Channel V, 1996
This week, we present an interview JABBA did with Ken Stringfellow and John Auer of the Posies, who toured Australia in July 1996. Ken and John met at school when they were 14 and 13 respectively and eventually founded the band. They’ve released four albums, ‘Failure’, ‘Dear 23’, ‘Frosting On The Beater’ (one of my favourite albums O.A.T.) and last year’s ‘Amazing Disgrace’.
JABBA: How ya doin? It’s the Jabbatron here, and I’m in a bit of a Posies sandwich at the moment. I have here Ken Stringfellow and John Auer. What’s your favourite place in the world to play?
KS: We do love Australia a lot, but I have to say that Spain pretty much rules, for the Posies. That’s been THE party-down, get-down, make-love place for the Posies.
JABBA: What do you tour with – do you have big vans full of guitars and stuff?
KS: We have an intense, huge expensive crew of two – we have a stage tech who’s been with us for years, who sets up everything and tunes our guitars and stuff, and we have a sound guy/money-handler and that’s all we need. Down here in Australia they provide us with a local guy who can understand what ‘cobber’ and ‘dunny’ and all that stuff means . . .
JABBA: Cobber and dunny, yes . . translator
JABBA: I’d just like to read a quote . . . well you already know it . . . this is a quote from Ken about stage-diving. He sticks his neck out here, and says, “there’s nothing more distasteful than a bunch of high-fiving white guys who think that being an annoying idiot is what punk rock is all about.”
KS: I think you should be a totally civilised idiot. And that’s okay.
JABBA: What do you think was the worst you’ve ever been heckled at a gig?
KS: Remember that Minneapolis show?
JA: Yeah, I was just thinkin’ about that one . . . we opened for . . . or rather, Blind Melon opened for us, and we kept making fun of Blind Melon, even though it wasn’t very nice, because we were just being kind of jerks, and we got up on stage and this guy started giving Ken attitude . . . Ken suddenly turned into Keith Richards and was just about ready to whack him with his guitar. [To Ken] But I think you showed excellent restraint . . .
KS: But then he was like, all confused, like, ‘I love you guys!’
JABBA: Here’s something I’d like to say. Nick Launay produced this record, but Steve Fisk has got a mention here (holds up CD). Who’s Steve Fisk?
KS: He’s a Seattle guy, he produced ‘Ontario’ – it was a late addition to the album and Steve Fisk produced the track. He’s in a band called Pell Mell and he plays in the Halo Benders and Pigeonhead, he’s in all sorts of groups, and Beat Happening. He’s an amazing keyboard player as well.
JABBA: ‘Ontario’ is the single off your current album, ‘Amazing Disgrace’, but there’s no video for it. Could you possibly explain this?
KS: Could we make one right now?
KS: Yeah, we want to make a video for ‘Ontario’ or anything really . . I mean, why not?
JABBA: What’s the reasoning behind not making one for ‘Ontario’?
KS: There is no reasoning behind it. Our funds are frozen because of our involvement with the government of Iraq, we had our bank accounts frozen.
JABBA: The Posies have a web site site on the Internet, and I read your postings of diary entries from when you were recording ‘Amazing Disgrace’.
KS: Yeah, there’s that, and I’ve posted stuff from tours and stuff like that, which is cool. I don’t know of any other band that does that much stuff. I know that other bands, like Poster Children, who have a web site, put a tour diary on it. But I think the Posies always go out of their way to give a lot of information to their fans, which is cool, which is what I’d want if I was a fan of a band.
JABBA: I’ve listened to your music and I’ve read all the stuff and everyone thinks you’re great. When’s it going to happen huge for you?
KS: Like six o’clock tonight.
JABBA: Six o’clock tonight, that’s what we wanted to know. You’ve been with me, and more importantly, the Posies. See you later.