The Return of Rainer Maria
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friend... I think the song came out of like "what is the most important thing if the world is going to come to an end." And that song mentions the war and stuff like that. But it is very personal as well. Its about fear and reaching for what is worthwhile in life.
TWEED: Do you see that as an isolated thing or do you see yourselves as moving in that direction?
KYLE: I mean, there are plenty of new good protest songs to be written, I mean, that new Bright Eyes song, "When the President talks to God" thing, that's super cool. And it'd be cool if Rainer Maria were to write songs like that but traditionally, the territory of our work hasn't been overtly political but hopefully our work has a chance to be an example to people on the way that they live. I just have trouble when I sit down to write trying to address that stuff in three minutes when half the song is gonna repeat itself without sounding idiotic. Some people are really great at that but I'm not sure that that's is our particular gift. And I think that's fine. I hope then that we can use what position we have for the greater good.
WILLIAM: I think, growing up, in my experience anyway, a lot of it was always very direct and like "smash the state" and stuff like that--but it was always mediated. And I think that it's easier for people to relate to people talking about their fears and their concerns. They can relate to that a lot easier than someone screaming at them what to do and what not to do. I think it hits closer to home when someone can relate to what someone is going through in regards to political stuff that's happening.
TWEED: Well, its seems to me, regardless of your affiliation or how overt you might be, that just being a part of Indie culture in general, no one is going to confuse you as being conservative...
WILLIAM: Right. Right. You're preaching to the choir a little bit.
WILLIAM: But, even so, its good to keep it fresh in people's minds and make sure people are thinking about it.
TWEED: That's how all good political and social movements seem to begin.
WILLIAM: Right. Exactly.
TWEED: So, since we are on the topic of the lyrics--I read that the lyrics originally came out of late-night poetry workshops. Right?
KYLE: Not exactly.
KYLE: Caithlin and I met in poetry class--boring, who cares. But I was like, "we don't have enough time. I have to meet with Caithlin more so we are gonna have extra classes after class." So I organized this whole charade where I was like, "we're gonna have extra classes so everyone should come" and by week two or three, it was just me and Caithlin hangin' out. So that worked great and then we started a band and we needed lyrics so we looked at what we had...
TWEED: The lyrics--is it separate from the actual writing of the music? Do you write the lyrics first?
CAITHLIN: It's definitely changed over the years and now, I have ideas in the back of my head that I wanna write about but I am just waiting for the right music to come along so I can address these things.
TWEED: Is it collaborative? Do you work together?
KYLE: Its seems to get less and less collaborative. Like, on the new record, Caithlin seemed to have written all the lyrics. Sometimes, we'll talk about it, like "look at this" or something.
TWEED: So what is the genesis of a song? Is it collaborative?
KYLE: We take 'em any way we can get 'em.
CAITHLIN: Whatever is inspiring really.
KYLE: The last record, there was a lot of guitar and drums and Caithlin would come in with a bass line and change the whole song whereas this record, everybody put their time in as a collaborative.
WILLIAM: It's a little more painful that way but I think the results--for this la
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