“There are songwriters that I know now that are so incredible and can write songs that can just make me cry. Willie Tea Taylor, Tom VandenAvond, Soda, Konrad, These guys write songs that I can’t even…it’s like Townes Van Zandt. To where they can get to the bare bones of something and write this song that even though it can be very personal to them, it becomes very personal to you. So all this does is try to make me grow as a songwriter. And so I’m challenged constantly. Every time I run into those guys and I hear a new song, I’m like, ‘fuck!’ I got to step it up a notch. …Also, musically I’m a huge Butthole Surfers fan. Lyrically, understanding vocal patterns, the use of continent sounds and how each word sounds differently. It has its own music of tonalities with words so you can say a word and it sounds different then if you said a verb. Everything sounds different – and then being able to put that into song structure and being able to use that. Like, I got a new one and I use the word ‘wedding ring quilt’ which is a quilt pattern. …Which, I don’t know why the hell I know that, but the thing about that is all of a sudden you’re thinking about more things then just a quilt. You’re thinking about marriage, you’re thinking about whatever. And being able to use phrases like that, I actually learned from Beck, believe it or not. If you get One Foot in the Grave, it’s incredible. Then there’s all the others: Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, the Minute Men, I could just list and list forever. The Ramones are incredible. The decedents….”
“There’s a root scene again. And it’s the next thing. And even if it’s not the next big thing, it is the next thing. It’s using music to be something different, then just pop on the radio or background music. It means something.” – JEREMY MARCANTI
“It’s really hard to justify the time and effort, when there really is very little money involved. It keeps my mind active into something creative and wonderful. The whole creative process with the band, even when we’re just messing around…just playing stuff, it keeps an element of my mind active that stagnated even in college, even when you’re supposed to be at your most creative or your most original. When you don’t have anybody actually judging you and you’re on the same page creatively, then you can all bring different elements to it. We all have different tastes in music. We all bring different things to the table and the creative process is addictive. I could not live my life with out this creative process. And I’ve tried it with other bands and I’ve tried it with other musicians and it can become so narrow. But with Hashknife you feel like you can bring anything to the table. I mean I can bring my classman, I can go ahead and play a traditional Chinese melody or Jeremy can bring punk in or metal or old school rock and there’s no limits. They all contribute to the song writing process, which Jeremy writes the songs but it’s the actual dialogue and dynamic of the band that creates the final product. And I love that. The fact that we have all these musicians that have come through. We have a bunch of different bassists. We’ve had three different drummers. So, there’s a lot of different things coming in andit’s addictive just being able to create something new and have that dialogue between different musicians, all having the completely same desire to create something new together. I love it. I couldn’t go without it.” – LAURA DUDLEY
If you ever want anything to happen with your band ever, if you ever want more to happen then just playing shows and having your friends show up, you gotta travel. You have to tour. We have friends now that play music from Portland all the way down the coast of California, Colorado…[Denver, Albuquerque, Texas, Lafayette, New York, Oklahoma], there’s a bunch of great people. So just from playing here locally we’ve set that up for ourselves and I feel like even if it doesn’t create anything for the band, it’s just that we have that ability. We should really take off with it. And that’s just as far as: growing as a band, getting out to more people, and sharing music with more folks, because that’s all that matters. I want to play music. I want to have a good time. …Traveling is a really good time, so of course I want to go on tour! You get to meet new people, sleep on couches, check out sites and freeways…it’s awesome. Locally though, something that I’ve strived for even with the Red Mountain Drifters, something that’s really important, is that I love living in Tempe. I have so many friends here in Phoenix, but we’re always the town that people come here and they play on a Thursday or they’ll play on a Sunday or a Monday, after they’ve played through other way cooler towns…and a lot of times, even now it’s happening again, where people are skipping us all together. It’s happening more and more and so we need to create that communal environment so people will come out to shows and then people from out of town will show. Like Tom’s show the other night, that place was packed. Well, what that does for Tom is it not only makes it viable for him to keep touring and making money, but he has a hell of a time and he wants to come here again soon. So he’s playing here in less then a month again because the show was so awesome. And that’s the huge thing too, is bringing people out to enjoy the music, creating that environment for folks, and then creating that environment for the musicians coming through. If you guys have paid attention to how many times Reverend Payton comes through, it’s because he has great shows every time. He’s here, like twice a month. I feel like he’s more a local band then we are! But that’s what it is. And so, it’s building that environment. It’s getting and sharing that music. And anything that’s shared with me I want to share. Like Good luck thrift store outfit is probably one of my favorite bands right now and luckily I’ve heard it. And luckily, I can give it to people and then other people have heard it too. Now I don’t know if they’ll come through or not and it doesn’t matter because we’re getting that music out there. So, those are my big goals.
Plus, I want to be like, MTV Cribs style with leopard sheets and three or four different kinds of Porsches and Ferraris…a swimming pool that’s outside…and inside. Yeah, that’s all the stuff I really want to have happen with my music. *Snickers.*
With Hashknife, you know, it’s not punk rock anymore. So I’m no longer hiding behind distorted guitars and starky lyrics you know. It’s still the same thing. It’s like, three chords, but I feel like I can be a lot more expressive. So, whether it’s the tonality of the song or lyrics, you can actually understand what I’m singing. Maybe. If you listen to it, and that’s nice because I do enjoy the story aspect.
I do it because of the relationship it builds with other musicians, I could name names, but it’d be longer then your whole video would be. Being able to play with musicians here, being able to play with the musicians that come through. I’ve created these amazing moments to where I’m sharing something with people all across the country. Whether it’s the 52-week club and we’re all writing the same songs or whether there’s like four guys from all across the country and we’re sitting in my back patio and we’re playing and trading songs. That fulfills me and makes me happier then anything else and it’s why I continue to do it.”- JEREMY MARCANTI
“I love playing in the band. It’s fun. It’s fun on stage. And…I just really like the songs. And I do believe it can go some place. Whether I get to be along for the entire ride or not,I just want it to go as far as it can. I like being a part ofcreating Jeremy’s ideas and songs because I think he’s really good.” – BOB TAYLOR
*All interviews taped & transcribed by Britton Zogg