Friday, 16 March 2012

Water World - Interview

Water World released one of the most fun and energetic EPs of last year, and in hope of capturing some of that emotion, I spoke to Eric Carlson about The Mae Shi, punk music, and bucket lists. I wasn’t disappointed. 

Let’s start with the basics: how do you guys all know each other?

Just through shows and mutual friends who play music, so we decided to play music. I guess it was actually Bill Gray from The Mae Shi who introduced Miles and I, way back whenever.

So you've got friends in The Mae Shi? That's not a bad place to start

Now that I think about it, The Mae Shi was really the genesis of it. They’re our mega bros and we came together through that.

What bands did you all bond over then?

From there, it was a deep appreciation for silly stuff... Nirvana, Deerhoof, Youtube, the usual... 

I guess (like Deerhoof) you cram infinite amounts of hooks into your music, and often in a really short space of time (Born Young, for example). I guess this is why you describe your music as ‘extremely pop’?

Totally. Probably that and a cripplingly short attention span that's the result of being a 90's child.

...and I guess a lot of 'punk' songs are under 2 minutes or so?

Yeah, it's also like...people's attention span is zero these days, so I feel an urge to pack as much rhythm and melody into that 60 or 90 seconds as I can - to give people the most bang for their buck (or internet click or whatever)

When a song is short it drives people to play it over and over again... it makes something more infectious. Maybe that's more suitable for the modern world, where jingles and ringtones are pretty much as important as music nowadays.

For a long time I actually really wanted to get involved with writing jingles and that kind of morphed into the first few Water World songs. I think Andrew W.K put out a record of ringtones in Japan. That's awesome!

Punk music is typically considered to have anarchist or anti-establishment influence. Whilst you don’t (seem to) follow this stuff, do you try keep it all quite ‘punk rock’? I mean, you’ve covered Misfits and remixed Black Flag and you put out Water Wonderful World on cassette...

Yeah, I dunno... we grew up in the punk and hardcore scene, and I think it's one of those things; if you spend your entire teenage years in the trenches, it's going to pop up in everything you do. We have tapes and tapes of punk covers in the closet... more Misfits, the Wipers, a Minor Threat tune. We record constantly and those things inevitably happen spontaneously after we fuck up a take or whatever. It's a cleansing process.

I guess that's part of The Mae Shi influence then?

Yeah totes, with that first Water World single, Water Wonderful World
, the mindset going in was: ‘Ric Ocasek from The Cars produced Bad Brains' Rock for Light. So, what would a Cars record produced by Bad Brains sound like?’

In that case: if there was a fire and Pop and Punk were trapped and could save one, and only one... which would it be?

Is Blink 182 a twofer?

Let's put them in 'Pop' - I mean, they're considered 'Pop Punk'.

I’ma go with ‘Pop’.

So you just let Henry Rollins and co. burn away!?

I'm taking him with me. I'm going to claim all the classic punk records as highly evolved pop pieces. I believe in pop. Maybe we'll do a record called the Shape of Pop to Come. Maybe not.

Punk derives from Rock n Roll, which derives from the Blues; but so does Pop. So what would a Bad Brains Blues album sound like?

It would sound like a 1000 conflicting emotions surrounding your heart.

Perfect. Whilst we’re on Pop: the Water World Facebook page says that at some point in the future, you chart at #-1 in the Billboard charts. In that case, what current chart artist, out of all of them, would you collaborate with if you had to?

Oh man that's tough. I really like The-Dream. I love the way he writes melody and harmony. 

He also wrote Single Ladies.

Dude knows what's up.

It aso says on the Facebook page, you apparently die not once, but twice in the future? Aged 35 and again at 39. Are you going to make a bucket list to fill those four years?

Yeah, but the only thing on it is to watch the movie the Bucket List, so I'll be fine.

So what's in the name? Water World implies fun, and that translates completely into your music. What is it all about for you?

Water invokes a lot of spiritual emotions in me. It's the great wide open. It's a purifier in many religions. It's what we're made of, ya know? Evidently, there was a movie in the 90's with the same name, but I'm not very familiar with it.

Haha, yeah, my dad told me about that film. It was, at the time, the most expensive film ever made, however it didn’t do well in the box office and was critically panned.

Apparently. I mean, I don't know about you, but I drink water every day, so it seemed like an appropriate namesake for a band.

That's true, but how would you justify Fuck Buttons? - That’s ridiculous.

Again, I don't know about you, but I fuck buttons every day.

How about Anal C*nt?

That's personal.

You played with Real Estate in London recently, right? What do you think of Real Estate?

Housing is important. I like to live in houses. It's all part of the game of life man.

Surely water is more important? Shouldn’t they be supporting you?

Well, you're wading into boat house territory, see, that's the ideal situation; you get the basic elements for survival in one mobile package.

What do you think of London?

I think London is rad. I think my roommate is in London right now. You’re in London, right?

Hell yeah, I missed your show though...

I just found out that I missed Signals first show back in LA. Mega bummed right now.

As Wavves once said, “life sux”.

Truer words.

Ok, let’s not finish on a downer. Tell me a joke.

A pedophile is walking through the woods with a child, and the child says "these woods are scary", to which the pedophile says "you're telling me. I have to walk out of here alone".

Thank you and goodnight!

I’m here all week.

Interview by Will Hall

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