Here's an idea for a new feature, an interview series on local artists and musicians. There are so many talented people around that there's really no need to look elsewhere. I corner the target via email or myspace, conduct a five minute phone interview, (although this one went on for 15) post a few pictures, and they get a healthy amount of hype for upcoming or ongoing projects.
Just the thought of conducting phone interviews with strangers causes me anxiety. Actually, I have a bit of phone anxiety in general. But for now, all of the people I interrogate will be friends of mine, so I definitely will not have to drink as much. I have no experience doing these, so it should be interesting, or at least fun.
My first interview is with a man I've known for about year or so, hung out with, been on tour with twice. Matthew Pie, also known as The Dong, is Baltimore City born and raised, a drummer in several bands, and an avid watcher of horror movies. His hearty laugh is like the color of a thousand rainbows sprinkled over a crippled leprechaun. He rules!!
7DW: Can you explain the origins of your nickname?
The Dong: That will ruin the whole mythology.
7DW: Can you give me a hint?
The Dong: Uhh.. (laff) well, A hint? I can't really give a hint without explaining it completely.
7DW: So what bands are you in and what kind of music are they?
The Dong: Thee Lexington Arrows is garage. The Mandroids is punk. And The Survivors of Camp Crystal Lake is metal.
7DW: Alright, and you play drums in all of them.
The Dong: ...Yes.
7DW: Which band do you enjoy playing in the most in, and why?
The Dong: I guess I'd have to say Survivors, because all the stupid shit we do. Its the first kinda like, concept band we've talked about, then actually did. It's pretty fun. Set stuff on fire, throw blood everywhere, good times.
7DW: How did the idea for The Survivors come about?:
The Dong: Came about from me and JD hanging out all the time, watching horror movies constantly. Then we started writing songs for the movies we were watching. And then decided if we were gonna do it as a band it would have to be like, crazy, GWAR-style kind of a thing... Just to show our true love for the horror movies.
7DW: True... can you give me some names of the songs, and maybe the movies they go with?
The Dong: "What is Your Pleasure" is a song about the Hellraiser movies. Some of them are about movies, but not like directly about the movie, more about the concept. LIke, the Hellraiser one is more about the mythology of the box rather than mention any of the things that actually happened in the movies.
7DW: Do you write them together?
The Dong: Usually just JD writes the riff, then we jam on it, come up with all the parts. The lyrics are a collaborative effort between JD and Mark.
7DW: What else do you do on your spare time?
The Dong: Well with three bands there's not much spare time. I guess my point is all my spare time goes to playing music.
7DW: Yeah I feel that. So what is your favorite thing about playing music?
The Dong: i dunno, i like the, as lame as it sounds to say, the live feel of it, feeling other people's energy while you're doing it. You know what I mean?
7DW: Yeah, like the energy of a live show, that kinda shit?
The Dong: Yeah.
7DW: Aaaand... let's see. I went through all my questions already... Is there any thing you plan to do in the future?
The Dong: I dont really make plans, the future is not my forte.
7DW: Uhh... If you could be a tree what kind of tree would you be?
The Dong: (laffs) Oh man. Uh. Botany... uh, knowledge is very limited.
7DW: How much did you have to drink tonight? You don't have to answer that.
The Dong: Haha, Not much. I guess.... trees.... Now I have to go to a botanical garden and look at trees for a while.
7DW: .......okay. Cool.
The Dong: I like how your typing everything I'm saying. It's awesome.
7WD: I am. Some of it's abbreviated. But I'm also recording it. But when I listened to it earlier, it makes this weird noise, sounds like (makes robot noises)... so I dunno if it's gonna work.
The Dong: Oh. I used to do that all the time. I useds my computer to record phone conversations all the time in case I wanted to use a sound sample, but then people started getting pissed off that I was recording all the conversations.
7DW: It is kinda creepy, I mean, a little bit, just a little.
The Dong: Yeah it is. They'd be like, "Am I on speaker phone?!" And I'd be like.. "Mmmmm... No?" "Yes. I am."
7DW: What's coming up for your bands?
The Dong: Well the Arrows and Survivors are recording right now. The Mandroids recorded stuff ourselves, and we sent it to get mastered. We'll see how that turns out. (police sirens blare)
7DW: Someone die?
The Dong: Probably.. I can only hope.
7DW: What do you like the most and what do you hate the most about the Baltimore music scene?
The Dong: Uh, the overwhleming level of apathy in audiences. Pretty hard to get people actually moving around.
7DW: Yeah, sometimes it's all like, they just wanna be seen..
The Dong: Yeah its a lot of that, people just coming there to be at the show rather than to come see the show.
7DW: Ok. That's a good hate. That's healthy.
The Dong: I guess my favorite thing is that the Sidebar, lets us play whatever the hell we want, whenever.... Throw blood everywhere, they don't worry about that. I guess the raw-- (someone yells) Uh, you can climb that... dude just asked if he can get.. there's not even anybody at the Talking Head, why do you wanna go over there for?
7DW: What, on the other side of Sidebar, it's closed, dude, they're all at Sonar..
The Dong: Yeah, I know, I'm standing in the parking lot, this guy just asked if he can climb over the fence here, and I'm like... "You can."
7DW: Ha. That's cool. I think that about wraps it up. Any parting words, words of wisdom for uh, young kids, or adults, or old women looking at porn?
The Dong: Parting words... Young children are stupid, so stay in school. Older people..... stop pretending you're not older. And old ladies, in particular, should hit me up.
7DW: Okay Matt, thanks for your revealing interview.
The Dong: Haha, no problem.
I thought of so many smarter questions after I was done!! But I guess that's how it goes.
The Dong's bands...
Survivors of Camp Crystal Lake
Thee Lexington Arrows
See all of The Dong's bands (and my band Blondsai's last show) in one night on May 31