Thursday, September 22, 2011

FAQ - The Distillers

(, May 2009)

You’ve been quoted as saying that the Distillers have not really broken up. Is this still the case?
I thought maybe I could buy myself some time to try and convince Andy to stay in the Distillers, but I decided against it as we were estranged for a few years, now back in contact and all's well. The Distillers is no more. It's been over for me for years now, going back would seem redundant.

(Rolling Stone, March 2009)

What ended the Distillers?

We all just grew out of it. We had gotten into some really unhealthy habits on the road that we brought home and kind of isolated us from each other. There was a lot of infighting and generally unhappiness. Except for Tony. He’s the one I felt the worst for, because he had just joined the band. He had been our roadie for six years, and we said, “Come play guitar!” and that was it.

Did you ever feel trapped in the Distillers sound?

I did feel like that was the end of the road. I felt like it was an era that was over, something in a time-capsule you find in the backyard. I want to make music that is really modern and progressive that you can’t pin down. The experience of growing up in the Distillers was incredible, and I would never take it back. But it just didn’t fit right now.

(Alternative Press, December 2008)

You've mentioned wanting to do a more "art-focused" project and have more creative control in this than the Distillers.

Well, I feel like with the Distillers we went under the punk-rock moniker and it's not that I don't love punk rock, because I do. Some of my favorite records are punk-rock records; It fucking says "Fuck off" on my arm. I still feel like a libertine. That hasn't gone away. But what has gone away is the fact that I used to censor myself or edit myself because I was too concerned with "the kids," as they say. Stuff I listen to nowadays is more art-focused, more experimental and more out there. Things like Ratatat, and a friend of ours, [U.K. electronica DJ] Adam Freeland did a remix of "Sex Bomb" [from the upcoming full-length] which I'm totally in love with. With Spinnerette, I stopped censoring myself or editing myself and...whatever it was, even if I felt a little embarrassed because it was too poppy or, for whatever reason, it felt good to just let it go and dig really deep.

When did you start to feel like you were losing some control with the Distillers?

I had creative control in the Distillers until we signed to a major record label and they were expecting things from us that had more to do with [artwork] that we were releasing. We had to make two covers. It didn't mean we couldn't release the cover that we wanted to--it just didn't end up in Walmart or fucking Target or whatever. But it was more of a personal censorship. I mean, of course they wanted me to [write] pop hits, or pop-punk or whatever. But I never really accepted that, nor would I ever indulge that. Coral Fang was an organic thing. [But] I'm talking more about censoring myself as far as creative control myself. I [was] controlling myself, and that had to go. This internal Jekyll and Hyde--[Laughs]--to put out a song or write a song and let it just happen.