The Absynth Quintet has a CD release party coming up. You should come, it will change your life. Telepathy with Glowbugs, our first album available on vinyl as well as digital formats, is a collection of eclectic material written on napkins in late night diners and incubated during about three years of hot van rides on the west coast between 2010 and 2013. Jen Savage was too busy giving CPR to sea turtles and asked us to interview ourselves. So here goes...
Weʼre driving on I-5 in the big blue AQ van on the way to play a gig at Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe. Tofu is manning the helm while eating a steaming sausage, chard, rice and onion casserole out of a tupperware, the dish has a strong odor and itʼs making Ian nauseous so he is sitting shotgun, playing one of his custom banjos.
" Between bites, Tofu offers insight into the cause of bird deaths at solar farms. Grabbing an unseen brain thread, Ryan pipes in from the back of the van, and steers the subject towards weather pattern changes as a result of wildfires. The term “pyro- cumulous” is the word of the day. Apparently birds vaporize at solar farms and raging wildfires cause thermal updrafts into the atmosphere altering cloud formation, the relationship between these two seemingly divergent subjects is fire-induced metamorphosis. Burning changes things.
" In the song “Tofinski” Ryan penned the line “...and all of the while the smoldering pile sits fanning himself in the wind” a lyric typical of our new album - both confusing and incorrect grammatically, yet somehow exactly what needed to be said. Perhaps a more poignant line, later in the song “he walks on his hands, but only because of his legs” captures the essence of what we are trying to do as a band - evolve new ways of purveying our illogical ear art through turning what first seem like limitations, into possibilities. No, actually thatʼs complete bullshit.
" John wakes up and looks like a dinosaur being born for a minute. We talk about Iyengarʼs eyebrows and when, as a man, itʼs time to start trimming them. Ryan offers his smoothie to John, who accepts. The van smells like blueberries and mangos now which is an improvement over Tofuʼs anaerobically decomposing meat-food. Tofu told me not to make fun of his food about an hour ago and after reading that last line out loud he shoots me “firm” glance in the rearview mirror. Have you ever watched AQ Food Safety Guidelines on Youtube?
" What are we supposed to say in an interview we give ourselves? Why are they making me write this? Will more people come to our show if we are sincere and normal? Vulnerable? Okay, hereʼs a sincere and normal interview:
INTERVIEWER: How do you describe your music?
BAND: Tofu - Well on OKCupid one time some girl said that, “your description of your music as Kinetic Gypsy Jamgrass makes me want to puke in my mouth”. Ryan - Weʼre supposed to send Jen a picture.
INTERVIEWER : Um, er, OK. What are your influences?
BAND: Tofu - We played a taqueria in Ashland. Ryan - It was more of a taco bar. INTERVIEWER: Um. So...what are your influences?
BAND: Ryan - I love this van man, itʼs my little boat.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, so tell me about your new album, Telepathy with Glowbugs.
BAND: Tofu - Itʼs the newest album weʼve ever done. Ryan - What do you say about this album? What are we gonna do about Dronkers, man? Will somebody come down there and do that interview at KHUM with me. Ian - My folks will be in town. Tofu - I will! INTERVIEWER: Shit. This is sorta hopeless. I made kale salad last night for this trip and I had to wash aphids off the kale.
INTERVIEWER: Iʼd like each band member to describe your experience in the AQ in two words.
John - action packed
Tofu - moʼ rhythm
Ryan- That question sucks. Thatʼs a bad question. It seems so arbitrary...why two words?
Ian - double down
Bird - why me?
INTERVIEWER: Great! Thanks for your time. Tofu - Just donʼt send that fucking shit about my food.