, so I said, why not just make it Suzy Dreamer & The Nightmares and it just grew out of that. The change from "THE" Nightmares, to "HER" nightmares, is mostly because the name is kind of more meant to address the music, not the band members.



Katie: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?

Kristen: I'm not really sure for my part. I know who/what I'd like to draw from, but I'm pretty new to songwriting, so it's nearly impossible for me to emulate anyone. If I could choose to be influenced by someone, it would be Grandaddy for their fuzzy bass parts and lovely melodies, Leonard Cohen for his creepy, disinterested style and apocalyptic lyrics, and The Rolling Stones for their fuck-it-all-to-hell honky tonk.

Tery: The Beatles and a lot of other great 60's bands, Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, Guided by Voices. Again, these are just things that influence us personally, I wouldn't necessarily say that ANY of these things are apparent in our music.



Katie: If a UFO landed in Lincoln, and the little bald grey guys jump out and threaten to zap you with their disintegrator rays unless you answer the question "What does your band sound like?" what would you tell them?

Kristen: I'd say, "Please don't kill me! I'm not right with God!" and make a deal: I'll put them on the guest list for the show that night, unless we were playing at Knickerbockers (Chris is deathly afraid of aliens,) in which case I'd tell them we sound like...oh, hell. I don't know. I'm really bad at this game. I'll let Tery do the "_______ meets _______ " bit here.

Tery: A horrible accident in which The Beatles tour bus circa 1966 goes through a time warp back to 1840 and crashes head on into the tour bus of Edgar Allen Poe. Musically it’s pretty straight forward pop, if not sticking specifically to pop song structures, although we’re heading in that direction. The dream imagery kind of gives the songs, lyrically, a psychedelic edge, if occasionally getting a bit Nick Cave Murder Ballads-ish also.

Jeff: I would hum that litttle lick from Close Encounters, and promptly start playing in my mashed taters.

Amos: The bastard love child of Belle and Sebastian and Rush played under water...in outer space.

Tery: Hmmmm...That might be the best description of our band I've ever heard!



Katie: You’ve recently gone through some line-up changes -- who are the new members?

Kristen: Our new drummer is the lovable and industrious Jeff Gustafson (formerly of The Hot Carls and currently in Minutia Stew as well) and the endearing and multi-talented Amos Joseph (formerly of The Hot Carls and currently in Minutia Stew as well.) They're a dynamo team; they've been holding the rhythm section down together for years, and they sort of read each other's minds. It's kind of creepy, really. I'll write a song about it as soon as they make their debut appearances in my dreams.

Tery: The lease on our previous bass player and drummer was up, and we decided to trade them in for the newer models. I had played with Jeff in Starboy, so when we were looking for a drummer, he was happy to join, and Jeff suggested Amos might be able to play bass. Amos asked for a few weeks to think about it because he knew he'd be busy with school and didn't want to make a commitment he couldn't keep, so I was really glad when he agreed to come on board.



Katie: What precipitated the change?

Kristen: Mister Sean Moon and Eric Aspengren were working hard on their current project, The Takers. Sean's heart hadn't been with us for awhile; my songwriting/singing style isn't really his thing, although he was a champ at promising me he adored it. I could tell he wanted to quit, but he wouldn't say it, and so finally I just called him and said, I know you're quitting, and it was all good. It was apparent that Eric's heart wasn't really with us, either, and so we let him quit, as well. It was a good change for everyone, as you've seen if you've checked out The Takers, and as you'll see when you see us with the new lineup.



Katie: Jeff & Amos, having played together in The Hot Carls, and other bands before, and since Amos recently joined Minutia Stew, you've played together a lot, in several different bands. First, how is being in Suzy Dreamer different than your other bands, and second, is there anything you wish to share with us about why you two spend so much time together?

Amos: I definitely enjoy practicing with Suzy Dreamer a lot more than I do with most bands I've been in. Maybe it's our close proximity to a full service bar. :) Suzy Dreamer was also the first band I joined where I wasn't around for the initial song writing process. It's a very different experience from being present when the songs are just starting to come together. I'm getting a fresh dose of that with Minutia Stew now, too. As far as Jeff and I are concerned: I don't kiss and tell.

Jeff: The biggest difference probably lies in the rehearsals. For every mistake you make while playing a song, you have to remove one article of clothing. As for Amos and my spending time together, well...so many other drummers are attracted to Amos. I'm afraid to let him out of my sight. Some other drummer might snatch him away from me-like that SLUT from R$B...I see the way they look at Amos when he walks around in his assless chaps.



Katie: How would you describe a Suzy Dreamer show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Kristen: Well, we like to have fun on stage, so that's kinda fun. I tend to fuck up a lot, and sometimes I pull a Hendrix on Lulu (that's when you stop the song and start it over) because sometimes I sing the wrong notes or play the wrong chords. Sometimes I jabber. I like to jabber.

Tery: 22 strings and loud drums. With our new band members they can expect a much more powerful and exciting show than what they got with the original lineup.



Katie: Tell us about the band’s working relationship with respect to the creative process of songwriting. How does one of Suzy Dreamer’s Nightmares turn into a song?

Kristen:I'll sit down with my guitar and just mess around, hum along, and eventually I'll stumble upon something I like. I'll keep messing around with it until it makes sense. When I've got it basically down, I thumb through my dream journals and just pick one I like. Then the hard part: making it fit, breaking prose into poetry lines. The song evolves from there. When I've got it where I want it, I take it to the band and Tery adjusts what needs adjusting, and they write their parts, and voila! A new song!

Tery: I guess to put it briefly, Kristen writes the music and lyrics and I arrange them. She comes with just acoustic guitar and vocal and I work out the rest of the song. It’s really nice having Jeff and Amos in the picture now too, because not only does their individual playing styles take the band in new directions, but they both, especially Jeff, really have a lot of great suggestions. I was kind of surprised at first, because I’m not used to having drummers with such good musical instincts. It’s really a lot more collaborative now. Jeff came up with a kick ass new ending for our song "Rolling Stones Video" that totally blew Kristen and me away.



Katie: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?

Kristen: Oh, my. Well, when we first started, my songs were all very, very simple. Three chords at the most--sometimes just two--and they were all in 3/4 time. It's all I knew how to write. There were no bridges and there was nothing resembling a chorus. And pretty much every single one of them was about corpses: Dead & Frozen in JC Penney, Dead Synchronized Swimmers, Trapped in the Basement with Corpses, Mike's Mouth. I've since learned a little more structure. Tery gives me little songwriting assignments and recently his assignment was to write a song with actual repeating choruses, something I have been resisting for a long time. I've always been way too literal about these dream songs. If it wasn't in the dream, it's not in the song. Dreams don't have repeating choruses, so none of my songs do. But the one I wrote based on that assignment--Mister Baby and Plastik Trumpet--actually has a repeating chorus, andit works. And I write songs in 4/4 time now.

Sometimes I call Tery and play him a line and he has to tell me what time signature it's in, but I'm learning to count 4/4. I can't even tell you how much I've learned in the last year. With Tery's gentle prodding (no, not THAT kind of gentle prodding,) I'm finally beginning to loosen up a little about the stringent rules I'd imposed on myself and I'm taking more liberties with regards to interpreting my dreams (if the corpse was rotted but "decomposed" fits better, I'll use it) and I think the new stuff I'm writing is going to be much better because of it.

Tery: Actually Kristen has really come a long way in the last year. She has been continuously developing as a songwriter the whole time the band has been together. If you compare our mid period songs like "Melting Monster High School" or "Floating Mathematical Lizards" to the eariest songs, like "Dead & Frozen In J.C. Penney" or "Trapped In The Basement With Corpses", There’s a world of difference both lyrically and musically, and really, she’s going through an even bigger metamorphosis now. Her songs are moving toward more traditional song structures, and slowly moving away from such literal descriptions of her dreams in the lyrics, and moving toward a more impressionist style. Her newest songs like "Brendan Gonzalez" are completely different, musically, and some of the brand new stuff that she’s played for us in practice but we haven’t even started working on yet is really good. She played me a song at practice the other night called, I think, "Black", which is completely unlike anything she's done before, I cant' wait to start working on it.

On a personal level, I’ve grown in that I’m fully comfortable with Amos showing up for practice in leather chaps with nothing on under them. Jeff’s ego has grown pretty significantly since he joined the band.



Katie: So we know that all your lyrics come from Kristen’s dreams. Is it hard for you putting dream stories into song format and having them make sense, or fitting them to music?

Kristen:Yes. And that's another reason taking more liberties is going to improve the songs--there are so many dreams I've wanted to use, but their length wouldn't allow it. One of my earlier songs, "Rats in Knickerbockers," is about ten minutes long. So I think it's going to be easier now, because I'm feeling more comfortable writing the jist of the dream, or leaving out some less-important details, or changing words here and there to make them fit better. But the songs will always follow my dreams pretty closely.



Katie: What’s your favorite song to play live? Are there any you don’t like playing anymore?

Tery: There’s always a certain smug satisfaction for me in doing JFK Jr. because I played that for Kristen for MONTHS, and she absolutely hated it, used to scream at me to stop it, and finally I must have just worn her down, because one week she was just like "that's cool, let's do it that way". It used to sound like a Judy Collins song at our first few shows! Now at practice every week, I play a different one of our songs to the music of JFK Jr., just to annoy Kristen. It's fun to annoy Kristen! Other than that I really like doing the ones with guitar solos in them because Kristen is very anti-guitar solo, so I don't get to show off much, and of course, I dig the ones that really rock, like Melting Monster H.S, Floating Mathematical Lizards, and such.

Kristen: I love playing "Melting Monster High School." It's in my vocal range and I think it rocks. I don't like playing most of the old ones. I really hate "Dead and Frozen in JC Penney," and I'm not too fond of "Trapped in the Basement with Corpses" either.

Amos: I'll have to wait until we actually play a show to tell you for sure, but right now "Rolling Stones Video" is my favorite song to play during practice.

Jeff: Melting Monster High School



Katie: Kristen, how is being in Suzy Dreamer different from having been in Mister Baby or The Black Dahlias?

Kristen: First and foremost, I can't get loaded before I play because I can't play the guitar drunk. During the Black Dahlias days, all I drank was tequila, and I would drink lots and lots and lots of tequila and get all nuts and I loved it: breaking bottles on stage, getting all bloody and drunk... And then in Mister Baby, I was doing the Jagermeister. Quite a different drunk, but just as violent. I'd jump around and roll around and kick and scream and weave and flip the mike stand and I loved the chaos of that, although I have to say that I don't think I ever sang one note on key in either band. So Suzy Dreamer is a very sobering experience. I feel much more sane during a show, if a bit square. I've tried to write more boistrous songs, but I guess it isn't in my nature to do so because they always come out like they do, which is pretty, and that's fine.



Katie: What was your first local show, and how did it go?

Kristen: Our first show was at Duffy's with The Don'ts and Junior Mighty. It went surprisingly well, considering we'd had maybe three weeks to learn all new songs.



Katie: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

Tery: Maybe last years Scenefest show? It was great because Duffy’s was packed, everyone we knew was there, everybody was way into it, Everyone was singing along to the songs, especially during Dead Synchronized Swimmers. Charles jumped up on stage and joined in on vocals. The Powerless show was a lot of fun too, because it was a nice change of pace for us, and I think it really presented some of our songs in a more appropriate manner, and it also allowed people to hear all the lyrics a bit better than they have before, and that's 75% of the song. That being said, it's already clear that with the new lineup, all of our best show are ahead of us.



Katie: It has been said that true wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes – have you, as a band, made any mistakes that you think other bands could learn from

Tery: The only thing I'd say is if you're in a situation where not everyone in the band is of the same commitment level, it's better to just stop, rather than waiting until you've got other people to fill those spots.

Kristen: I think the drinking thing is an important lesson to learn. It's fun to be drunk on stage, but you should record the show and listen to it the next day. When you're up there, you sound like God, but the next day you don't want to show your face, ever again. Learn your limits, and stay within them. Also, don't play in Lincoln more than once or twice a month at the most. Better for everyone--the audience, the club, the band--to have fewer shows and a bigger crowd than a ton of shows with only ten people showing up.

Tery: Yes, we call those the "Mister Baby" parables.



Katie: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

Tery: HOLY CRAP, do I actually make people answer this question?? What a prick I am! My immediate response would be go read the encyclopedia of Lincoln bands, my answer lies there. To be more specific, some of the bands that I really love to go and see are Ideal Cleaners, The Bad Sects, Tangelo, Caesar The Greaser, The Amalgamators, Rent Money Big, Bright Calm Blue, The Show Is The Rainbow. I'm ready for a show by The Mezcal Brothers, but they're in the studio now. I only recently saw Thunderstandable for the first time and liked them, and The Terminals have only got a few shows under their belt, but I really like what they're doing, and 6 months from now their show is gonna be a monster. I already miss Crush The Clown.

Kristen: I completely admire Nick Westra. He's an amazing songwriter, both lyrically and musically. I wish that fucking freak would hurry up and get back on stage. I admire the illustrious Lori Allison because she just does her weird little thing and doesn't care about the critics or impressing the scene or trying to be anything she's not. I admire the Mezcal Brothers because they are so good at what they do--they look good, they sound good, and they take their music seriously without taking themselves too seriously. And I like that you can't tell the difference between their original songs and the covers--they all sound straight out of Sun Studios. Plus, their singer is damned hot.

Tery: Yeah, we all sit around practice every week and dish about how hot Gerardo is. It's a wonder we get anything done at all!

Jeff: I'm a big fan of Sad Old Lady From The South.

Amos: Rent Money Big and Caesar the Greaser immediately come to mind. I also seem to be following Ideal Cleaners around like they're the Grateful Dead lately.

Tery: Stay away from the brown acid at those Ideal Cleaners shows!



Katie: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Tery: What I like about it is that there are so many bands that I love to go and see anytime I get the chance. It would SO suck if there weren't any good bands to go and see, or if there weren't such a huge variety of great music to go and see. I like that the bands are all mostly really supportive of each other.

Kristen: I like that we have just about every kind of music you can think of, and that there's a nice crossover--It's not as cliquey here as in other towns. And it's nice that there are other venues starting to do live music, although it concerns me a bit; I wonder if the local pool of musicians can support that many venues, and I wonder if audiences are going to be stretched too thin from bands playing locally too often. But we'll see.



Katie: Are you working on a new album now, and if so, when do you expect it to come out?

Kristen: We'll be working on it soon, and we're hoping for an early summer release.



Katie: What was the first album/CD you bought?

Tery: The first 45 I bought with my own money was "Daniel" by Elton John, the first 45 I received as a gift was "Space Oddity" by David Bowie on my 9th birthday, The first album I bought was "Abbey Road" by The Beatles. The first compact disk I bought was "Out Of Our Idiot" by Elvis Costello. My first Edison Wax Cylinder was of Alexander Graham Bell reciging "Mary Had A Little Lamb"

Kristen: Captain and Tennile, 1977. I paid for it with the money I got for mowing the lawn for the first time ever. My sister was all into The Who and Led Zeppelin, and she made relentless fun of me. So I'd follow her around the house singing "Muskrat Love" at the top of my lungs until she pummelled the crap out of me.

Jeff: I listened to nothing but my parent's Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Three Dog Night, and Neil Diamond records until I was about 12, then decided to get some music of my own. I got Doubt by Jesus Jones and Nevermind by Nirvana at the same time.

Amos: The first album I ever got was a Beach Boys greatest hits tape. My parents had taken me to see them at the Nebraska state fair (I think it was '84 or '85) and I loved them so much I begged them to buy me a tape. It was the first big concert I ever went to and I can remember being blown away by their vocal harmonies. I had never heard anything like it before.

Tery: You obviously never saw The Honey Hush!



Katie: What are your top five albums of all time.

Kristen:

  • 1. The Who--can't decide which one, but you can take your pick.
  • 2. Neutral Milk Hotel--Aeroplane Over The Sea
  • 3. Grandaddy--The Sophtware Slump
  • 4. Big Star--Sister Lovers
  • 5. Crush the Clown's unreleased record I'll never get to hear.

    Tery:

  • The Beatles - Revolver
  • The Beach Boys - Smile
  • In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
  • Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
  • 86 way tie for 5th place between: Beggars Banquet – Rolling Stones, Armed Forces - Elvis Costello, The Ramones – The Ramones, Bleach – Nirvana, Zeppelin II - Led Zep, Who’s Next - The Who, Are You Experienced? – Hendrix, Piper At The Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd, Rubber Soul - The Beatles, Skylarking – XTC, Alien Lanes - Guided by Voices, Chips From The Chocolate Fireball - Dukes of Stratoshphere, A Night At The Opera – Queen, Just Another Band From L.A. - Zappa & Mothers, Never Mind The Bullocks - Sex Pistols, Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles, Monk's Dream - Thelonious Monk Let It Bleed – Stones, The Cars – The Cars, The Doors - The Doors, Giant Steps - John Coltrane, Science Faire - The Apples In Stereo, Chronic Town - REM, Trust - Elvis Costello, John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band S/T, Between The Buttons – Stones Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet, Doolittle - The Pixies, Tim - The Replacements, Weezer – Weezer, London Calling – Clash, Road To Ruin - The Ramones, Nothing's Shocking - Janes Addiction, Mutations – Beck, Nevermind – Nirvana, Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle, Frizzle Fry – Primus, Dusk At Cubist Castle - Olivia Tremor Control, Loveless – My Bloody Valentine, After The Goldrush - Neil Young, Lincoln - They Might Be Giants, Apostrophy – Zappa, Electric Ladyland – Hendrix, Abbey Road - The Beatles, Murmur – REM, Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkees, Live At Leeds – The Who, Argy Bargy – Squeeeze, This Years Model - Elvis Costello, White Album – Beatles, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain – Pavement, We Sold Our Souls For Rock & Roll - Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin, People Are People - Depeche Mode Greatest Hits - Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark, Back In Black (or whatever that albums called) - AC/DC, Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy, The Sun Sessions - Elvis Presley, Dust My Broom - Elmore James, Greatest Hits - The Hollies, Animals – Pink Floyd, This Joint Is Jumping – Fats Waller, Sheer Heart Attack – Queen, Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys More Of The Monkees – The Monkees, XO Elliot Smith, Indoor Living – Superchunk, Devil Between My Toes – Guided By Voices Disraeli Gears – Cream, BadMotorFinger – Soundgarden, Doorway To Norway - Oranger, Cold Spring Harbor – Billy Joel, Close To You – The Carpenters, If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian, Close To The Edge – Yes, Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughn, On Avery Island – Neutral Milk Hotel, A Quick One - The Who, Reckoning – REM, Propellor – Guided by Voices, Oranges & Lemons – XTC, Velvet Underground & Nico – VU & Nico, Are We Not Men? – Devo, Pleased To Meet Me – The Replacements, Fair Warning – Van Halen



    Katie: What’s in your CD player right now? What other bands would you recommend people check out?

    Tery: I’ve been so busy getting ready for the anniversary events that 99% of what I’ve been listening to lately has been local bands. 13 Nightmares, Mercy Rule, Drive-by Honky, The Black Dahlias, GC3, Plastik Trumpet, Pablo's Triangle...stuff like that, and I definitely recommend people check ALL of that stuff out.

    Kristen: I'm no pioneer in discovering rock for people to check out. Right now I've got a bunch of stuff on my Real jukebox (sorry, record industry) and today as I cleaned house I listened to everything from "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" to "Luckenbach, Texas" to "California Uber Alles" to "Queen Bitch."

    Jeff: For some reason I can't stop listening to Pink Floyd's Meddle this week. I also listen to Herb Alpert and the Tijiuana Brass or The Baja Marimba Band on a daily basis. If you haven't heard Key Lime Pie or Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart by Camper Van Beethoven--you're missing out.

    Amos: Right now I'm listening to The Mountain Goats - Bitter Melon Farm, but here's what I've been into for the last couple weeks: Deerhoof - Apple O', Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days, The Constantines - Shine a Light, Nico - Chelsea Girl, Frank Sinatra - The Very Best Of Frank Sinatra (best CD to walk around downtown to *ever*)



    Katie: What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?

    Jeff: The Theme song to Family Ties--or "All Her Favorite Fruit" by Camper Van Beethoven

    Tery: I thought "All Her Favorite Fruit" WAS the theme song to Family Ties.

    Kristen: "The Future" by Leonard Cohen. It's such a beautiful, desolate, wicked, hopeless song--"Give me crack, anal sex, take the only tree that's left and shove it up the hole in your culture." Holy crap! And if I really want to freak myself out when the rapture comes and I'm left behind, I'll put it on and turn it all the way up just as the horsemen are heading my way.

    Tery: The Oscar Meyer Wiener song "Cause if I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener, everyone would be in love with me" Holy crap! What an ego on that wiener. And if I really want to freak myself out when the rapture comes and I'm left behind, I'll put it on and turn it all the way up just as the horsemen are headed my way.

    Amos: This probably changes on a day to day basis, but this morning I'm going to say Pink Moon by Nick Drake. It's arranged very simply (just guitar, vocals, and piano) but it keeps me coming back again and again.



    Katie: The best rock show you've ever seen?

    Tery: Guided by Voices at The High Dive in Champaign, IL.

    Jeff: Rancid in Omaha in 1996. Not so much for the music--There were fights galore, some even involved Rancid themselves and security. There were hundreds of arrests and injuries and thousands of dollars of damage to the Civic Center.

    Amos: I went to Sokol last year to photograph John Darnielle and was completely blown away by the opening act. I came prepared for a fairly low-key night of folk music, but these kids from Poison Control Center were *crazy*. The guitarist would drop down into full splits between bouts of screaming into the mic. The rest of band had their own signature moves which mostly involved jumping into or on top of the crowd to varying degrees. If I would have been expecting it I wouldn't have found it remarkable, but the element of surprise turned it into an amazing show for me.



    Katie: The last record you bought?

    Kristen: The Rolling Stones, 40 Licks.

    Tery: I don't have a clue.



    Katie: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?

    Kristen: Lots of new songs, more songs that rock, maybe some out of town shows, at least one full-length album and hopefully an EP for a Halloween release. Maybe some merchandise you can buy with your hard-earned money.

    Tery: In an attempt to out-hair Rent Money Big, Amos is going to grow a GIANT afro. It'll be so big he'll have satellites orbiting his head.



    Katie: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

    Tery: Yep, Lincoln's Lone Prairie Records is releasing the Powerless show we did in December as part of their Bootleg Series, so we’ll be playing a CD release show for that on 5/2/04. This will also be the debut show for the new lineup. It’s going to be a big fat blast, and everyone is invited to come sing along and have fun! There will be new songs, and old songs that sound new.

    Kristen: Come see us on May 2, in full glory with our new lineup.

    Tery: Oh, yeah, one more thing. I want to share the fact that Amos, Jeff, and I call Kristen "Princess" behind her back.



    Suzy Dreamer Website


    - Katie Harr