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BowieNet Live Chat Transcription - 10/12/01
with Mercury Rev

Session Start: Monday Dec 10th 19:00:00 2001

Moderator says: Hey everyone. Good to see you all here. Mercury Rev is ready to rock and roll. So, let's start off with a few questions from David...

David Bowie asks: How did you settle on TV to do the string arrangements?

Mercury Rev answer: It was a funny lark, actually. A mutual friend of Tony's had suggested, that we work with him. And of course we wanted to, but we weren't sure if he'd be interested without hearing our music. So we sent him a demo tape of the song "Chains" and he was kind enough to give us a response saying that he'd love to work on it with us. And from there, it was about an hour, as the crow flies, from our neck of the woods to his own.

Moderator says: Tony Visconti has a few questions he'd like to ask as well. We'll have David and Tony alternate...

Tony Visconti asks: What was it like working with Tony Visconti?

Mercury Rev answer: It was like being in the studio with our favorite uncle.

David Bowie asks: Do you consider your work more slanted to the surreal or the symbolist?

Mercury Rev answer: The surreal would be a manifestation of the symbolic on this physical, dense, matter plane.

Tony Visconti asks: Who are your influences, modern and classical? Don't censor yourselves about what may be considered cool and uncool.

Mercury Rev answer: Classical influences would be Giya Kancheli, the late Beethoven string quartets, and the Gorecki Third Symphony. Also, 1950's doo-wop.

David Bowie asks: Have you ever played Johnny B. Goode or Louie Louie?

Mercury Rev answer: Only in sound check - but we only know 2 out of the 3 chords.

Tony Visconti asks: What to you think of The Flaming Lips? Do you consider yourselves to be in the same category?

Mercury Rev answer: Yeah, we love the Lips very much. So yeah, we're in the same category as far a being passionate about making music.

David Bowie asks: If you had to live outside of the USA where would you choose (and why)?

Mercury Rev answer: The Marianas Trench - because it's deep, and so are we; and we enjoy working under pressure.

Tony Visconti asks: What do you attribute to your success, since you avoid labels like rock, pop and hip hop? Where do you fit in?

Mercury Rev answer: We attribute our success to honest and sincere music coupled with a desperate, "nothing left to lose" attitude. As fas fitting in goes, we make music that is good for anyone ages 5 and over.

David Bowie asks: Do you ever listen to the radio and if so, what ?

Mercury Rev answer: We listen to a lot of classic rock radio in America.

Tony Visconti asks: My girlfriend says some of your songs are unabashedly romantic. Are you okay with that description?

Mercury Rev answer: YES!! We love romance. That's what it's all about.

Mercury Rev answer: Those were some really great questions from David and Tony. Much thanks to both of you for putting this together for us. Now, let's get down to answering your questions now. Fire away...

zeuben asks: "How long have you guys been together?"

Mercury Rev answer: We've been together since 1990. We formed in Buffalo, NY.

totalblamblam asks: "Hallo Revs...Total Blam Blam here. Firstly, thanx for two of the finest albums I've heard in recent years and some great live shows (Electric Ballroom and The Forum this year)... I know you've released cover versions as diverse as Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and John Lennon, and you've even tackled songs like 'I Only Have Eyes For You' and 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head'... but have you ever considered recording a Bowie composition, and if so, which one?"

Mercury Rev answer: Grasshopper says: I actually recorded a rendition of "Memory of a Free Festival (the sun machine)" a few years back for a Bowie compilation. Look for it on eBay

dbfan1847 asks: "David likes, your music, do you like David's music? If so, what songs are among your faves?"

Mercury Rev answer: Hunky Dory is probably one of my favorite albums ever... Jeff Grasshopper loves Ashes to Ashes

kjgl asks: "you seem to have become a little more... how can I put it 'serene'.... or 'quieter' of late. Any particular reason?"

Mercury Rev answer: turn up your stereo and it gets louder.

ziggy1986 asks: "Is this gonna start soon?"

Mercury Rev answer: It's begun... Grasshopper and Jeff here...

dbfan1847 asks: "Hey! How do you feel about David liking your music? Do you listen to any of David's music? and if you do, what are some of your fave songs by him?"

Mercury Rev answer: Yeah we love David's music. Some of our favorites are: Jonathan - duet with Bing Crosby, Jeff - Quicksand from Hunky Dory, Grasshopper - Ashes To Ashes

spaceface asks: "Jonothan, you know that "transported" look you get at the end of your songs? What are you thinking? I love the way you look so happy!".

Mercury Rev answer: I'm usually thinking "I only played 3 clunkers and sang two flat notes... not bad. Big improvement on the night before"

Giacomo_v asks: "It would be gorgeous if you made an album together with David or were the opening act for next David world tour. I know 'All is dream'... but can this dream come true?"

Mercury Rev answer: Making a record with David would be a dream. Touring with him would be unbelievable. I wonder if David likes doowop music as much as we do...

Giacomo_v asks: "Is there anything in particular about Bowie (albums, songs...) which has influenced you in writing songs?"

Mercury Rev answer: I suppose the desperation and romance of David's voice is something timeless and un-erringly beautiful. And though it's difficult, we do our best always to manifest this quality both in Jonathan's singing and the arrangements that accompany it

Giacomo_v asks: "You are a mix of the best music of the last thirty years, from Beethoven to Sonic Youth. Thank you for the incredible songs you write. They are eternal. Is there any songs you really wish you have written?"

Mercury Rev answer: I Only Have Eyes For You Heroes It Was A Very Good Year When You Wish Upon A Star

bianca asks: "When did you started to play music?"

Mercury Rev answer: When I realized my back hurt from digging holes

mannanan asks: "Are you afraid of the cookiemonster too?"

Mercury Rev answer: Fear is for muppets

xothique asks: "Hee hee - describe your music in three words to someone who has never heard any of your songs..?"

Mercury Rev answer: chicken, badger, horseshoe

Giacomo_v asks: "I went to Milan gig in October and it really was one of the best concert I've seen in my life. Are you planning to come back to Italy soon?"

Mercury Rev answer: You bet, there'll be four or five shows coming up this spring

aleczandah0 asks: "Why doesn't your music have more chainsaws in it?"

Mercury Rev answer: We've lost our Stihl endorsement

taco asks: "Do you support live taping of you gigs? If so, mark it on the tickets.".

Mercury Rev answer: Yes, we're trying to get the word out, but some days it's hard enough just getting out of the bunk

merzbau asks: "Hoy! Good to see you around!! Sean, are you coming to Oslo for Christmas?? I got the Bukowski CDs for you...".

Mercury Rev answer: Yes please burn them for me

ziggy1986 asks: "What are you favorite movies?"

Mercury Rev answer: Grasshopper - Treasure of Sierra Madre Jeff - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Jonathan - Ol' Yeller

marianne1 asks: "Grasshopper - why are you called that?"

Mercury Rev answer: Read Cain's book by Alexander Trocchi

Giacomo_v asks: "If you had to choose a David song to perform with him on stage, what would it be?"

Mercury Rev answer: I Only Have Eyes For You, - When You Wish Upon A Star

aucourant asks: "Does digging holes humble an artiste?"

Mercury Rev answer: No but it runs up the doctor bills

simone asks: "Do you have pets?"

Mercury Rev answer: Between the three of us we have two peacocks, 3 highland cows, 14 snakes, 1 llama and a gaggle of bats

andromache asks: "What is your favourite pasta shape".

Mercury Rev answer: Grasshopper - bowtie, Jeff - fucilli, Jonathan - enneagrammo

bianca asks: "How would you describe your music? I read that you formed your band at the beginning of the 80s. Have your called yourself the New Romantics?"

Mercury Rev answer: We actually considered "the old semantics"

simone asks: "Can you tell us a really cool joke?"

Mercury Rev answer: A gynecologist walks into a barber...

ziggy1986 asks: "How high are your doctor bills? :-)\~".

Mercury Rev answer: Think Ken Kesey and the electric kool-aid acid test how high is your doctor, Bill?

ziggy1986 asks: "If you could do anything you wish, what would it be?"

Mercury Rev answer: Persuade Judge Feeney that what happened that fateful night at Stanley's was not so much a felony, but more of a misdemeanor

ziggy1986 asks: "What are some of your favorite books?"

Mercury Rev answer: Grasshopper - The Gospel of Thomas, Jonathan - The Hypostasis of the Archons, Jeff - Ape & Essence.

aleczandah0 asks: "What's it like being the most boring and miserable band in the world?"

Mercury Rev answer: I don't know, you'd have to ask the Manic Street Preachers.

ziggy1986 asks: "3 in a row! Tic Tac Toe!"

Mercury Rev answer: Well thanks everyone, we'd like to thank David and his website as well as Tony Visconti. We've got a show to play now, we'll see you real soon.. Jonathan, Grasshopper & Jeff

Moderator says: Mercury Rev has left the building.

Session Close: Monday December 10th 2001

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Created: Dec. 2001 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 12/12/01