Monday, June 7, 2010

Sam Quinn (The Interview)

There is a song on the everybodyfields' second album, Plague of Dreams, that I always like to listen to when I'm driving home from a long road trip, particularly when the summer sun is fading. It's called "Good To Be Home," and to me, it's one of the best songs Sam Quinn has ever written.

I was sick about the time we hit Virginia,
I had tombstones down both sides of my face.
Driving all night home from Boston,
I was so tired of being away.
Thinking about summer time and heat waves
In a town it hardly ever snows,
Hitting apples with a baseball bat in August,
That's where I want to go...

God, I love that.

That’s when Quinn is at his best -- when he’s describing life around him. And during his time as a member of the everybodyfields, he and Jill Andrews had a knack for tearing your heart apart with their words and harmonies. Andrews, as you might know, quickly started her solo career after the everybodyfields called it quits.

Sam Quinn did not, and he didn’t know if he wanted to.

Luckily, we have finally been given more music by Quinn. It’s a batch of songs called The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships, and it’s as heartbreaking as, well, Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker. It has that same feel to it, and I can’t stop playing it.

Sam Quinn - Late The Other Night

I recently caught up with the affable Quinn over e-mail.

1. I heard you shaved your beard. What's up with that?

It was ruining my life. It made me feel like I was wearing sweatpants all the time or rooting around in a dumpster. It also gave any total stranger a free pass to come up and start talking to me about all things beard related, often times involving them touching it without my permission, which is cool only about 0.01% of the time. I did save it though. Now it lives in plastic bag in my room. It looks really gross.

2. I heard a few of these songs off The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships in St. Louis when you performed them with the everybodyfields. What were the challenges of singing them and recording them on your own?

I guess that the hardest part about it is just the knowing that it is all your deal, and if you don't do something, odds are that there aren't going to be little gnomes that come out when you are asleep and do your bidding. Recording was great though. I pooled some of my favourite people together that also happen to play music sometimes and hung out in a recording studio in an old milking stable. We had some pretty good yucks alongside swimming trips, tacos, and natural light. We also played some music. I hope that on my next record that there is more ping pong.

3. You weren't sure you wanted to continue playing music after the everybodyfields split. Can you tell us a little bit more about your decision to eventually record again?

The way that I figured, if I didn't make this record, it would frustrate me with yet another plan that I can never seem to get finished. Doing this was a good way to stay busy and to get out some large scale project that was overtly daunting from the beginning. If I could get something like this done, it would take a little of the heat off of me for being a trifle loserish for what many would refer to as "too long."I also entertained the idea of going back to school and finishing my degree. I like to wear blazers with leather elbows. Professors wear those. I like that. I also considered the Navy for a warm minute. They wear different clothes all together.

4. Now that some time has passed, what were some of your favorite moments on the road with Jill Andrews and the rest of the everybodyfields?

We were in Monterey, California one night after a show and we are about to take off in the van when this guy opens the door and gets in. Some college kid, drunk, thinking that we were the drunk shuttle that goes back to the school at the end of the night. I'm talking to the guy and trying my best to jovially explain that we were not the shuttle and that we had to go. He is sure that we in fact are and then we tell him that we are a band that is going to stay at our friend's house. He is quite adamant about not getting out. He asks us who we were, and either Jashi or Jilly told him we were Everclear.

Jashi was the first to crack telling him sternly that he needed to get the fuck out. Tom seconded and put his foot nearly on the guy and was about to push his young ass out when he finally decides to leave and spit on the van while standing on the running boards while we are not moving. We are on the other side of the windows just watching the guy spit on us. It was kind of like monkeys at the zoo, except for the fact that this guy wore too much cologne, bought stupid shirts, and was pretty much a prick with ears.

5. Finally, what are the five best albums you have heard in the last few years?

In no specific order:

The Donkeys- Living On The Other Side
Jay-Z - Blueprint Vol. 3
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
Jim Lauderdale - Country Super Hits Vol.1

Catch Sam Quinn on tour in 2010.