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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
  Artist Interview: Justin of Birdmonster
please give bassist Justin of Birdmonster a big round of applause, confetti, and cakes with sugary icing for braving Noise For Toaster's first artist interview. he was a great sport, both when we chatted him up after the band's amazing performance at Great Scott and also with our crazy questions. he gave some great answers that show his humor and personal writing style, which all of you should check it out in its prime at the birdmonster blog.

and forgive him his fluffernutter ignorance. he means well.

Noise for Toaster: None of you have a good bio available online, but all I want is the important stuff. Where are all of you from?
Justin: Us four birdmonsters were born in scattered parts of America, but all near one ocean or another. The band has never used anywhere but San Francisco as a homebase.

NfT: How about the first tape you bought as a kid?
J: The first tape I ever bought? Man. I wish I could say it was something hip or interesting, but I think it was Aerosmith's Pump. Although, you know, I still stand behind Janie's Got a Gun, but the rest is just noodly, large-mouthed rubbish. Sorry Joe Perry.

NfT: Cheesy, I know, but what has been the biggest influence on your personal music style?
J: We all come from different places musically, which is why I think we sound the way we do, by the way. There's no stated, agreed-upon vision.

I must point to London Calling as my personal, biggest influence. 2 discs, no bad songs and it's surprisingly complicated without ever sounding that way. Everything's so seemless, no one tries to do too much. If London Calling was a woman, we'd be married with four children, none of which would sound like Sandanista, hopefully.

NfT: Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, pirate or ninja?
J: Realultimatepower be damned: I choose motherfuckin' pirates.

NfT: On we go. Now, you're known for your explosive and high energy live shows. What's your performance mentality?
J: Every show I've ever loved (not enjoyed, but straight up adored) walked that line between musicianship & energy. I don't want to see you stand there seeing if your shoes are untied.

NfT: Any before-stage rituals?
J: We always, always shake hands. It's kind of three muskateers, I know, but it's important. We did it before every song on the album too.

NfT: Seeing as you even have a religiously-updated blog yourselves, what do you think about music/mp3 blogs influencing music in the future?
J: There's a few things I think are incredibly important about music blogs:
1- no review can ever properly describe a band. I'd rather get a nice, concise paragraph, and a sample. Let the listener make their own decision, not some guy who's favorite album, for all you know, might be Huey Lewis's Sports.
2- blogfolks tend to be really supportive and true to their tastes. I think some reviewers live to pan albums or won't love something they didn't hear about first whereas most blog writers we've met were just enthusiastic, honest fans.

Nft: What was your favorite tv show growing up? How about the theme song?
J: My favorite show always and forever will be the Simpsons. And Jeopardy has the best theme song ever. It's kind of maddening and it serves a purpose, namely, to stress out anyone who dares challenge Ken Jennings.

NfT: We watched you bang the shit out of a cymbal a couple of times on stage. How many cymbals do you go through a tour?
J: [drummer] Zach's cymbals last about 5 months, maybe. The ones [guitarist] Dave & I use are usually his old ones and they never, ever make it through a tour. It's more for everyone's enjoyment than for sonic reasons, since the one we're using now sounds like a dented garbage can.

NfT: Lastly, what everyone's dying to know, pbj or fluffernutter?
You scream at me for this, but I don't know what fluffernutter is. I'm partial to PB&Banana, the messiah of spreadable nutness.

- Thank you, Justin.

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