“That right there makes the whole album worth it.”
[Typist’s Notes: This is the third and final segment of an interview conducted with acoustic duo Friction Farm, and it’s being published not a moment too soon. The interview, conducted Feb. 2014, centered on the album I Read Your Book, but as of July 1st, this will no longer be the group’s latest, since its newest release, So Many Stars, will be coming out then.
I. Library Gigs
“I think it’s nice to take music into a different place than it normally is”
Type Writer: I know you’re about to play the Boca library, and didn’t you play a library up in Orlando as well?
Friction Farm Guitarist Aidan Quinn: Orlando, yep.
TW: Are there going to be any more book-oriented gigs after this?
Friction Farm Bassist Christine Stay: We played our local library in Spartanburg; it was a nice gig. And we’re doing one in Lake City [, Florida]. I felt like [playing in libraries] was a good fit, obviously, because people who like books are in there. I just think it’s nice to take music into a different place than it normally is.
“It’s not just about occupying your time while you don’t have any tv to watch.”
Aidan: I think [playing gigs in libraries] reinforces the idea of the… CD because what it’s about is, reading isn’t just about reading. It’s not just about information. It’s not just about occupying your time while you don’t have any tv to watch. It takes you places. And each of us will be inspired differently, or be influenced… differently by what we read. Particularly when it comes to stories, or things that are folk-related.
When you think about it, music is the same thing. The way you hear a song, the way I hear a song, it makes us think two different things. Sometimes two different strange stories.
Christine: I feel like that’s more true of a book than a movie or tv show because you have to create the imagery in your head, so that works a different electric channel in your brain.
Aidan: We know that music makes people feel different ways. You know, the same song, somebody’s gonna get up and dance, and somebody else is gonna start crying. It’s different [ways to] interpret that story.
We [were playing] in a public library, and this young girl, maybe 12, 15, came up to me and said, “I’m gonna read that book; what is it called, the one about ‘Normal’ ?” So I explain it to her, and she goes, “I’m gonna check it out right now.” I said, “I’m sure they have it here.” So she’s like, “I need to read that; I need to know what that’s about.” So hopefully we’ll inspire folks to read.
Christine: And that right there [makes the] whole album worth it.
III. The Laundry Cycle
“I never knew that till anybody pointed it out.”
TW: I just remembered one more question I had, to do with “I’ve Got A Secret.” That song’s supposedly about the Higgs-Boson particle, and physics and all that stuff, but there’s a good deal of laundry-related content in that song…
Christine and Aidan: [laughing heartily]
TW: … and it makes me think of “The Ballad of The Lone Sock.”
Christine: Oh, man…
TW: Is it safe to say that we know what you’re doing when you do housework? [laughs]
Christine: This is so funny, ’cause a friend of ours from North Carolina said, “Oh, I was so glad to find the laundry reference in the new CD too.” I didn’t know what she meant, but all four of our CDs mention laundry in one of our songs. And I had no idea that was true.
Aidan: So now every once in a while, we’ll do The Laundry Cycle, which is the four songs [of ours] which reference laundry.
Christine: “Washing Machine”, “The Lone Sock”, “A Good Apartment” and “I’ve Got A Secret.” They all mention laundry, or something to do with laundry. I never knew that, till anybody pointed it out.
TW: I’m getting rusty with my Friction Farm knowledge: I forgot that you had a song called “Washing Machine.” I think I thought that, but then I thought, “No, that can’t be right” because Kate Bush has a song called “Washing Machine” as well.
TW: She went years without recording anything, then the first album she put out after fourteen years had a song called “Washing Machine.” It’s like, “What have you been doing, Kate?” [laughs]
Christine: [upbeat] I like laundry; it’s a good [time] to think.
TW: [laughs] So any future laundry songs?
Aidan: … Now that the pressure’s on?
Christine: Not intentionally, but I have a feeling they will just crop up, because I didn’t know they had already happened.
TW: How about a laundry concept album, now that you’ve done books? “How To Wash Your Clothes” ?
Christine: [laughs] Well, I feel like we need a sponsorship.
Christine: Yes: Maytag, Tide…
Aidan: GE makes good appliances. [Maybe] we can get them to sponsor us for a nice apartment-sized washing machine.
TW: There ya go. I think that’s gonna be it; thanks, guys…