Just listening to the Microphones, there is a definite core of grunge to it'
But on top of it, you have a strange sense of '60s melody Did you get that from your parents' record collection or from the record store you worked at?
My dad used to make my sister and I mixed tapes of the Beach Boys and the Beatles when we were little, but I went through this whole Beach Boys phase - of course, everyone probably does that. I remember a specific night, recording in Anacortes, where I did a vocal harmony where I went 'Aaaah' instead of saying words on top of other words. It was 'wow this really changes the texture, I've got to explore this more.' Then I got really into working with thick harmonies in that way. Just listening to the Beach Boys music and hearing how they use that. I don't know. I was also really into Phil Spector, of course, and would think about recording... especially in here where all the equipment is really old. I always wanted a book that tells us specifically what they did to get those crazy sounds. I just want 'then they placed the U-67 in a bucket and had 45 people singing.' I've heard so many rumors about crazy studio things, I just want to read about them. Like those Beatles log books - they're pretty explicit, so it seems like they are written down somewhere.
With the space you guys have here, it might be a hassle, but you could get 40 musicians in here to get the Wall of Sound.
Oh yeah, it's tough because it's a small town, there's not that many people that live in Olympia. I've done a lot of things like getting people to come in and all do just one thing. But most of the recording I do here is one thing at a time, though I've done one song where there's a bunch of people playing all the instruments, but it's really not necessary now that we have the 16-track.
Have you've worked with any digital recording equipment?
Not really, just in editing and mastering a couple of CDs, and then I recorded one song at Yo-Yo Studio over at the Capitol Theater, but that's ADAT. I've guess that I've played around with it at people's houses just briefly. I don't know. I'm not into it at all, I'm kind of a purist.
In the Microphones, what's with the love of the Tympana?
Well, that sound of a huge powerful blast, in any form, like a big bass drum or an amp falling over. That sound represents a really concise and powerful punch that I really like to use. It can be used orchestrally for swells, but also that BAM! Distort it a little bit and keep it really low. I've been working for years on designing this bass drum. Going on tour with this bass drum on the back of a semi-truck. Maybe made out of a grain silo' like 12 feet across. Just get a bunch of cow hides and sew them together and stretch them and hit it with a baseball bat. Have that on stage with a guitar, bass and a singer, like those Taiko drummers in Japan - I love huge drums like that.