Austin Psych Fest Chain Letter Interviews Pt. II

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Chain Letter Interviews

Welcome back to the Chain Letter: Austin Psychfest 2013 sequel. After this, the Chain Letter will be frozen like an ancient mastodon until our next fest, where it will rule the earth as god intended. How does the chain work? Each band gives us three questions to ask the next band, who propose their own for the following band, and so on. For those who don’t like spoilers, check out Part I of our PsychFest Chain Letter with The Holydrug Couple, The UFO Club, and Bass Drum of Death before continuing. Ned Stark dies!

In Part II of our PsychFest edition, we bond with Australia’s Dreamtime over bags of rocks, try to pull dark secrets from the equally shaded brows of The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen, and ended our day downing brewskies with Golden Animals.


Sunday began with Psychfest’s first bit of pure sun and, for us, the pleasant company of Australia’s Dreamtime, who promised to tone down their accents for our chat and goofed around good-naturedly in the shade. Worlds collided as the Aussie took on The Holydrug Couple’s wild wonderings.

What’s your favorite cartoon?

Zac Anderson: Probably Ren & Stimpy. [All agree]

Tara Wardrop: The Simpsons.

Zac: Classic.

Chris Campion: I really like the X-Men cartoon from the nineties. [All laugh]

Zac: Ned alert.

What would you do with a box full of feathers, and a bag full of stones?

[All laugh]

Zac: That’s a good question. I’d probably empty both of them off of a bridge and watch them fly in the air and fall in the water, and that’s…it.

Chris: There’re not many interesting things you can say.

Zac: It’s, like, you could do something really poetic with it, or just watch them fall.

Chris: I would create some Blair Witch type shit, freak out some hikers. [All laugh]

Zac: Throw the stones at some guy on the street and toss the feathers around –

Cat Maddin: This is getting dark.

Sounds like a chicken murder and an old-school stoning all at once. Last question: would you prefer to be a cloud or a mirror?

Tara: Definitely a cloud – light and fluffy.

Cat: Yeah, so you don’t have to have people looking into you all the time.

Zac: A mirror would be so too much insight into other peoples’ personal lives, like a never-ending reality TV show. Definitely a cloud, I think. Cloud’s more my style. I like to feel more like a cloud than a mirror, for sure…if you know what I mean. [Laughs] These are good questions.

These are some of my favorites all day too! So no pressure, but…what three questions do you want to ask the next band?

Marry, fuck, or kill: Roky Erickson, Warpaint, or The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Joel Gion?
What’s the biggest animal you’ve ever killed?
What’s your darkest secret?

The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen

A few hours later, we caught up with The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen, whose chilled-out vibes put some awe into the awesome afternoon, keeping us swinging with the swingers under the fest’s biggest tree, and got to the heart of it with his questions for Golden Animals.

Marry, fuck, or kill: Roky Erickson, Warpaint, or Joel Gion?

Who’s the last guy?

I’m not really sure – I think he’s somehow involved with Brian Jonestown Massacre…he might be old…

Kill him. Warpaint’s the girl band, right? I’d marry them. And I’d fuck Roky.

What’s the biggest animal you’ve ever killed?

I don’t think I’ve killed any animals…a bird? Just by hitting it with a car. Maybe a skunk.

Modern hunting. What’s your darkest secret?

Uh, that. [Laughs] Deep shit. I’m not going to start talking about dark secrets.

But you have some?

Yeah. Bad thoughts, you know? I don’t know – I’d have to be drunk for you to get that out of me. [Mischievous smile]

Maybe we’ll try that question again later. What three questions do you want to ask the next band?

Do you ever feel like a douchebag, playing in a rock and roll band?
Do you ever want to quit because you’re so poor?
Would you rather travel the world alone or with your band?

Golden Animals

Back under the swing tree as the sun blazed, we sat down with Golden Animals, who have roots in Sweden and Brooklyn, only to be blessed by a vegan cupcake fairy with free treats just before our last chat of the day began.

Do you ever feel like a douchebag, playing in a rock and roll band?

Tommy Eisner: Oh, right into it.

Linda Beecroft: Good question. [Laughs] I would say no.

Tommy: Yeah, I never think of myself like that, you know. [Laughs]

I admire that. If anyone asked me if I ever feel like a douchebag for any reason, the answer would have to be yes every time. [Laughs] Do you ever want to quit because you’re so poor?

Tommy: I would if I had an alternative. If I was skilled in anything, I would definitely do that, but if I quit…[Laughs] I don’t know. That wouldn’t lead to making money.

Are you guys just doing the band now, or do you have side jobs too?

Tommy: We have side jobs, yeah.

What do you do?

Linda: I do modeling.

Tommy: Me too.

[All laugh]

Don’t you ever think, though, that even if you had another skill you could exploit for money that you would be incredibly unhappy not making music?

Tommy: Oh yeah. I mean, I think anyone that gets into it these days has to get into it for the right reasons. Because when I think of a rock star in our time, I think of a businessman. Or a sports star or politician. That’s the rock start cliché now. People who are in rock bands are generally living veggie burger to veggie burger, you know? [Laughs]

Linda: That’s lucky! If you actually get there, that’s lucky.

Tommy: Yeah, you know, it’s very much a working class, hard thing. That designation ‘rockstar’ doesn’t apply to contemporary musicians in bands. More often than not, you’re just struggling to get through the things you’re asked to do. And you very rarely get paid for it. Luckily, this interview – we’re getting $100 a question, right?

[All laugh]

You get paid in cupcakes for this, actually.

Tommy: [Laughs] It’s usually like that. I’m tired of getting paid in cupcakes.

Would you rather travel the world alone or with your band?

Linda: Band, yeah!

Tommy Yeah, of course, band.

Linda: It’s a whole other universe. The things you can do are very different than what you could do alone. If we’re together, we’re in our own universe, and we can reach many more people. If I’m alone, I love that too, but you know…it’s a whole different thing.

Tommy: Yeah, and if your music’s out there and it resonates with people, you can kind of go from place to place and magnetize the kind of people that you would naturally want to be around. And suddenly, they’re all together in that city, that night. And you all get to drink together.

Linda: It’s pretty unbelievable, actually. You look at the tour schedule and it’s all these place you’ve never heard of. I mean, not ALL of them. [Laughs]

Tommy: We’re not that dumb.

And thus, Golden Animals rose above to break the chain before chugging some beers with us in the campgrounds. Stay tuned for the next link at the next fest!