There’s also that Katy Perry remix. Is there a stigma from diving that deep into the pop world?
Sure, look at a number of blogs and reactions — there’s this kneejerk reaction to pop that’s so aggravating yet hilarious. We pick the remixes carefully, and the guys do it because it’s fun, and, honestly, we’re still not making a lot of money on tour with all the production and what-have-you. So, the way I feel about remixes is, I’m not the biggest fan of them. I think I like originals. I like remixes in the context of, say, when a DJ plays at a party. But when blogs really herald them or something, I just get all confused with the whole thing. Whose is it at the end of the day, then? I don’t know. I’m insecure. But we’ve gone from the “favor” remix to the A-list remix, and I guess I should be proud of that.
Do you guys still keep tabs on Boston bands? In January at the House of Blues, you had Magic Magic and Dirty Dishes open up for you.
I think Magic Magic is really good, but as far as the local scene, I’ve never really been tied to it, because I was always kind of self-consumed. I had my own thing, and I didn’t really think anyone else cared about it, so I felt kind of alone — which makes this whole story surprising, really. And we were never really part of any scene. I think the closest we ever were was like the Pill, or the Basstown nights, you know, the dance nights. Which kind of led to how we were framed in Boston, then subsequently New York.
When we went to New York, the “buzz” scene swallowed us whole, but one thing that never seemed to fizzle out was the excitement and people’s willingness to dance to the music, sloppy and terrible as we were then, tighter and stronger as we are now. So, that helped change the state of mind when people came into our shows — it was okay to dance to a band. When we weren’t part of any kind of scene, like an indie-rock scene per se, or a scene that a label develops, we felt kind of liberated. We knew more DJs than we did bands, so DJs played our music out, and people got used to dancing to us. It surprised New York, because I remember Syd from Frenchkiss telling me, “No one dances like that in New York — ever.” A real band playing dance music composed of pop songs to sing along to, made in a bedroom. Yes, please.
You’ve gone from Frenchkiss to Sony/Columbia. What’s the major-label world like? There seem to be plenty of horror stories.
It’s all you really hear about, but in many ways indies and majors are very much the same. A lot of times, there are more downsides, financially and artistically, to signing with an indie. There are actually a few powerful, good major labels that artists could benefit from, and there are people within other labels that could really make your career, even if the label is difficult or financially troubled. I also believe you can make a hell of a lot more money today being on an indie, so it just depends on luck and current trends and what anyone is going for.