Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The lost interview with Black Tie Dynasty

The infamous "incomplete interview" – this is the second half of a long conversation with Black Tie Dynasty, which means it's Cory Watson doing most of the talking, Brian McQ making us laugh, and Eddie and Blake tossing in a few brilliant lines. The iPod chose to take a powder on the first half of the conversation, and this was never published on, which is the site I wrote for in 2004. It's fun to look back to see how far the guys have come in two years.

DMG: Which songs are your favorites to play?

Cory Watson: “Crime scene” and “Ghost of a Secretary,” you’ll never see us not play those two songs. Those are really good live songs, a couple of our best songs, even though they were written quite a while ago.

DMG: Didn’t you play “Die”?

CW: we didn’t play “die” the last few times. I'm a big advocate of that song, but some of the other guys don’t really like playing it. Eddie, would you like to explain yourself? She wishes that we would play “Die” more often.

E: We could do that. It’s just something that goes from day to day.

CW: If there is a single, really because of the length of all of the songs, “Die” is the only possibility. “Crime Scene” has moments where people can sing along and everything, but it is a drawn-out song, six minutes long.

DMG: That is so, I mean once you get it, it’s ‘that is so cool!’ This is the other side of love, it’s over, this isn’t the one having the heartbreak, this is the one causing the heartbreak.

CW: That’s awesome. Cool. You know, it comes off that way and it’s fun to appreciate it as a big ‘Screw you, I’m outta here,’ but really, to be honest, when I wrote that song, I was trying to convince myself to let this person go. You have these moments where you're just like, ‘I got this.’ I was having a moment where I was trying to let everything go and trying to convince myself to put it on paper that it was over.

DMG: Do you ever wonder if they are hearing the song and thinking, ‘is that about me?’

CW: Heh… (laughs nervously)

B: I think if you start doing that it would sway your writing.

CW: I think maybe I did at the beginning, there’s one particular relationship at the beginning of my writing that stems from the breakup of the relationship. And there was some bitterness there, a lot of songs, a lot of lyrics that I had to get out. Really those I haven’t felt in a long time, I haven’t really thought about it. When I first started writing it, sure. It wasn’t the intention, but as I was writing it I was saying ‘wouldn’t it be cool if I used this’ but you grow out of that. When I wrote “Die” I was starting to let go, but I was trying to get myself the last ‘let it go’ ok. It’s dead to you, it’s not gonna happen.

DMG: So it’s more like a pep talk.

CW: Really I think that may have been the last song I wrote about this particular person.

DMG: (laughing) And her name would be…?

CW: (laughing) Yeah…. right. That is interesting, I just realized that. From then on, I started getting into some things that meant a little bit more. Things that were really going on and that were interesting to write about. It gave me a whole new set of material to delve into and pick from.

DMG: So, there’s no mascara tonight?

CW: There will be. (patting jacket) It’s right here in my chest pocket. I didn’t want to show up at the Angry Dog with it. I always show up at the gas station with the eyeliner on getting some gas, on the way to Dallas, that long trek to Dallas, and they’re like, ‘What’s your deal man?” Going to a costume party or something like that. I don’t want to explain I’m in a band.

DMG: Why not say you’re in a band?

CW: (shrugs) I guess I could. I don’t know. Just let me pre-pay and get out of here. Costume party? No questions. Band? You got a lot of questions. I just want to get my Doublemint and my gas and get out of there.

DMG: Have you ever gone in to write with a three minute pop song as your goal?

E: We’ve never tried to do anything like that.

CW: We’ve never thought about it. It’s interesting when you compare “This Stays Between Us,” the EP that just came out, to the songs we have following that. We never even thought about our transition from this CD to the next. Or this song to the next song. We never said, ‘OK, now we’re done writing this EP, let’s start writing songs for the next one.’ We never thought about that. But all those songs, hit it right on the head, in the review when you said the songs are longer but they define the sound. We didn’t try to make these epic six minute songs, but they just came out that way and we were fine with it. We tossed and turned a little bit when it came to well, these songs have singles potential, why not chop them down to three minutes. We had a lot of people in our ear telling us that we should. We thought about it, but then we decided not to because that was the way the song was meant to be, and to change it and make it anything different was to compromise the art of it. I don’t want to form our songs into something that they aren’t. The interesting thing is that after that, the songs we have for the full length, which basically, we have twelve songs, that are ready to go, and ironically enough, all of them are around 3.5 minute songs. I really don’t know what to make of that, we felt like we’ve grown a lot as songwriters and somehow we’ve found a way to get the ideas out quicker. The songs on “This Stays Between Us” take like, four, five minutes before you feel it was complete. With these new songs, they are so hooky and so instantly done, we don’t add anything to it. If it’s done, it’s done. And if it happens to be a three minute pop rock song, that’s what it is. It is what it is. We don’t try to change it.