Andrew Earles (of Earles & Jensen)

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Earles & Jensen Present: Just Farr A Laugh Vol. 1 & 2 is described by Matador Records as “the world’s greatest collection of prank phone calls!” To achieve a better perspective into this unique comedy album, we sent IMPOSE Co-Publisher Gordon Downs on a covert mission to interview heralded rock journalist and prank call guru, Andrew Earles, about hipsters and comedy. Enjoy!

Gordon Downs: Hey Andy, did I catch you at a good time?

Andrew Earles: That’s fine, yeah. I’m just at home trudging through my to-do-list.

GD: What’s on your to-do-list today? You’re on my to-do-list, that’s my big to-do today.

AE: This interview is actually on my to-do-list, although I didn’t really have to do anything except wait for a phone call. Unrelated to Just Farr A Laugh, is another huge aspect of my life, and that is that I have gotten a book deal. I have a book deal that’s a non-fiction music biography, and I have a monthly chapter deadline, and I have deadline approaching the fifteenth of February for my first chapter. My sources and contacts including the band members are all real skittish right now about talking to me or not talking to me, you know? It’s sort of a sensitive situation.

GD: You’ve been writing for awhi-

AE: Ten years.

GD: Well there you go. Something I wanted to ask you about was when you interviewed J. Mascis.

AE: J. Mascis? Is that the correct pronunciation?

GD: I dunno.

AE: Yeah, I dunno either actually.

GD: “J” to his friends and fans? Did you interview him in person or was that over the phone?

AE: I’ve never interviewed him in person, it was always over the phone.

GD: How was that experience for you?

AE: I’ve met him. I’ve approached him a couple of times when he’s either played solo or during the Dinosaur Jr. reunions. Actually I approached him when I was a kid, and saw one of the major label tours in the early nineties. If you approach him in public, you can’t approach him in public and say like, “Hey I did that interview with you for MAGNET Magazine.” You can’t really do that or you’ll just get a grunt in response. I’ve interviewed him several times and I’ve interviewed Lou Barlow several times and those are not guys that really care about… how do I put this? They’re beyond the point off throwing a bone to a music journalist, and they don’t put a lot of effort into their interviews, especially J., he never has, he’s notorious for that obviously. It’s pretty tedious you know? Going into that situation, even if you think that you have a list of badass questions for J. Mascis that he’s going to jump out of his mumbling shell and give you some great colorful incendiary responses, that’s not going to be the case. You can’t have big expectations when you interview musicians that you’re a huge fan of or that you look up to, just because you’ll always get disappointed.

Now I will say this though, one interview that I conducted with him, early part of this decade. It went along predictably with one to four word answers for every music related question that I asked. But oddly, he and I both had just come from funeral for our uncles. My uncle had died and I think that his uncle had died. And it was just a coincidence that a week prior we had both been at family funerals. So we started talking about that and he actually opened up and was somewhat verbose about us just exchanging anecdotes about old relatives.

GD: You were able to connect with the human J.

AE: In a way, yeah, about that, but when the subject becomes music, he makes you work for it.

GD: With regards to yourself, what instruments can you play?

AE: Me?

GD: Yeah.

AE: Oh, I can fool around on a guitar but I don’t play any instruments actively.

GD: So you never had any aspirations of becoming a musician?

AE: When I was younger. Yeah, I tried to play the guitar in my final year of high school and shortly thereafter. And I found that I couldn’t work up the diligence to properly learn how to play an instrument, but at the same time I was finding that I could write things about music that made people laugh or pissed people off, or that people enjoyed reading, I guess?

GD: What was the first assignment you ever had, outside of writing for a school publication?

AE: Oh, I never wrote for a school publication, nor did I go to journalism school.

GD: Do you frown upon that sort of education?

AE: No I don’t frown upon it. I will say that personally I did not finish a journalism program. I took one or two journalism classes.

GD: Where at?

AE: University of Memphis. Memphis, Tennessee.

GD: Nice. So what was your first piece you ever had published? What was the paper, what was the topic?

AE: Yeah I can tell you that. Do you know that I published a zine for a…

GD: Yup.

AE: Okay, that’s how I got my foot in the door. I did The Cimarron Weekend for several years and then, of the handful of fans of that zine, some of which happened to be music editors at real magazines, I sort of simultaneously got on at The Memphis Flier, which is the alt-weekly here in Memphis and MAGNET Magazine.

GD: So your zine was the catalyst?

AE: We did some real music writing for the zine. We did some real interviews and irreverent, but actual music journalism.

GD: What was the distro?

AE: The distro was not bad for a zine. We had distro through Revolver, Scratch in Canada.

GD: No I mean what was the run? How many issues per run?

AE: Oh, we did a thousand and they sold out.

GD: Truly a zine in the true sense of the word, that’s a nice limited run.

AE: Yeah it was a limited.

GD: When did you try stand-up comedy? Was this after you had some success writing and freelancing or were you trying open mics and various gigs early on?

AE: I’ve never established a career in stand up. I’ve done it less then ten times.

GD: And these were open mics or real gigs?

AE: These were gigs where I was asked to open for a band.

GD: Oh, God.

AE: …(inaudible) something like that.

GD: Can you name some of the bands?

AE: The first time I ever did it I opened for… I wanna go back and make sure that you have my writing time line correctly. I guess you could say I’ve been writing about music for, what is this? This is '08? (Begins humming to himself) I guess you could say I’ve been writing about music for about twelve years if you count the zine. And then three of four years after I started the zine I started doing actual music freelance for outside publications. So yeah, I just wanted to clear that up.

GD: That’s important.

AE: There was some overlap there with the zine publishing and the establishing of freelance work. Now as far as stand up comedy goes, I’ve done it less than ten times. It is nothing that I’ve ever looked at in terms of a career. It is not a direction that I ever looked at as far as something that I wanted to follow.

GD: Yet it’s something that you list on your resume as a credit?

AE: I know. But yeah, it’s still… I mean yeah, I list that I’ve done it which is true. I don’t enjoy it.

GD: Why not?

AE: Some people are cut out for it some people are not. Some people are cut out for being writers, behind the scene people. Writers you know, writing things that happen in front of people, humorous things that happen in front of people and I’m one of those people. I’m not cut out for really being on a stage in front of a crowd of people attempting to make them laugh.

GD: Have you ever tried an open mic at a traditional comedy club?

AE: I’ve never done an open mic at a traditional comedy club. Umm… no that’s not true! I did that once!

GD: How’d that go?

AE: I mean it was, you know. It was just me; this was years ago. It was me trying to freak people out and I was just delivering some sort of fucked up, you know like, I don’t even remember what the material was. It was a traditional open mic thing. I was up there for about one minute and the other comedians were people who you would expect to find at an open mic night. I dunno. Struggling comedians, drama geeks that were trying to work out some theatre material on stage; that type of thing. The club is long gone now; it’s closed. The first real stand up gig that I ever did was I opened for Neil Hamburger. And that was in front of about at least 150 people. I dressed up as a woman and performed in character. The character was supposed to be a suburban house wife that has decided to try her hand at stand up comedy. I had like intro music, I had written a bunch of horrible jokes. I dressed up as a woman. I had a merch table but the merch consisted of things from around my house.

GD: That’s funny.

AE: Like, tumblers that I had signed with a sharpie. Um, Cookie Cunningham, that was the name I used. It was just a spoof, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Punchline with Sally Field and Tom Hanks; but it was…

GD: A spoof on Sally Field’s character.

AE: It was. That was the first time, that went over well actually and that gave me a false sense of security in regards to stand up comedy that would prove to be incorrect, or would prove to be, uh, yeah. I dunno.

GD: I think with stand up comedy like any other craft it takes years to…

AE: Yeah! And I don’t have the time or the desire to dedicate the years to actual stand up.

GD: Okay. Well lemme ask you this: with regards to your album coming out, Just Farr A Laugh, are you guys going to do any live promotional stuff for the album?

AE: Yeah we plan on it.

GD: So you will be going out and doing live comedy?

AE: We will for SxSW. We’re going to do it for a Just Farr A Laugh release party here in Memphis. Beyond that, we don’t know. We will not be touring.

GD: Okay.

AE: Or rather that’s the decision right now.

GD: How do you feel about that?

AE: I don’t wanna tour and neither does Jeff. We don’t wanna tour in the traditional sense where we’re going out and opening for a better known Matador band. Where we’re… we don’t want…

GD: You’re not openers.

AE: No that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is we’re not a touring unit. And there’s no allure for me in this point in my life, in piling into a car or a van and touring around the country trying to get a prank call album to translate in a live situation from city to city in front of different numbers of people. I have no desire to tour at all.

GD: So explain the live model for Just Farr A Laugh to me?

AE: The live model is a power point presentation based around the history of the prank phone call. We’ll have audio samples of historical prank phone calls, we’ll have a power point presentation for visuals in the background, Jeff and I will be delivering monologues; or humorous monologues hopefully, and then we would work it up to discussing material off of Just Farr A Laugh. As of this moment, and this could change, we will not be conducting live prank phone calls.

GD: How long do you have the actual live set mapped out to?

AE: It's 30 minutes. 30 to 45 minutes, typical band length. We’re performing at a comedy showcase at SxSW, sometime on Saturday afternoon. It’s associated with Chunklet Magazine and Henry Owings. I’m not sure who the other performers are. That’s getting tightened up right now. And that’s really all I know about SxSW right now, one of my things-to-do in the next few days.

GD: So what’s happening with the lawsuit? Can you talk about who’s pissed off?

AE: It’s not that a particular celebrity or minor celebrity is pissed off, it’s that an ambulance-chasing lawyer based out of Hawaii has somehow heard the album.

GD: Really?

AE: Well I suspect so. The first disc of the album already came out in 2002. So the first disc is a re-issue of the first Just Farr A Laugh, and I suspect that that’s where a lot of it came from. Also Matador has provided free downloads of four tracks on their website.

GD: Do you think Rally’s might be behind this?

AE: No. I don’t think so. Well that’s what I’m trying to say is… I don’t think a celebrity or a business that was pranked, or a celebrity that was impersonated have hired this lawyer to come after us. What I think happened is somehow this lawyer, either through searching around on the internet, or file sharing or however, he became privy to Just Farr A Laugh, and heard it, and heard celebrities being impersonated and businesses being prank called. And I think that he got it into his head that if the celebrities were aware of this album that they would want to take legal action, and he’s made himself available to the celebrities. Like that’s what he’s trying to do. There are no call recipients or celebrities that were impersonated or anything like that. They haven’t come forth and hired a lawyer, that’s not the way it happens. It’s just this guy trying to stir up trouble, he’s trying to get the celebrities upset about the album. I dunno how he’s doing it. I dunno what connections he has aside from his website. I dunno who he’s been in contact with. So, you know.

GD: Hawaii is a popular destination for celebrity getaways.

AE: Yeah I mean, I don’t know. The guy is an opportunist. He’s looking at what he thinks is an opportunity to make some money, and through a very flimsy, what word am I looking for here?

GD: Case?

AE: Well in terms of celebrity impersonation, I don’t think he has a leg to stand on. Nor do the celebrities if they get upset. Because celebrities are impersonated on Saturday Night Live, celebrities are impersonated in print, like in The Onion.

GD: That’s true.

AE: You know they write pieces as celebrities. As far as I know it’s protected under some spoof/parody law. I want to get it straight that no celebrity has actually come forth and actually tried to sue us yet.

GD: Bang. That’s the pull quote right there.

AE: Yeah, this lawyer…

GD: That is the pull quote! What are some of the elements that are needed for a successful prank call?

AE: You have to have a lot of outtakes. Well I don’t know, some of those were first takes, and that does happen. On the flipside, if Jeff and I come up with some great idea it can take all day to find a good recipient and to put the pieces in place for a releaseable prank phone call, and sometimes it never happens. Yeah, the recipient is the key. You have to get somebody on the phone that obviously isn’t going to hang up within five seconds. You have to get somebody on the phone that’s not getting too angry, but that’s another angle that Jeff and I explore. And also a theme, that’s sort of the unwritten theme of Just Farr A Laugh, it’s that none of the calls are outright cruel. We don’t call people up and immediately try to kick their asses or just immediately start insulting people.

GD: Would that be a good prank call?

AE: Well I mean people have gotten very famous from that blueprint, a la Jerky Boys.

GD: I wasn’t even going to bring up The Jerky Boys.

AE: But that’s the premise, that’s the blueprint of The Jerky Boys. They think of, “Who would be an aggressive call recipient?” a car mechanic or some manly guy working a blue collar job all day long? Let’s call this guy up and claiming that we’re going to kick his ass. Or start insulting him, and they make the recipient immediately mad and there you have your call. That’s not what we’re interested in at all. We try to make it a little more subtly and…

GD: Outrageousness?

AE: And some below the belt visceral sucker punches every now and then. But nothing cruel, nothing obvious. But as far as the elements that make a… you’re going to walk with me to the store by the way. I need to get cigarettes.

GD: That’s cool.

AE: I’m sure it’s disgusting. I know it’s a disgusting habit.

GD: Just to give you a heads up, you sound exactly like The Rev. Bob Levy over the phone.

AE: And that is?

GD: He’s a comedian that works with Howard Stern.

AE: Oh yeah, really? Oh, that guy! Oh, do I really?

GD: Yeah man.

AE: That’s interesting.

GD: He sounds like his throat is coated in tobacco resin.

AE: I want to stress, I don’t want it to be “stressed,” that I’m only fifty percent of Just Farr A Laugh.

GD: Yes, I know.

AE: Jeff is obviously a big part. Like I said before, the whole behind the scenes, writer of the humor type of thing; that dynamic exists between the two of us as a creative duo. I work better sort of coming up with the ideas, I guess? And Jeff is a much better live performer; he’s more extroverted than I am; as far as doing crazy shit in front of people.

GD: How did you meet?

AE: I’ve been actually, throughout my life — not throughout my life, but definitely since I was fourteen or fifteen, I’ve been recording myself prank calling people. I guess it was in the latter part of the 90s I worked at an independent records store here in Memphis called Shangri La Records, and I had made a tape of prank phone calls that myself and a friend had done, and I’d also released a 7″ of prank phone calls called The Patio Tapes. It has about six or seven prank phone calls on it. I self-released that.

GD: What was that run?

AE: 1996. We did a thousand of them, and Jeff had heard this stuff; we had some mutual friends. He’s in Brooklyn, obviously I’m in Memphis. And he came through the store when I was working at the record store, and we met that way. We just sort of gradually started increasing our communications with one another. He came through town on his way back from Mexico, in either 2000 or 2001 and we had a fairly tiring action-packed weekend of partying here in Memphis, and we had very bad hangovers on a Sunday afternoon and evening and we just started prank calling people and we were recording them. We’d make some notes you know, not too many notes ahead of time; but most of them were first takes. And that day, that session if you will, is where the Barbara calls came from. It’s where the golf cart comes from, it’s where the yogurt machine call came from. All of those are first takes that happened on that day and we realized that we had this tape of pretty funny prank phone calls, and we thought, “Hey, let’s do some more and release an entire CD of these things.”

So he came back to Memphis for a couple of weeks later in the year, and we recorded some more prank phone calls. That’s where “Bleachy” came from, the “Isaac Hayes” calls came from that. And we eventually edited everything down and we had a good like seventy two minutes of what we thought were funny prank phone calls, and we self-released them. And that’s happened to the most part leading up to the release of the first Just Farr A Laugh. And I’ve spent five years calling into Tom Scharpling’s Best Show on WFMU, doing different characters on the radio, that’s on the record too. Jeff and I became pretty close friends, and after we were good friends for two or three years we started finding out weird things about our relationship, such as we have exactly the same birthday? Which was odd? And that’s uhh, we share some other personal quirks.

GD: Do you own or rent in Memphis?

AE: I rent right now in Memphis, although it’s not hard to own. I’m just renting right now because my girlfriend and I are probably going to try to probably a house somewhere. I plan on staying here, although I’ve wanted to leave in the past to further my career or whatnot. That’s a very silly reason to leave Memphis, when I could do whatever I need to do having Memphis as a home base.

GD: Where’d you grow up? Where’d you go to high school?

AE: I was born here.

GD: Oh, really. So you’re a lifer?

<p>AE: I’ve more or less always been based in Memphis, and I plan on staying here and using this as a home base.

GD: So which one of you is the amateur botanist? Is that you or Jeff?

AE: That’s me.

GD: Nice, do you have a greenhouse or an outdoor garden?

AE: It’s an interest in plants rather. No, I just have a lot of plants. I have a small garden. We thought we were going to move out of this house last year, so I didn’t fire the garden back up last year and then waited too late. So I didn’t have a garden last year, but I did the year before.

GD: Do you grow your own reefer?

AE: No, I don’t grow weed. I actually don’t smoke weed either. I used to, I mean I will, occasionally I guess? If it’s around; I found that the only time I enjoy marijuana at all, which is incredibly infrequently, I can only deal with it if I’m at home and bedtime is thirty minutes away, or of the bed is thirty feet away. Otherwise it causes great anxiety, it’s a great de-motivator to me. It makes me very lazy and apathetic. It has a different impact on different people. I’m just one of those people that doesn’t react well to marijuana.

GD: So had any other labels approached you about releasing Just Farr A Laugh prior to Matador?

AE: I know this sounds really odd for a grassroots completely unknown prank call entity, or comedy entity, but we actually had some interest from people before Matador, it terms of releasing it. The band Onedia said that they’d be interested in releasing it on their label. The band Elf Power wanted to release it on their label, Orange Twin. And according to Jeff, I don’t know I wasn’t there to even hear this, Devandra Banhardt, who is I know a for a fact a huge fan of the first album, I know that’s true. But according to Jeff, he was hanging out in the same social circle as Devandra, and he told Jeff that he wanted to put out the second album on his vanity label, whatever his side indie label that he runs. So we had completed the second album, and we were going to go with one of these outlets. So I wrote up this proposal as to why Matador should put out the second Just Farr A Laugh album, and they bit. They went for it.

GD: So this has got to be a dream for you to be on the other side of the glass now so to speak?

AE: Yeah I’m certainly enamored with it still. Even a year and three months after it was apparent that was Matador was going to actually release this.

GD: What’s your definition of a hipster?

AE: My definition of a hipster? I have no idea what a hipster is in 2008? I don’t think that term has a concrete definition at all. I think that it may have like in 1996 or 1997, in 2008 I think it’s a blanket term used by the media to describe a certain demographic between the ages of 18 and 34 that doesn’t really exist in concrete terms. I mean I sort of know what you mean, but also we’re in a day and age where my mom is a hipster. So it’s not like that term or somebody being regarded as a hipster should in no way in 2008 be seen as some badge of integrity or some cool thing. I don’t think it means anything right now. Tell me a band, not in your opinion, but tell me a band that you think is very popular in hipster circles?

GD: I actually don’t listen to that much new music. I only listen to Van Halen. I’m a big Van Halen supporter.

AE: Then you tell me something that you think is very popular in hipster circles? Would you consider Pitchfork to be popular in hipster circles?

GD: I actually read Pitchfork, it’s a daily source of news for me. It’s like CNN in certain regards. They have good news reporting, I don’t know? That’s kind of why I was asking you?

AE: Pitchfork may be useful in terms of going to the website and being able to absorb some information on the level of, “oh that band's in the studio now,” or “that band's reunited,” or “that band's going on tour or putting out a new record.” In terms of music criticism, I think that that is one of the most disturbing and just horrifying examples right now. I really think that there’s an alarming degree of band writing on Pitchfork. I don’t know what that is? I don’t know what causes it? It just seems like a lot of writers just trying very hard to be caustic and mean and cruel and funny, and they’re very bad at all those things. And it’s very obvious that they’re trying too hard. But in terms of hipsters, I have no idea what a hipster is? If you took something like Flight of the Conchords, and took the demographic that that show is very popular with, I don’t necessarily know that that demographic is maybe; I don’t know man? I can’t give you a definition of a hipster. I can’t do it. I have no idea?

GD: There it is. Do you have HBO?

AE: Yes I do.

GD: Have you seen Flight of the Conchords?

AE: Yes I have.

GD: Did you enjoy it all? I haven’t seen any episodes yet. I unfortunately don’t have the premium channels.

AE: I’d have to say that I’m not a fan. It didn’t really do much for me. I may not have given it a chance either? I’ve only seen three or four episodes. So no, I find other comedy to be much more satisfying than that show.

GD: Name some comedians that you enjoy?

AE: I really like Paul F. Tompkins, Louis C.K., Patton Oswalt. I guess that will work for some topical things. Early Bill Cosby, I think up until and including Bill Cosby: Himself, that stuff is incredibly unique. I think that stuff is incredibly unique and it’s an attempt and success at making comedy that’s fairly clean. I think one of the hardest things in the world is to make something funny without relying on profanity or blue material. I mean I enjoy a fair amount of profanity and blue material, but I think that’s it’s very hard to make something funny without using those things as a crutch. I think that’s one reason why Bill Cosby’s salad days, if you will, were amazing. The usual suspects, I really like Richard Pryor. Lenny Bruce has never really done anything for me, just because I think that stuff aged so poorly. I respect the influence and impact of Lenny Bruce and what he did. I respect that, although I cannot listen to it and laugh. And the same goes for Bill Hicks. I respect what Bill Hicks did and I think that his story is fascinating. As far as listening to his comedy, I think that it’s really overrated.

GD: Well something you might not realize is that Hicks was an archetype for all the alternative comedians you see out there today.

AE: Yeah but you also have to realize that also a lot of what Hicks was doing was ripping of Sam Kinison.

GD: Well, Hicks started doing stand up when he was thirteen.

AE: Yeah but, there’s a lot more commercial aspects of stand up comedy and Bill Hicks then people are willing to mention.

GD: Regarding what?

AE: That guy was trying to make it just like Bob Zany or anybody else. He wasn’t the Fugazi of comedy or anything.

GD: Certainly not.

AE: He wasn’t like fuck this, I’m going to show all this integrity and not, you know, I mean; yes his material was a little more incendiary and thought-provoking than his contemporaries. Although I think that like, people blow that way out of proportion. And it ages really poorly man. Like, a Bill Hicks record isn’t funny right now. It’s not funny to me. If I listen to a Bill Hicks record right now after I get off the phone with you, there’s going to be very few things that I laugh out loud at. I think that stuff is really overrated, although I like it, I mean I really do. There’s definitely moments and bits that that guy did that are brilliant.

GD: I think the main thing about Bill Hicks was that he was smart, he crafted good material and he had a positive message behind his comedy, which is something a lot of comedians fail to do these days and throughout history.

AE: I guess? These days I’d have to disagree with you about it, these days. I think that there’s too much of a message behind a lot of comedy these days. I think that one thing that really bogs down David Cross’ material is that he finds it so necessary to base so much of it on making fun of hillbillies or making fun of religion or railing against right wing politics. And all of that shit is so fucking tired man! I mean you know, I like David Cross as a stand up comedian. I do. I mean I’ve laughed out loud; I don’t think his material is as strong as Patton Oswalt. I think the strength that Patton Oswalt has is that he doesn’t base so much of his material on railing against Bush, or religion or rednecks. The last thing I want to listen to is a comedian making fun of hillbillies. I think that’s so fucking tired. I don’t get why anybody would do that in any context? My Name Is Earl or what have you? I just don’t think that white trash, I don’t think “white trash,” I wouldn’t use that term, but whatever people view as white trash culture or redneck culture, I think is such a fucking tired place to go to look for humor. That maybe because I’m a Southerner, and I’m a little bit protective of my region of the country. That may have something to do with it. And with Cross, yeah I fucking get it! You hate Bush! Yeah we get it man, Bush is a bad president. Really? Newsflash! Wow! I didn’t realize that? And that’s what’s destroyed Janeane Garofalo’s career! Is that she’s gotten so fucking obsessed with politics, and with the Bush administration and with 9/11. That woman has destroyed her career. Man, have you seen The Henry Rollins Show?

GD: No. That’s IFC. I don’t have any of the premium channels remember?

AE: Garofalo has these one or two minute bits where they film her in her apartment just like ranting about something. And it’s really pathetic man. She’s become so pathetic and irrelevant because she became so obsessed with politics. And she’s also a proud luddite. She doesn’t use a computer, she doesn’t use email. Those type of people drive me up the fucking wall, man. Like people that are so proud of not using technology. Like writers that claim they wrote their fucking book on a typewriter? Like that type of shit bothers me to no end. Because a lot times it's bullshit, it’s not true. And also it’s like, oh well okay, you just don’t want to. I’m sorry you have to use email! You have to use a computer to be relevant at all if you’re going to create anything at all.

GD: So if political satire isn’t your bag, what is?

AE: I prefer that sort of quirkiness or zaniness that type of humor that doesn’t rely on a pop culture reference every five seconds, and that actually has a weird premise and a weird backbone to what it’s trying to do. And it doesn’t use pop culture name dropping, and that’s a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black because our record is full of pop cultural references. But I’d also like to think that our record is bolstered with weird premises and ideas. Another type of stand up comedy, or comedy that’s hot right now that I detest and hate with a passion is fucking indie rock comedy. I’m talking about comedy that specifically references indie rock and uses indie rock connections. I’ll give you an example: Aziz Ansari making a short film about the band Tapes 'n Tapes. And it could be said that Jeff and I are using indie rock culture to get this album out there. We’re on fucking Matador! I’m aware of that! I’m aware of the fact that I’m about to have a comedy album come out on a large indie label that has a roster of successful and well-known indie rock! At the same time, I don’t think that comedy should be made specifically about hipster bands. I don’t see where the joke is there? Is that so people see that you have a hipster taste in music? I don’t get that man, and it’s just not funny. That’s the main problem with that sort type of thing, that self-referential indie rock humor; is that it’s just not funny at all. There’s no jokes there! I don’t get that guy's humor.

Gordon Downs: Does Andrew Earles have a message for the children?

Andrew Earles: My message for the children is to try to avoid creating clever art for stupid people.