The February CB show of the month is officially here and to celebrate, I have a fun interview to share with Brian Kelly, frontman of headlining act So Cow. A world traveler not yet weary, Kelly writes songs that are equal parts silly and sardonic and then drenches them in a dual coating of open mic melody and noise pop fuzz. His perspective is delightful and engaging, which you'll see in the Q&A below as we talk about his home bases in Ireland and South Korea, his dream openers and covers to play, and his plans for the new year.
1) Do your find your music influenced in key ways by either of the nations you are most intimately attached, Ireland and South Korea?
I don't think the music is specifically attached to those places, though there'd probably be a difference if I recorded in, I don't know, Finland in the middle of December. A few more minor chords, maybe. I lived in the middle of Seoul and on Saturday nights it looked all space age and stuff, so I'd walk around with my mp3 player listening to other bands, thinking I was getting inspired. Probably not though as I'd be too busy privately rocking out. Ireland doesn't really inspire anything, except for maybe seeing girls I used to like on the bus.
2) What are your plans for 2010?
Touring, pretty much. US, then EU, then UK, then US/Canada, then Ireland, then US, then EU. I'm hoping to release some 7" singles too, fairly regularly. But yeah, sweating too much on stage is the plan.
3) Say it was your birthday and you could headline your dream bill. Who would open for you?
If I could have two bands, I'd have Nobunny and...lemme think. Right now, Christmas Island. Of course, if this was a "living or dead" scenario, it'd be The Beatles, just to see if I could bother my arse raising my game.
4) I like that you embrace the idea of covering songs by other artists. Any songs out their you haven't tried your hand at yet that you are itching to do?
I really want to do this song by The Chills called Learn To Try Again...it was on a compilation of unreleased songs, all live versions. It sounds amazing though I have no idea what the lyrics are as it seems to have been recorded in a mic in someone's pocket. I'd like to cover the entire Kim Jung Mi album 'Now' at some point. I've done one of the songs already so need to get around to the other 9.
5) What was the experience like distributing your music in the US?
Fairly painless. Before I hooked up with TTT, I would just mail CDs out to anyone who wanted them for about $7. It's a bit easier now, thank christ.
6) Any memorable previous Cleveland experiences?
I played Tower 2012 two years ago...met Uno Lady and folks, got bladdered, someone called me Micky McMickMick and I ended up in a weird altercation with someone brandishing a Budweiser bottle. Last year I played Now That's Class, during a Cleveland Browns play off game...the Browns are the basketball team, right? Anyway, LeBron James was doing amazing work on the court and most people watched that instead.
To meet Brian and the rest of So Cow, be sure to hit the Beachland Tavern TONIGHT. Tickets are only $7, doors open at 8:30, and opening acts Shiny Penny and do their thing starting at about 9. If you go and dig the show so much you find yourself wishing you had some sort of concert memento, let me know. I still have a small number of posters left and would be happy to give you one. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the digital recreation of John G's handiwork below. Finally, if you skipped over that video posted above, go back and watch it. The music is good but the developments are quite bizarre and brilliant.
3 weeks ago