Xiu Xiu
sept 18th 2002 - e-mail interview with James Stewart
by Barbara H

how are you ?

i am made of ink right now it feels like. that is so goth i am such an ass. i am fine thank you.

How did you and the other band members meet ?

cory and i used to be in other bands together. lauren used to work at the studio that i used to run and yvonne and i were friends from seeing each other at shows.

Iíve read that the songs were written out of things that happened either to you or to other band members, is it true for all the songs you've written so far ?

all of the songs are about things that have happened to people we know, friends, members of our families or ourselves. sometimes we write parallel songs about things that have happened to real people we have read about in nonfiction or on the news with things that have happen to us.

What about the writing process, what kind of experience was it ?

i will again feel like a goth ass for saying this but because the songs are about subjects that have a direct and negative effect on our own lives or on the lives of someone we care about it is usually really grueling, depressing and smashed up feeling.

were you thinking "this song will be about this" or did the subjects came in a less direct, more subconscious way ?

most of the time we know what the song will be about before we get way into to finishing it. i think it is important for the kind of songs that we do to be very specific because of that we try to have the focus of what it sounds like and what is about be supportive of each other.

how does it feel, when you're touring, to sing these songs every night ? Do they lose the "background" aspect or is it magnified ?

due to exhaustion, they become magnified. which is good (i hope)

musically, xiu xiu's music is in the same time tight and very "free," did you think about the sound you wanted before starting playing or did it come naturally ?

i love drum machines and dance music but i also love insane falling apart greasy wooden implosions. we did think about it before we started in so far as we knew what influences were meaningful to us. 

The Joy Division cover is brilliant, why did you choose Ceremony ?

i am obsessed with new order and joy division and as the song was created at the apex of one band and the nadir of the other it seemed a good way to kiss both of them. also it makes us feel drunk and excited and we admire that song to no end.

I read that your second album has a release date set for February 2003, have you started writing/recording ? do you already know how it is going to sound ?

it is done this week. it will be called "a promise" is more intensely pop, more intensely modern classical/experimental and more intensely dance. i hope it is more depressing to go along with all the other MORE MORE MORE MORE i have imposed upon it.

How does Xiu Xiu sound live ? are the songs altered ?

we are way more loud than most peoples home stereos. we do like to change the arrangements a lot for music and for fun.

Iím curious about the deerhoof/xiu xiu dance project, since some songs on knife play could easily be nightclub anthems (well, in another world) have you already started working on it ? if so, how does it sound ?

it is slowly in the works. it might be done in the year 2027. maybe later than that. you should write to deerhoof about it too. deerhoof@hotmail.com 

well, thanks for that, now it's silly questions time!

Was you ever bit by a dead bee ??

i smoked a bee once

What is your favourite drug ??

e and beer

What do you look like when you're wearing a tuxedo ??

a can of lubricant

Where's the party ??

in my mouth are you coming?

What freaks the hell out of you ??

sharks

What is your favourite pick-up line ??

i am very lonely will you come home with me

What is your favourite curse word ??

george w. bush

Who's got the crack ??

my neighborhood (west Oakland)

Which Hollywood star (dead or alive) would you like to date ??

all of them

Which question (not in this list) would you love answering ??

ditto

/pic from www.xiuxiu.org/