Scissors for Lefty

Interviewed by Meghan Logue, Noise Pop 2009

Here's a podcast of our interview with Scissors for Lefty:

And the transcript for those who prefer to read:

Brian: My name is Brian. I am Steve's brother and I sing, dance, and play guitar. That's what I do.

Steve: Hi, I'm Brian's brother Steve and I play the fool. I play the fool for you!

Robbie: This is Robbie and I play some guitar.

James: I'm James. I play the drums. I beat it.

Meghan: So you guys mentioned that you're poor and going back to work. What do guys you do when you're not doing Scissors For Lefty stuff?

Brian: We're very rich in our souls. We put all our money in the band.

Steve: Stock market!

Brian: It's kind of like the stock market. We have fluctuations. We do tours and while we're on tour it pays for itself. But when we're off tour and we're recording like we have been, then you don't have any income, so you have to work. So I, going back, had a good interview yesterday for a biomedical device engineer, for sinusitis, like, nasal chambers?

Meghan: For this guy?

Brian: Maybe I could work on James, actually.

Robbie: Yes, we all have our day jobs. I do bike stuff.

Brian: We all willfully reduced shows a little bit because we love to have a life again and live here in San Francisco. So that's part of the reason we're all being that way. It feels good to have a job in the city. You feel connected to your home town again, y'know?

Meghan: Are all you guys originally from the Bay Area? Because I know you met in Santa Barbara, yeah?

James: San Luis Obispo.

Meghan: Central Coast.

James: Yeah. My brother and I grew up in L.A. And then these guys...

Brian: We all grew up right here, San Jose, San Bruno, now we all live in San Francisco. We're all actually back!

Meghan: Do you have a favorite band to tour with?

Steve: We really liked touring with Erasure. And Florida, you get your voice back every half hour because of the humidity and that was great. We really love playing with smaller name bands that we consider to be huge, like Loxsly.

James: Ra Ra Riot.

steve: Dirty Pretty Things, actually probably our most fun tour ever. I felt like we found our camaderie...

James: Scoundrels, we are. But we're actually pretty innocent compared to them.

Steve: Dirty Pretty Things were probably the most "pirate yo ho let's have a good time after the show" versus, most people have good intentions, and every once in a while we play with bands that are just twerps, and we're like "god, not even a hello?" Five shows in a row and you can't even say hi or wave, and that's kind of goofy. We're big fans of everyone out there trying to make something come together, so share your strings, your amps, your plugs, whatever, make sure that happens.

Meghan: So, I heard you guys had a little bit of a line up shake up recently. Is that correct? No, is that not true?

Steve: Well, maybe. We might have another son in the family.

Meghan: Another brother?

Steve: Well, Peter's wife is having a baby within a week and so he's not always at shows because he's trying to be there as much as he can. He'll be here tonight.

Meghan: I thought you were talking about the small child and I thought, "He doesn't really have a choice in the matter, yet!"

Robbie: We deny it! We deny it! There are no kids that we know of that are gonna be born.

Brian: No, but this line up is the way it is. If we played with better musicians we would lose all authenticity, for sure. So we'll just have those people help record! Hahah!

Meghan: One more question. This is the last one, I promise! You just recorded all this new material at Talking House. Where do you see that going? Does it have a home?

Robbie: Straight to the top! Top of the charts! Billboard! Rolling Stone magazine cover!

Brian: Honestly, we don't know. We have all these songs that we've been sitting on, that we're really excited about. We're not in a rush because we rushed our first time and rushed out to tour in the U.K. and we hardly had anything together, not even a sticker in a font of our band name. This time we're like, "Look, we want to find a good home." We really like it. Talking House said, "We'd love to put it out," and we said, "Hey, that'd be great." They said, "Don't put it out. If you find a good major label that's gonna put it out," because they know that we've kind of done the math and figured what it takes to get the word out there. If you do it yourself, I mean, do it yourself, unless someone's going to invest more than fifty grand in you, because I know it sounds like a lot of money, but it's not. It's nothing. But for gasoline alone, we spent $160,000 last year on gasoline and hotels. That was straight up just gasoline and we shared one room. That was on Priceline! William Shatner helped us out. So we're not going to sign up with some label that's like, "We'll give you a two thousand dollar signing bonus for your album of a whole year's worth of work...

Robbie: "...But we can't get your stuff into Best Buy, we can't get it into Target," ah, crud!

Meghan: You guys want to be in Best Buy and Target?

Robbie: Absolutely. I think as a performer, as an artist, you want people to hear your music, or you're not an artist.

Steve: If you're going to record it, you're going to record it with the intent of being heard. So if you don't want to record it, then don't put it out anywhere. Maybe make one or two.

James: Tower records is gone. Virgin's closing, Amoeba's coming...The whole idea of music is changing.

Steve: Heck yeah! We definitely want to...

Brian: I'll tell you who gets our songs first, though, about three months before they're even finished...

Steve: Will you stop cutting me off, it's really messed up.

James: It's the fans, the fans get to hear it!

Brian: Yeah, we do send our friends, our fans, our loved ones, or people that we want to impress with a decent song one day, we get those to them pretty early. It's just that the final product is the one that you don't want to flub it up. I know a lot of great, great bands who are so modest about getting their stuff out there and eh, that's it. Like my friend is in a huge hurry to put out an album that no one will hear, that's how he describes it, and why? If you're to put in all that time and energy you might as well try to get it out there. But we're really excited to see how this comes out. If it comes out by us, by Talking House, or by some larger group of people, whatever, some sort of investor, because in the end of the day, there are some pretty good tracks on this one. Everyone's kind of in their maturity of knowing how to work in the studio these days. Peter has learned how to do some really neat stuff turning knobs on his keyboards and we've had a lot of fun with vocals. In the past we had someone else telling us when to start and stop and I've just been doing them at home. There's Caleb right now, that I was just mentioning! We were just saying your name! He's in a band called Grand Lake from Oakland and they are one to catch.

Meghan: I'll have to check them out.

Brian: The new material finished this spring might come out late summer.

Steve: To all the fans, I just want to say thank you for all your support, and we hope that you guys check us out!

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