We caught up with the men of Fairbanks, Alaska's Paper Scissors today as the band woke up in Portland as part of their current Northwest Tour. The guys talked to us about their eclectic taste and how they manage to sound nothing really like any other band around. We also chatted a bit about junkyard finds and the person they describe as"bat sh*t insane" who also happens to be their state's governor and a vice presidential candidate. And it's important to note that Paper Scissors were huddled around a cell phone for this interview, so we couldn't always discern who was who...thus we've combined the guys into one giant collective Paper Scissor.
Good morning guys. So how is life up in Fairbanks?
We've been there for a couple of years now. We were finishing school and working and hanging out. We started a new Northwest Tour and have been down here, and at the end, a couple of us are going back there and some of us are sticking around here so we'll see what happens. There are still plans to continue to play, we just don't know where.
So right after this tour it sounds like you guys will take a little hiatus?
Yeah probably...that's just one of many hiatuses.
I've listened to your album a couple times now and have checked out some of your videos up on MySpace and what drew me to give you guys some ink is the total mash-up of different styles and influences. Is that something that's conscious?
It's pretty natural. We all like different kinds of music and we don't like the idea of restricting ourselves to a particular sound really so we just kind of play whatever comes to mind. People do ask us to describe our music all the time and something that comes to mind often is blues rock or dance rock but that misses out on so much. But it gives people an idea, it's what I guess 60 percent of our music is but there's a bunch of other music in there too.
It's hard to classify you guys. Sometimes you sound like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah but then you also sound like Umprey's McGee or the Black Keys ...
We actually like all of those bands a lot. Those are three of my favorites. We can also say Medeski, (Martin & Wood) and Radiohead.
What do you guys listen to in the van when you're traveling?
We love music. And we have a lot of it. A wide variety. Ryan, our drummer is a big Phish Head ...
When you guys are playing...do each of you bring in a different elements? Sometimes there's almost a punk rock edge to it and other times, like you said, it's kind of like dance party music. Is it kind of a collaborative - each person bringing a different piece of the pie or how does it work?
I think we all bring a very different piece. We all come from really different musical backgrounds as far as what we listened to originally and sort of growing up and becoming musically conscious. I think we all were coming from a very different place at that point. I think those backgrounds, all coming from different places, it really meshed together really ...
Do you guys have a good following up in Alaska?
Yeah, Alaska's a really, really cool place to play music. At least Fairbanks is. There's a huge, vibrant art community there, you know visual arts and theater and dance and music - a lot of people play music, there's a lot of bands per capita, I guess you could say, and we come from a very supportive school community. There are a handful or pretty cool places to play but there's one in particular that's kind of our home base and it's this bar called The Marlin and it's right next to the university and they have live music almost every night of the week.
I guess I should ask because you're the first Alaskans I've talked to in the last month: What is your feelings about your ol' governor there?
We're not supporters. She's bat shit insane.
She's a liar, she's a hypocrite and she doesn't share a single ideal that anybody I know has.
Where you guys a little shocked when you heard about it?
It still sounds like a joke.
We couldn't believe because she's totally un-noteworthy. She really hasn't done anything of note in Alaska or for Alaska so why would she be on the Republican ticket? Oh, pure spectacle, that's why. Have you seen the SNL skit? Did it mention that she's the major of the crystal meth capital of Alaska? Because it's true. Wasilla is a mall. It's one long strip mall. It's a suburb of Anchorage and of course it has a drug problem.
It must just be maddening to see some lady in Oklahoma with a big perm and a lot of eye makeup saying "I love her" "She's great."
It's crazy. It makes you want to bang your head against a wall.
What I've just realized though is that the Republican Party is playing the Alaska ticket just 'cause we're connected somehow to Alaska.
8pm Saturday September 27. Silvermoon Brewing Co. 24 NW Greenwood Ave.