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Small town kids writing about life. Just honesty, just true stories: Two Cow Garage interview.

27 avril 2011

Je suis un très grand fan de Two Cow Garage. Leur mix de punk rock et d’alt-country se rapproche de la perfection. Speaking In Cursive était solide mais Sweet Saint Me est encore plus fort. Un incontournable selon moi. Mon chum Maheu dit que la voix de Micah Schnabel sonne comme celle du chanteur de The Get Up Kids mais avec plus de soirée à se saouler au Jameson. C’est drôle parce que c’est vrai. Je suis aussi un fan assez fini de l’album solo de Schnabel. Espérons qu’un show solo de sa part sera organisé en marge du Pouzza Fest. Tsé, un bon petit show tard en soirée dans un petit bar. Vous voyez le genre. Entrevue avec Micah lui-même la veille du départ du groupe pour l’Europe.


So you’re leaving for Europe tomorrow morning.

Yes. We’re going there for a month. We’ll be playing something like 24 shows. Things should go very well. It will be our fourth time going there. The shows have always been pretty good over there. We’ve been selling more records there in the last two years so we hope the shows will be even better.

So it’s not a stress for you.

No, no. It’s actually more relaxed over there because we have a tour manager and a few people help us doing the hard stuff on the road.

So I wanted to do this interview to help spread the word about your set at the Pouzza Fest. Will it be your first show ever in Montreal?

Yeah. We’ve been a band for almost ten years now; playing two hundred shows a year and this will actually be our first time in Canada. We just always had a hard time getting the work permit and everything but the booking agent that we have now knows more about it and books shows up there. He’s just making it easier for us to go up there.

So what is your background? Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a small town here in Ohio called Bucyrus. It’s about 10 000 people. I moved to Columbus a couple days after I graduated from high school. I was 18.

You moved to Columbus to start playing music?

I was already playing music but in a small town like that there’s nothing but cover bands really. So yeah, I came to the city to write down songs and start a band and Columbus was the closest city to kind of do that.

Do you associate yourself more to punk rock or to alternative-country?

I guess we just fall somewhere in between. I wouldn’t but one of these labels strictly on us but we’re definitely aggressive and loud enough to fit pretty well with punk rock folks.

What’s the biggest difference for you between your last record, Sweet Saint Me, and Speaking In Cursive?

We’re just older and I was concentrating on lyrics and tried to be overall a better song writer and I think we’re just a better band this time around. We’re on the road a lot so hopefully we keep getting better and tighter. Hopefully the songs just keep getting better. I don’t know if there’s a conscious difference that we were really trying to make but. We’re just trying to be a good band.

That should be the point for every band but it’s not always the case.

Yeah I know that.

You told me you’re playing around 200 shows a year. Do you which you would play more shows or it’s the most you can handle?

Personally I love being on the road and we all love it. I’ve put out a solo record so when the band is home I try to be out solo. I try to stay out to work because this is how we make our living. We don’t make enough money to just sit home so I need to be out there working. I’d much rather playing guitar and singing songs than mowing anybody’s lawn.

So it will be your first time in Montreal. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve heard about Montreal or the Montreal scene?

We actually just ran into a band a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at some fast food and there was another band there, they were from Montreal, and they were telling us that there’s a big clash between the Montreal and Toronto people. Is that right?

Ah. A fake one I guess. What was the band you met?

Ah man, I can’t remember. It was a few weeks and a quite a few bands ago.

My favorite song on your last record is Jackson, Don’t You Worry. What inspired this song?

Shane, our bass player, and I started Two Cow Garage together, we’ve been in a band for almost ten years together. He was having a child and this song is really just trying to explain to his son that we’re out here doing the right thing. There’s probably gonna come a time where he will ask «What the hell dad. Where have you been? » you know. When is dad leaves for three weeks or something. Just trying to explain we’re out there doing this good thing and we just hope he can find that thing. Find his music. Whatever drives him and satisfies him and allows him to be a happy person. It’s all pretty much true. Shane was weeks away from having a baby so that song just kind of came about. He’s like my brother so it was just important things to say, I felt.

Amazing story! And what inspired the song Cut me, Mick on your solo record?

You know, obviously artists are really messed up in different ways. None of those things that happened in that song really connect but I guess they do when you put them in a certain context. It’s just kind of random thoughts trying to grab a hold on something so you don’t completely lose your shit. It just kind of come from desperation I guess.

What’s the most dangerous show you’ve ever play?

There’s a song on our fourth record, Speaking In Cursive, and it’s about us showing up to a show in Oklahoma City and it was full of gutter punks kids. There was six bands and we were playing right in the middle. They were just not stoked when they saw us walking in ‘cause we didn’t look like them. We kind of freaked out. We wondered if we should even load in and play. But we did and they ended up loving us. It looked like a dangerous situation that was going to turn on us we once we started playing, we’re pretty aggressive, they were all really into it. Obviously we sounded completely different from the rest of the bands but we were still loud and aggressive so everybody dug it.

Which record influenced you the most between Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne and Springsteen’s Born in the USA?

Hum…probably Born in the USA…that’s a tuff one man. To be honest I heard Springsteen a long time before I ever heard of Uncle Tupelo. We didn’t really get to hear this band because we all came from small towns. We didn’t even know that kind of music existed. So we were a couple of records deep before we even got to heard Uncle Tupelo. So I can’t really call this band an influence has much as I appreciate what they did. I feel a kindred spirit there. Small town kids writing about life. Just honesty, just true stories. But Springsteen’s the same thing. He’s real and he’s trying to tell people about him and share it and hopefully bring some comfort because everybody feel the same way at certain time.


Two Cow Garage sera en show samedi le 21 mai au FOUFS avec The Queers, Lifetime, The Sainte Catherines, Brendan Kelly, Joe Q Citizen et + dans le cadre du Pouzza Fest.

Vous pouvez écouter l’album solo de Micah Schnabel ici.

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