Thursday, July 01, 2010

Beers, steers and tears.
Museum Mouth stays hip in the south.

Photo by Sarah Ellen Churchill

interview by Kenyon Hopkin

Museum Mouth--who pulls its name from a song by Cap’n Jazz--is from a small town just outside of Wilmington, North Carolina. There's not a hell of a lot to do in that quiet town, yet the band is still rocking and rolling. The young trio are going to some big cities to support the self-released Tears in My Beer, which showcases the band's lo-fi indie-garage punk pop. All three members--Savannah Levin (vocals/bass), Graham High (guitar) and Karl Kuehn (vocals/drums)--were able to express themselves.

Advance Copy: What is life like in Southport? You're right on the coast there, so it must be beautiful. Is there any kind of music scene there? i guess you need to go to Wilmington for that?
Karl: It is really pretty, but it’s super boring. And in terms of a music scene, there’s nothing. There’s one other band from Southport, but they hate us. And Wilmington’s music scene is questionable.
Savannah: It's way too easy to sleep all day in Southport. Yea, it really is completely gorgeous, but hey, looks aren’t everything. And if by “music scene” in Southport you mean retired old people, we have a lot.
Graham: Southport is really pretty if there’s no one around, but as soon as people are around its pretty obnoxious.

AC: Are you excited to be making your way up to New York? Have you played or been there before?
Graham: Honestly I think there’s nothing special about New York. I’ve been in big cities, is there anything inspirational about them? Fuck no.
Karl: I'm excited. I’ve been to New York before but not with this band, and not to play a show, so I’m really excited to be playing there.
Savannah: My sisters lived in NYC for a while now so I’ve been quite a bit and I think it gets better every time you go so I’m pretty pumped on going and the band that were playing with there, Sleepies, is fucking awesome.

AC: Do you think you'll stay in NC or do you have plans to move to Portland, Oregon or Brooklyn or Austin?
Graham: I'm planning on moving to Baltimore because I hear they have a high crime rate.
Savannah: We’re sorta playing it by ear. We probably won’t stay in NC but nothing else is for sure.
Karl: I’m more concerned with when our next show is gonna be or how we're gonna put out our next record right now. Not really thinking about the distant future too much.

AC: Any ideas on how to stop the spewing oil in the gulf?
Karl: The world is filling with oil! I need to get a pug NOW!
Graham: It’s too late to stop it now. Everything’s fucked as it is.
Savannah: My mom cries every time she sees coverage on it saying “the dolphins, the dolphins” over and over again.

AC: Your indie rock sound recalls the spirit of early indie pop bands like Beat Happening, the Vaselines and Go Sailor and some of the stuff from the influential C86 U.K. comp. Do you sometimes wish you were part of that era in the mid to late 80s? Or are you happy with 2010?
Graham: I’m fine with 2010 because the 1980s are pretty inconceivable to me.
Karl: I’m happy with 2010. Granted I wasn’t around in the 80s, but so far 2010 hasn’t been as awesome as 2009.
Savannah: I would much rather live in the mid to late 80s. Wasn't that when The Goonies was made?

AC: Your song "Outside" says "I'm sorry Salinger". Is that an apology to author JD Salinger?
Savannah: It's sort of an apology. When I wrote those lyrics it was more about apologizing to the things that used to mean a lot to me in a time when I felt really out of touch. It is directed at that author because he’s one of my favorites.

AC: How was radfest? looks like fun times.
Graham: I drank. So much. Duck Rabbit. It was wonderful.
Savannah. Gross. Duck Rabbit is a terrible beer made in Farmville, NC. Fuck that stuff. But on more serious things, Rad Fest was mind-blowingly awesome. My heart will break if there’s not a Rad Fest 2.
Karl: It was a blast. I loved all the bands we saw and all the bands we played with and I loved all the Chason. It was cool to play so close to home under such awesome circumstances. And so many friends everywhere, so good.

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