Interview with Chris Douritas on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" KCRW-Santa Moninca, October 24, 1993
Chris: You guys are playing at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica with Downey Mildew and people can also check you at monday night at Raji's, which is actually a place you play at quite often, isn't it? Anna: No, we've only played there once before Chris: Just once before? Oh, I figured you've been there more than once, in fact, you played with Beck, didn't you? Petra: Yes we did Chris: Yeah, Beck has been on twice this morning, we played him Anna: He was on in my car too, I was listening to his tape Chris: That's a wild man, isn't he? It's great to see what he's up to these days Tony: I think about Raji's, the problem is we have so much vibe that when we play there once the vibe continues for a long time Chris: Right, right. Well I want to get into the area of the recordings that are going to be coming from that dog because this 7" has been quite successful in it's own, not only at KCRW, but really across the country with college radio, and also even in the UK because from hearing on KCRW, Geffen Records recently signed you, I happen to be a consultant with Geffen Records and I'm fortunate to be doing that and what that means is that I bring them some recording that I play on the air and in that pile of things was a recording by that dog, and they were so taken with you they signed you right off the bat there and then somehow somebody sent a tape to John Peel, right? Anna: You know what, we don't even know... Petra: Some how, John Peel got it Chris: John Peel is this great legendary british deejay who has a show on the BBC called the Peel Sessions, he's got the John Peel Show, and now a show that goes on as an import called Peel Out in the States and he somehow got ahold of your 7" and played it on his show and, the guy who runs 4AD records heard it from John Peel. Anna: Right C: I thought it was so interesting because, listening to John Peel, I heard that tape, and he said "I don't know who these guys are or where they come from, all I know is that the record label is in El Segundo" And the thing that made me laugh after he said that is, "For all I know it was recorded just around the corner from you" and I was listening going "...that's funny" And he just threw it on and apparently it caught Ival Watt Russel who heads 4AD records for the rest of the world, is that...? A: Yes, Guernica is the part of 4AD that we're on C: Now that seems like a dream come true to me, if I were an artist it would seem like... wow P: It's a dream come true for me! C: I know that you originally wanted to get on 4AD records so you kind of got you cake and your eating it too A: Yes, exactly
C: One of the first things, and I'm sure you're getting this a lot lately is that when people look at your last names they go, "hmmm, Haden... Rachel Haden... Petra Haden... are you any relation to Charlie Haden?" And, of course, you are, right? R: Happy birthday Charlie C: Is today his birthday? P: Yeah, he's 56 today C: Well Charlie Haden has triplet daughters and two of them are in the studios, part of the band, and Anna Waronker, your father, your name is actually well known in the movie industry from your grandfather even Who's your grandfather exactly? A: Si Waronker C: And what did he do? A: He produced a lot, he had Liberty Records, he did everything C: And your father runs Warner Bros. records, oviously it must have occured to you at some point that maybe we should change our names or something like that A: Yeah, but you know, I'm proud of him and I don't need to hide it C: Yeah, but was there ever any interest in Warner Bros. at all 'cause you would think that... A: Never R: Never C: It would seem that that would be the obvious question that... A: Yeah, no I mean, I ran into somebody who said, "Why arn't you signed to Warner Bros.?" well, they never called C: Well even if they called I suspect that you would.... A: Probably not I don't think I could take a meeting with my father, that would be strange T: Our biggest connection was probably through my father... A,P&R: (laugh) T: ...not many people know, Dr.Maxwell has actually examined many of the famous musicians and executives that we've had in the southland for many years C: What does your father do? T: He is an internist, specialized in internal medicine and hyper tension so A,P&R: (more laughter) T: A lof of musicians have hyper tention... you see the connections here... ...I'm babbling C: How long have you guys been playing as a band? P: A little over a year C: A year, it seems like when a band first gets together some time has to pass before they develop an identity, you know, don't you think? Cause you know, they get together and start doing some songs, maybe some original things, and then they start developing this sound, but for me, when I first heard this 7", there was an immediate sound there and I wonder if you can attribute that to some of the musical background that maybe Petra and Racheal have with your father... P: Harmony, that's the key! C: That's the key behind that dog? A,P&R: Yeah C: And does that come from Charlie Haden? He taught that to you? P: Well, just growing up with him and listening to his records, the Haden family, and getting together, family functions, it just like developed C: cook outs... reunions... R: barbeques... R: I think being around music really inspired all of us our whole lives and singing and playing is how we do it C: Now a lot of the songs come from your mind, right Anna? Don't they come out of you initially? A: The basics come out of my mind C: And then as a band you guys bring the harmonic aspects to it? A: Usually, yeah, I mean usually I write harmonies by myself but I mean, a lot of the time, it's all of us, and then all the instruments and everything too, but I think all of it together makes it what it is T: We don't really have a song until that harmonic convergence happens
R: Yeah we just finished (recording the album) the other day P: Lots of hard work at sweat... A: We mixed it ourselves which we're really proud of C: Really? A: Well, with our engineer, Tom Grimley C: You've been really busy I guess 'cause you were at New Music Seminar just a week or two ago and came back and finished the album. So when is it going to be out? A: We're shooting for the middle of November C: That quick? My gosh! P: ...or Rocktober A: We wanted Rocktober C: That's fantastic, I didn't realize you were going to have such a quick turnaround, that's really unheard of, isn't it? R: It might be record breaking, we don't know P: ... but don't break the record (laughter) C: You guys are giddy! They're not quite awake yet, I can tell.
C: Now, that dog, was that the first idea for the name of the band? A: Well actually, the name came before the band C: Really? A: Yeah, I was driving down the street with my friend and we saw this dead dog on the side of the road and I got the chills and said, "that... that dog" and she said "oh, what a good band name!" C: Yeah, cause there's already a band called The Chills (sarcastic laughter) C: ...I don't get that opportunity very often A: Petra brings it out in people C: that dog, what a great name for a band, I see, and you didn't stop to help the dog or scrape him off or A: No, It was REALLY dead
C: This is actually my favorite song, this next one, ("You Are Here") it's a new one that people probably havn't heard unless they've seen you live, and this is really Beatles influenced isn't it? A: Well, not the music but all the lyrics are Beatles titles C: What inspired you to do that? A: Well, I wanted to write a love song, I figured they write the best ones so I might as well piece them all together
C: Have you come to a point where you're ready to give up your day jobs? I know that Tony's a waiter, right? T: Two weeks notice, two days ago A: Oh, congratulations! C: Really, you're quitting your job? T: It's a wonderful thing, yes C: So now you can devote your time entirely to the band T: Yep, music and meditating, that's about it
A: (talking about school) I hope to study film if they'll let me in the program C: Really, so you wanting to get into the film program, to do what? A: Just study film theory and things like that C: Do you hope to work in that medium at some point? A: Well, eventually I'd like to do soundtracks, something involved with that C: I see, what attacts you to that medium? Just the creative aspects of it? The fact that you have a blank canvas? A: Umm, I guess, I don't know, I've always just loved films and television and I like watching things, experiencing other things C: Do you think that the songs you write have a visual aspect to them because of that? A: Umm, no C: The rest of the band is shaking their head yes A: Yes? It doesn't happen for me, for me it's a different thing C: Really? Is it more of an internal thing? A: Umm-Hmm C: Wow, are there particular soundtrack composers that appeal to you? P: I have some P: I like John Williams, Superman soundtrack, Star Wars... A: I think that Stuart Copeland does really good soundtracks and I think Randy Newman does beautiful ones also P: ...the music to Orlando, I just got that and we listen to it all the time T: Waynes World... (laughter)