Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Interview w/ Indian Jewelry (District Weekly)


PHOTO by DANNY KERSCHEN


My second interview with Indian Jewelry, this time for The District Weekly:

Known for deeply affecting live performances dug deeper by tribal percussion, overdriven amplifiers, strobe lights set for seizure and any number of guest musicians, Texas-based electronic-noise outfit Indian Jewelry is a band that leaves marks—even if they don’t show right away. Latest album Free Gold! (out in May on We Are Free) put new power through their fundamental mechanics — Suicide, Spacemen, “Sister Ray,” maybe Sun Ra in high orbit — and a show last year in their ex-home base Los Angeles had a capacity crowd just one stubbed toe shy of complete feralization. With founding husband-and-wife team Erika Thrasher (keys/guitar/vocals) and Tex Kerschen (keys/guitar/vocals) and new members Mary Sharpe (drums/guitar) and the mysterious Domokos, the band is gearing up for an upcoming coast-to-coast tour before heading to Europe this fall.

Describe what exactly Indian Jewelry does.
Tex Kerschen: We’re mind blowers. We come around to kick the door open.
Erika Thrasher: I just think of it as this wall of sound, with beautiful tones and harmonic sounds and whatnot. I think that you can hear all kinds of things in it. That’s what I like when I go see a band—to be able to hear other things in it so it sounds different every time you hear it. People describe our sound in all different kinds of ways.

One reviewer described the band’s sound as ‘the type of music that you would be greeted with upon your arrival to hell.’
E: People say things like, ‘God, you’re gonna destroy and melt my brain and my ears!’ But I don’t see it that way at all.

You’re known as a bit of a nomadic band.
E: We just spent most of June and July in New York. We try to keep moving around. We’ve been here on and off for the past year. We’ve spent a couple months touring and were just in New York for about a month. We were in Chicago right before that. Houston’s definitely our home base and always has been.

I’d have never guessed you were a Houston native; you don’t have any semblance of a Texas drawl.
E: Houston kind of wipes that out. It’s a major city. Of course, it’ll come on whenever I get together with my grandma.

The band is known to have different special guest musicians join you onstage in the various cities you tour.
T: It’s just like the Wu-Tang Clan—you don’t know if Raekwon’s gonna show up or who’s gonna be on the stage. Economics prohibit us from taking out four or five tour buses for everybody. It helps keep us from being too precious, too.
Does being married add complications or make things easier for the band?
E: It makes things easier because it becomes like joint forces that are working constantly at the same goal. In other bands I’ve been in, it’s been a little less emotionally charged at practices. But being married is definitely an advantage. With scheduling and whatever, we can just move around together, so it makes it a lot easier.

What happens when there’s a disagreement concerning musical differences?
E: That happens all the time! But that’s going to happen with everybody at some point. With us it probably gets a little overdramatic and I do feel kind of sorry for the people who are around us at the time.

What’s next on the horizon?
T: The upcoming tour is three months long, so it’s looming very heavily. But beyond that we’ve got tons of stuff. We’re trying to become more of an integrated services provider, kind of branch off into a bunch of different things—movies, Erika’s fashion line. We’ve got lots of plans. Some are more manifest and others more latent. This time around we don’t have any kind of commercial agenda. We’re just out there to keep the record straight.

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