Preston School of Industry
April 13th 2004 - The Gate, Toulouse
interview with Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannenberg by SEB WOOd and Angus "stupid sound enginneer" Anderson

(some parts from the beginning of the interview have been reconstructed from memory because of a lack of attention)

SWd: Hello, can you introduce yourself?

S: Hello, I am Spiral Stairs from Preston School of Industry.

SWd: How are you?

S: I'm fine. A bit slowed down by cassoulet. Alright.

SWd: That's what cassoulet is supposed to do... Can you introduce the guys playing with you?

S: Darius Minwalla plays the drums, he is in the Posies too. Dan Carr plays bass. Chris Heinrich plays guitar and Ashod Simonian plays guitar, he is in Panty Lions too.

S: Are you a full band now or do you still make people rotate in Preston School ?

S: Well, we're pretty much a full band now. The albums are more of a solo thing so far but we are all pretty good friends.

SWd: How is the tour going?

S: The tour is going great. We toured the States for three and a half weeks and now we have been over here for about two weeks. So it’s been a long tour but everybody is having fun.

SWd: Any stand out gigs so far?

S: Eh… Austin, we played with Mission for Burma. We have just played five shows with The Shins in Germany, they are good friends of ours. We had a great show in Berlin, a good show in Munich.

SWd: Nothing out of ordinary?

S: Every place we went to is really fun. Well, nothing completely crazy.

SWd: How was recording Monsoon like?

S: It was nice cos I did it all at my house. I was very comfortable and I could watch baseball while recording tracks so I was really happy.

SWd: Was it a completely different experience than the first album ?

S: It was. The first one I did at a friend’s studio and I also did it with two guys. I taped all the music and they played drums and bass, so it was more like a three piece record. For this one, it was me and a friend playing drums, i did everything and it was different.

SWd: I read that you supervised the Homesleep tribute to Pavement.

S: The guys from Homesleep picked all the bands. It sounded good, I like it, it turned out alright.

SWd: What’s your favorite cover?

S: Probably Solex doing "Shady Lane." That was really good.

SWd: What about the Slow Century DVD? Did you participate to it?

S: Yeah, I participated in, part of it. That turned really good too, there is a lot of good footage on that.

AA: Did you enjoy recollecting all these memories?

S: Yeah, I think so. I was kind of the only one who ever kept any of the videos. So I kind of had to go through it all. I have good memories with Pavement.

SWd: Any news from the guys from Pavement?

S: I just saw Mark Ibold in New York and he is doing very well.

SWd: Is he playing?

S: No he is not. He is not really doing any music right now. But he still loves music.

SWd: Do you know if Bob Nastanovich is still a jockey manager?

S: I think so, I have not talked to Bob in a long time. Steve West just had another baby. Stephen Malkmus is Stephen Malkmus, you know. I have seen him around sometimes.

SWd: I read that you were very proud of the fact that Mark E Smith liked Pavement... When did you meet him and what happened ??

S: I never met Mark E Smith and I always thought that he hated Pavement cos we ripped him off. I have always thought he hated us, never that he liked us. I never met him, so...

SWd: How did your nickname come up?

S: oh, it’s just a punk rock name. I was in a punk rock band and we had made up these names. I kept it. The other guy in the band was called Joey Shithead.

SWd: And Gary Young?

S: Gary Young is a fake name, his real name is Gary Youngstein.

SWd: Do you want to tell us something about Amazing Grease (his record label)?

S: It’s just a label I’ve had for about three years, four years now, it’s mostly California and Texas bands, just small indie bands that we are putting out, just for fun and the love of music. Some good stuff.

SWd: That’s the way you want to keep it?

S: Yeah, just kind of small and chilled.

AA: I heard you saying that Preston School of Industry was a prison. Did you visit it?

S: No, I have never been inside, it’s a prison for delinquents in California. I always see it when we drive up to go skiing, this castle…

SWd: Do you watch OZ? HBO series.

S: No I have never seen that show.

AA: I always thought it referred to Preston in north England, cos there is a lot of industry  there.

S: Oh yeah. Well, maybe that’s where they got the name from, originally.

SWd: Never been there?

S: No.

SWd: We were stuck there, that was a rough experience.

AA: I fantasised that you had been stuck there and named your band from that souvenir.

S: That’s pretty good.

(Ashod Simonian has entered the room)

Ashod: That should be the real story. Stuck in north England Preston…


SWd: Do you want to add something?

S: Well, I am good.

AA: Are you relaxed for tonight’s show?

S: Totally relaxed. I am good, I am good.

(pause. Spiral fills in the Only angels questionnaire)

S: So you guys from Toulouse?

SWd: Yes.

S: Is this for Radio?

SWd: Yes, radio and a webzine called Only Angels Have Wings.

S: What question would you ask on this list… Where do your bricks come from?

AA: Good question.

S: Thanks, time to go eat. See you tonight.

SWd, AA: Thank you.

/aug 1st 2004/