Melody Maker, 1996?


Are you happy for Near Life Experience to be described as a blues album?

“I would never describe it that way. I understand there are bluesy elements in it, but that’s just because rock evolved from blues. I just don’t see it.”

The title is pretty funny, but its damned dark, too.

“Last year was a rough year for us. Part of that was Arthur (drums) and Sean (bass) leaving. It wasn’t acrimonious — just surprising.”

How did you come to use Rodans rhythm section?

“We knew them, and what they did was special; they had really unique ways of playing.”

Is there anything that ties the songs on the album together?

“There are a lot of references to bathrooms and boats.”

On “Bitten”, you use brass for the first time ever. Why?

“I’m a trumpet freak. If we could have a trumpeter play with us all the time, I’d love that. I love stuff like Dog-Faced Hermans.”

Is “Half Life” about an actual dream?

“Yeah, it’s about this stage where I was having these really bizarre dreams every night. In one I was in jail and I was wading through all this shit because the bathroom was overflowing.”