This Poison The Well interview was conducted in the band’s van in Richmond, VA on February 25, 2007. I would like to thank Ryan for doing the interview and being such a nice guy. Make sure to pick up their new record, Versions, on April 3rd, 2007. The record is unlike anything you have heard before and it’s one of the best records of 2007. Make sure to pick it up and support PTW.
- State your name and position in the band.
Hi, IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m Ryan and I play guitar.
- Give a brief history of the band and the origin of the name.
We started in 1998, I think. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s so long ago I kind of forget. Yeah, like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“98 or something like that. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s was five dudes that thought it would be fun to make a bunch of racket. It worked out really cool for us. IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve been really happy with the outcome of almost everything that has happened.
And the origin of the name?
ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a literary fallacy. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a debate and forensic term. Means Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“to create a biased in an argumentÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢. It seems kind of ironic compared to the community that we all came up in.
- What are your feelings on this tour and the bands on it?
We are four days in and it has been really really awesome. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a cool tour because none of the bands sound the same, everybody kind of brings something different. And I think thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really cool, so make sure that when people go see a show, they get, not four bands that sound exactly the same, but they get a bunch of cool bands that have their own sound and personal things they are speaking about.
- What elements do you bring to each show and what goals do you walk on stage with?
The goals I walk on stage with is to have fun and play well. I hope I make people feel something positive, instead ofÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦..I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t want to make people angry. I kind of want to make people realize that music is supposed to lift your spirits and itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s supposed to be inclusive, for everybody.
- What do you remember about your first show and how have the shows evolved?
In this band or any band period?
The first thing I remember about the first show I ever played in the history of me playing guitar was that it was probably the worst experience of my life.
Ah man, it was just a train wreck. So I think itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a train wreck for anybodyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s first show. It was super fun but looking back on it, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Wow, we were probably so terrible.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? We sounded like was like a really shitty version of Rush. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s pretty cool. And than the first show for this band, the thing I remember wasÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦in the late Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“90s, nobody wore shoes when they played and I can remember stepping on a thumbtack while we were playing. It was pretty painful.
- How did recording the new record in Sweden have an effect on the overall sound as opposed to recording in the U.S?
I think that because we went to Sweden and where in Sweden we went, it was really really isolated, and we recorded in a barn. I think it added a really cool, and the fact that the sun was only up for four hours a day. Like I think it added this really, you know, cool element of kind of kind of being a little bit crazy, mentally and emotionally. Sort of like loosing your grip on just normal things that you take for granted. I think that added a lot of cool stuff to the record. It made us want to be even more dangerous about the choices we made with sounds and thinks like that, and the way we put things across. We took even more risks, I guess.
- In your opinion, what is going to be the biggest surprise to the fans with the new record?
Yeah, I read there was going to be a lot of new instruments used.
Yeah, there are horns, banjo, mandolin. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s tough to say.
- In the beginning, what did you envision the band to become? Do you think it has stayed accurate or changed throughout the years?
In the beginning, I justÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦the only goal I ever had as far as a level of success for the band was to play shows outside of our town and have someone sing along, even if it was just one person. Over the years that hasnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t really changed very much, none of us are really, have these really lofty apparitions of being famous or something like that. Actually we really hate to be like in the public eye or something like that, in the way that a lot of bands that are bigger have to be. Ah, I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know. I think that over the years we all just sort of maintained the idea that we just like playing shows. Whatever that might be, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s cool. As long as we still have fun playing, and we still do so we still play.
- If a fan could only listen to one Poison The Well record for the rest of their life, which one would you hope they choose? Why?
I would hope they choose the one we havenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t written yet. I mean, I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t think that I can could choose one record that I think people should be more into than others. I think that itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s personal preference. If you like one, whichever one you like, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome. And if you donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t like one, whichever ones you donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t like, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome too. You know, I never sort of had this idea that I should try and sell people on to what the cool thing to listen to is. If you like it than you like, and thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome. But if you donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome too. You can always just, you know, be honest with yourself. If you donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t like something, than donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t listen to it. If you do, than do.
- If the band had to promote one central message in the lyrics, what would that message be? Why?
Being honest with yourself about not being chicken about sharing parts of yourself that are maybe embarrassing or frustrating. I think it would just be to like, sort of promote the idea that weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re all very flawed and that that should be ok. The main reason why most people end up in the punk rock or hardcore scene is because, you know, they just kind of feel like they donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t fit in anywhere else. It should be a place where people feel they can be themselves and thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s ok. As long as that doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t infringe on anybody elseÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s right to be themselves, that cool.
- A hundred years from now, how much do you think music would progress and do you think a new genre would emerge? If so, predict the new genre.
Yeah man, I think that in the next ten years there are going to be new genres that are going to pop up.
What do you think that new genre is going to be?
UhÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦I have no idea. IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m so bad with genre specification. WhatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s the hip thing now? Like pop metal?
I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t even pay attention to genres anymore, I just listen to whatever appeals to me.
Yeah, all those names that they give bands like you know, death prog horror rock and whatever. All that stuff is just a marketing tool for labels to sell more records.
Yeah, because I was thinking about how like in different generations and different times, there is one time of music that has emerged that is something new. I just think about what is going to be the next genre and what itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s going to have in it thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s different than anything else.
Yeah, IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m excited to see that too. I just have no idea how to predict that.
- In your opinion, what is the leading cause for the current state of the music scene and industry?
I guess peopleÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s complacency. I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, I feel that things are extremely homogenized and that there are a lot of the same thing going on, over and over again. I think that, we all fail as people, including myself, for being too lazy to challenge ourselves to listen to new things. I suffer through that on a weekly basis. Just being in a band with people and than being like, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”You gotta hear this band, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and being like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Meh, whatever.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? I can listen to the regular record over and over again and be fine. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really a bad way to live with music. But I have been working on it though, IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve been getting better over the years.
- If the band was chosen to write the soundtrack for a movie, which movie would it be and why?
I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, probably nothing too serious. I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll be scary because you can come off being very pretentious very quickly. I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, I would probably say, due to everybodyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s particular taste in things like that, possibly an animated movie. Not like, The Land Before Time, but something that would have deeper meaning than just cartoons jokes, but nothing that would beÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦.I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t fancy us for writing a soundtrack to Apocalypse Now. It could never be something that deep, even though thinking about changing the soundtrack to previous movies would be a bit risky, because a lot of moviesÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ soundtrack completely enhance the movie.
- If you had to play one last show, what bands would you want to play with you and what would you do to make it memorable?
Can I pick bands past and present?
Yeah, any bands.
Us, Bad Brains, Black Sabbath, and, just so there is some sort of element of different sound, probably like something really really fun, like Prince.
Haha, that would be interesting.
Yeah, but something so everyone can feel like itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not all about yelling and all that stuff. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s about fun.
- Where do you see the band going in 2007 and what things are you most excited about?
IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m just really excited about being on tour and doing what we normally do. You know, whatever happens, happens.
Are you guys on tour most of the year?
Shaping up that way already, which is cool and IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m really excited. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been too long since weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve really been touring super actively.
You guys are going to be on Warped Tour, right?
For some of it, yeah.
Is it the beginning half or end?
Usually the shows around here, in VA Beach and Washington D.C., are like in August. But I saw the dates and they are going to be at the end of July and IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m going to be in Europe.
Ah, bummer man.
Yeah, it really sucks.
Yeah, but youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll be in Europe so it will be cool and fun.
Yeah, hopefully I can go to some shows over there and see how the scene is.
Yeah, that would be cool. Where are you going?
IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m going to be going to France, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece.
ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s going to be much fun.
Yeah, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s going to be for like three weeks.
Ah man, youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re going to have such a great time.
I went to U.K. France, and Spain in the summer of Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“05.
ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesome, Spain is one of my places ever.
Yeah and IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m fluent in Spanish so walking around felt like I was at home.
Yeah, that all works out, even though their Spanish is kind of different there. A couple of us, not me, but a couple of the dudes in the band are fluent in Spanish as well, I guess itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a byproduct of being from Miami. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s just funny because they speak the same language, but there was major communication difficulties.
Yeah, people always ask me what things mean and sometimes I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know. They usually teach the Mexican dialect of Spanish in schools. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s like us and Britain, there are different words that mean different things completely.
Yeah man, in Miami, there is so much slang, that you are like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”What does that mean?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?, and than they are like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”It really doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t mean anythingÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦but it means this.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? And than you are like, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Well alrightÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? The words donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t really mean anything.
Yeah and when we were in London, we were told that there were bombs going on in the city, it just kind of ruined it.
Yeah, I can only imagine, that has to be kind of scary.
- Well the last question is, is there anything else you want the readers to know?
I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, I guess to have fun in life. Life really isnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t that serious and if you end up taking everything seriously, youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll end up being really bummed out in your life. Just stay calm, take things as they come. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s about it.