Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ian McKaye and Wayne Kramer

Wayne: take instruments into prisons to teach them how to take things out in non confrontational ways. a way of building self esteem, I'm not encouraging prisoners to go into the music business.
Ian: Music and music business are not synonymous. Music predates language. People ask me a music question and its a business question

Audience: transparency, how frustrating it is when someone says they can't talk about it
Ian: we were kids when we started this company. there was no established business model when we started. we didn't learn from people who perfected the art of ripping people off. we don't have contracts so we don't need lawyers. we still pay royalties on singles from 1981. we have musicians who tell us to stop sending them checks.

Audience: Can you talk about your first instruments
Wayne: I heard something in the electric guitar that I didn't hear in the acoustic guitar. There were also music programs in the Detroit public schools. Music confirms I'm not alone, I'm connecting with James Brown
Iam: I started as a piano player. I started when I was three, playing Louie Louie. I became obsessed with a song called Last Date, I think my babysitter wanted to kill me, I just wanted to listen to it over and over. I was obsessed with Woodstock, my family would drive around and I would look for where I wanted to have my Woodstock and make lists of who I wanted to play...in highschool I became a skateboarder, it was radical and visionary, and then punk rock came into the picture...I saw the Cramps...I joined a punk band and I could play on one string...

Audience: what are you writing now?
Wayne: I had to write my own songs, in Detroit I could work in bars but you had to play top ten, but it started to be a grind. I wanted to play auditoriums and go on tour, and I realized they wrote their own songs and I had to write my own songs. I just finished a score for a PBS film, free jazz, but right now I'm working on a little album, acoustic, something I can drive around the country in a car and play myself.
Ian:I think for me I was incapable of playing other people's music. Growing up around Peter Frampton and the Eagles, I just couldn't get my head around how they played. But hearing the Sex Pistols doing cover songs, doing other people's songs but making it your own.

We would tell people we had a band and we wrote our own songs and people were just, whoa! For me it was a collaborative process. Now in this band the Evens I'm playing a baritone guitar, and we have to really force to think, how can we make this sound good. If I understood what that process is I'd put out a lot more albums.

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