School Newspaper


> Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2000 13:36:04 EST
> To:
> Subject: Thanks for doing this Mr. Fridmann
> Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me for my high school paper. I
> brought in a Mercury Rev album for my class and they all loved it.
> 1. How did you first get involved in music?

Same as anyone I guess. Listening to the radio, Music class in school, piano lessons for a few years... Probably the biggest thing though was my cousin Tony. He is a great guitar player and would know all these songs off the radio and could play them. He would tell me what to play so that I could accompany him on piano so that he had someone to play with. We would try to write songs and eventually got in a cover band when we were about 14. We thought that it was so cool.

> 2. What music did you listen to growing up?
AM in the 70's, FM in the 80's Mostly different kinds of rock stuff. Things were so weird then. People thought I was a punk rocker because I liked the Police!

> 3. Do you see music as a way of escaping reality or as a way of venting your
> feelings?

Neither. It's a way of creating reality and understanding your feelings although I know that a lot of people do escape and vent.

> 4. What do you think about the state of the music industry today?
I try not to, but when I do I think that it's the same as any other INDUSTRY. The idea is to make a lot of money. I don't have a problem with that. It's not fair, but why should it be? I really don't think that Musicians or any other artists should paid to create unless they are able and willing to create a viable product for sale. I like art for art's sake as much as the next person, but most of the people that I work with have been very lucky to get their records paid for by record companies even though they would make more money working full time at McDonalds.

> 5. Has success changed your relationship with each other in a positive or
> negative way?


> 6. How did the Elephant Six group form and why do you think the bands in it
> have all stayed together and been successful?

I have no idea how they formed. I don't really know any of them except Elf Power. Have they been successful? Try this:
Shania Twain, Backstreet Boys, LL cool j, Neutral Milk Hotel?
Which of these things are successful?

> 7. How does your songwriting process work?
Honestly I am not a very proficient songwriter and many of the ideas that I do have end up in other peoples work since I am in the studio all the time so I can't answer that one very well. I can say that the people that I know who I consider to be exceptional at it work very hard. For every word of a song there are ten pages of words that are not used. Every note that is heard represents hundreds that are not.

> 8. Your music seems very art influenced. Are any of you involved in painting
> or film or anything of that nature?

Sean does some film and Jon does most of the artwork. Nothing too serious though. Dave Baker is an excellent visual artist.

> 9. What's your worst fear?
Losing my family for any reason.

> 10. What do you hope more than anything?
That my boys grow up to be men.

> 11. What's the most interesting dream you've ever had?
What is the rating of this interview?

> 12. How long do you want to stay involved in music?
I think that I will always be involved in music in the way that I want to be. It is in my head and will never leave.

> 14. Do you think the use of songs in commercials partially destroys someone's
> sentimental attachment to the song?

I think that it depends. Sometimes I think that it's the other way around! Most of the time, I don't care. Unless you are the Rolling Stones or Madonna, Belive me, the money is worth any potential artistic integrity loss. I love music and always will, but you still have to pay the rent. Most of the people that I work with are living from hand to mouth. If their music is in a commercial, They can continue to persue their art with a roof over their heads. Besides, I would much rather watch a commercial with good music instead of bad.

> 15. Where's your favorite place in the world?

> 16. Where do you feel most comfortable?

> 17. Do you think that music can be used as a destructive device and a life
> giving device or is it all just art that doesn't affect society much one way
> or the other?

I think that it is really different for everyone. I think that you can pick any thing for this example. Shoes. I think that a good pair of shoes can make a huge difference in health care since they can make a nurses life so much easier. On the other hand, It's terrible when kids are killing each other for a pair of shoes.

> 18. Where would you be if you weren't in this band?
I think that things would be fairly similar. People have a way of staying in a path, regardless of what comes along.

> 19. What do you think the future of music lies?

Lots of notes and rhythm, yeah lots of rhythm.

> 20. What is the direction of your next album going to be?

> 21. What are your favorite recent bands?
Eminem, Radar Bros, Dot Allison.

> 22. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don't really. I am plainly not even a historical footnote.

> 23. How do you relax?
Video Games

> 24. What keeps you awake at night?

My son wiggling in bed

> 25.Whats the relationships like within the band? How do you hope to vend off
> the Rolling Stonesesque problem of only seeing your bandmates on onstage and
> in the studio?
The band is alright these days. Everyone gets along pretty well. I think that the Stones have the right idea. Familiarity breeds contempt.

> 26. What keeps you involved in music?
It's my job. It's like asking a garbage man "What keeps you involved in Sanitation?" I would do it anyway because I like it, but I go to work and work at music every day just like the garbage man picks up the trash.

Sorry this took so long, I've been really busy. Talk to you later!