Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reid Saw A Ghost: The SF Rebirth Interview by Daniel Bromfield & Robert Sesma

After transport complications made it impossible to interview Reid Saw A Ghost at “Colechella” (a show they recently played hosted by guitarist Cole Berggren), I had a chance to catch up with the band at a recent gig at San Francisco’s SubMission.  With assistance from former band member Robert Sesma, I was able to gather the band’s opinions on various subjects such as martial arts, pot, Zombieland, and their recent Still Haunted EP.

Daniel Bromfield: Why don’t you guys play “Jeffery?” [sic]
Tuesday (a friend of the band): We don’t smoke as much as we used to.
Reid Riegelsberger: No, I smoke more. 
Cole Berggren: As a band we smoke more than we used to, even though Alex and I don’t.
Alex: We played “Jeffery” at Cole’s house.
Cole: No we didn’t.
Alex: The real answer is we’re rewriting it, so we’re not playing it until we rewrite it.
Cole: Well we already kind of did rewrite it.
Reid: It was on the setlist at our house, but we didn’t have time to play it.

Daniel Bromfield: Does this mean there will be more continuations of the Mad Scary saga?
Everyone: *negative noises*
Cole: It’s gonna slowly die.
Alex: The continuation of Mad Scary is just all the stuff we wrote in between Mad Scary and now, which is a new area.
Random guy: What are you kids doing?
Alex: Interviewing. 
Reid: I definitely feel like we play Mad Scary a lot different than we used to.  We definitely evolved as a band once Robert left.
*Robert laughs*
Alex: No, not like that! We just kind of changed.
Robert: Things got better.
Cole: Immediately.
Alex: That made me sound like an asshole.

Robert: So are there any concepts somewhere down the road?
Alex: We’re trying real life stuff versus fantasy.

Robert: At what point do you think you evolved as a band?  Or is it a current progression?
Cole: I think we’re always gonna... are we always gonna not like our music because we’re just gonna be getting better?
Reid: I like our music.
Cole: So Reid’s the only one?
Reid: I don’t like some of our music.
Cole: I like all of our music, everything we’ve written ever, because I was a part of it and it’s interesting to me.  But I always want to get better at it.  I’m always like aaargh I wish we had more songs.
Reid: Well, I always respect that the songs that we’ve written are, like, good songs, and I’m proud of it, but at the same time since we have better stuff and we’re writing more and more of it, I’d rather play that than the old stuff that I’m attached to.

Daniel: What’s you guys’s least favorite Reid Saw A Ghost song?
Robert: Anything Cole’s ever written.
Reid: Do you mean currently or, like, ever?

Daniel: Ever.
Reid: “Cole’s Mom.”
*everyone erupts into noises of recognition*
Cole: Oh yeah, I remember “Cole’s Mom.”
Alex: It was about his mom.
Alex: My least favorite song is the original “Zombies,” which is the social network song which is the first song off of the first Mad Scary [“Wake Up Dead (Try Not To)”].  It used to be...
Cole (singing): Take a shotgun...
Alex (singing): Bill Murray, take a chainsaw, Tallahassee...
Cole: It was much more very directly Zombieland.

Daniel: I know you guys have a few songs about movies.
Alex: Well that was the first song we wrote together as a band.
Robert: Hey hey I had nothing to do with the lyrics.  That was your fiasco.
Cole: You were an enabler.
Alex: That’s Zombieland, we have a song called “500 Days Of Summer...” 
Robert: That’s about Recess: The Movie, to be fair.
Alex: “Jeffery” is a reference to a movie [Get Him To The Greek].

Daniel: You make Star Wars references in “TV Song,” too.
Cole: Do you want the writing process for “TV Song?” Because that was, like, our stupidest accomplishment.  It was like, “Hey, OK, so let’s make a story song, right, because it’s what we used to do all the time.”  So we were like “OK, let’s make a guy who sits in this girl’s room and has a TV for a head and she thinks he’s just a TV and he’s never gonna have a chance with her because he has a TV for a head.
Alex: He has a full body sitting on the dresser.
Reid: Yeah, and she brings guys over and fucks them.
Cole: And he’s just sitting there, like, sad TV... I think he actually is a TV to some extent right?
Alex: And then he’s like “fuck this” and runs away to the beach and gets electrocuted.  Right?
Cole: He talks about how he can’t drive a car because he has, like, robotic claws.
Cole: And it kind of goes on like that.  And the best part--I remember specifically--there was one lyric we wrote... [addressing Alex] it was me and you, and we were sitting at your house and we were like, “what rhymes with dresser?”
Alex: Dresser.
Cole: And we were, like, “dresser!”
Reid: What’s that lyric?
Alex (singing): “That night he jumped off her dresser/stole her keys right off the same dresser!”

Robert: What visual artists are you inspired by?
Reid: As a drummer or as a person?
Cole: What I picture Reid’s semen looks like when he masturbates.
Reid: As a person, Claude Monet.  As a drummer, more like Jackson Pollock. 
Alex: I really enjoy pictures of pale women with red hair and tattoos.
*other people become aware there is a mural of a pale woman with red hair and tattoos on the wall behind Cole and Alex*
Reid: She’s holding the gun weird.  Like, if she pulls that trigger it’s flying into her face. She has the thumb on the side so there’s no leverage, and she’s holding it by her face, like, loosely.

Daniel: What about the cover of “Blister In The Sun” that appears on Still Haunted?

Reid: It was a shitty idea.  I fought so hard against it.
Robert: I would leave the band because of that.
Cole: Wow.
Alex: OK, you’re out.  You’re out of the band.
Cole: I think that we need to have better communication as a band, because I feel like I was not aware that Reid hated this idea.
Reid: I’ve been saying for years that nobody listens to me.  This is living proof.
Cole: See, I don’t think it’s proof that nobody listens to Reid.  I think I was trying to listen and I wasn’t communicating well enough and I am going to try and listen more and Reid is going to try and communicate more and we’re gonna rub penises just as hard.  After every show.
Reid: When are we gonna start open mouth kissing, guys?
Cole: Who used to do that?
Reid: The Strokes.  The Strokes used to open mouth kiss each other.

Daniel: Are you expecting people to smoke tobacco or pot with the lighters?
Reid: Probably pot.
Cole: Light candles.
Reid: OK, candles. 
Alex: If you look at our merch we have like fucking eight or nine different colors of shirts and it’s because this time we tried out the different merch to see what worked and the lighters worked.  So that was just one of the decisions we made... that works!
Cole: Really well.  It worked really well.
Alex: And the thing about lighters is you use lighters often so a lot of people see it and it’s recognizable and you always lose your lighter and end up with someone else’s lighter so it travels around.

Robert: What’s your favorite strain of weed?
Reid: Favorite strain of weed...
Cole: Green Fairy Double Black Edge Triple...
Reid: I don’t think that’s a thing.  Probably Blue Dream.
Daniel: Dude that’s mine.
Reid: Blue Dream, man.
*we hug*
Security dude: Let’s see you guys’s hands real quick, thank you.  Both sides.
Robert: What’s the other side for?
Security dude: Spray paint.
*Security dude leaves*
Cole: That was so scary.

Robert: What is your greatest accomplishment as a band?
Reid: You quitting.  Uh, Colestock.  
Cole: Colestock.
Reid: Um, Colechella.
Cole: I’d say the show at my house was the greatest accomplishment because we did that alone.  We didn’t have all of our, like, best friends.  And we murdered it, and we got people to come and care about it.
Reid: And it worked out because there were a lot of people I didn’t know there.
Cole: There were people I didn’t know wearing our band shirts.  That was crazy.
Alex: I feel bad ditching our friends, so... anything else?

Robert: If you could be described as a style of martial art, what would it be?
Cole: Fuck Robert-jitsu.
Alex: Reid Saw A Ghost is probably this one. *makes indeterminate pose* Like you get hit in the chest but you can still do some damage.
Cole: Some sort of yoga.  Water yoga.
Alex: Woga.
Cole: Sure.

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