Wes Eisold interview
How does Some Girls compare to the other projects you've been involved with? Is it your favorite project thus far? How does it compare to your time in American Nightmare or your current side-project XO Skeletons?
I was thinking about this the other day while I was listening to this Joseph Campbell lecture and he touched upon marriage. He said that your first marriage is physical, which is why a lot of people will stay together for a while and then after they have certain acheivements as they're considered, they physical aspect of it is gone. If they remarry, the second marriage is mystical. It's more fulfilling and I really think that bands are sort of like a marriage. You're married to your band and all the things that you're doing and I really feel that its comparable. The bands I've done thus far, American Nightmare and Some Girls, it's been like that. This is obviously more gratifying for me now because I can just try things
Whereas American Nightmare was a hardcore band and you were kind of tied into that?
Yeah. And I think it even all ties into it that my parents recently split up and when that happens, there's going to be some people like friends and associates of the married couple that will disagree with or frown upon new ones and that's to be expected. That's something I deal with a lot too. People just expect me to be...they come down on it. I mean, people are welcome to their opinions, but it doesn't offend me at all because the majority of people who are saying negative things about Some Girls aren't music fanatics. They're not music obsessed. I feel differently. The only thing people want to compare us to is Daughters or The Locust, two bands that we sound absolutely nothing like.
Right, but they make that comparison because of Justin (Pearson of the Locust) is involved, so it's easy.
Yeah, it's easy but it's not apt. It's not people who seem to have a broad sense of music or the arts who are saying stuff so we just try to shrug it off.
As far as your lyrics are concerned, it seems that you've stepped away from the confessional tone of American Nightmare. The last Some Girls album seemed more focused on social issues and religion. Is that something you feel more comfortable doing at this point in your life?
I feel completely comfortable with both styles at the time that they happen. I kinda feel like both projects have been extremely self-indulgent in their own right but yeah, just different times.
How do either of those compare with what you're doing in XO Skeletons or your involvement with Cage's new record?
I'm supposed to be on his record, but for me that's kinda like a completely different thing. It's a completely different personality and it's more or less just making music with friends for the hell of it.
So you're taking advantage of opportunities your other projects have afforded you?
I don't know about that. XO Skeletons and everyone involved with that are longtime friends of mine. That started with me literally bored out of my mind in San Diego and there was a bass in my house and I was like "I'll try to write a song." I wrote it in like an hour and I called our drummer and I was like "Hey, I gotta come record this with you so I don't forget it" and then Sean and Chauncey wanted to do it. We got together for a couple of days a few months ago and wrote a record for fun, just to hang out. It's all people I like.
How have you seen Some Girls evolve from those first two seven inches on Deathwish to Heaven's Pregnant Teens? Are you doing another record any time soon?
Yeah, we're doing another record for Epitaph. I don't know when. We write songs and we throw out so many songs too. We'll write songs on tour and then never go back to them. I think everything's getting much more primitive within the band and it's a natural digression as much as progression. We have a new guitarist Rocky who was in Year Future and Dead & Gone. He's a guitarist that everyone in our band really likes anyway just as a guitarist and with him as an addition to our band, he just came in at the right time and fit right into- I don't want to use the word "darker" or anything like that- it's just much more primitive. It's just raw, primitive music.
So is it more towards your punk and hardcore roots?
Yeah mentally, but not in sound. I think everyone in our band is obsessed enough with music to not want to repeat anything that's been done and I feel like even Some Girls' early records are- I guess I like them, but they're not great records or special records or anything. They are what they are but there's a lot more to be done I think with music and people complain about that, but there are things to be done. What you make is what's inside of you and there's only one of you so there are other things to be done.
Do you prefer to play your most recent material live or do you feel an obligation to the fans who bought those records to play the older songs?
We don't feel any obligation to do that at all. The way our set is now, it's really fun because we play twelve or thirteen songs, most of which are from Heaven's Pregnant Teens and then everything else, like the crowd, is completely irrelevant by the time we get to the end because we end with the song "Deathface" but it's kind of become this new entity that-
Because you've been closing every show with it?
Yeah, and because there's so much going on on stage with different sounds and raw, physical, spiteful energy. It takes on this thing of its own. It's so fun to get lost in repetition and it's irrelevant if people like it or not, specifically on this tour because we're playing to more of a strict hardcore type crowd that people consider us...
The band that doesn't quite fit?
That's pretty much a given, but people think it's directed at them. It's really funny. The wya hardcore is, it's such a selfish scene and (the fans) think everything's about them. They say "you're playing like this" or "you're not jumping around."
So the fans feel like you owe it to them to fit a certain image or idea of what a hardcore band should be?
And if you don't, they think you're going out of your way to not be that. It's like "This isn't about you," this is, as any music should be, five people playing music they want to play and it comes out as it comes out. I'll read wherever things like "they just stand there on stage because they want to be the opposite of what a hardcore band should look like." It's not that. It just feels appropriate. I'm not gonna apologize for thinking it's silly to be jumping around acting like it's the greatest night of my life when it's not, specifically with people who are just standing there watching. I don't feel like I'm in Journey or something. I don't need to put on the show. It's not the antithesis of what a hardcore band should look like. I think it's kinda sad that it has become so formulaic and describable and predictable. It's stupid. It's not what hardcore is to me.
You've been on tour a lot for the last six or seven years of your life. Is there ever a point where you question if this is what you want to do with your life?
I think that is what most people do. They come to this point where they start questioning things and that's natural, it comes with your mid-twenties. I've freaked out about stuff before but at the same time, I feel way too far gone to be a part of any other world. I'm never gonna do that. I don't feel like I'm taking this oath by saying that but it's just not me. I'm never gonna do that. You can see it in people too. Even some people on this tour. You can see in them that they're never gonna do that. Most people who play in bands do it and then they move on in life. I feel like most of the people in Some Girls aren't gonna do that. This is what they're into. This band probably won't exist forever but I'm positive everyone in this band will be playing music forever.
Has there been a tour when you've felt more aligned with the bands you're out with? You've suggested there's a limit to a hardcore audience-
-Well, I don't mean it like that. There's not a limit to them. I just meant that this is pushing it a little bit, as opposed to when we play our own shows with bands more kindred in sound or where they're coming from.
Has it always seemed that you're coming from a different direction or have there been tours that have been a great fit?
The first American Nightmare tour with Converge and the Hope Conspiracy was rad. It was a great time. I had a great time on that tour. It made sense. Everyone was friends from the same town at the time. We were so wide-eyed and excited. It was our first tour. Besides something like that, I don't think there's ever been a tour that I've felt completely right on with. Even American Nightmare would always end up touring with shitty bands just because we wanted to tour all the time. We toured with good bands too but there were bands we'd never heard before or had no interest in. It's cool touring with Das Oath or Daughters because they're friends, but even those bands aren't like- well, I guess sound's not that important. It's more about attitude.
It doesn't seem like it based on what you've said, but I have to ask: Would there be any point in the future where another American Nightmare show or album would be a possibility?
No. God, no. There's no point to it. It happened. It was a great experience, it was a good time. It was a very real band for what it's worth. It was very real and very "in the moment."
But you can't recapture that?
No. It's why we needed to stop. I don't really buy into other bands that do that. If they do and go with it, it kinda discredits what it was for me at the time.
It takes something away from what it originally was?
Yeah. But no, god no. I wouldn't do that.
What's the status of your book?
What happened with that was, Deathwish was going to put it out and it just took so long; either the layout wouldn't be ready or I would take it back and edit it and change stuff. Then it got to the point where it was irrelevant.
It wasn't what you wanted it to be anymore?
Yeah. It's as if you recorded a record three years ago and had it come out now. That's your representation of "Hey, here's my book" but you wrote it three years or even longer ago. I'm just going to take out more, add more, keep stuff I think is worth keeping and put it out myself or something whenever I feel like it.
Do you have a background in literature or has writing just come naturally to you?
I don't really have a background in literature besides being the typical student who is either good at English or Math. I can't do mathematics, but I could pass an English class. I went to college for a couple of years but didn't really study English there.
Is it something you'll keep doing down the road or is something you're done with?
No, I think it's my main focus. I've been going on some writing retreats by myself and I've gone and visited some older poets that I respect or I've corresponded through letters and gone and stayed with them. I have some pieces coming out in literary journals. I think I might not be widely respected in the literary world but it's always been a big part of my lyrics, putting words to songs.
So it came organically out of writing song lyrics?
I think it just came organically out of life and how I was brought up, experiences I went through as a human. I think most of what you do is ingrained in your past.
Are there any particular rumors about you guys that you'd like to dispel?
Not really. I don't want it to seem like a gripe, but it's funny to hear people say-
-"Those guys are fucked up on drugs!"-
The band now is you, Justin and...
Our guitarists are Nathan and Rocky and our drummer is Sal.
Was Rob (Moran, founding Some Girls member and former member of Unbroken) just not as into the band anymore?
No, what happened with Rob was that he's married and has a career.
So being in a touring band didn't work.
He got offered a cool job in Seattle and had to move for his career, so there was just no way it would work.
Fair enough. Do you feel like the lineup changes and shifts have kept Some Girls from stagnating or would that have taken care of itself?
It would've happened on its own, but it's also been a perk in a way. It's a virtue for sure. Playing with different people brings out new ideas. It's cool.
Um....uh...So I'm pretty bad at this interviewing thing.
No, you're doing great. I had to interview Brian Wilson and I went to his house and I was in and out of there in fucking five minutes.
What did you interview Brian Wilson for?
This magazine a couple years ago, right when Smile came out. So we went to his house, went in and sat on his couch, with him. I was a fucking wreck because Some Girls had played the night before in L.A. and I was pretty inebriated. I smelled like cigarettes and sweat and I had thrown up while we played so I had puke stains on my jeans and white vans with obvious vomit stains on them in this pretty beautiful couch on this leather couch with him being pretty eloquent.
Was it intimidating?
No, it wasn't intimidating at all, I was just a fucking mess. I tried to interview him and it wasn't happening. He was a terrible interview. He was terrible, I was equally terrible and the editor of the magazine that I went for was waiting outside for me and I went in and was out there maybe five minutes later and he was like "What just happened?" and I was like "I don't know."
Is that something that you have found yourself interested in? Music writing?
Hell, no. I hate it. I tried it. I can't do it. I couldn't do it as a job, but if there was a band with enough to be written about them, I would like to write about them but it's tough. You gotta know how to do it. It's a tough thing.
From a personal staindpoint, I find it hard to sit down with a pile of records and decide what's worthwhile. I don't want to shit on somebody's living, but I have an obligation to be honest. I'm sure you know from touring and seeing local openers and whatnot that there's stuff you're just not into-
-but it does mean something to them and you don't want to come down on their world.
At the same time, you've got to be honest. Maybe it'll help them. Maybe you need to say "You shouldn't be doing this" or whatever.
How do you guys generally react to negative criticism? Do you take it seriously? Do you even consider it?
I think when I first started playing music publicly, I got kind of down on it because I didn't understand why anyone would care to go out of their way to put something down, but now I don't really care what anyone thinks.
You're satisifed with what you're doing.
Yeah. I'm into it. Why should I care? I'm not trying to be successful. I'm not trying to be a famous musician. How can it possible affect me. It can't.
That seems like the healthy way to look at it. I've had bands and fans threaten me.
That's great! It's a powerful position to be in. It keeps it interesting. It's a really great thing and it usually ends up proving you right. You say "this band sounds like a bunch of assholes" and then they're assholes to you then at least you were right.
Are you guys generally fans of the bands that you're touring with? Obviously you've toured with Converge a handful of times now, Ringworm's playing this show, et cetera. You seem to be a bit disillusioned with hardcore but are there still hardcore bands that you love and that you're glad you're touring with?
Hardcore's just such a weird word. Everyone's got their own definition of it. I think Das Oath is one of the greatest hardcore bandsand every time we get to tour with them I'm so stoked. So yeah, I tend to lean towards bands that I find are doing something a little different. I wouldn't say there's any newer traditional hardcore bands that I get off on. There's not. I recognize that I would have years ago so I don't come down on them for that, but it's not where I am now.
Would you say that it's fair to look at some of the songs that your bands have covered as major influences on you? For example, The Cro-Mags, The Trouble, PIL, Archers of Loaf...
I think every one has a different story. Archers is a band I liked when I was younger and they were never my favorite band or anything but Tim really liked them too and the song sounded like it would be fun to cover and it was. The Trouble, I think, was the greatest band from Boston in that era and even eras before. Totally underappreciated. Gibby is a close friend and we thought that's be fun to do. The Cro-Mags were more like whatever. They have one cool record. They don't mean anything to me. It's not a driving force in my life. Some members of our band wanted to do it and I think it was supposed to be for some comp that never came out, so we did it and ended up keeping it. The MC5 song was just like, whatever.
What is continuing to influence you? What are you listening to now?
I don't even know where I would begin to say. I buy records every day. It's what I like to do: Buy records, listen to records. I couldn't say "Here's a list of what I'm listening to right now." I would have to take a half hour and make a list. It's even a drag now being on tour because I'm not around my records.
Alright, I guess that's about it. I'll let you get back to what you've got to do. Any closing statements, comments, whatever?
31 commentsPost Comment
Decent interview, Good Band, First post.
"From a personal staindpoint, I find it hard to sit down with a pile of records and decide what's worthwhile. I don't want to shit on somebody's living, but I have an obligation to be honest." We finally know why Cory is horrible at reviewing CD's..hes honest
where's the question about wes' contribution to the new fall out boy album? $$
good interview, but yeah I was curious about the fall out boy stuff too
"there was a bass in my house and I was like 'I'll try to write a song.'" Wait, what?
If you're going to make music this shitty, at least don't be pretentious about it.
If you're going to make music this shitty, at least don't be pretentious about it. posted by Puppies_need_discipline () on 2/10/2007 3:31:43 PM *agrees
Pretty good band, pretty good interview, stupid haters.
Seriously. What is this Wes Eisold/Fallout Boy connection I consistently keep hearing about? What the f*ck is the connection?
was at this show...crowd response for SG notsogood
american nightmare was great, some girls is good stuff. just kinda think it's funny to hate on where you came from
on the last fall out boy, they referenced wes for lyrics on one song. on the new one, wes' name is connected to three tracks. i don't know what it means either. (i work at a music store, this is how i know these things)
this guy is the shit. nobody can possibly say that enough. living legend.
Wes Eisold is and has been the f*cking man. He's not shitting on where he came from, he clearly states numerous times, that that was then and this is now. He goes with how he feels. I thought this was pretty obvious and normal. He just doesnt feel the way he felt when AN was around.
Let's all give a hand to Cory for being an insensitive prick: "Obviously you've toured with Converge a handful of times now". *shakes head*
no read yet, but seeing this made my entire weekend.
decent interview, besides the few times he finished his sentences for him. i was actually surprised at how little of a dick wes came across as, considering the reputation he has. f*ck him basically saying the fans don't matter though.
fans don't matter in the creative process. sorry. music doesn't get written by committee.
Since we're talking about missing body parts.... does Jamey Jasta have both thumbs? Or is one missing?
i love american nightmare... but the guy seems like an ass
an was f*cking awesome. xo skeletons are cool but the novelty wears thin quickly. some girls bring the suck.
i love his bands and his writing. good dude. good interview. f*ck the haters.
Maybe he should go back to college and take more english classes.
YOU'RE IRRELEVANT, HE'S IRRELEVANT, EVERYTHING IS IRRELEVANT!!!!
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