Monday, June 30, 2008

Quality Audio

While digging around for Bob Evans video online, I stumbled across Dave G's new band with his wife,Tess-Quality Audio Noticed he was rocking a Milram cap in one photo and a Flanders cap in another. A couple other bike photos, and that was all it took for the intrepid reporters of WWDIS to spot another victim for the cycling/music interview series. Luckily Dave and Tess were cool enough to answer some questions. Read on.

WWDIS:What came first music or bikes?
Dave-Probably Music. My first real bike was around 2nd Grade, and I was listening to and getting early doses of music before that.
Tess. – I started out in grade school with a Schwinn cruiser all pimped out with lowrider chrome accessories that I bought with my babysitting money. My 6 older siblings hooked me up with their music early, handing down their Neil Young, Alice Cooper, and War records. By 5th grade, me and my friends would listen to rock tapes and shine up our bikes in my garage.

WWDIS:All time favorite records?
Tess. – too hard to pick, but let’s see. “The Kids Are Alright” by The Who, “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” by Dead Kennedys, “Love Supreme” by John Coltrane, any Bebel Gilberto, “Jersey Barrier” by Bob Evans, “Are You Driving Me Crazy?” by Seam, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” by Vince Guaraldi Trio, and “101 Italian Hits” by Chinchilla.
Dave – “Ben Hur” - Bitch Magnet, “English Settlement” – Xtc, “Nook” – The Notwist, “One Step Beyond” – Madness, “Aja” – Steely Dan (Tess. Don’t hate me!), “Everything Wrong is Imaginary” – The Lilys, “Fantastic Planet” – Failure, “Sensual World” – Kate Bush, “The Flowers of Romance” – Pil, “With the Quickness” – Bad Brains, “Mezzanine” – Massive Attack, “Dope Smoker” – Sleep, “Spiderland” – Slint (but of course, we owe it all to these kids).

WWDIS:Current favorites?
Tess. – any Beck or Kristin Hersh, “Lambs” by Jucifer, “The Con” by Tegan And Sarah, “Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3” by Nortec Collective.
Dave – Everything by The Lilys, “The Biz” – The Sea & Cake, The Bird and the Bee, The Radio Dept., “Secrets of the Lost Satellite” – Ken Andrews

WWDIS:Best live band(s) you've seen
Tess. – quick list: Big Country, 999, Slint, L7, Massive Attack, Throwing Muses, The Gits, Sahara Hot Nights, Chavez, Madness, Miles Davis at the Hollywood Bowl, Athlete, The Henry Clay People, Samiam, Low Vs Diamond, The Lilys.
Dave – Melt Banana, Massive Attack, Slint, Butthole Surfers, Bongwater, Rein Sanction, Kristen Hersh (Her last tour was amazing!), Bitch Magnet, Johnboy, Helmet, Dead Can Dance.

WWDIS:Bands before Quality Audio?
Dave- My first “real” band was Bob Evans. We were a post-punk/hardcore/thrash whatever you want to call it that put out records in the 90’s. After that, I was in a band called Raoul with my wife and Kirk Jamieson in Seattle. We released a few demos. I have been doing a recording project with a longtime friend (and fellow bike maniac) called Rebuttal, which is on hiatus at the moment, but we will put more stuff out eventually. We have released 5 cds over the last decade.
Tess. – I started in LA garage punk, then headed to the Northwest for Seattle-based rock fuck stuff, which included Danger Gens, a Throwing Muses meets Babes In Toyland outfit (who we played with a few times), Algae, and Bobbitt (a cross-breeding of metal and post-punk—new metal, I guess).

WWDIS:How did Quality Audio start?
Dave – My wife and I started this project as a vehicle to write and produce music from our own recording studio. Our focus is mostly on recording, though we are rehearsing for some LA shows down the road. Tess. and I have been collaborating since our marriage, which is going on 14 years now. We basically hang out all the time, and it made sense to start this project once Tess. finished her master’s degree this past spring.

WWDIS:Where were you a messenger?
Dave - I was a messenger in Seattle. Lots of rain, steep hills, good times.

WWDIS:What were you riding then? Fixed, geared, etc?
Dave – I was riding a funky Sakai hybrid at the time. It was a funky demo model frame I picked up when I worked for them. Fixed gear would have killed me with the hills, though I did see a few crazy messengers riding them.

WWDIS:What are you both riding now?
Dave – I ride a LeMond steel frame road bike and an old Bianci road bike, which I am in the process of turning into a fixed gear. I am not the best wrencher out there.
Tess. – I have this Giant hybrid-like ride—kind of road bike meets cruiser. Her name is Esmeralda. Henrietta La Chainlink, my main ride, is a steel frame, 3 speed Electra cruiser—a totally tough bici—holds her own in LA traffic and fucked up roads. I love it.

WWDISDo you race?
Dave – Nope. Do alley cat races count? (Absolutely-the ed)
Tess. – When we lived in Seattle, Dave did the annual Dead Baby race and other Seattle messenger races. My band Bobbitt played at the after party of a dead baby with Tad’s post-TAD band Hog Molly. Bobbitt was a total bike band, as Tonja, the lead singer, is a bici chick, too. We did things like organized an alley cat to end at my b-day bash show one year and gave bike gear to the winner.

WWDIS:Favorite bike past/present/future?
Dave – Probably my LeMond Tourmelet is my favorite bike. It is so tough and comfortable, great for long rides and can take the punishment of city riding.
Tess. – My first cruiser – she was red.

WWDIS:Favorite music on the bike?
Dave – I never listen to music when I ride. I live in LA and my full attention is on not getting run over by a giant Escalade. I prefer to be with my thoughts, I feel like on the bike is a place I can block out the rest of the world and get some good thinking done.
Tess. – ditto. It’s fucking balls out riding out here, but if you ride safe, it is totally fun and easy to navigate LA drivers, whom I’ve found to be very accommodating when I connect with them and let them know what I am doing.

WWDIS:Campy or Shimano?
Dave – Shimano but I would rather have campy. Maybe someday I will have the dream bike, but for now it is more utilitarian for me.

WWDIS:What would your dream bike be?
Tess. – I have mine!
Dave – Bellesi Steel frame, single speed, I have gone to heaven.

WWDIS:Favorite rides?
Dave - In Seattle it was the loop around Lake Washington. Maybe 60 plus miles, but if you do not map out your route it could kill you with the hills. Beautiful scenery and about half of it is on trails. Right now I am in LA, and I love climbing to Griffith Observatory for some hills and an amazing view of the city. I also love to ride on the Bellona Creek Wetlands trail which goes from Culver City to the beach, and then I swing into Venice Beach for some people watching and then back through Santa Monica back to Hollywood.
Tess. – Our night ride through West Hollywood to The Coronet (rest in peace as of 6/08) and El Carmen for a post-recording reposado night cap. The short ride to La Brea tar pits via hilly Curson to play bocce is a fun addiction, as are the all-day rides through LA in and out of the back streets.

WWDIS:Cyclo-core? Do you want to elaborate on this concept?
Tess. – “Cycling-core,” is actually what we call it J. It is an inside joke that has made its way into our vocabulary. I use it when people ask what we sound like. Basically, it is an inside joke on the too-serious use of music genre neologisms (“emotronic” for example). I think it is adorable how rockstars-in-training can be very precious about describing their sound—the concoctions almost negate themselves, which is just absurdist humor for me. Case in point: I love the list of choices Myspace gives you when you set up a music page—I change ours periodically because its fun.

So there you have it. Keep an eye out for new songs by QA and dig around and check out their older projects! Definitely stoked I stumbled onto this folks and things like this make myspace worthwhile!

1 comment:

danimal said...

excellent interview with some very lovely people...thanks!! By the way, Dave, I agree with you that Steely Dan's "Aja" is one of the greatest albums ever recorded...Deacon's Blues is my second favorite song of all time.