Interview: James & Troy, 1998/12/08, Paris (France)

Broadcast on 1999/01/15 by French radio station Oui FM

[ Speed of Sound ]

Chokebore is a band from Hawaii, which is surprising because it represents the sun, the beach... However their music is rather melancholic, what do they have to say about that?

Troy: Originally we started in Hawaii, we all grew up in Hawaii, and started playing music there. Well it doesn't matter where you are, you can always be sad and melancholic. Hawaii is very great and beautiful, there are not many depressed people, and we weren't depressed when we were there, but we just enjoy making sad music now.

Your music has softened since the beginning, why?

Troy: I don't think it's really calming down, I think it's that we...

James: It's calming down in the litteral sense of calming down, that our average song now, yes, is slower and quieter, but I think the emotion and the way that it's put through is usually a bit more intense if you sit down and listen to it than the early stuff...

Troy: It's heavier than the early stuff, you have to listen to it, different part of it is heavier...

James: It's quite easy to make a loud, violent, agressive song, I mean anybody can do that, it's not a problem, but hopefully make a song that when somebody listens to it, the emotionnal change is through the whole thing, just the lyrics and everything and not just because there's agressive energy, because it touches them, hopefully.

What are Chokebore's influences, are there any bands that have really left their mark on your music?

Troy: We try to make Chokebore music that... Chokebore music hopefully isn't influenced by other things, other than just good songs. It wasn't really one band that just stood out for me, if I hear a good song I love it, no matter whose band it is, you know...

James: When I was a little kid I listened to just Kiss, but then when I was in sixth grade I found a tape on the street, and on one side was Black Sabbath, War Pigs, and on the other side was Queen... So I had that one tape with two records on it, and then I listened to the???. When I was in sixth grade I wasn't a real music collector!

[ You Are the Sunshine of My Life ]

How do you see Chokebore's future?

Troy: Well, hopefully we'll make a really good next album, you know I mean write really good songs, we're starting to write the next album and the new songs are really good. The future hopefully will be that we can continue, first of all, and second of all that we get better and better... The more time you spend on anything the better you get you know, and hopefully the more intense it will be. We just recorded an acoustic single for a French compilation with Girls Against Boys and Mogwai, and a couple of other people. We could probably do more recording there you know? I wanted to do more in the last album but we didn't have enough time. There's some good sound in my house you know, it's not bad... Maybe we're gonna buy an 8-track, I'm trying to buy an 8-track, and then we can do more home recording, cause I think it sounds really cool sometimes you know? And sometimes when we go to studios I'm not really happy because it sounds too big or too rock or something, sometimes it doesn't work for some songs. I think those songs should be... 4-tracks sound really cool and lo-fi and crunchy you know, and creepy. They're a little more strange sounding, I like that, so if we could do more of that stuff... Thank you very much!

[ Where Is the Assassin? ]

Marc.O

Oui FM (1999/01/15)