MM: Right‚ exactly.
SO: That dude is not willing to die for that other dude.
MM: Yeah‚ and you can hear that in the music.
SO: Of course.
MM: Yeah‚ that's some kind of mystery. But that Coltrane quartet‚ when they were out there playing‚ it feels that way. They're that in tune with each other‚ and it's like immediate.

SO: Yeah‚ totally. And to me‚ I find that energy all over the place‚ but like that same vitality of just moving forward so quickly with such velocity. And that feels great-and scary.
MM: But don't you have that relationship to some degree?
SO: Yeah‚ I think so. I mean‚ and that's what I was kind of getting into because you asked about what things are hard or challenging‚ and that's exactly the thing that is challenging‚ the fact that it is scary and it is complicated and it is hard‚ that we all care‚ and that it's an emotional thing for us‚ and it's tied into our lives in so many different ways. There's a lot at stake‚ you know? We all have a lot at stake‚ and so that is the thing that is hard. But it's also the thing that takes the music to that next level.
MM: Do you know what those guys bring out of you?
SO: As opposed to someone else?
MM: Yeah. Like whoever you might be playing with. I know it's a new experience and it might bring something out of you musically‚ but it seems like those guys‚ there's just that probably unspoken kind of thing that just exists at this point.
SO: Yeah. I guess it's unspoken. We all have a language developed musically and a pure language as well. We all have these shared reference points of experiences and music that we listen to‚ things that we've gone over‚ terminology that we've just made up. Someone says "shiny" and we all know exactly what they mean‚ whereas if you find someone else‚ they might not know what we mean when we say "shiny." [laughter] You know‚ like‚ "Make that part more shiny" or "Make that part more purple" or whatever. There are all those languages that are there. And energetically‚ I think there are all sorts of good and bad things‚ responses that we have‚ things that we're able to bring out of each other‚ challenge the other person to really step up in these parts. And those are all good things‚ you know? Sometimes you know that the other person can do this a little better and you challenge them to do it or you inspire them to do it. And there are negative things‚ too‚ habitual responses we have for the way that he chews his gum or packs up his snare drum or‚ I don't know‚ you know ridiculous things like that‚ too.
MM: [laughs] Right.
SO: So there are all sorts of responses we elicit out of each other. But I definitely think as a group‚ our communication is more advanced musically than it is as people. Like I think we're still trying to catch up with the musical communication on just a day-to-day level. Sometimes it can be really hard to explain to each other each other's ideas or really express something. And then we just start playing and it's like‚ Oh‚ it just works out that way.
MM: That's great. Well‚ it's been great to talk with you. And thanks again for writing that piece on Woody-great stuff. [Seth wrote the "Musicians on Musicians" column on Woody Guthrie for the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of State of Mind.]
SO: Thanks for asking me. Did you know that his daughter‚ Nora‚ was trying to get in touch with me? I thought it was a pretty wild thing. I never‚ in my wildest dreams‚ thought that would happen.
MM: Wow! No shit.
SO: Yeah‚ so it was pretty cool! I wrote a little thing on Woody Guthrie for you guys…
MM: …and Nora Guthrie gets in touch with you.
SO: His daughter emailed and she's like‚ "You know I was really moved and really impressed by the article‚ and I want to write him a letter for the holidays." We'll see. I haven't heard back from her yet‚ so I don't know if maybe my email didn't get to her. But it'll be pretty cool to touch base with Woody Guthrie's daughter.