Q and Not U, 2005
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After a hectic year of touring and recording, Chris Richards of Q and Not U takes a break to reflect on 2004 as well as look to the future--of the band and of our country.
Big things have happened since last we spoke to Q and Not U in the latter portion of spring 2004. Since, you've recorded a new album, Power, toured the US as well as done some dates in Europe. Briefly, tell us a little bit about this time elapsed.
Not to get all 2004-Presidential-Debates on you, but I just wanted to say thanks for the thoughtful interview last spring and thanks for catching up with us at the dawn of the New Year. Okay, answering your question: I say this every year but I think 2004 has been our busiest 365 days. We played a million college shows at the close of winter, we wrote a record during the warm months, we recorded and mixed it in the hot months, we toured in the UK and South Africa in August, we released the record and toured the US in the fall, we had an amazing tour of Europe in December and we played a beautiful show in our native DC on December 30th. Now we regroup for a couple weeks and get ready to do it all again.
In our last interview, you mentioned that you were hoping to excite and surprise your fans with the new album. After listening to it, I personally would say that's true. This album is, in a lot of ways, a departure from the last. What was different during the recording sessions? Take us through, if you will, the recording of Power.
We recorded with our friends Pete and Rafael from the band SuperSystem--they recently changed their name from El Guapo. We've known these guys forever and have toured with them relentlessly so we felt like they had a very unique grasp on our music. They've only recorded their own bands in the past so everyone was learning on the spot and there was a lot of crazy energy going into it. The element of uncertainty really kept everyone on their toes. By the end of it, I think Rafael's diligence and Pete's know-how really helped us get the most out of the songs.
As for the lyrics, you had expressed interest in changing your pattern, becoming a little bit more direct in terms of a message. Given the social and political climate the United States is in these days, you certainly would not be hurting for material. Are you happy with how that has come out?
I always feel like I have miles to go but I'm still happy with the lyrics. Especially the lyrics to "Wet Work." When I first heard that term last year, it sounded like sex-slang but in fact, it's the CIA code word for the planned assassination of a foreign leader. I'm interested in the fact that national politics and human sexuality are both somewhat taboo in American culture. I think the paran
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