Working girl

By MATT ASHARE  |  June 6, 2007

Are you working on new material while you’re there?
My proposal to myself for this trip was that I would bring a bunch of stuff, like books, DVDs, CDs, and sheet music, rent a piano, and whatever I felt like doing on a particular day, that’s what I would do. Like I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself. But I also know myself well enough to know that I don’t do nothing very well — after one day of doing nothing, of just reading and whacking off, I actually go crazy. So I have spent the past two days reading and whacking off and I’m pretty much ready to get back to work.

What kind of work?
I pretty much hadn’t left the apartment until earlier tonight. The Kaiser Chiefs were playing, so I went to see them. In recent times, they’re my most frequently seen band. It’s interesting watching their history as it rolls along. They are a totally different kind of band. They are about as opposite of the Dresden Dolls as you can possibly get. They’re a fucking everyone-hold-up-your-beer-and-sing-along kind of band. And, I don’t know, I have a real weakness or love for certain veins of just get-your-rock-on, get-your-party-on kind of music. But it’s funny you should mention work because I’ve been feeling sort of half-guilty all night about that. This trip, which is only two weeks, was supposed to be very deliberate downtime. But I got really caught up and excited tonight, and I met this guy at the show who offered to show me around town. So he drove me all around, and he took me to this great bar where I met the owner and I ended up booking a show at the bar for this Tuesday. I’m just going to play piano.

There’s that and then there’s also the fact that I was going to be off-line all week. But then I was like, “I don’t want to be off-line.” I did go on a yoga retreat for 10 days and that worked because doing yoga went hand in hand with not checking my email. But being here actually makes me more anxious about being disconnected from the band and my life. I just enjoy doing it too much. I was thinking about where the balance between what I actually really want to do — which might be staying up all night e-mailing or playing a show when I’m supposed to be technically off — or doing what I’ve come to think I’m supposed to want, which is what’s sort of floating around in other people’s heads, should be. I mean, I have a great time working. So I have to remember that the rules that apply to a lot of other people’s lives just don’t apply to me. You know, I’m more excited when I’m doing shit, period . . . Although I have to say, I used to swing way too hard the other way — especially those first few years of the band. I literally wasn’t having any fun . . . I mean, I was only having that one kind of fun, that workaholic kind of fun. And in the last few years I’ve finally found a balance. You know, I can take a week off from the business of the band, and I can take a day off here and there and not answer my phone messages.

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