Soviet Session - November 2011

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This Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: October 22, 2011
Posting Date: November 14, 2011
Artist Hometown: Dallas, TX
Links: Facebook, Bandcamp, Tumblr, Twitter
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

I Don’t Want To Live My Life Alone
Hall and Oates
Kids In My Backyard
ONE: Where do you see Soviet in the next two years?
Cameron Choate: Honda Civic Tour.
John Parker Spies: Totally. Absolutely! We will sell out so fucking fast. Anyone who wants us to sell out, we will sell out for you. We are not a punk band. We like having a good time, so, um, really, like, the funny thing is is like, we have this like— as chaotic as this band can seem sometimes, especially on stage, we actually do know what we’re doing and we do have like, an actual plan. Like, we actually like sit down and have like meetings and talk about where we’re going—
Sam Dobbin: Where was that place that we had the meeting?
John: Jays.
Sam: Where the old lady kept coming up and rubbing Cameron’s back?
John: That was so weird, dude. Like, we had a meeting the other day…I have this like, packet, that month by months breaks down how we’re going to—
Cameron: Until 2015.
John: Until 2015. In two years, we’ll be…we won’t even be here, man. We’ll be on tour so much. Like, uh…I think we’ll probably…Like, we want to be the biggest band in the world, we’ve said that in other interviews. We don’t hide it. We want people to like us. I want kids to have the same experience that I had with music growing up, that just like fucking, music saved my life, and so I want to make music that could help kids get through shit, so I write about things that I went through in high school and stuff and that’s just kind of how we do, and people really seem to respond to that. We don’t want to get big to be rich and famous.
Richy Brown: It’s just in our blood. It’s what we were born to do.
John: Yeah, yeah, we really have that kind of like, go out and do it, if no one else will do it, then go and do it. Like—
Cameron: We’ll do it with each other.
John: Yeah, we’ll do it with anybody.
Sam: There’s a lot of homosexuality in this band. Most of it coming from over there. [Points at Cameron]
Cameron: In five years, I plan on being gay. That’s my goal for the band.
Brown Weir: You’re saying you think it’s a choice, bro?
Cameron: I think that this band is going to make me gay and I would like to reach out to the gay and lesbian population. In the next two years, I want this band to be the biggest gay and lesbian band. Like, some of us look really good with our shirts off…but I don’t.
John: He’s got a badonkadonk in the trunk.
Cameron: I wear black because it’s slimming. I’m the lonely goth of the band.
John: The thing about it is, like, obviously, we don’t take it that seriously. Like, we do want to be a big band, but we’ll settle for like a Dinosaur Jr. type famousness, like—
Cameron: That’s big in my book.
John: Yeah, it’s huge to us. Us, we want kids to like us because like, our songs mean something to them, not just as an accessory to their life. Not just like, “I go, and when I go out, I listen to music.” We want the kids to obsess over the record, because that’s what we did. We…all five of us, that’s how we are. If you hang out with us for more than 20 minutes, we’ll end up arguing over like, a band, or imitating Mick Jones from the Clash, so that’s — hang on, Richy wants to say something.
Richy: I’m trying to think of how to word this. John is really internet-savvy. It’s helped a lot. We’ve been able to put out all of our EPs, and the one full length we have, it’s all out there for free.
John: We haven’t had to give up any independence, like, literally, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want to.
Richy: I mean, that might hinder record sales. We’ll never reach Gold status or anything, but—
John: Oh, we’ll make a gold record.
Richy: I don’t…Battles doesn’t even—
John: We’re going to be so much bigger than Battles it’s not even going to be funny!
Sam: I’ll spray paint them gold.
Richy: But what I’m saying is, albums get leaked now all the time, and if it’s impossible for a band reach Gold status, you can still play for a crowd of like 10,000 people—
John: Yeah, I think we’ll be a great touring band. We’re great. People know us as a great live band. I mean, we don’t have…our new 7” that’s coming out is the first thing that we’ve ever recorded in a real studio. We recorded for like $800 in two days of like eight hours each, so we’re like, I guess right now we’re DIY, but it’s not like we want to be DIY forever. We want to have the time to sit in a studio, and make a good record so that…we want to make it the way that we hear it in our heads. Because when we practice, man, we know. When we practice a new song, we’re like, bang, we got it. Some songs don’t catch, some songs do.
Cameron: Steve Albini would love us.
John: Steve Albini, if you’re watching, produce our record.

TWO: What was the idea behind releasing several EPs instead of waiting for a full-length?
Richy: There’s too many songs. John shits them out, you know, left and right, and the only way that we can hold onto them is to go ahead and record them and put them out there.
Sam: There was a period of time when we had that new bassist and after that where we went through, like, three sets worth of songs in about a month and a half.
John: How many songs did we have?
Brown: Well…
John: Total.
Brown: The last time I checked—
John: Like, that we’ve actually played.
Brown: Me and John, in a room together, and actually rehearsed and played over seventy songs.
John: And that’s probably low. That’s low.
Sam: Yeah, because I’ve learned about thirty.
John: Yeah, and you haven’t been in the band since, I guess March. We don’t know over half of our songs, that’s the thing. Cameron doesn’t know barely any of them, maybe like, ten.
Cameron: John tunes my guitar.
John: The idea was…basically, the whole idea was that I recorded the first EP in our little studio, our little twelve by twelve room, and just called and was like, “Hey, I’m going to release a record tomorrow. Is that cool?” And Brown was like, “Sure…What songs?” And I said “You haven’t heard any of them yet!” And he was like, “Okay!” And so I released it, and literally within like a week, I kid you not, we got — like, I sent them to Mark at The Local Edge, Mark Schectman, and Mark was like, “These are great!” I sent him “Kids in My Backyard,” which has an F-word in it. He was like, “Why would you send me a song that has an F-word in it, I cannot play this, even though it’s great.” And I was like, “OK, here, play this other one.” We sent him one called “Delilah” which wasn’t even on—we made it, we made it up. We made up a song, and sent it to him, and he thought it was great, and so he played it, and literally the next day we got an email from Pete Freedman at the Observer, and he was like, “I want to do a feature on this!” and I was like, “OK!” and the rest is, I guess, history. That was kind of like, and then I shat out like thirty songs and took sixteen of them and put them on another EP, because I figured, why the heck not just put out another one? We put out Forever Today at the end of January, put out Doom in March, and we’ve written basically songs that I kind of just crapped out, like I didn’t care about the recording quality, the crappy recording quality, they don’t even like sound like what we would play them like live, and we’ve literally ridden those out for—
Brown: Until OK Together and Hall and Oates, we started getting buzz just from our live show alone.
John: People had just heard it at live shows and just thought it was pretty good, so—
Brown: It still hasn’t come out.
John: It still hasn’t come out. It’ll come out at the beginning of November. We’ll have it, you can buy a little CD of it if you want, but there will be like a 7” in an edition of like 300 and it’ll be cool because we actually paid the money, went into the studio, got it done, and people can actually hear what we sound like live. You could go buy it at a record store and you wouldn’t feel ripped off. That’s the thing, I made our bandcamp stuff free because in my mind, I didn’t pay a cent to do it, I mean, I guess I paid for the gas to drive there, and whatever, but if I didn’t pay anything to anybody to do it, then I don’t need to charge for it. But we paid $800 for it, so we figure that we’re only going to charge five bucks for it, the 7”, which is really cheap, because I’m a real big believer in like, I love the Clash, and Joe Strummer used to have kids backstage and he used to give away their albums, and of course Sandinista!, the classic, four full platters of music for five fucking bucks. And I was like, “That’s what I want to do. I want to give that to my generation.” Give them a crapton of music to listen to, and they can pick and choose what they like.
THREE: What do you think of the Denton/DFW music scene, and what’s next for it?
[All of Soviet laughs]
John: Oh…
Cameron: Hopefully some better bands…
Brown: Ask us if we like any local bands.
Cameron: Ethereal and the Queer Show, quote me, Cameron Choate, that band fucking rules.
MB: So, you don’t like any local bands?
John: Here’s the thing. It’s not that we don’t like local bands, it’s not like we don’t like local bands, but the thing is, Dallas has this stigma where people from Dallas just want to be big in Dallas. Like, I don’t see a lot of bands dreaming bigger, and that’s the thing, I want Dallas to wake up and start dreaming. That’s the thing about it, if we could just get together and fucking pack out— instead of playing a bunch of shitty shows— that’s the thing in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Denton, it’s too many bands playing too many nights. We need to consolidate the scene and be like, one night: Bad Sports, Soviet, Sealion, Burning Hotels, and uhh…
Cameron: Sundress.
John: Sundress! All playing together at, like, Hailey’s. The place would be freaking…
Brown: Hey, get at us about it, we’re down!
John: Yeah! That needs to happen, by the way.
Cameron: My whole spiel with the music scene around here is that no one wants to pay bucks. Everyone is into bands, no one wants to pay a cover. And no one moves around. The coolest shit that I’ve ever seen, and I don’t like hardcore punk, but the coolest shit that I’ve seen is at the Lion’s Den. Those kids go crazy down there. The shows are free, you get fucked up, it’s fun, you can go nuts, though the music is very generic.
John: The thing is, it’s too scattered. That’s the nature of DFW, that it’s scattered, but the thing is, I would love to do like, what was it, they had it, it was in Georgia….Elephant 6!
Cameron: The Elephant Six Collective.
John: Yeah, that’s what Dallas needs, like six or seven bands that just like, they play together, they always play together, they play together every couple of months, and everybody comes out to see them. The thing is, we have, like ‘good shows,’ where people will come out and watch us, but those are rare. And that’s the thing, it’s not that we’re a bad band, there’s good bands, and we’re not the only good band, and that’s the thing, but like, on top of that I feel like a lot of the bands that have already ‘made it’ from Dallas like…maybe not quite as big as the Toadies but maybe something more like The Burning Hotels or Ishi don’t really take the littler bands and say “Well, you know what, come with us, you can always play with us.” How many Dallas bands do you see going out on tour together? None. Ever. Like, you never see it. It’s so rare. You’ll see Denton bands do it sometimes. But when I lived up in Boston, bands would do it all the time. They would go and tour the whole East Coast, and you’d go with your friends, and your friends are in another band and you go with them, and that’s what we really want to do with like Sealion, or anybody really, any of the bands we like. Like, I’m a big fan of Sealion and The Burning Hotels and I love the Two Knights, um…but really, the list is kind of short, and that’s the thing is that there’s a short list of great bands, and those bands need to play, and the rest of the bands can keep playing, that’s cool, they can keep doing their thing, but if they’re not dreaming big with us then they need to just get out of our way. And that’s not a mean thing, it’s just like, we don’t want them…
Richy: Hindering.
John: Well, it’s not hindering, it’s not like it’s their fault at all.
Richy: But we end up playing shows with them that no one shows up to.
John: Oh, yeah.
Cameron: I’m from Denton, and I think there needs to be a bridge between Denton and Dallas music—
Brown: It’s called the DART.
Cameron: I just don’t see it at all. We don’t play shows with like, Final Club.
John: Nope. And that’s what we’re trying to do, Soviet, I am actively trying to change it. We get emails every day for shows, like crappy, crappy shows, and we’re tired of doing it, I’m tired of it, I’ve been telling people we’re calling in the fucking choppers, we’re going for it, and if we get stuck and get massacred somewhere, you know, then that’s cool. It’s too spread out, the bands that are good need to get together and stop fucking pussyfooting around. Bands need to stop thinking— like, we don’t think that we’re any better than any of the bands that we like in this scene. We don’t think we’re any better than them, and we would love to play a show with all of them, but everyone has this agenda that’s just like, “We’re the headliners.” It’s like, who cares, man, just play fucking music, you know? If it’s a good local show —and this is the thing, period. If it’s a good local show, it should be packed, and it shouldn’t matter if it’s the opening band or the ending band, there should be people there the whole time. Everyone should have a good time. They’re not national shows. Like, if you’re opening for a national band, different thing. Whole different ball game. But if the local show you’re playing for the people who live in your city, and if you’re not having a good time, and it’s about getting more fans, then, you know…
Richy: Robbie D Love.
John: Yeah.
Sam: Did you see that battle we got in on Facebook? Or, not really a battle, but…
Richy: Oh yeah, I read that this morning. You were like “Nah, I’m good.”
Cameron: What happened?
Richy: He was trying to get Sam to come to one of his shows or something.
Sam: He said, “Well, maybe if you come out we’ll play a sweet Soviet cover.” [Laughs] The Red 100’s…
Cameron: That’s a band that we endorse for hating.
John: Oh, no. I’m sorry, Robbie.
Sam: No you’re not!
John: Dude, no, he’s a human being, and he has real feelings. His feelings are going to be so hurt.
Sam: He’ll be crushed! [laughs]
Cameron: I’m a cater to the Anton LaVayen Satanism, and I feel that you should tell the truth. And I don’t like him.
Richy: Someone needs to stand up for the truth!
John: See, this is the dynamic of the band, is like Cameron is a Satanist, Richy is just a stoner, I’m a stoner, Brown is Mr. Pretty Boy, and then Sam is Mr. Twangy over there, he has boots and shit.
Cameron: Sam’s the guy that actually goes out and talks to other bands.
John: And Brown, Brown too. The other three of us are loners.
Cameron: I’m a boner.