mar 30th 2003 - CAT - Bordeaux, France.
Interview by SEB WOOd and Barbara H.
drove a long way to Bordeaux, France, to see Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks.
The concert was really great, Stephen Malkmus is a sort of slacker guitar hero
who got rid of any hangs-up, the encores were incredibly amazing…
had to make a detour though, we had to breathe the so-called pure air of the
open country to pick up Barbara and lead her off her straight and narrow
solitary confinement. That was a bit of a return to civilization for her after
having spent two months and a half locked in a valley (oxymoron, I love you),
her sole contact to modern society being her brand new internet connection
through which she received our reviews and interviews… The poor kitten
doesn’t talk much here because she’s quickly been hypnotised by SM’s
charms. Despite his apparent tiredness, he was really nice…
interview took place on a sunny windy Sunday afternoon in a courtyard overgrown
with grass and car debris behind the CAT.
(enthusiastic): Hello, how are you ??
Malkmus: Hi, I’m pretty good, how are you ??
(shy): I’m fine. It’s sunny.
Yeah, good day, nice, it’s been raining 24 hours a day where I live in
(bewildered): 24 hours a day !!
Yeah, straight (laughs)… It’s really long. I’m really happy to be here in
the south of France…
What was recording Pig Lib like ??
It was a really special time for us. We lived together in a house near the
studio in the woods in the country in Washington State above Oregon. That was a
beautiful time. We got to know each other and make the songs so I’m really
happy with it.
Did you have a long time recording ??
About a month. For me, that’s a long time but bigger bands take sometimes 2 or
When we hear some of the songs, it feels like there was lots of jammin’…
Yeah, that takes some time to get confident and understand the playing of the
style. Now I have a rehearsal room in my basement like most people. Before when
I was in Pavement we never had any rehearsal time and I think there are some new
directions we are able to do now with this band.
Strangely, I think some of the songs on Pig Lib remind me of Pavement
live, much more than the first album…
Yeah live. I agree, it’s more like Pavement live things because always with
the first Pavement records, we were just making it happen in the studio and this
time we had a chance with some of the songs (like ‘Do not feed the oyster’
and ‘1% of 1’) to play them in concert already and just like with Pavement
there were some songs like ‘Type Slowly’, they became more like jam expanded
but not on the record so we got to do it on the record first.
So most of the songs were composed prior to the recording, right ?
Some were from demos but we already played many of them in concert. I suppose it
gives a different feel than the first album for sure because we just did that in
the studio like a Pavement album.
The difference between the 2 albums is mainly due to the fact that some songs
were composed before ??
I think so and then the band has something to do with that – I’m sorry to
call it a band like Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks like Johnny Marr and the
blablabla – but what can you do… You have to give them credit to being a
real band and a make it full thing…
yeah, it sounds more like a band than the first one…
and in concert it’s that much more that way too…it’s exciting…
Why is it called ‘Pib Lib’ ??
Well, we thought it was a crazy title, it just sounded cool (laughs). We’re
not vegetarians or anything but this time in politics there are definitely some
pigs that are in control and that are trying to liberate themselves in a bad
Have you watched Pavement’s dvd Slow century ??
Yeah, it’s crazy. I haven’t watched the whole thing. I watched the
documentary and some of the videos but I haven’t seen the commentaries yet.
I’d like to…
Did it make you realize some things about Pavement that you didn’t realize
Well, it was fun to see again the early days and I think it must be fun for the
audience too. We were pretty wild and young. Gary Young was crazy. Those were
good times and I’m glad that we had all those experiences; it was good to see
Did you supervise the dvd ??
Not too much. A friend of mine made it. This guy Lance (Bangs) is from Portland
and he has worked on some movies like the ‘jack ass movie’ and The Adaptation.
He’s a nice guy, he’s married to the lead singer of Sleater-Kinney, a pretty
Oh yeah ?? Everyone thinks they are lesbians down here… (laughs)
No, I think there is one lesbian…
I’m just kidding…
I know, I think she might have been in college… We call them lipstick
lesbians… Then again, boys in college are not so good to go out with maybe…
you might as well go out with the girls and then they turn out to be
To which extent did you make Pavement’s videoclips??
A couple of times we had directors. Spike Jonze made one for ‘Shady lane’.
The others we just kinda made out…
What about ‘Cut Your Hair’ ??
My friend from the label Drag City made it.
Do you intend to shoot a video clip for ‘Vanessa from Queens’ ??
We should have. That could be pretty funny, right ?? (laughs – SM is mimicking
a karate pose – see the lyrics). They made one for ‘Dark Wave’ with
animation, which is much easier. I haven’t seen the video yet but all I have
to do is do some quick things on the screen and then they gonna make animation.
Have you heard the tribute to Pavement released by Homesleep ??
Yeah, I like it. It’s really really nice that somebody took the time to do
that. I didn’t know Solex were gonna do what they did of ‘Shady Lane’…
We heard that Bob Nastanovitch is a female jockey manager ! Is that true ??
because it sounds like a joke…
No, that’s true… he’s always wanted to work in the horse race industry
(laughs). He would always get angry when he came to France because French racing
is good actually and he couldn’t read the news form to make educated bets so
he got angry… He met this girl who is a female jockey and she’s his
girlfriend too so that’s perfect…
That’s sounds like a song title: ‘the guy who got married to a female
(laughing): Yeah…I know… But he’s her agent so he gets some percentage of
her money if she wins…that’s pretty cool…
Has he got a band ??
Not really. Steve West has a band. Scott too (Preston School of Industry)…
this point someone comes to bring SM somewhere else…Anyway we were starting to
run out of questions…
& BH: so thank you
it was nice to talk to you guys. Thanks…
/may 1st 2003/