Strap yourself in for one of the most interesting PoP10 thus far from Mitch Friedland and Jack Rabid out of Springhouse. Enjoy…
1. Why play music?
Mitch: I always listen to music and really get inspired by listening to all different composers.
Jack: It’s by the far the most creative-visceral thing I do, and there’s a satisfaction in being creative with other people in concert (in both senses of the word) that’s like no other. And when people respond, openly and warmly at a gig, it feels like a warm bath of utter and all-encompassing joy!
2. Who are your influences?
Mitch: So many. But I do have Heroes ( not the TV show either) Let’s see, David Crosby, Paddy McAloon, Ralph McTell, Adrian Borland, David Sylvain, Emitt Rhodes, maybe in that order.
Jack: Anyone who is creative, smart, funny, and in direct terms of the band, anyone who writes and records songs I can’t stop singing along to. Examples: Beatles, Kinks, Hollies, Who, Wire, Catherine Wheel, For Against, Neil Young, Beach Boys, ahh, heck the list is too long.
3. What is success?
Mitch: It’s hard to gauge success as a musician. I mean as a father I feel I didn’t do a bad job with a really cool seventeen year old son. He likes Weezer. But, if someone comes to me and says he loved one of my chords or compositions it makes me feel like a success.
Jack: Music I am proud of, because I genuinely love hearing it those occasional times when I listen to something I actually played on. In a more general sense, it’s setting a goal to accomplish something, like a song, an album, a new issue of my magazine, or making my wife or child or my friends happy, and being satisfied by its accomplishment!
4. Why should people buy your music?
Mitch: Well it used to be buy. Now its download, steal, borrow or just listen to myspace. It may sound bitter , but it really isn’t. I like the fact that everyone is on an equal ground. If you do decide to buy I just hope it brightens your day, your life. I love to dance while no one is looking or play air guitar, drums to whatever music makes you love music in the first place. So, thats the satisfaction I get when you buy our cd. One other point is that I wanted Bruce Licher our cd designer, to make a piece of art that you would be proud to own and not want to throw out.
Jack: The Licher art is really big for me. It shows that we really care about the art of our music, and that we think the music itself is as creative and joyful and soulful and invigorating as the art. Too much product (and album art) is so disposable, so why indeed buy it when you can get it for free. We aspire to music that feels like a worthy art purchase, something lovely and moving to add to your life, like a good painting or a great book.
5. Who do you love?
Mitch: My family. My bandmates. Sandy Denny. SGI
Jack: Those who are dear to me, anyone who says something appreciative or encouraging about my magazine or band that I put so much heart, love, and work into, and so many great artists and thinkers who inspire me and make life spicy instead of mundane. Too much life is mundane, but with a little work, you find books, movies, people, nature, music, good coffee, etc etc and then you’re not feeling bored..
6. What do you hope to achieve with your music?
Mitch: That songwriting is still a craft and possibilities still remain. We don’t have to rehash rock and roll into a game for the xbox. Though I heard it’s fun. There is still ground to be broken like the new Joan as Police Woman cd. What’s next, Folk Band the game?
Jack: To make someone obsessed with one of our songs or albums the way I sometimes go crazy over a record, like that Sloan LP last year, Never Hear the End of It, that took over my life for weeks on end. It’s such a gift to my feelings when someone says we did that to him or her! I kid you not. My greatest memory was hearing the crowd singing along at our 2002 reunion gig in Washington D.C. What an indescribable feeling!! In order for them to know the words of an obscure-ish opening act, they really had to have loved our songs! Wow! Mitch once said in Rolling Stone he wanted our music to give people the “shiver affect,” and that is what I want too!
7. Who comes to your gigs?
Mitch: I hope young and not so young. It seems that people in their 40’s may feel that they are being pushed aside by the newer bands. Their music may not appeal to them. So, I hope that my music balances the old with the new.
Jack: Last time in 2002 it was an equal mix between older friends and fans glad for a chance to hear us one more time and chat with us after the show, which is just wonderful, and a whole bunch of people who said they regretted not having seen us before we broke up or having discovered us after! Including some teenagers who weren’t even born when we released our albums in 1991 and 1993! Whoah!
8. What is your favorite album?
Mitch: Really it would be by the decade and genre. I could say I was in love with Bryter Layer or Pet Sounds or Odyssey and Oracle. Later on Never Mind the Bollocks, Steve McQueen, McCarthy records. Leige and Lief. I still will listen to those Lp’s but other things take their place. I can’t get enough of the Honeybus right now and I love Grouper. I would love to do a Springhouse tribute to her music.
Jack: Ha, that changes every week. The closest thing I can come up with is the Kinks-Arthur or the entire Beatles catalog! Or how about Jerry Lee Lewis Live at the Star Club. Or Or Or Or ….
9. What is your favorite song?
Mitch: Maramalade- Reflections of my life. Played the hell out of that song as a teenager.
Jack: Oh, man, so many so many so many! How about I Am the Walrus? or What Do I Get? There are thousands!
10. How did you get here?
Mitch: Thats like saying how did you get From Now to Ok. Getting from now (which for me was my breakdown) to ok (where acceptance and a will to go forward). I prefer Ok.
Jack: I think my parents liked each other! (ta-dum) The rest was up to me. Other answer: I reinvented myself when I was just out of junior high school and became a punk rocker and took the name Jack Rabid. That was 30 years ago! I’ve been loving life for the most part ever since.
More information about Springhouse and its new album at its Myspace page.