Loquat (Treasure Island Music Festival, 2008)

by Meghan Logue

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Meghan: This is Meghan with Loquat. We're at Treasure Island Festival. How is your guys' day so far?

Earl: Awesome.

Kylie: Pretty rad, I must say.

Meghan: Can I have you guys go around and introduce yourselves and state your instrument and/or function?

Ryan: Ryan, keyboards, kind of a dick.

Chris: Christopher, loud drums, little backing vocals, sarcasm.

Earl: Earl, Guitar.

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Kylie: I'm Kylie. I play guitar and I sing. I was trying to think of what adjective I was going to use but I have none. I got nothin'. What's my function?

Chris: Malfunction.

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Anthony: I'm Anthony, I play bass. In Loquat, the band. And a little synth.

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Meghan: Your set was really good. I heard you guys mention that you're from the Western Addition, specifically, of San Francisco. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Kylie: Yeah, well, we all live within a couple of blocks of each other, except for Chris, but he'll probably come join us very shortly.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Mission boy. Trying to turn good.

Kylie: We pride ourselves on being a Western Addition band.

Meghan: Do you guys have favorite haunts in that neighborhood?

Kylie: Haunts?

Meghan: Maybe a favorite sandwich shop or something?

Ryan: We don't hang out there anymore now that it's nice. [laughter] That neighborhood got all gentrified. They put in nice restaurants and nice bars and stuff. And you can't get a table at any of them. We actually don't really hang out in the Western Addition. We hang out in the Mission like everybody else.

Earl: Green Chili Kitchen. On Fulton. It's pretty good.

Ryan: There's a bar called Minibar that's pretty good.

Anthony: And the Weber barbecue in Earl's back yard.

Meghan: That's a hot spot?

Earl: Yeah!

Chris: We tend to meet at Wazima for cheap drinks, occasionally.

Earl: Except they have the worst juke-box on the planet. Bob Seeger and ugh....

Kylie: They need to fix that.

Meghan: They should get some Loquat in there.

Kylie: Clearly that would help. [laughter]

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Anthony: That would feed our egos. Hanging out in a bar where they have to play our music all the time.

Earl: The Fly bar.

Kylie: I was gonna say, the caramel blue pizza at Fly.

Earl: And the fruits and nuts salad. Excellent.

Meghan: What's your poison of choice at these local haunts? Do you have a favorite?

Earl: Beer.

Chris: Fernet.

Meghan: I hear it's good for your stomach.

Chris: Well, obviously.

Meghan: My next question is for Kylie, specifically. So you're the lone female in this crew full of dudes. How's that working out for you?

Kylie: I just like to boss them around.

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Meghan: Do you keep 'em in line?

Kylie: No, they yell at me, I yell back. Sometimes we get into fisticuffs. You know, I can take them.

Meghan: Sometimes you have to, right?

Kylie: Every day.

Meghan: And most of you have full-time jobs, yeah? [laughter] Most? All?

Kylie: Yeah, we do.

Anthony: Yeah.

Meghan: How do you guys reconcile that with working on Loquat stuff?

Kylie: We don't do anything else. We don't sleep very much. We pretty much...

Anthony: We basically have two full time jobs. It's the band and the jobs. And we never go on vacation. Any vacation any of us has is a tour. You have to pay the bills in the meantime.

Ryan: Rather than a job, I think we're a non-profit at this point. [laughter]

Chris: I get our t-shirts at cost.

Meghan: Do you guys get to see any of the cities you tour in? Or is it just like, go to a city, play a show, go to the hotel?

Kylie: Yeah, it's pretty quick. It's pretty quick. We're going to Minneapolis in October, next month. And we're gonna play in my home town, which is awesome. I'm really excited about that. Hang out at my parent's house with the dogs and the lake and the whole bit. And then we're going to New York, for CMJ.

Meghan: Oh, you're playing CMJ! Very nice! Rusty's going to be there as well.

Rusty: Tell us where you're playing at CMJ. Do you know?

Earl: Ace of Clubs.

Anthony: Ace of Clubs, I think?

Kylie: We're playing with Scissors For Lefty, Love Like Fire, Elefone, us.

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Anthony: I don't want to start any rumors, but the Smiths might be re-uniting at our show [laughter]. If you like them you might want to come by.

Chris: Anthony's been working on this for years.

Meghan: I'm sure that'll have a good turn out. Do you guys like to play festivals or do you prefer small, headlining things?

Kylie: I'd take a festival. Pretty much any time.

Meghan: Is there any special reason for that?

Kylie: Sorry?

Meghan: Any special reason for that?

Kylie: People move your gear for you and feed you and look at this beautiful view.

Ryan: I mean, we had a great, great time today. And please, let's do this more.

Earl: I see so many shows in clubs. I go to tons of shows just going to see music and it's killer and seeing good music is killer but you're in a dark, stinky room, for the five hundredth time. It's nice to go outside and just see music in a different context and it doesn't have to be this groady, gettin' drunk kind of thing. You can be out there with your bros and getting some sunshine.

Ryan: On that note, too, though, the club thing, it's great, all the people who have come to see us, and we wouldn't be playing a festival if we hadn't played a club, or a bunch of clubs.

Earl: I mean that's basically where we live. Doing a festival is like going on vacation, basically.

Meghan: While we're on the topic of San Francisco, I noticed that you guys have a lot of support from people like Amoeba and Live 105 and stuff like that. Do you consider yourselves a solid local band, or are you looking to expand or what?

Kylie: I definitely wouldn't...

Earl: Expanding would be a good idea.

Kylie: Why not?

Anthony: We have fans all over the world. We always had people writing in to us from Scandinavia or Indonesia.

Kylie: Sometimes you get a lot of random, random like 'I voted for you in this contest.' Some guy from Hungary, y'know. I guess because of the Internet, you can reach anybody at the click of a button.

Anthony: Nobody wants to be in a purely local band. You want to reach an audience and people with different life experiences and stuff. I think we've been doing that. We need to get out on the road some more.

Chris: There's a guy in the Czech republic who said we can stay at his place.

Meghan: If you ever happen to be there.

Chris: Hey!

Ryan: Some of us are single and we'll come back with wives.

Meghan: That's good. Not the mail order kind, 'cause you can just go pick them up.

Ryan: Well, I'm cheap, I wouldn't pay for the stamp.

Meghan: The shipping is expensive.

Chris: The delivery charge is insane but if you pick it up they waive that so it's cool.

Meghan: Do you guys have a favorite venue to play in the city?

Kylie: Oh, yeah. I mean, I have a few. I really love the Independent. I really love - the sound at the Independent is gorgeous. Great American Music Hall is a beautiful venue. Bottom of the Hill is a favorite. It feels like home. Same with Cafe Du Nord. Those places are just like home to us. Did I miss any?

Anthony: No.

Ryan: We're doing our CD release in November at Bottom of the Hill so we're doing it at one of our favorite venues.

Kylie: We're playing with the Frail who actually played here at Treasure Island. November 8th.

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Meghan: Tell me a little bit about Secrets of the Sea.

Kylie: What can I say about it? Let's see.

Anthony: The sea is a harsh mistress. That's one of her secrets.

Kylie: Is it really?

Anthony: No, that's our record.

Kylie: It is.

Meghan: It's not a secret anymore.

Anthony: No.

Kylie: It's starting to not be. What can you say about Secrets of the Sea?

Earl: Well, we just recorded this album differently than we've recorded any album before. We had help this time.

Kylie: We did have help!

Earl: It was great. We had a recording studio and...

Kylie: Producers and mixing engineers. That was so awesome. We did everything ourselves and we would be bickering and I'd be in this little coffin-like vocal booth. A hundred degrees and dark and sad. And then we started working with these guys, the Rondo Brothers and I looked out this bay window at Bernal Heights, this beautiful view. And it was more inspiring.

Meghan: Are you guys done recording?

Kylie: Yeah, yeah. It's coming out, in fact, October 14th. Right around the corner.

Meghan: We'll promote that.

Kylie: Thank you.

Rusty: You were looking in my backyard when you were recording.

Kylie: I was? I was inspired by your backyard.

Anthony: We're sorry about the cigarette butts.

Rusty: He's gone now, right? He was one of my favorite neighbors. Even though I didn't know him very well, he was like my party buddy. He'd climb my fence for my parties, I'd climb his fence for his.

Kylie: That is awesome.

Meghan: So Loquat is an interesting name. If I'm not mistaken, it's a kind of obscure fruit from South East China. Why did you guys choose that particular name?

Earl: Kylie and I have a little argument about this because both of us kind of think that we came up with it. My story is that I went to school in Belmont, California, which is South a little bit. There was a loquat tree and it was a Catholic school and there was a nun. And she used to hit us with rulers, typical nun stuff, and so we would have someone looking out, and other kids climbing the tree and getting all the loquats, 'cause right like, November, December area, they'd start to ripen and they're sweet and awesome. We used to sneak 'em and get detention doing it. And her story...

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Kylie: Meanwhile, I'd came out here from Minnesota for college at Santa Clara University, also south of San Francisco, and we just used to climb loquat trees at night and it's just like a romantic, awesome feeling. I think, in my opinion, I was looking at a dictionary and I saw the word and I was like 'Oh!' and I just had this nostalgic feeling about that, you know, which is akin to the kind of music we make. So I told him and it was just obvious that it had to be that because we were both so connected to that word. So that's what happened. In my mind.

Ryan: You were just reading the dictionary.

Meghan: Is that a hobby of yours?

Ryan: A little light reading. Keep it on the toilet.

Earl: What was one of the other names we were gonna...Actually, there's a band, Holly Go Lightly. When we were coming up with names we wrote all these names that we thought were cool and one of them was Holly Go Lightly, right?

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Meghan: Didn't they record with the White Stripes, briefly?

Earl: Yeah, and then later, there's this band called Holly Go Lightly. Do you remember that? I wish I could find that piece of binder paper because it has all those names on it.

Kylie: All those bad ideas.

Anthony: The Hands Team.

Ryan: Team Benchwarmer.

Anthony: ...Video Sex Pope.

Ryan: Boner Attack.

Kylie: I'm really pretty glad we ended up with what we got.

Meghan: I think it was a good choice, too. Although Video Sex Pope is an interesting choice. So Loquat was originally you guys, yeah?

Kylie: Yep.

Earl: Uh-huh.

Meghan: What made you guys decide to bring on the extra crew and turn it into a project?

Kylie: We were really shy and hiding out in our studio recording and then we met Anthony and he was so....

Anthony: Not shy. [laughter]

Kylie: Not remotely shy.

Meghan: Not even a little bit?

Anthony: Not even a little.

Kylie: What do you say?

Anthony: Well, I'd met these guys and they'd been making music, like recording, for a couple of years and I'd been playing in bands for ever and ever and their recordings just sounded amazing, the songwriting, the arranging, it was just awesome, it was better than anything I'd been involved in myself or even really heard locally. I forced them to go out and play on stage.

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Meghan: So you were kind of the kick in the pants.

Earl: That was a long-ass time ago.

Anthony: That was like seven years ago.

Kylie: Yeah, he made us do that.

Meghan: That's nice of him. Seems to have worked out well for you.

Earl: They're meant to do it. The idea of Kylie, singing at home. Dude, are you kidding? The best singer I've ever heard! Sing in front of people!

Kylie: Aw, go on!

Meghan: So I heard a rumor about a road trip you guys took after South By Southwest recently. Have any good crazy stories from that?

Earl: Well, one, there's two. One night we had off I decided to show them, we stayed with my grandmother, who's lived in Albuquerque....

Kylie: She's 90.

Meghan: Sounds like a good story already.

Earl: She keeps a gun in her bathroom in case the neighbors come in. And I never really realized how ghetto her neighborhood was as a kid. I mean, I grew up going there. They didn't have paved roads and there's wild dogs roaming the street. We go there and we realized that people bury their dead in the yard. And there's like these little janky shitty - I can say shitty, right? - totally shitty little, I mean, we showed respect to them, but like, some of them would be a little gravestone for someone who'd died in World War One and in front of it and the cross would be hand-carved and broken and really poignant, looks like some photo students photo essay, and I took pictures [laughter] but they'd have this little cross and then they'd have a Richard Petty slurpee cup from 7-11 from 1982, it's all sunbaked, but it'd have fresh cut flowers in it. So somebody was still tending to these graves, so it was kind of touching, but also totally gross that people were burying their dead in the front yard.

Anthony: And the majority of them were children.

Everyone: Ooo...

Anthony: It was also really weird. The born-on, and the die date was the same date and stuff so, don't get me wrong New Mexico is a beautiful, beautiful place, but there was a lot of testing done there, right around, a lot of this was around '45, later, so who knows....

Earl: It's national, not just the people of Albuquerque.

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Anthony: I'm just saying it's unfortunate that maybe that led to it. But yeah, you're just cruising along and there's this little hand made grave yard there.

Meghan: You have to wonder how hygienic that really is, right? Doesn't seem safe.

Earl: I'm not saying all New Mexico is like this. I'm saying the Southwest Valley of Albuquerque, for your listeners there, you gotta move. Move. Today! Dude! If zombies ever happen, you're fucked! There are dead bodies in your yard!

Anthony: Tell 'em about the guy who sells camper shells.

Earl: Oh yeah! That guy!

Kylie: Oh yeah. They sell....

Earl: All these American flags and signs that say 'Stay Out! Private Property!' and it's the scariest place on earth. Dude, everything about your yard says 'Stay Out!'

Meghan: So that's story number one, what's story number two?

Earl: Texas, probably. We were....

Kylie: The Crime Scene Inn?

Earl: No, the Spotted Pony. We had a night off. We're in the middle of nowhere.

Anthony: ...Between the Crime Scene Inn and the Spotted Pony.

Earl: Yeah, we stayed in a place that had blood stained sheets. But the Spotted Pony, we ended up in Amarillo in like the cheapest hotel in town and all of us were sharing a room. I'm looking around and I'm like, 'Fuck you guys, I'm out of here, I'm going to the bar across the street.' It's the scariest looking bar on earth. There's no windows. There's two busted-up pickup trucks. And we went in, and it was like, two dollar scotch night and we made great friends with the bartender who was a nut and....

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Kylie: I went in there with two dollars and got wasted. I don't know how that happened.

Earl: There's like two gay guys in there and the were totally in the closet, you could tell they're the only two gay guys in town, and they're like 'You're from San Francisco?' and they kept coming on to me all night winkin' and eventually I was like, 'I know, it's cool, but I'm not, though...' and he was like 'I don't know what you're talking about,' but I was like, 'No, it's cool, be proud.' We got hammered there.

Anthony: ...The only two gay guys in Amarillo and this woman who'd gotten beat up by the cops and fought police and got out of prison. It was a totally wild night.

Earl: And we're dream pop. I hope you buffer this with our music, because people would not guess that we're sort of Kate Bush-esque. We're not a rock band.

Kylie: Yeah. That was metal.

Meghan: One more question. If you guys cover any song for release on another album sometime in the near future, what would it be? I can have individual answers if you guys prefer or group answers.

Earl: 'Barracuda!'

Kylie: Dude! No, 'Crazy On You!'

Anthony: Yeah! I think that's a good choice.

Earl: 'Barracuda' is so long, we'd have to Loquat it out make it into something totally else.

Kylie: 'Crazy On You,' that's the one for me.

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Earl: We'll do a cover now and then, it's fun, it's a blast to learn somebody else's song. It kind of gives you a little bit of insight into arrangement and songwriting, too. But actually, we just recorded a cover of '2,000 Miles' by the Pretenders for a Christmas record.

Meghan: Where's that going to be available?

Kylie: It's on Talking House records.

Earl: Christmastime. In stores.

Anthony: Compilation.

Kylie: Talking House Christmas Compilation.

Earl: It's us, the re-united Smiths. [laughter]

Meghan: So you and Morrisey are like, tight, right?

Earl: Well, he calls me for life advice. I'm kind of a life coach to him.

Meghan: Music advice? That's nice of you.

Earl: I'm like, 'Stay in the closet, keep offending the press!' That's my advice. He's been following it.

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Meghan: So I think we're about done. Is there anything you'd like to say to your listeners?

Kylie: We love you?

Earl: Yeah, actually, we do. Thank you so much for listening to our music.

Anthony: Yeah, we wouldn't be here playing today if we didn't have the support of all the people in San Francisco.

Kylie: And around the world.

Meghan: In the Czech republic.

Earl: If were playing here without their support it'd be pretty embarrassing. People would just give you the thumbs down. So yeah, if you like our music, thank you so much.

Meghan: You're welcome.

Earl: Aw, thank you.

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All photos by Rusty Hodge. Copyright ©2008 SomaFM. All Rights Reserved.

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