New Science Projects

New Science Projects Session - June 2009


Session Date: June 02, 2009
Artist Hometown: Denton, TX
Links: NSP Bandcamp, Facebook
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

Note: This is an older session and may not exactly follow the “3 Questions / 3 Songs” format.
[soda can being opened]
Michael Briggs: Okay! We’d like to thank Dale Jones from New Science Projects for joining us, and I would like to ask you a few questions, if that’s okay? [silence] Do you approve of that?
Dale Jones: Am I supposed to?
MB: You’re supposed to approve.
DJ: Oh, okay.
MB: Alright. First, how long have you–
DJ: I didn’t approve, though.
MB: Well, will you approve, please?
DJ: I approve.
MB: Thank you. Appreciate that. So how long have you been performing under the name of New Science Projects?
DJ: Too long.
MB: Too long…okay.
DJ: I’ve been doing it for a while now. I guess since I quit playing in another band.
MB: What was that band’s name?
DJ: That’s top secret information. I won’t reveal it to anyone.
MB: Oh, okay. That’s understandable. So who were some of your favorite bands growing up?
DJ: Growing up, honestly, I didn’t really listen to music while I was a child. Although I did…I had a CD sort of similar to a Kidz Bop, but it wasn’t really. Can I say copyrighted names on here?
MB: Uh, yes.
DJ: It wasn’t a Kidz Bop, but it was from this… I don’t know if you remember this radio station. It was like a children’s radio station around here before Radio Disney. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it used to be like the only thing my mom would let me listen to. We used to get these monthly CDs from them, and it was all like “feel happy groovy” stuff.
MB: Alright. So, tell us about your new 7-inch record, Poison Culture. What does the title mean or represent?
DJ: Well, not to get too, like, cloudy and pretentious about it, but I sort of stole the concept from this zine I was reading while I was traveling called Sobriety and the Anarchist Struggle, which is such a ridiculous title. It’s just like a concept of how culture at large is slowly poisoning everyone. You know, not that it’s a negative thing, really. I think some people probably deserve to be poisoned.
MB: So how did you end up getting the luxurious Ryan Thomas Becker to play electric guitar on the song “IED Dreams”?
DJ: Well, me and my good friend Michael Briggs, who I do most of my recording with, called them on his cellular telephone, I believe, and asked him if he would do it. I had already recorded a bunch of, umm… [violently clears throat]… a bunch of “Wooos!” and stuff I kinda wanted it to sound. And he just, he did it. He’s a master. He just came in and did it in like two takes.
MB: But there’s four layers.
DJ: Well, there’s more than that. But he did…I think Michael Briggs turned some of them off, maybe. I don’t know if I was supposed to say that.
MB: [laughing] So with only a few exceptions, you play all of the instruments on your records. Is there a reason for that?
DJ: Well I can’t depend on anyone else, mostly. Or maybe I’m paranoid and feel like I can’t depend on anyone else. I don’t wanna have a band and stuff because I feel like nobody really cares about it except me, which is reasonable. It’s not like we’re gonna make any money or anything. You know, so rather than get other people involved and have to call around and have them say, “Well, I gotta do this or that, this or that,” I just do it by myself. You know, not…you know.
MB: So tell us about the record release show this Friday at J&J’s. Who all’s playing, and what’s going on with that?
DJ: I don’t know. It’s kind of a mess, really.
MB: Oh yeah?
DJ: Yeah, like someone I know talked me into playing this other show before it. One of my, I guess, heroes if I were to have such a thing, is gonna be playing the show. He’s from out of town, so he’s gonna be sitting around J&J’s all day before it starts. It’s gonna be a great show.
MB: So I’m gonna have to awkwardly talk to him for a while.
DJ: Well my good friend Michael Briggs will probably have to. He couldn’t be here tonight.
MB: That’s a shame.
DJ: It’s Real Live Tigers, it’s Kids of Cons solo acoustic, it’s Dust Congress fresh from the road, and it’s myself. I might have some surprises involved, too.
MB: Cool. So what is the most memorable show that you’ve played on your previous tours and other cities outside of this one?
DJ: Honestly, I don’t really remember shows very well. I get into like this state where I’m pretending like I’m not there so hard that I end up not remembering. [laughs] But the most memorable person I met is probably this guy named Frank, who I met in Jamestown, New York, who tried to convert me to Christianity while converting me, or trying to convert me to, this bizarre, like, Neo-Nazi political stance, like in the same conversation. And he had a Swastika tattooed on his hand. And he was telling me how Jesus Christ had led him to Adolf Hitler as the representative of Christ on Earth. And it was one of the most uncomfortably awkward conversations I’ve ever had in my entire life.
MB: So what cities are you most looking forward to playing on your upcoming tour?
DJ: I love Fayetteville, Arkansas, because it’s beautiful, especially in the summertime. [clears throat] And I love to go east in the Summer. I love all the people up there. I love all the smells, especially. There’s some heavy scent that way.
MB: From your experience touring and such, how does the Denton music scene compare to other cities you’ve played in?
DJ: Well, Denton is definitely much larger musically and broader in scope. But I find the smaller communities are a lot more tight knit, and there’s a lot less inter scene – I saw that on MySpace a few weeks ago – inter scene fighting and pointless stuff than there is here. I think we’re just a little overcrowded, perhaps. Everyone feels like they’ve gotta get to the cheese, even though the cheese is 40 minutes south, 3 hours south, or 1,000 miles to the east or west, depending on what you’re trying to do. I think everyone’s got a little bit too big of a head around here, honestly.
MB: So what is the songwriting process normally like for you?
DJ: Geez. Well, it’s basically like I…I sit down with the guitar or the Dobro in my hand, and I try to imagine that I’m not actually playing it. I don’t know, I don’t really think about anything. I’m usually like on, and I’m reading like Zach Parsons articles and just strumming away at stuff. Stuff comes out.
MB: So what is your goal in recording albums, playing live shows, going on tour? What are you trying to achieve what that? What’s the point?
DJ: You know, everyone asks me that same question.
MB: And?
DJ: I try not to answer it.
MB: Why is that?
DJ: ‘Cause they’re always looking for some kinda “Gotcha!” I learned that question from a former presidential candidate.
MB: [laughs]
DJ: But anyway, I don’t really have any plans. I try not to think more than a month in the future just because I’m very terrified of the concept of getting older. And also deathly afraid of death, as it were. I don’t like the idea of getting old and gray and toothless and feeble and shitting myself while watching Matlock re-runs.
MB: So how do you feel about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor? Any thoughts on her?
DJ: Well…I wish that our politics were not, and our culture at large, our poison culture… Ha ha!
MB: Ohhh!
DJ: Were not in such a…oh yeah…were not in such a position where politicians felt compelled to choose people on more than their actual experience and ambitions. But we don’t live in that world, and I don’t think we will for a long time. I think she’s had a fine career as careers go. I thinks he would definitely be a good candidate. I just hope that the reasons are in the right place.
MB: Right. Cool. So do you have anything else you’d like to say or anything on your mind?
DJ: Uhh…No.
MB: Okay, fair enough. Well thanks again for coming. And you wanna play some live music or something like that?
DJ: Am I?
MB: Maybe. I don’t know. We’ll figure that out.
DJ: Are we gonna cut away first?
MB: We’re gonna cut away.
DJ: That isn’t really…
MB: We’re gonna figure out what happens.
DJ: That doesn’t really qualify as live.
MB: Well, it might be.
DJ: I mean, this is all pre-recorded.
MB: No, this is actually live when people are listening to the podcast. It happens.
DJ: It’s a streaming…it’s live feed?
MB: Yeah, people are listening.
DJ: People are listening now?
MB: Yeah.
DJ: Shouldn’t you people be in bed?
MB: It is kinda late.
DJ: [laughs]
MB: Alright, thanks.
DJ: It’s five o’clock somewhere, though.