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Needless to say things have changed dramatically for Davis since the recent release of No Kill No Beep Beep, Q And Not U's acclaimed debut album. Issued via the seminal hometown Dischord label, the yellow-clad album mixes the cutting guitars and staggered cadences of mid-90s and late-80s punk with the infectiousness of club music and the disposition of Fugazi. That last entry, the iconic DC band that not only founded Dischord (which predates the band) but also brought an integrity of musicianship to punk music, hangs heavy over No Kill No Beep Beep, but there is no guilt in the association. Even if Fugazi weren't one of the most important bands in the history of rock music (they are), it would be little surprise that two concurrent bands in a fishtank like Washington DC should taste of similar flavors. Of course the interesting thing about the Fugazi angle is that many, perhaps erroneously, consider that band's best days to be behind it, and if any band is primed to take point on the Fugazi-inspired charge against shallow pop music, Q And Not U are it. Which, unfortunately for Davis, leaves little time for record labels or magazines. Fortunately for us, there is time for a short Q & A.
LAS: John, thank you for taking time to put your voice on tape. I'll make this short, and let me start by throwing this out there... Fill in the blank: flannel is to Soundgarden as ___________ is to Q And Not U.
John Davis: Hmm. Well, I remember Chris Cornell wearing that flannel around his waste in Soundgarden, but, hell, we don't really have a defining fashion charictaristic. Our sartorial tastes are not that extraordinary.
I just like to wear black. I know Harris likes his ghetto capri pants. It looks like he just washed ashore, he's got these pants that are way ahead of the capri trend. He was wearing those pants last year.
Very forward thinking.
Definitely. Those guys were ahead of the time. Harris and Matt were wearing the capri pants last year.
You guys are all into the Smart Water though.
Yeah, did you catch that? I went to this place called the Uncommon Market when we were recording at Inner Ear and that is where I found it. It wasn't just the water itself, which was fine, but it was the packaging that was so awesome. I thought it was funny, because it was like the I-Mac of water. I have a little bit of disdain for the I-Mac and the new Beetle, because I think they look kind of dopey, but the Smart Water was bad ass.
Did it do anything for you?
I didn't notice anything smarter about me, but I know when Chris drinks that stuff he thinks he feels smarter.
|PHOTO BY SHAWN BRACKBILL|
A'ight, time for the lightning round of random bullshit. Up first, consider this: The A-Team Van or the General Lee?
The A-Team Van, definitely.
Tartar Control or Whitening?
Power Windows or Power Locks?
Power locks, because if your car is ever submerged in water, the power windows aren't going to work, whereas every car I've seen with power locks has handles that can open the doors manually.
I have a fear of bridges, and that stuff goes through my mind every time I go over a huge bridge in New York or over one of the bodies of water here on the east coast.
|PHOTO BY TOBY CAROL|
Compact disc or vinyl?
Vinyl. It sounds warmer.
Summer or winter?
Okay, cats or dogs?
Yeah, cats. Do you have any parting comments?
I just wish bands would play out more, and I wish people would stop comparing bands to Tortoise.
Amen. SEE ALSO: www.dischord.com
SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/qandnotu
SEE ALSO: www.georgiejames.com
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.
See other articles by Eric J Herboth.
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