I. Hometowns and Birthdates
“Once you answer these [questions], you never have to [do so] again.”
Type Writer: I’m gonna start off with some biographical questions; once you answer these, you never have to answer them again [laughs]
Jeph:[laughs] Okay! [They’ll be] documented.
Type Writer: Exactly. So, I believe I read in the Miami New-Times that you guys moved here from Waterloo [a university town in Ontario, Canada]. Is that where you grew up?
Jeph: More or less. Tom and I were born in Mississauga, which is outside of Toronto, and I was ten years old [when] we moved to Waterloo, which is an hour away, and we lived another ten years there.
Type Writer: And you, Hannah?
Hannah: I moved around a lot, [but] I lived the longest in Waterloo. I was born in Newfoundland, which is a place Canadians like to make fun of. [laughs]
Type Writer: You’re a Newfie? [derogatory term for people from Newfoundland] I know about Newfies! [laughs]
Hannah: Yeah, that explains a lot. And now I’m blonde, so I just have everything have working against me.
Jeph: She’s a blonde Newfie.
Type Writer: Blonde but not for much longer, right? [Typist Notes: At the time of this interview, Hannah had already announced she was returning to her natural brunette colour shortly]
Hannah: Not for [much longer]! [But] it gave me an excuse for a while.
Jeph: [Now] you’re gonna have to [just] rely on being a Newfie.
Type Writer: Tom, you’re the younger of the —
Tom: Yeah, I’m the youngest. [Hannah]’s twenty-eight days older than me.
Type Writer: Oh, so you’re the youngest in the band too? [Tom is the younger of the two Thorslund brothers]
Hannah: Not that I ever rub that in his face.
Hannah: I have twenty-eight days over you.
Tom: I don’t mind. I learn so much.[Hannah laughs]
Type Writer: So when’s your birthdays?
Tom: [Hannah’s] September 1st and I’m September 29th.
Type Writer: I’m September 29th.
Tom and Hannah: Really?
Type Writer: Yeah, yeah.
Jeph: [laughs] We didn’t plan that.
Type Writer: Yeah, I’m calling b******t on this whole thing.
[Hannah, Jeph and Tom laugh]
Type Writer: Man, you guys are playing me.
II. What’s in a (punk-rock) name?
“He gets mad when I don’t [spell] it [that way].”
Type Writer: So, is Jeph short for something?
Jeph: Ah, no. Jeffrey [laughs]
Type Writer: It’s an unusual spelling, that’s why I had to ask.
Jeph: It’s my punk-rock spelling.
Hannah: [laughs] He gets mad when I don’t [spell] it [that way].
Jeph: [I thought,] I gotta create a name like Iggy Pop, but then I just changed the spelling of my own name.
Type Writer: Perry Farell did that. You know, “peripheral”. It took me years to figure that out.
Jeph: I figured that out just now.
Hannah: Well, I made my name a palindrome. Not quite as cool.
Type Writer: That’s going a bit too [far]. I’m not sure which is worse, Tom co-opting my birthday –
Type Writer: — or you making a palindrome out of your name, that seems to be a bit too much.
III. Hannah and Jeph
“I [would see] her when I would go back to Canada to visit family. That’s when we started to get closer.”
Type Writer: Okay, Hannah and Jeph, did you guys meet musically, socially, academically…?
Jeph: Socially. We were friends for quite a while in Waterloo, and then Tom and I moved away, then I [would see] her when I would go back to Canada to visit family. That’s when we started to get closer.
Type Writer: So you guys met socially but you both happen to be musicians?
Hannah: Not at the time. I was fourteen or something, and I started to play guitar [then] and [to write] songs, but I never told [Jeph]. But he always had a band. It wasn’t until he came back [to visit] that I actually played some stuff [for him.]
IV. Tom and Jeph
” ‘Oh, guitar is way too hard; I guess I’ll end up being the keyboard player of the band’ “
Type Writer: So I take it [Tom and Jeph] grew up playing instruments?
Tom: Yeah. I was banging on pots and pans… so I kinda had to buy drums.
Type Writer: And your parents were cool enough to let you learn the drums?
Tom: Yeah. They were more than down. They were very patient. [Jeph laughs]
Hannah: They tried to prevent it as long as possible.
Jeph: [Our] dad was into bands when he was younger too; he played bass and sang, usually. And I… took piano lessons for a while, but I didn’t really have too much fun with that. I kinda thought, “Oh, guitar is way too hard; I guess I’ll end up being the keyboard player of the band”, but I never really thought that was that cool. I just kinda thought that was my lot.
Type Writer: So technically, piano was your first instrument?
Jeph: Yeah, I guess so.
Tom: Technically, mine too.
Type Writer: Oh, yeah?
Tom: I didn’t stick with it that long.
Jeph: Then I started playing some bass, because my dad had [one]. And, you know, it’s one note at a time, and I sorta played some Green Day songs and stuff like that when I was a teenager. And then it was,like, [to dad] “Okay, teach me some chords”. So my dad taught me some chords.
Type Writer: So your dad was mostly a bass player then?
Jeph: Yeah, and he played guitar too. Mostly acoustic guitar, he just kinda —
Hannah: [He’s been] playing the same five songs his whole life. [laughs]
Jeph: Yeah, [he’d] sing the same five songs over and over again. Paul McCartney and stuff. [laughs]
[Coming Soon: PartII — Influences]