Exotic: You toured with the Dandy Warhols during the summer and some reviews have offered up a stylistic comparison between you two. Has their involvement been sort of a mixed blessing? Sometimes when an established band helps out a smaller one, the influence of the bigger band tends to obscure everything. One writer I talked to actually called Rick Bain & the Genius Position "Dandy Warhols proteges."
Joe: We get a lot of that shit in this town. I think it's exclusive to Portland and maybe the Northwest.
Eric: I think a lot of it is--and I hate to say it because I'm most responsible--that damn keyboard bass.
Exotic: Ah, the key bass, just like Zia from the Dandys plays!
Rick Bain: There is that influence, but the key bass allows one of my best friends in the world to play in the band with me.
Eric: It's the only thing I can play!
Exotic: So do you have to take your shirt off on stage?
Joe: He doesn't quite have the boobs for it.
Exotic: You can always tell a band's self-esteem level by their stage presence. Some bands have guys that just stare at their shoes and mope while others actually move and groove.
Joe: We're performers! We want to make it as fun to look at us as it is to hear us.
Eric: We've made ourselves easy targets by trying to be entertaining. But you gotta wiggle your ass a little bit. Some people resent you for that.
Michael: Portland especially. They seem to embrace the shoe-gazers.
Exotic: I guess it's the old "Dandy Warhols vs. Elliott Smith" debate.
Joe: That's right! It seems to be the way things break down in Portland. The indie-rock, Elliott Smith, Quasi thing and then, like us and the Dandys...
Rick Bain: I'm just not sad.
Joe: We just want to have a good time! I love Elliott Smith records, I think he's a great songwriter.
Rick Bain: I do, too, but I think Elliott Smith has more of an ego problem than Courtney Taylor ever could. Do we really give a shit about all that shit?
Joe: Some people do...
Exotic: What was the Dandys tour like? How far did you go?
Rick Bain: Physically? Courtney didn't
touch me and I didn't touch him.
Exotic: Did the Dandys' crowd like you?
Rick Bain: Yeah, I think they did.
Eric: It was a nice challenge for us because we had a virgin audience to what we were doing and each night we had to win them over. It seems like we did that every night.
Exotic: Were you competitive with the Dandys? Did you try and blow them off the stage?
Eric: Every night! But it was friendly competition.
Joe: It was healthy. I think they played better with us opening for them. They're a great live band, but I think we gave them a run for their money.
Exotic: Did you get any girly action on the Dandys tour?
Michael: There was no time! We were always worried about getting to the next city on time.
Joe: We did better on our own tour. With the Dandys there was no time to hang
out and hook up.
Rick Bain: Well, in New York, Joe had two girls fighting over him.
Joe: I'll tell it! There was this one girl I really liked and I invited her to this party but she couldn't come. So I asked this other girl and made out a little bit and the other one showed up and I didn't know what to do. I really liked the first one a lot, so I kind of told the other one to go away.
Exotic: After making out with her?
Joe: Well, I didn't really tell her to leave, it's just that the first girl showed up and got
really mad and kind of made a scene.
a stud! What's your next step career-wise?
Eric: To be heard of.
Joe: We're trying to book another U.S. tour in the same cities we were in with the Dandy Warhols. We're trying to get our label to really get behind it with publicity and radio support. We've been working backwards. We had no album distribution when we toured with the Dandys. We got our records done on the day we left!
Exotic: Do you spend a lot of time thinking about band style?
Rick Bain: Not as a band, but I think individually we do. We like to look good...
Joe: I think we've been wearing the same clothes the whole time. We don't have any money! I have one pair of jeans and one pair of corduroys!
Michael: There were a lot of reviews when we were a young band that focused on the clothes we wore and the clothes our fans wore instead of anything we played.
Exotic: Do you think your music is sexy? Do people get into the grooves in a
Rick Bain: We get a lot of that. I think our music is sexy. Music is great to make love to.
Eric: I like fucking to it.
Exotic: Beats the weather channel, I suppose. Now, when people say there are Beatles fans and Stones fans, they're talking about the Beatles representing a sort of idealized, starry-eyed love and the Stones being more about slipping out for a quick shag. Where do you guys fall in line?
Rick Bain: We're both. We're starry-eyed shaggers. I like the Stones, the whole
take it out to the van and shag thing, but I love every Beatles song. I can't say that about the Rolling Stones. Jagger could seduce a four-year-old girl, but could he put a tear in the eye of both the girl and her grandmother? John Lennon was a starry-eyed shagger.