MM: Yeah‚ that's ballsy right there. Kimock‚ too. I've heard those stories‚ too. He's like‚ the way we play up here‚ it needs to be quiet or we can't hear each other.
RM: Kimock can do that non-verbally‚ too. I've seen him shut up the entire house just with his playing‚ not by getting louder‚ by getting softer. Like he pulls back and pulls back and pulls back‚ and somehow he projects his energy out into the room with this hush. And if the band's sensitive enough‚ everybody does it unison with him and pulls back. It sweeps over the crowd like a wave‚ and then they're all silent. It's amazing. And I'm just looking at the guy‚ and he's sitting there with his eyes shut‚ and I'm like‚ "You crazy Yoda motherfucker‚ man." (laughter) He's playing some ridiculous shit‚ man. This ensemble is fierier than-I don't know‚ maybe I'm not qualified to say this‚ but I think it's fierier than any shit he's ever played. I saw KVHW many times‚ and that shit's pretty fiery‚ but this shit's fiery in a real different way. Having Robert Walter in the mix‚ and he plays the fucking organ-I've never heard anybody play the organ like that. It's like so rootsy and traditional‚ but at the same time‚ it's in fucking outer space. It's like Alice Coltrane and Jimmy Smith had a fucking love child. He gets up in there‚ and the shit's crazy. It's really cool. Robert's been teaching us all these Meters tunes. Last night the whole second set was crazy covers. We did two Meters tunes: "Funky Miracle" and "Pungy." And then we did "Aquafresh" and "Kicking up Dust" by Robert Walter‚ and then we did "Many Rivers to Cross" by Jimmy Cliff. And then we did "Spirits in a Material World" by the Police. And we ended with one of Steve's tunes. It's just really fun‚ man. I'm having a great time. The best show of the tour was in Philly a couple nights ago. It was sold out and a million degrees‚ and we got nastier than we've probably ever gotten. It was crazy. We multi-track recorded the show‚ and it's getting mixed as we speak‚ and they're going to put it up on for free.
MM: Oh nice.
RM: So if you want to check out what we're doing‚ that would be a prime example. It's a hot show in front of a packed room‚ multi-tracked. It sounds pristine. So that will be up within a couple days.
MM: Cool‚ I will definitely check that out. Let me throw one more thing at you.
RM: Please.
MM: Something I was talking to Brian about as well is your place in jazz. We got into this thing about the two of you coming from Oklahoma and not being in any scene‚ but just being completely into the music‚ worshiping these jazz guys that came before you. I've talked to some of the guys who are considered modern jazz-like a couple weeks ago I talked to Robert Glasper.
RM: He's beautiful.
MM: Yeah‚ incredible.
RM: And he's young as shit‚ too. He's like a prodigy.
MM: Yeah. And there's a sound‚ like a New York sound.
RM: Sure‚ sure. There definitely is.
MM: And that's one of the unique things about you guys. Like‚ where do you fit in all this? And I've always looked at it as you guys being the next step because you weren't a part of any sound going on.
RM: We're mutants. (laughs)
MM: Right. But it seems like it's the mutants that really-
RM: Yeah‚ that's evolution. It always starts with a mutant. And then that mutant gets chosen by natural selection. I don't know whether it really works like that‚ but that's how the field widens at least. It always looks like a mutation at first‚ and then eventually you just see a new pattern.
Yeah‚ but‚ I always really dug that‚ man. Growing up in Oklahoma‚ God‚ some of the best musicians I've ever heard or seen were playing around Oklahoma when I was a kid‚ and no one will ever hear of them‚ just because there's not a media blitz coming out of Oklahoma. Some rock bands‚ and some blues guys‚ and some old bluegrass guys that used to play with Bob Wills when they were ten and shit-a lot of very interesting stuff. The eight people that founded Jacob Fred‚ the fact that we were all within a five-year range of each other‚ the fact that these eight motherfuckers grew up in Oklahoma‚ some of them in rural Oklahoma‚ and somehow we were all on the same page and loved the same weird fringe music‚ and we all had the same kind of sense of humor. It was just really one of those things that's not explainable; it's fate. I had never been in a band. When I met these guys‚ they were all college students‚ and I was in high school. I went to go jam with them for the first time and I was like‚ "God‚ who are you people?! This is insane." I'd never played with anybody who was interested in any of the shit I was interested in‚ and then all of a sudden‚ here are seven super confident guys that are all interested in the shit I'm interested in. It was that quick. Overnight‚ I went from having no idea what to do with myself to being among amazing players. It's cool. Brian and I hooked up from the get-go. The night we met‚ we went out to his parents' house and just played bass and piano duets all night. And it just totally fit from the start. It was really cool.
MM: That's pretty amazing. And so now here you are‚ you just played in Brazil…
RM: (laughs) You know?
MM: That's pretty fucking awesome.
RM: It's pretty out. Not a bad way to spend a life.
MM: Yeah. That's another thing: he was saying the struggle part of it‚ too-finally you're at a point where you did that. And that was part of the growth process‚ and that speaks of the music as well‚ being genuine and sincere in the music‚ that eventually that pays off.
RM: And there's nothing like having your faith tested. Of the eight guys that started the band‚ seven years later there are only two left. We were the two that had the most faith. And the fact that we maintained through all that shit-our first drummer committing suicide‚ and crazy‚ crazy living on the road; I was homeless for three years‚ just living in the van‚ and playing for 200 bucks when it cost 300 dollars in gas to get there‚ and years and years of that. Sleeping on people's floors-all the shit that made the other guys fall away. Going through that was an invaluable experience‚ although it was torture. That really shapes you and shapes your relationships‚ to go through that together and help each other sometimes‚ and get in each other's ways sometimes‚ and deal with it. It's really intense shit to go through as friends‚ and that is really what makes the music. That's what gives it depth‚ for me at least. It's the depth of the relationship and what we've been through. The same thing that happened when we met Jason happened when I met all the guys initially-it was just like‚ here's this guy who wants to tour‚ who happens to like all the same shit we like. And when he plays with us‚ we play twice as good as we've ever played before. He just came out of nowhere. He manifested.