The third Hearts Bleed Radio Showcase Extravaganza is rapidly approaching! Friday, May 17th at Matchless in Brooklyn! Opening up the show is a great local band by the name of Paper Fleet. I sat down with Jon Mann (guitar/), Jim Campbell (bass, vox), and Josh Inman (drums, vox) and talked a little shop. Here's the interview, enjoy!
Hearts Bleed Radio: OK, so you guys have been together since 2008? What was the original lineup?
Jim: Me and Josh, then we added John Ter Louw.
Josh: Actually, Jim and I started Paper Fleet in 2003.
HBR: Wow, so TEN years ago!
Jim: Is that right? 10 years? I have to look that up.
Jon: That's what you dudes told me, haha. 2003.
Josh: I wish I had a better memory for dates, we could have a big anniversary show!
HBR: Ten years, I think it's OK to just guess.
Jon: It's nuts to me to think I've been in the band for five years, honestly.
HBR: When did Jon Mann join the band?
Josh: I think he joined in 2008.
Jon: Well, I moved to Brooklyn in 2007, and it wasn't long after that. Officially, it might've been 2007.
Jim: I have an email here from Jon in 2007.
Josh: It's been a while.
Jon: Jim and Josh posted a craigslist ad under the subject line "Adequate Guitarist Wanted."
HBR: Nice, save that email for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Jon: Woah! If you have the response to that email, I'd be really interested in reading it, haha.
Jim: Unfortunately he started getting good after he joined the band.
Jon: I blame you guys.
HBR: So you have a couple of recordings up on Bandcamp, some with Ter Louw on bass, and newer ones with James Blood, but now you're a trio. Why make the switch?
Josh: Jon Ter Louw quit the band shortly after Jon (Mann) joined up.
Jon: Yeah, he got a job and had a kid around the same time.
HBR: Well, you can't have two Jons, right? It's bad luck...
Jim: We did pretty okay with 2 Jons/johns. We called them Johnny T and Jonmann to avoid confusion. He (Ter Louw) started a family and moved to New Jersey. Hard to practice.
HBR: But still, you have Blood on bass after that?
Jon: And then James (Blood) is just another busy dude. He was working on a comedy film with a buddy of ours, and they do digital comedy shorts online, on top of his job. He also DJs. It's probably sort of surprising he stuck around as long as he did.
Josh: James Blood had a lot of other stuff going on, he started shooting a film and was doing Drunk Talk Show.
Jon: Yeah, that's their comedy thing: www.drunktalkshow.com
|Paper Fleet in ACTION!|
HBR: The new album, that NO ONE but me has heard... Did you write it as a trio?
Josh: Some of the songs date back a couple years but for the most part, these are all songs that we wrote as a trio. It may be difficult to tell, but our song writing process isn't that collaborative.
HBR: I would say that it is a little more of a straight up rocker than some of your other stuff. Like, do you guys write with a different approach as a trio? Or does it end up a certain way just cause there's only three dudes in the room?
Jon: I think the song sort of dictates what it needs. While we have to adjust certain songs to play them as a three-piece on stage, you'll notice that the songs for the new record all have two guitar tracks on them. Even the ones we're writing now may get recorded with two guitars if it allows us to explore some extra space, but we're usually writing to perform rather than to record, as I see it.
HBR: What's the title of the new album?
Jim: That's a good question.
Jon: Excellent question.
Josh: We're kicking around a couple titles right now.
HBR: It can be tough, right? You can write a dozen decent songs, no problem, and then get stuck on the title.
Jon: Absolutely. Usually, we look around at the crap in our practice space for inspiration.
Jim: Hurry let's decide now. I'm setting up the kickstarter while we're talking. HA.
Josh: The one I've been favoring is "New Teen Paranormal Romance" but the reference is already too dated to use.
Jon: Nice, Jim! "Baby, We Love Each Other" was a word bubble that our buddy George drew coming out of the mouth of a really ugly dude he drew on a calendar we had. "Prairie Fires of the Great West" was a caption on a picture from another calendar.
HBR: Ok, let's plug that. So you're setting up a kickstarter for duplication expenses, correct?*
Jon: That's the goal, yeah. The stuff's all recorded, which is usually a big chunk of the cost.
Jim: Yup. Straight to vinyl. We'll probably have it up for download too. Who buys CDs anymore, right?
Josh: That is correct, we want to press a full length vynil record which is costly, but ultimately worthwhile in my opinion.
HBR: But you need a name for the album, UNLESS, you do a, "donate $200, get to name the album," type deal.
HBR: Then I could start my own kickstarter to raise funds for that...
Jon: That's the sort of thing that could really start a rad band feud.
Josh: We'll end up with an album title like "[insert name] suck balls for money."
Jon: I have been literally itching for a blood feud with another band. Yeah, we've got pretty juvenile friends.
Josh: It would be a good way to get $200 bucks though.
HBR: You name it "Hearts Bleed Radio" and I'll sue the F out of you. You'll need another kickstarter to pay me off. Where did you record it?
Jon: Josh netted us a rad hookup on the recording, actually.
Josh: We recorded the record at Cowboy Technical Services. Which is owned by my former boss and all around cool dude Eric "Roscoe" Ambel.
HBR: What was the process like? It feels pretty tight, did you record as a trio, then overdub the lead guitar and vox?
Josh : That is mostly correct accept I think we overdubbed the bass in a lot of the songs.
Jim: We practiced a lot and recorded everything in like 9 hours, which gives it a bit of energy.
HBR: You guys do the instrument switching thing when you play live, right?
Jim: Nah. I'm just playing bass live now.
Jon: From time to time I offer Jim a guitar, but he's all 'Nah, man, I wanna be like Sting or Kip Winger.' True story.
Jim: I like it. I mean, I like playing guitar too, but I like the simpler sound. Richard Hell played bass and sang. That's my inspiration, maybe.
HBR: It's such an important instrument I think, like I see people play without it, and I always think its missing something.
Josh: It may be an unpopular sentiment, but bands without any bass sound ridiculous. And I think to compensate the guitars just get muddier which makes everything sound worse.
HBR: I played in a 3-piece with a guitar, and a baritone guitar, kinda Sleater-Kinney style, and that worked, but the baritone can hit most of the notes on the traditional 4 string bass... But yeah, it's unpopular opinion, but I agree.
Jim: My only regret is that i have to keep the bass simple when I sing. I like old Motown and Beatles bass riffs. But hard to do that and sing at the same time.
HBR: Who are your main influences? I gotta say, all day yesterday I listened to Elvis Costello, The Replacements, The dB's, and The Lemonheads, and like, today, I listened to your new album a bunch. It gelled very nicely.
Jon: You had a great day yesterday, homey... I hope you had a great day today, haha. I definitely think you've created a constellation there, yeah.
Josh: I think you hit a lot of the big ones.
Jim: I think the album inadvertently ended up sounding Lemonhead-sy. Which is definitely an influence on me but we weren't trying to sound like anything intentionally.
Josh: I would add Husker Du, and Dinosaur Jr. but I would also say that we bring different things to the table.
Jon: We used to get Husker Du comparisons from time to time, which I didn't get at the time but I sort of get now. It's funny, too: I tend to feel like I listen to heavier stuff than you guys, and on this most recent stuff I've been actively trying to listen to more power pop to get in Josh's ballpark; meanwhile, I feel like he's hitting the drums harder than I've ever heard him play. That's some Gift of the Magi for you right there.
|Nice hat, or boat, or whatever.|
HBR: What is the most unlikely influence? What are you guys into that I'd never be able to guess?
Josh: I listen to so much stuff, but it's hard to think of things that I think really influence the way I play that aren't right on the surface.
Jon : Hmm, unlikely influences...
HBR: Yeah, or guilty pleasures...
Jon: Well, Jim does have his Go-Go's side project...
Josh: Oh, well I have tons of those!
Jon: And for clarity, I don't mean that as a guilty pleasure at all. The Go-Go's are a well I go back to often.
HBR: But I don't believe in guilty pleasures, anyhow. Agreed on the Go-Go's.
Jim: I have no guilt, but to cross promote: Gallant Poodles: Go-Go-Men - a Go-Go's tribute. Out now on Capeshok records cassette.
Jon: I can tell you a bunch of unpopular bands I'm an apologist for, does that count?
HBR: Yeah, that'll be fun, lets hear them!
Josh: I'm never guilty about it, but I really genuinely like some songs by New Edition. Also, have you heard the album "Ice Cream Castles" by Morris Day and the Time?
HBR: I haven't.
Josh: It's pretty amazing. Morris Day was the villain in Purple Rain (the movie).
Jon: Right. "Jungle Love" is the more popular song.
HBR: I'll check them out.
Josh: I think Jim probably has the most diverse actual influences though
Jon: Yeah, when I joined the band, Jim threw me together a mixtape that was all over the place. I should note that it was great.
Jim: I really wanna sound like the Australian band "Smudge". No one's heard of them but their lead singer Tom Morgan wrote a bunch of Lemonheads hits.
HBR: I'll plug the kickstarter when it comes out. There's the show on the 17th... Anything else you guys wanna plug?
Jon: Yeah, man! We're also playing with Corita at Fort Useless on the 25th.
Josh: That's there last show ever I think.
HBR: Yup, that's the end of the line for them.
Jon: So we've heard. It's a shame they won't be playing together anymore: they've been really cool about calling us out for shows and all that.
Jim: We've pretty much only played shows this year that they set up.
Jon: Haha, yeah, Corita's been more than cool.
HBR: Well, they'll all be involved in different bands, so you'll just have more bills to get invited on, I guess.
Jim: Good point!
HBR: What other small Brooklyn bands are you guys into? Who should we be listening to?
Josh: There's this band called Behaviors, they're great, and probably in store for a meteoric rise.
Jon: I've been playing some shows lately with a cluster of bands lately too that includes Friends & Farmers, Bloom, Hound's Basket - if you know one of the dudes, you know all those bands, it would seem, haha. Close knit team of excellent dudes if you like it raucous and loud.
HBR: Great! And I hear Sunset Guns are pretty good too...
Josh: They're ok. (haha)
Jim: They have a record too. Good stuff.
Jon: Appreciate that, homes. Derek's been gone for a month now in Massachusetts on a radio journalism fellowship, so we've been on hiatus. Stupid Derek and his stupid future. Who needs one of those anyway?
HBR: It's all about the "Now," right?
Jon: And frequently about the "failure."
HBR: If you were super famous and went on a world tour, who would you want to be your opening act?
Josh: Lou Reed and Metallica. Just kidding.
Jon: Yeah, it's really more Metallica with Lou Reed, if anything.
Josh: I would want to take our friends on tour with us.
Jon: Dude, that's what I'm saying. I've always told people, if I ever make it, I'm taking literally everyone with me. MC Hammer Behind the Music lessons be damned.
Josh: Plus we need people around resuscitate us if we main line whiskey.
HBR: I think I would take Lou Reed and Metallica on a world tour, and drop them off in some country like North Korea or Somalia... That's kinda harsh... For the residents of North Korea and Somalia.
Jon: "Uhh, why does everything SUCK here?" -Lars Ulrich in Somalia.
HBR: So thanks for taking the time. What are we gonna get on the 17th? Mostly new stuff or a mix?
Jon: I think mostly new stuff! That's the stuff we're practiced on right now. Jim has also made a decided push toward louder rocking stuff at the shows, which I support.
Josh: All killer, no filler.
Jim: Yeah, mostly the rockers from the new album with a few of the classic hits.
HBR: Awesome! Can't wait for the show.
And there you have it! More info on Paper Fleet ---> Here
More info on the show ---> Here
Like Hearts Bleed Radio on Facebook ---> Here
*Help them out on Kickstarter ---> Here
Want to start a feud with Paper Fleet? There's a comment section below, just sayin'.
Hope to see you at the show! Thanks for reading!