Interview: Troy, 2002/10/04, Barbey Rock School, Bordeaux (France) – Only Angels Have Wings

Barbara: hello

Angus: hello

Moses: hello

Troy: hello.

B: how are you?

T: Is this for radio or...?

B: for a webzine

T: webzine, oh, cool.

B: how are you?

T: good, I am really good.

B: we saw you back in May in Toulouse, what has happened to you and the band since then? what have you done?

T: most of the band has been staying in Europe, traveling. I spent my summer in Europe, I went to Switzerland, in the Alps for a while, I went to Corsica and Marseille, played couple of shows. I went to USA really fast, and wrote lots of songs.

B: are you going to use the songs for Chokebore or for yourself?

T: both probably.

A: Is your solo album still a project, are you working on it?

T: I am working on it. I am doing a lot for it right now. I talk to different labels but I want to make sure it is cool, I have to do it the right way. I did a video for a song, that was cool. I was helping other people writing their albums. I helped this girl named Melissa Auf Der Maur.

B: I heard about that.

T: I wrote some songs for her album and it is really cool, man. It's cool to write music for other people.

B: how does it sound?

T: it sounds pretty good, it is bizarre, man. I signed on two of her songs and there'll probably be a big album so it's cool. I would like to write for people and I'd like to play with many different people, just to sing on an album would be great.

B: did you find a label for Chokebore in the USA?

T: in the USA no, not yet, but I think it should be pretty easy. Wherever I go back, everyone is like "where is the album? where is the album?" they are asking.

B: so you have not really thought about it yet?

T: we are getting ready to work on it. You got to send out CDs, you got to talk to a lot of people, it costs work. It is the opposite of music but it is necessary.

A: there has been a lot of articles about Chokebore lately, a lot of reviews and interviews, in France at least. Do you think you are becoming the next big thing, ten years later?

T: oh man, I don't think like that because that is so random. I don't know what people will like, I don't know what people want to hear. I am just making songs that I think, hopefully, are beautiful and meaningful. I used to think that but we have done five albums, man. I don't even think about that anymore, that's like saying maybe I'll win the loto. My flat mate in Los Angeles always said "I'm gonna win the loto! I'm gonna win the loto!". To do that stuff is like winning the loto.

B: are you just getting jaded?

T: jaded no, I just..., I don't...

B: ...have high hopes anymore?

T: because it does not matter, having hope does not matter, what matters is to do your art and continue to do your art.

A: you can live with your art still.

T: not really, kind of. I am really skinny, man. I try not to think much about this stuff, I hope, it would be great if something happens.

A: it would be easier.

T: it would be easier, yeah.

A: do you know if the record sells?

T: it's better, I think in the first month it sold more than the whole last album, it's cool. It does not affect the band at all.

A: it helps.

T: I think it only helps if you sell a lot of albums, then I think it changes, I mean a lot. Until you sell a lot of albums, it's pretty much underground, which is cool, we are used to it. But I don't sit around thinking this next song is gonna make me famous, cause it's music and music is art for me. If I think that I'll write pop songs and I should not do that.

B: would you like to tour America?

T: yeah, but I think we should have the album out first because it's rough if you don't have an album out in America. It's fucking hardcore. But it should not be to hard to get the album out.

B: see what happens.

T: in the next six months, we'll find out.

A: how much did you like promoting It's a Miracle? do you like the promotion thing?

T: I like interviews, it's cool because I don't usually think about this stuff, I usually think about the music, so when people talk about it it's good for the music. It's cool to hear how I feel about because I never ask myself how I feel about. I like promotion, sure, because it feels like it's positive. It feels like it's a forward motion, feels good. And it's cool to talk to people, you know, cause I fuckin' sit around all day and don't talk to anybody.

A: Pale Blue re-issues your 3 first albums, how do you think the people who discovered you with It's a Miracle will react when listening Motionless, which is rough?

T: shit, I don't know man, probably they'll like it.

B: you're just selling them at the shows, do you plan on releasing them "for real"?

T: right now it's just the shows but the technical side..., I don't know if it's going to be hard to put them in the shops or not. We are going to find out real soon.

A: it's impossible to find them now so it's pretty cool you done that.

B: we have something like 8 CD's to buy for us or for friends tonight.

T: we changed the artwork for the first one.

M: it's been years and years of searching them.

A: even Black Black is becoming real hard to find in France, and in London I have not found any Chokebore record.

M: this is our quest tonight.

B: what do you plan on doing during the next months?

T: me? Chokebore? Chokebore, we're gonna tour.

B: where?

T: for the next month and a half, we're gonna tour Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, I think there's a show in Prague and some France. After that, we're gonna take a month and a half to write the next album.

B: do you plan on recording it real soon?

T: I don't know, cause I plan on coming to tour with B. Balthazar in the spring so I have to do all the writing for Chokebore before that. So maybe we'll just write and stop so we can have time to listen to it and record in summer maybe.

B: you are going to tour Europe?

T: yeah. In April I think.

B: when do you plan on recording the B. Balthazar album?

T: well, it depends on the labels. I have a lot of songs now, so I am just going to wait for the right label, cause I want to make sure you can find it in the stores.

A: last time we spoke with you, you said that Black Black tour had been quite a painful tour...

T: it was dark.

A: is it going for this one?

T: better. You have questions that you don't have answers for in your life and it's hard for a while until you find the answers and then life gets easier.

A: how much do like living together all the time on tour? do you look for free time?

T: yeah! we've been together for a long time, it's pretty hard but we never get in fights, or anything physical or when we're really really angry it only lasts for 5 minutes. I definitely look for free time, it's hard to live really close to people for years in a van, but they are really nice guys. We just kind of grow up really relax, so it works. Free days are good, just to separate, to be individual person and then come back, it's important.

B: what do you think about your fans? because in Toulouse there were fans screaming during the show...

A: ..they spoiled Days of Nothing and lot of songs

B: ...and SEB WOOd, who did the interview with us there, was almost assaulted by one of them because he asked them to shut up

T: shit. Sometimes there are drunk people at the shows but there are always only 2 people. We toured so much with Amphetamine Reptile, when we used to tour America a lot and we are used to real aggressive crowds and there was some times when it was cool. For me it does not really spoils, but maybe it spoils for other people. Sometime it's good to have people who just lose control but not in the slow songs. Last night we played in Angoulême and there was a drunk girl, no it was the night before, there was one girl who was really fucking drunk, everybody else was cool and she was just ahhhh, right in the fucking front, screaming the whole time. I did not know what to say. I did not know if I should make her feel bad so she'll be quiet or let her keep continue. She went on for a while and then I said something and I felt bad cause she was just having fun. It is easy to stop that if you have a microphone, if you have the microphone you always can win.

B: what about the video for Ultra-Lite you shot?

T: we shot it with a couple of guys from Paris and hopefully it will be cool. We went out to the sand dunes, near Bordeaux yesterday, and did some bizarre fucking things over there, and some bizarre horses, took some photos of the horses and piano. Hopefully, it won't be too normal. I kept on telling "make it bizarre, psychedelic or just fucked up". The song is kind of sweet so it needs a bizarre video. You'll see it in the next months.

A: they told me it was a shame to wear this shirt tonight (a Chokebore t-shirt), knowing that I was going to do the interview with you.

B: we are so indie we don't like wearing t-shirts

A: What do you think of people wearing your shirts?

T: it's cool man. some way you got to make money to eat food, people don't buy t shirts I am not going to eat.

B: it's not about buying them, it's about wearing them at the show.

T: I think it's actually really cool because it means the person... every time someone wears a shirt it means the person has a history of listening to the band. I see a guy in the audience, wearing a t shirt, I know he listened the albums, he knows Chokebore. A real fan, not just someone who heard of or a friend told them to come to the show. These persons know the words and really listen. I think it's cool. There was a guy in Angoulême with the original bear shirt, he has known Chokebore for so fucking long.


A: last time we had some stupid questions on paper and forgot them. It's time to be creative.

B: what do you do right before the shows?

T: relax, just try to relax the mind. Think about music and forget about how bizarre it is and just play.

B: what is your favourite memory since you been with Chokebore?

T: oh shit. Probably, there are a lot of good moments I'll remember all my life but this one I remember, we were playing in the USA, east coast, Maine. There was one person at the show and a dog, one person and a dog. So we played that song, Ghosts, and the Swing of Things from...... an old album.

A: A Taste for Bitters

T: yeah A Taste for Bitters. We played so relax because there was nobody at the show, and we played it so beautifully and I almost felt I left my body, floating with music. There were a lot of moments like that but this one was real intense. Just the way it should always be.

B: thank you.

A: thanks a lot

T: if you think of anything else later, you guys can come up

Barbara H, Angus Anderson and Invisible Moses

Only Angels Have Wings (2002/10/04)