april 2004 - e mail interview with Tim Perry by SEB WOOd
Tim Perry: Hey Seb, how's it going?
SWd: Hello, how are you ??
TP: I'm doing well. We're currently on tour.
SWd: Could you introduce Pseudosix ?? Why have you picked up this name ?? How did the band start out ??
TP: The band started out as just me. I named the project Pseudosix for noparticular reason, other than liking the sound of the new word I had invented.
SWd: Is ‘Days of Delay’ your first release ??
TP: Yes, it is.
SWd: Listening to days of Delay, I have the impression that your introverted voice wants to disappear, to hide behind the music while most folksingers put their voice to the fore. Have you opted for discretion in order to convey delicacy and weariness ??
TP: If there is any delicacy or weariness in my voice, it comes from no conscious effort to portray these characteristics. I certainly don't stand in front of the mirror and practice my "weary face" before going out and singing a song. And I definitely don't want to disappear or hide behind the music. It's quite the opposite, actually. We place a lot of emphasis on vocals in our songs - particularly vocal harmonies. I don't think enough Rock bands do that, these days. We like dissonant harmonies that land somewhere between pretty and creapy. Perhaps this is why they may seem sort of hidden to some (?)
SWd: Half of the tracks on Days of Delay sound to me like gentle slow folk songs encrusted with rhythmic jolts and urban fickle spirit (‘Center, EmptyCircle’, ‘You started something’, ‘Hollow Abyss’, ‘The Next One’) and remind me of David Grubbs (Rickets & Scurvy). I mean folk songs influenced by urban life. Do you consider that urban life has some sort of incidence on your music ??
TP: Well, we (the band) are all immersed in our urban lifestyles. Portland may not be the biggest city on the West Coast, but it's a city. And, of course, I'm sure this has an impact on our music. Lyrically speaking, almost every song on "Days of Delay" adheres to a particular theme. What that theme is, We leave to the listener.
SWd: Your lyrics mainly indicate that something has ominously been broken, tore apart like the hypnotic ‘Crooked Carousel’ suggests and it will certainly take a long time to fix what needs to be fixed. Do you agree with this ??
TP: I think that you could say that about many tracks on the album. But "Crooked Carousel" reminds me more of someone who desperately doesn't want to be revealed; someone pleading their case to anyone who will listen - don't expose me and I won't expose you. There is fear in this song.
SWd: In my favourite song ‘Circle, Empty Circle’, running away seems the only way out when you keep singing in a resigned way ‘so long sorry so long’. But then escape seems impossible when you slowly complain that ‘everybody’s talking so fast’, other voices answer in canon style ‘everybody’s talking so fast’, making the song reach a scary and eerie sense of loss, alienation and loneliness increased tenfold by life in modern cities, which strangely reminds me of the atmosphere of Sue and Fiona by Amos Kollek. This is an excerpt of my review because I couldn’t really articulate in other words what I thought about this kind of songs that I once again associate with loneliness, alienation generated by life in endless urban space…
TP: Well, loneliness and alienation come in all shapes and sizes. I definitely feel that a lot of these songs were written from the standpoint of alienation and loneliness and boredom, but I wouldn't attribute this all to "life in endless urban space," as you suggest. A lot of these songs stem from feelings of anxiety and fear within any sort of social setting. It's just as easy to feel uncomfortable around one as it is around many. In a strange way, I think the city offers comfort in that it fogs over certain blatant truths and sort of pulls one's attention away from the chaos of their own mind and redirects it toward the chaos of their surroundings. In this way, there is a sort of peace in chaos. You can't ignore it. You can't control it. So the only think left is just to accept it and appreciate it. Me and confusion have an understanding.
SWd: Then, boredom seems to be one of your favourite themes as well (‘Chasing you down’), isn’t it ??
TP: I wouldn't say it's my "favourite" theme. But it certainly is an unavoidable one. For me, boredom and depression are bedfellows. I don't mean boredom in the "what do you want to do today?" sense. But boredom in the "Nothing in this world means anything to me today" sense. When I have those days, I don't care about anything...ANYTHING! But in the long run, this mood is part of the force that directs one toward the uncontrollable urge to express.
Then there's an entirely different sort of boredom: the one that I eventually acquired after so long of obsessing over whether there's a point to express anything. I eventually became bored with this obsession. And I'm a much happier person for it. Is there a point? probably not. Who gives a fuck?
SWd: Songs such as ‘Bound to Unfold’, ‘Madness’ and the nice ‘Put your back to the sun’ remind me of Nick Drake. Has this 70s folk star been an inspiration to you ??
TP: I think that Nick Drake is really cool. But I don't really listen to him a lot.
SWd: Then there’s a sort of rustic weary aspect in a couple of songs (‘Runrebel’, ‘Chasing you down’) reminiscent of Palace and Songs Ohia. Have Will Oldham or/and Jason Molina been an inspiration to you ??
TP: I've listened to a lot of Palace and it's probably had an influence on the music. But not as much as some other bands. Of course, everyone would like to think that their style is distinct and original. But you can't avoid being influenced by the great bands you've listened to along the way. And why would you want to? But making comparisons can also be sort of shaky sometimes. I have read more than one review of "Days of Delay," claiming us to by unmistakingly derivative of bands that we don't listen to or haven't even heard of. We listen to a lot of music, but we're not trying to emulate any specific bands or fit into a particular genre.
SWd: How do you consider the fact of being a folk band signed to a label (54°40 or Fight!) which is mainly home to emo bands ??
TP: Well, first of all, I don't consider Pseudosix a folk band. We consider ourselves a rock band. Yes, rock is a very convoluted word these days and, far be it for me to try and explain exactly where we fit into all of that. But one thing is for sure, we are definitely different from the other bands on the label. I think that Steve (the "label guy") just has an eclectic taste and appreciates all sorts of music. And so do we.
Was you ever bit by a dead bee ??
TP: bit by a dead bee? If I was, I'd never admit it! People would think I was crazy! Everybody knows: dead things don't bite!
What freaks the hell out of you ??
TP: I have nightmares about spiders. I'd rather not be anywhere near a tornado or charged by a grizzly bear. I'll tell you what really scares me: George Bush getting re-elected.
What’s your favourite chord ??
TP: apparently a minor.
Who is the best Lee ??
TP: This kid I knew named Dae Ho (Dae Ho Lee). His mom used to dress him in the worst fucking clothes. We lost touch after the third grade. Dae ho, if you're out there - call me!
What is your favourite pick-up line ??
TP: Get your coat.
Since when America has gone wrong ??
TP: this question requires too long of a response.
Who is under-rated ??
TP: My cat, Jimmy carter. Everybody thinks she's indifferent. But she's got love.
What is your favourite curse word ??
SWd: Thanks very much
TP: thanks a lot for your interest in the band and the interview. We all appreciate it. Oh yeah, I'm a horrible speller and there's probably several mistakes in here. Sorry. Have a great day.
/may 1st 2004/