Interview: The Giraffes
Interview and photos by Brian Romero – March, 23 2008
You guys are about halfway through your cross-country tour, how’s it going so far?
Damien: So you’re lobbing softballs huh?
Damien: It’s… awesome!
Andrew: You know, we expect the worst but hope for the best. So far the people are coming out. We haven’t been on tour for a while, so we thought nobody’s going to remember us… but they remembered.
Damien: We gotta new album, they’re buying it, so fuck it.
Aaron: We’re playing here Monday night.
Jens: The Knitting Factory.
Andrew and Damien (simultaneously) : The Shitting Factory!
I read a post on your MySpace that said “bands from Georgia play forever and then leave without watching your set”. What’s the story behind that?
Aaron: We played in Georgia…
Damien: Nah, we were in North Carolina!
Aaron: But the band was from Georgia.
Jens: And we’re not going to honor them with a mention…
Damien: I do think they were called the Dickelroys.
Andrew: It may have been the Dickelroys, but it could have been Sperm Turban.
Jens: I think it was Cum Dumpster.
Andrew: That could have been the guys name.
Jens: Oh yeah.
Damien: Anyway, they play for an hour and a half, then packed up and left.
Andrew: Which is wack! We were up front and watched their set cause we support. You’re on the bill, doing a show together, you support.
Jens: It was a Thursday night at a college campus and we didn’t even go on until midnight.
Andrew: I mean, I understand if the need to suck dick makes you leave and go suck a dick but… come on, you suck a dick in thirty seconds and come right back.
Damien: Douche moves, total douche moves.
Aaron: Suck our dicks!
Andrew: Yeah, suck our dicks for fuck sake!
Damien: We’ll play a shorter set for that!
Andrew: You could do it behind my kit, no one would even know.
Damien, I noticed that not only do you play guitar lefty, but you also string it upside down. With the bass strings on the bottom and the treble ones on top. How’d that happen?
Damien: I like guys…
Aaron: That’s your backstory for everything.
Damien: I don’t know… I’m a lefty! I don’t know how the fuck you were supposed to string it up when I started playing guitar.
So you took a right handed guitar, flipped it around and just got used to it?
Damien: Exactly. I didn’t even have half the strings on the guitar when I first started. I had three strings on it. I tell people that if you’ve got no feet you learn to walk on your hands. Or you tap dance on your stumps or something. Anyway, there’s a lot of guys that do it. It wasn’t conscious effort. Some people think I can do different things because of it… or it sounds different. But really it’s still fuckin’ guitar plugged into an amp going SHHHRAAAAANG! I still sound like shit and sometimes hit the wrong notes.
The first time I heard you guys was at Beauty Bar on Thursday night…
Damien: Oh yeah? Did it get you moist?
Well, yeah it did! That’s why I’m here talking to you and taking your picture.
Damien: Are you hitting on me?
Aaron: Yeah, what’s this guy tryin’ to say?
What I was trying to say is that you’ve got an interesting sound. A mix of metal, surf rock and melodic crooning. How’d that come about?
Aaron: It’s what we like. We’re all into a lot of different crap. Most of it doesn’t fit together… and Bruce Dickinson can suck it.
Damien: Suck it hard.
Aaron: I’m not even a big Rob Halford fan, but I respect him.
Damien: I love those first three albums.
Aaron: Most metal and other heavy music has the worst singing over it. Ever.
Damien: Cookie Monster is awesome for about two songs, you know what I’m saying? Then I’m like, bro there’s notes out there. Like A. All I’m asking is that you hit it.
Aaron: Metal can be as crazy and complicated as the highest levels of Jazz. Neither are easy to pull off as a player. As a singer, it’s not easy to pull off crooning well. So why not try to put the two together?
Damien: What you like should come through in what you play and write. Who the fuck can tell me that I can’t surf out and then go into some power chords?
Andrew: And we’re not one hundred percent gyro-beef-head fuckin’ metal either. We have rhythms that will make the girls shake their ass.
Aaron: And then shake my ass.
Andrew: We’re not completely blood-lust metal.
Damien: We want to kill!
Andrew: But rape first… or maybe just rape the dead. Anyway, we have a lot of influences.
Damien: There was no band meeting that was like “Okay, you need to wear all black. And you need to sing like ’waaaaaaah!’ And I need to step on a compression pedal.” Why do that? Challenge yourself. That’s why I like dudes.
Is the new album out? Can I buy it somewhere?
Aaron: You can buy it from us. It’s a special tour only type of thing. Here’s the long and short of it… Andrew threw down a bunch of his own money.
Jens: We threw down a bunch of his money!
Aaron: To go to the desert and record a record out at Rancho De La Luna with David Catching. It was great, it was awesome. Then we brought it back to New York to mix and master it with Joel Hamilton and then…
Damien: Nobody picked it up.
Aaron: We tried to shopping it. And they all passed on it… so far. The we said “fuck it” and printed some up ourselves and we booked this tour. At the last possible minute we get a call “we might want to throw some money at you, but you’ve got to stop what you’re doing.”
Andrew: They’re all like “Don’t release it, don’t release it!”
Aaron: So we said wouldn’t.
Andrew: They don’t know we’re releasing it on tour.
Damien: Don’t tell them!
Okay, I’ll keep it off the record.
Andrew: Fuck it, put it on there! Remember Damien likes dudes.
Damien: I’m trying to keep my options open.
Aaron: Even if we didn’t sell on tour, it probably would have leaked somehow anyway.
Damien: I’ll fuck your pets!
Aaron: Nobody makes money selling records any more.
Damien: We’re proud of it. It really is our best work.
Andrew: It combines a lot of surf and other heavy stuff that we do.
Damien: You know it’s real “risky.”
What’s the title?
Aaron: The Prime Motivator.
Any final words for the people of Los Angeles?
Andrew: Drink piss.
Damien: Yeah, drink piss.
Aaron: Nice signs.
The Giraffes play Monday at The Knitting Factory. Check out their music at MySpace or their official site: http://www.thegiraffes.com