The Untitled Interview #192: Starring Kevin Williams (Surfer Blood)

Bassists are quite a unique breed, if you ask me. They are often the quiet, strong types, letting their strings do the talking (and oftentimes possessed of quite a sense of humor). In many bands, their presence is crucial for maintaining rhythm and adding attitude. Yours truly has also had special interest in bassists over the years, but that's another story for another time...

...but speaking of bassists, Kevin Williams, bass-type for Surfer Blood, kindly answered some burning questions I sent his way. He and I are obviously simpatico, as we share a love of High Fidelity, Scooby Doo, and Either/Or. As a (gentle, of course) reminder, you can catch Kevin doing his thing, along with his compatriots, at the Rock & Roll Hotel this very evening. What splendidness for a Thursday!

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you?
Kevin Williams: Hey! Doing well, we just played in Atlanta last night and currently are making the drive for the next show in Charlotte, NC tonight.

FL: What was the last song you listened to?
KW: I am currently listening on headphones to a WFMU podcast in the van called "The Eternal Now" while writing this. Pretty interesting weird stuff. I have no idea who I am listening to though.

FL: Playing music is:
KW: What keeps me happy and sane.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
KW: I remember discovering Elliott Smith's Either/Or as a high school freshman. It was a great realization for me that you don't have to have access to a high-end studio--or even a full band--to make a great record. I began to take my own early songs and home recordings much more seriously after then, which would eventually lead me to find like-minded musicians to start bands with.

FL: Beatles or Stones?
KW: I will always have to pick the Beatles. A Hard Day's Night was the first record I owned, and as a little kid I grew up falling asleep every night to a homemade cassette mixtape of Beatles songs that my parents dubbed for me.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this month, or of ever):
KW: Top 5 records I have been listening to this week in the tour van: Oneohtrix Point Never Replica, Hot Snakes Suicide Invoice, Clark Body Riddle, Foxygen Take The Kids Off Broadway, No Joy Wait To Pleasure.

FL: Favorite music-related movie?
KW: High Fidelity.

FL: Half-full or half-empty?
KW: Halfway to considering another glass of water.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
KW: Our drummer TJ likes to perform spoken-word music while showering in the morning. If you happen to be fortunate enough to hear it through the bathroom door, they are some next-level songs.

FL: What’s the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
KW: I had too much to dream last night.

FL: Little-known Surfer Blood fact?
KW: We have probably eaten at just about every Whole Foods in the continental United States.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is:
KW: I can't pick just one, but I will say some of my favorites are: Criminal Records in Atlanta, Everyday Music in Seattle/Portland, Reckless Records in Chicago, Sonic Boom records in Toronto-- as well as a completely different unrelated Sonic Boom records in Seattle.

FL: Shaken or stirred?
KW: Depends on the cocktail. But everyone knows it is always much more fun to shake-shake-shake it.

FL: Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
KW: Drink a glass of water.

FL: If you weren’t in a band you’d be:
KW: The guy who makes all the wacky sound effects for old Scooby Doo cartoons (assuming a place still exists for synth blips and real plate reverbs in modern cartoons?).

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of?
KW: Wyld Stallyns.

FL: Best song ever written?
KW: I don't think anyone can deny the catchiness of "Hey Ya."


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