The Return of Rainer Maria
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Shortly before their performance at the Northsix, Caithlin, William and Kyle of Rainer Maria sat down with Tweed to discuss their new album.
TWEED: Basically, before we start discussing new material and the new album, I want to bring up the Plea For Peace Tour--you did that one show with Cursive at the Bowery. In my opinion, that was a really important thing. Now, here we are in 2005. Bush is back in office. It's an interesting climate. Maybe you guys could just talk a little bit about the current state of our nation.
CAITHLIN: We were all joking about moving away but I think it affects us all personally--on a really small scale. My sister is a lesbian with a baby and, you know, they are trying to fight against same-sex marriage for instance. It's hard for me to think on the big scale because it seems so out of control.
TWEED: That's interesting because, have you heard about Gerald Allan in Alabama? He is pushing this bill that is going to end state funding for any kind of books that portray homosexual behavior in a positive or respectful light.
CAITHLIN: Yea, I did hear about that. I mean, should we just split up?--like the Red and the Blue states?
KYLE: For me, it sorta feels like I'm living in Germany in the 1930's. How long do I sit when I disagree, you know? It's like, just sitting here is complicit in some way...
WILLIAM: Right, yea.
KYLE: And it's staggering. I mean, it's hard to say. What little steps could I take today. I don't know where the breaking point is for me. When do I run?
TWEED: Now, you say just being here somehow makes you complicit but here, with the Plea for Peace show you played, you clearly did something to show how you felt. Do you see that as something you guys are really interested in to voice your opinion?
WILLIAM: It's funny because we recorded this new record up in Kingston in New York and we took the day off on Election Day to go and call people in Ohio and Florida to get them to go out and vote and, if they didn't have a ride--to help them get a ride to the polls. And we were in the middle of trying to get this album recorded and putting everything into it. But still, we took the day off because we knew this was so important--even more important than even our art, which is, of course, the most important thing to us personally. But we took a day off to try and make a difference.
TWEED: Now, that's really awesome. Do you feel like that atmosphere, being smack-dab in the middle of recording--do you feel it affected how you were playing? How you guys wrote and put together your songs?
KYLE: I think it affected the mood of the entire recording session. Malcolm--he's very political--Canadian. I think the whole situation in the United States was even more foreign and more strange to him. He was always talking about it and there was always discussion. But whether it made me strum my guitar up rather than down-strung, it'd be hard to say.
WILLIAM: Right, I don't think that it is something that is tangible but might come out in ways that we just wouldn't even know.
CAITHLIN: If anything, the recording was a way to escape all that, a way to do something and feel positive.
TWEED: Overall, lyrically, you focus a lot on the personal. Do you ever think of incorporating political ideas?--Maybe not overtly but maybe the personal as political?
CAITHLIN: Oh yea, definitely. There is a new song we have called "We Are Architects" and it came out as this string of nightmares I was having this past year before the elections that the world was coming to an end. My only motive was to find the people that I loved and tell them that I loved them. It may sound sappy but I wanted to see my mom, I wanted to see my boy
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