Audiovent : Interview
Photo/picture by Raquel Vargas
Music Frisk’s Dave Dalka was caught up with the guys from Audiovent before their performance at Chicago’s world-famous Metro. His discussion included everything from future song-writing to striped donkeys to possible experimentation with surfing on Lake Michigan. Later that evening, Audiovent would go on to perform a great show, though you could tell that vocalist Jason Boyd’s voice was still not 100% from the cold he had a few days earlier. Highlights included guitarist Ben Ezinger battling through a song after a guitar string broke, and an acoustic version of “Sweet Frustration”.
MF: Last time we caught up with you guys, you were driving your own van dragging a U-haul. Now you are in this big-ass tour bus. How much has life changed for you over the past few months, and what new challenges and pleasures does that bring?
Jason: We graduated!
Ben: We sold more records which helped get us a bus. Having a bus makes touring a lot more enjoyable. It’s always fun no matter what, but when you have a bus you can really, really enjoy it because you can actually sleep. When you have a van you never sleep, ever.
Jason: That’s the biggest thing for me being able to relax and sleep, being able to climb in our means of transportation and it’s also our home; it’s also where our bed is.
Ben: It doesn’t feel like a moving car.
MF: Gavin Mackillop produced your album. Was it difficult cutting a modern rock album with a guy who has worked with the Goo Goo Dolls and Toad the Wet Sprocket?
Jason: Not really, he knows heavy music too. There’s heavy music he likes too.
Jamin: We met with at least ten different producers; a lot of them are the big Hollywood hot shots, or whatever. All we care about is the specific thing that we are looking for, it doesn’t matter who has that, it matter whose hand fits the glove.
Jason: He’s a sound guy basically and that’s why we chose him.
MF: Did you record more songs than are on the current album and if so, where might these be heard in the future?
Jamin: Yeah we did and no one will hear them.
Jason: Only we will hear them!
Ben: Actually there’s one that’s gonna come out.
Jamin: Yes, there were a few, but only one of them will be heard.
Jason: The other ones, they didn’t make the record and there’s a reason that they didn’t make the record.
Ben: There’s a song that we recorded that we knew we liked, it’s just that we have to work with it a little bit more.
MF: I’ve tried to analyze your album cover. What’s the idea of the zebra and a bottle of cologne?
Ben: (laughs) Smoke a joint and then look at it again.
Jason: I’ll help you with something here. It’s actually a donkey painted like a zebra.
MF: What’s the relevance of that?
Jason: We went to Tijuana for a photo shoot, a long time ago, and the first thing we saw was this donkey painted like a zebra. It was just sitting there eating some shit on the ground. We thought it was funny. The photographer we were with was like “Oh my god! That’s awesome! Take a picture of that!” Inside the album, there is also a picture of all of us sitting behind the donkey in the bleachers. Then the cologne bottle, we were just out of our minds in our van and thought cologne should be incorporated somehow.
MF: What do you like most; writing, recording, performing, or meeting the fans?
Jason: The whole thing man, the whole thing. They are all so different.
Paul: That’s what makes the dynamic of the band.
Ben: Writing is where you feel creative, but we also feel creative when we play live, because a big part of who we are is spontaneity in our personalities and in our music. We tend to change things up a lot when we play live and when we are writing.
MF: Do you like your arena shows, or do you prefer the smaller club shows?
Jason: They are so different that it is fun to do both.
Jamin: You know, you could be playing in front of thousands of people, and depending on how you feel, they could be going crazy for you. That can be an OK show. And then you could have a show with 100-200 people, and if there’s a different vibe for some reason, you enjoy it more.
Paul: I think it reflects off who you are playing for.
MF: Many old school fans express a sweet frustration by a lack of new material and kind of feel like they are in a lull. What are your views on this?
Jamin: We do everything for a reason and we weren’t satisfied with the songs on Papas Dojo. Because we’re not satisfied, but we knew they had potential, we wanted to take them to the height we thought the songs could go.
Ben: I’m sure people wonder why we didn’t just decide to write new ones and the reason is exactly what Jamin just said.
Jason: We had songs that we thought were really good and we wanted to be able to give them a chance in the light of day, cause they really never had that.
Jamin: It was like a painting that didn’t have the coloring in it, but we knew the initial drawing of it.
Jason: We could see where it could go, but we didn’t have the paint right.
Paul: We had a god-damn script but we didn’t have a director.
Ben: I think a lot of people on our next record; especially our old school fans and the new fans too, are really going to be surprised when they hear the new material and the growth from even Dirty Sexy Nights in Paris to where we are going to be going for our next record.
Jamin: That’s for sure!
Ben: We’re going to call it Columbus Masturbating. (laughs) I’m just kidding.
MF: What are some of your experiences in terms of weird, flaky fans or encounters?
Jamin: For us it’s weird just to go into restaurants and having them notice us and signing stuff. For me, that’s never going to be normal.
Jason: It’s fun. It’s a really interesting part of it. They go like, “why are they so kind to us”. It’s fun and if makes people happy, then it’s cool. It’s good to make people happy.
Paul: (laughs) Make them masturbate!
Ben: The best, the funniest thing, is the kids that come to your show early before you play and try to get you to sign stuff for them to sell on Ebay. They’re not even fans.
Jason: They don’t even have a ticket!
Ben: They don’t have a ticket, and they don’t even know anything about your band.
Jamin: But they know your single.
Ben: Yeah, they know your single. Then they get really mad at you when you tell them you won’t sign all of their stuff. They will come up with like five brand new drum heads or a brand new guitar, and say “Will you sign this man? I’m a big fan.”
MF: They don’t want you to put their name on it or anything like that, right?
Ben: Well, I won’t do that because I feel like…
Jamin: They’ll tell you that you can personalize it, then they’ll rub it off with alcohol.
Ben: It’s like, all we have is our integrity, you know what I mean? I’ll sign anything for fan, but these kids are pretty outrageous in how mad they get once you won’t sign it!
MF: What are your greatest passions that you have that you can’t do right now because of touring?
Ben: I’d like to go surfing. I’d really like to go surfing! I’d like to write, cook.
MF: I think we’ve got two-foot waves out there today on Lake Michigan, you could try.
Ben: Really? I would go.
Jason: Definitely cook.
Ben: I would like to write music man. I mean we write music on our tour bus, but we don’t have a whole band room and jam for a hour. That’s what we need to go do. We have a lot of new songs that we are messing around with and parts of songs. But once we get home and we get to just sit around and write, it will be beautiful.