Hello! Sorry this is one of the last segments to really come back since the break, but I hope to make up for that in the next few weeks. The worst part of being on the breaks is I really enjoy these interviews. Everyone I’ve interviewed are interesting as hell, and some are even more interesting then that. They come from different places, experiences and influences with music as a common ground. This entry is no exception.
Today I got Dan McGee of the band Spider Bags. He was cool enough to take some time off to talk about how they got started, their new album, and making music in general.
Can you give us a little history on Spider Bags?
Spider Bags started as a phone conversation between me and a buddy of mine. I was sleeping on a friend's couch in New York City and had just played a show with another band where I somehow managed to break all the strings on my guitar during the first song and decided it would be a good idea to sing the guitar parts for the rest of the set. If you've never tried to do that I wouldn't recommend it, not exactly a crowd pleaser. The lead singer punched me before leaving the club. Also, I was wearing sunglasses. So when my buddy called me later and said he had a good name for a band I said 'What is it?' 'Spider Bags.' he said. 'I have some songs.' I said. I obviously felt like I could accomplish anything at that particular personal zenith.
How would you describe your sound?
Rock and Roll.
As a group you guys are pretty bare bones, just the guitar bass and drums, how do you think this effects the band's dynamic?
We've been a trio for a couple years now. There was a period there where I took everyone I knew out on the road. We were an 8 piece road band at one point. I thought I was Waylon Jennings. What I didn't understand was that Waylon Jennings could get every member of his band paid and comfortable, and that's a big deal when you're 30 days out and your pedal steel player is eating a banana sandwich for breakfast lunch and dinner. You'd think it'd be obvious, but that was a tough lesson for me to learn; I'm no Waylon Jennings.
Is there anyone in particular you draw a lot from musically?
Did you always know you wanted to make music?
I just always made music I guess. Don't know. Guess I wanna have a good time all the time.
What would you say your biggest change was in this new album?
We made it in Memphis Tenn. It was a party. Would have been a different record if we made it anywhere else. My friend Andrew McCallah was living in Memphis at the time, he had recorded a single we did for Bull City Records called “Dog in the Snow.” He called me up one day and said that his girlfriend had moved out and taken everything but his recording equipment. He said 'If you have any songs this'd be a good time to head out to Memphis.' It was great. Memphis and Andrew, they made the record.
Where did the name "Shake My Head" come from?
Would you say "Shake My Head" have a specific theme?
I wanted the first side to be a party and the second side to slowly unravel. After 'Quetzalcoatl Love Song' I wanted the record to slowly move into the ether until the end of 'The Moon is a Schoolgirl'. And then you flip the side and start the party all over again.
What do you think makes your music stand out among others in your genre?
We've got armadillos in our trousers.
What's the hardest thing about being in a band?
There's nothing hard about being in a band, it's everything else that's hard
Do you feel at this point in your career that you're striving to be something or that you've kind just about reached where you are trying to get to.
I don't know. Don't know what to say about that. I just like making music with my friends.
You guys have been making music for quite a while. Is there something more you get from it now that you didn't started out?
Making music is the most fun I ever had. Always will be.
I wanted to thank Dan again for taking the time to talk with us. If you like this then you should defiantly check out their other cleverly named albums: A Celebration of Hunger, and Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World. You should check out their facebook and bandcamp for their new album as well as a free single. I guess I’ll leave you with that.
To keep up with the interviews, album reviews, and music news, like frogs on a log on facebook!