Chairlift Interview Audio
Nichole vs. Chairlift
40 Watt Club Athens, GA
April 27, 2009
Patrick Wimberly: Before we start this, can I just read a quote from Dr. Dre?
Ethan Silverman (Tour Manager): She already started it.
PW: Can I use a quote from Dr. Dre?
Nichole Bennett: Let’s do it.
PW: In 1993, Dr. Dre said “Everybody has something they can do in the studio. I can take a fuckin’ three year old and make a hit record on him. God has blessed me with this gift.”
NB: So, I’m Nichole, and I’m here in Athens, Georgia at the 40 Watt Club with Patrick of Chairlift.
NB: We were just starting off with a Dr. Dre quote that we are all still recovering from. I guess to start us off, if you could kind of describe the story of Chairlift would it be a pop-up book or would it be a graphic novel?
PW: Oh definitely a pop-up book. That’s an easy question.
NB: Would it have pull tabs? Like interactive pop-up books?
PW: Yeah. There would be pictures of us dancing. There would be pictures of us meeting each other, with big smiles on our faces.
ES: I picture a pop-up mountain with a chairlift with the two of you sitting on it.
NB: With a little wheel to make it go around?
PW: This is Ethan, he takes care of us on the road.
NB: You guys have a pretty varied sound. For most people who have just heard the iPod commercial, they get this “Bruises” poppy sound. But you’ve really got more of a darker sound as well. How would you say it all ties together? Or how would you describe your sound to a five year old? Or maybe that three year old that Dr. Dre was hanging out with?
ES: Patrick is really good at talking to three year olds.
PW: First off, I’d like to say that I really like three year olds. “We’re in a band called Chairlift, and we play songs for dancing and for having fun. And for exploring your own mind.” We did play a show recently for a bunch of three year olds, and they got up on stage and danced. It was really cute.
NB: So, if you could take five albums on a desert island…
ES: On a deserted island?
NB: A desert…well, you can have your friends.
PW: Do I have a stereo there?
NB: Yeah, you’ve got a stereo.
PW: I would take Sexuality by Sebastian Tellier because I can’t stop listening to it. What else would I take?
ES: You would take a Rolling Stones record, but I don’t know which one.
PW: I would take a Led Zeppelin record. I would take III.
NB: Three of them?
PW: No, I would take the third one. That’s only two. I would take Abby Road. That’s kind of like a standard. I would take the new YACHT record. I don’t have it yet, and it comes out July.
NB: Hopefully you’re not deserted by then.
PW: Yeah, hopefully I’m not getting deserted on this island until after July, and the YACHT record comes out. And one more: I would make a new one and take it with me.
NB: Just take a blank disk with you.
PW: Yeah, I would record it on the island.
ES: Just bring a four-track.
PW: And I would call it All Alone.
NB: What is your favorite dinosaur?
PW: This is another easy question because I would take the…wait. If I could take any dinosaur to a desert island, it would be a brontosaurus.
ES: I would take the new YACHT record.
NB: My favorite dinosaur is the new YACHT record!
PW: Next question.
NB: So you guys are touring. What is the most annoying thing about touring? You guys just came from Austin, and you are zooming around.
PW: The most annoying thing about touring is…
ES: All these free drinks we get.
NB: Oh, how terrible!
PW: No, that’s not that annoying.
ES: It’s being in cool places but not spending much time in them.
PW: Yeah, that’s it. It’s not having enough time in areas that you want to spend time in.
NB: Do you ever read press or reviews about yourself?
PW: Never. Some other members of our band do, but I never do.
NB: If you could replace your arms with anything, what would you replace them with?
PW: Other arms.
NB: Other arms?
PW: Because I need my arms. They’re important to me because I’m a drummer. I would replace them with Al Green’s. He’s got nice arms.
ES: You should replace them with another drummer’s arms.
PW: Well, maybe if I had his arms, I could sing that well.
NB: Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
PW: Crunchy because it has peanuts in it.
NB: What is one question you wish interviewers would ask?
PW: I wish they would ask…Are you going to ask this one in your next interview?
NB: Yeah, maybe. And you can answer it if you like. If it’s good, I’ll steal it.
PW: Probably not. I’m not that good of an interviewer. I would ask me on this desert island…
NB: With a brontosaurus running around.
PW: …I would ask “What would you name a brontosaurus if you had a brontosaurus on a desert island?”
NB: That’s a good one.
Caroline Polacheck: I’m just going to hump into this interview
PW: Caroline is here.
NB: Caroline just arrived.
CP: Is this for radio?
NB: This is for college radio.
CP: I should not have said hump. Hi guys, I’m Caroline. I’m in a band called Chairlift.
NB: Thank you for joining us. Well, we should probably catch her up on the important questions. Mainly, what is your favorite dinosaur?
CP: Definitely a pterodactyl.
NB: That’s a good one. Let’s see, I guess the only other good one is: If you could replace your arms with anything, what would it be?
PW: I take that back. It would be Stevie Wonder’s arms because he can do everything with his arms.
NB: This is true.
CP: So it can be other people’s arms?
PW: Anything counts. I would put one hairdryer on one of your arms.
CP: I would probably have a giant snake coming out of one arm…
PW: And a hairdryer.
CP: No. Wait, yeah how will I dry my hair? Well, the snake can be trained to hold a hairdryer. In its mouth. It would be really long. It would be way longer than an arm size. It would go from here to there. But it would learn to coil for transportation purposes. And then the other arm would be some kind of moving light show with speakers in it.
NB: I’d want to hang out with you. Party time, Caroline’s here. If Chairlift had a catch phrase, what would it be?
CP: We have so many. “My dude.” “It’s on.”
NB: What is the most embarrassing CD in your collection? Or are you not embarrassed by anything?
PW: I’m not embarrassed by anything. I have music that people say I should be embarrassed to have, but it’s not embarrassing.
CP: I have some CDs at my mom’s house that are pretty embarrassing.
NB: Do you guys prefer performing in bigger venues or smaller ones?
CP: I like playing in place with good sound and good lights because that affects the show more than size. Playing in an intimate place and the lighting is really moody and the sound is really spectacular and submersive. That makes for a good show.
NB: I asked him earlier: Do you read reviews about yourself?
CP: Yeah, probably more than I should. Less and less. I think it’s interesting. I don’t take it all to heart. It’s like throwing a ball back and forth. It’s interesting watching your reviews consistently change. Like if all of them are saying the same thing at one point in time and all of them are saying another thing at another point in time, then it’s like “Okay, that’s a legit point you made.”
NB: I was talking to Matt of Matt and Kim last night and he said “I want more haters.” The more haters you have, the more people are paying attention. It changes the way I thought about criticism.
CP: To me the most brutal thing isn’t press because you can take that with a grain of salt, but for me it’s live videos. It freaks me out to see myself play live.
NB: What can we expect to see from Chairlift in the future?
CP: Probably Aaron, Caroline, and Patrick. A lot of those people.
NB: Those three.
CP: Yeah sometimes instruments….sometimes clothes.
NB: I will let you guys go grab dinner, but I have one more question: If you were any animal, what would it be?
PW: A monkey. Easy question.
NB: He was ready. He needs harder questions next time.
PW: Next time you come back why don’t you challenge me a little bit, okay?
CP: I think I would be a killer whale. It seems like it would be fun to be a whale.
NB: That would be really fun.