Football, Etc

Football, Etc Session - December 2011

Football, Etc Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: October 29, 2011
Posting Date: December 19, 2011
Artist Hometown: Houston, TX
Links: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Count Your Lucky Stars, Strictly No Capital Letters
Recorded by: Michael Briggs
Interview by: Ryan Schefsky, Parker Lawson and Donovan Ford

Sudden Death
ONE: Could you give us some details on your upcoming UK tour?
James Vehslage: Andy, who runs our label in the UK sort of posted somewhere that we were wanting to tour and a bunch of people replied, and Your Neighbor The Liar worked out, and they booked it all and Alter The Press is promoting…
Lindsay Minton: Yeah, we’re doing twelve dates in the UK, in England and Scotland, and they’re from Scotland and we’ll play New Years Eve there, which will be really fun. I’m really excited. I got my first passport for it…so did James…
James: So did Mercy.
Mercy Harper: No, I had one already! I’m a world traveler! Mine was like a baby photo, though, so it doesn’t count.
James: That doesn’t count!
RS: So, when is that going to start?
Lindsay: December 27th through January 7th.
TWO: How did you get started? What’s with all of the football references?
Lindsay: When Mercy and I graduated from Rutgers in New Brunswick, NJ, we moved to Houston. About a year later, we started the band with our former drummer, Brandon, and after we played a few times and knew it was going to work out, we figured, “Oh my gosh, we need a band name!” So, we did the typical ‘open up a book and point to a page’ thing. It was a Pictoral History of the United States from 1880-1920 or something like that. When we opened it up, I think the first thing that we pointed to was ‘Sunday’s Best,’ which I think was already a band name, and then we pointed again and it said ‘Football, etc.’ and it had a picture of people hula-hooping underneath. It was sports from the early 1900’s. So, we just went with it. We were like, ‘You know, let’s just go with whatever.’ We played with Brandon for about a year, and when he couldn’t really commit to tour and all of that, we put up a Craigslist ad, and Jamesey-poo answered it. We were like, ‘We have a label, we’re going on tour this summer.’ He hit us up and said he was down. He got married and then toured with us like a week later.
RS: How did you become involved with Count Your Lucky Stars? Did you know them before you started the band?
Mercy: Some people we knew, with our old band, but not Keith. I think the first thing we did, we were going to do a split with Empire! Empire!…
Lindsay: Yeah, I MySpace messaged random bands that sounded like bands that we sounded like, supposedly, and I was just like, “Let’s put out a split!” and he was just like, “OK.” And then he did it, and then he called us later and was like, “Do you wanna be on my label?” and we were like, “OK.” That was pretty much it with Keith.
James: That was big business.
Lindsay: But yeah, like, P.S. Eliot and some other bands we knew through people from living up in New Brunswick, and then Pswingset, who we toured with, they’re also on Count Your Lucky Stars. Jordan moved to Austin, and it was cool to have another band on the label close by, so we got in touch with them.
THREE: How did you develop your sound? Why did you start experimenting with open tunings?
Lindsay: I guess through listening to Ranier Maria and Sonic Youth, I realized that they were using open tunings, so I just started playing around with it. I couldn’t tell you what the tunings are. Like, I could tell you the notes of the strings, but I don’t know what they are, like open-whatever. It’s just a lot easier for me to play like that. When I play acoustic guitar or regular barre chords, it really hurts my hands, and I’m a wuss. With the open tunings I can do a lot with a little, and it’s just easier for me to write that way. And Mercy uses some too, now.
Mercy: Yeah, I do something similar to hers, but I leave the bass tuned like a bass. I leave the lower two in standard, and then I use…whatever that is. Open something or other…[laughs]
DF: Why did you choose a bass 6?
Mercy: Uh…I saw an ad for one of those in the Guitar Center catalog. It was a cheaper version called the Jaguar Baritone, and then I got it, and I’ve been playing one of those for probably like seven years now, but it took me a long time to figure out how it would really sound best, and I think it sounded the best once I was in a three-piece.
RS: So, the minimalist nature of the band just came naturally…
Mercy: Yeah, and from not wanting to have more people in our band. Another schedule, another seat in the tour van, aka…
Lindsay: The Scion. [laughs] Yeah, most of our stuff Mercy and I write at home, and I dunno, that’s just how it is. It’s pretty minimal, I guess.