mewithoutYou performs “February, 1878″ and “A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains” – August 10th, 2012 @ The Social – Orlando, FL
Below is a video I took at mewithoutYou’s show at The Social in Orlando on August 10th. They brought along some really talented supporting acts – Buried Beds and Kevin Devine. They’re both worth checking out, and if it weren’t for a dying camera battery I would have gotten videos of their awesome shows as well. (Also, due to whatever strange twist of fate happened to take place, Gallagher was there to give an introduction for mewithoutYou, though he didn’t smash any watermelons. I myself was so confused that I didn’t even realize who it was or what was going on, or else I’d have a video of that.) This show was really intimate, as shows often are at The Social, and the crowd had a lot of energy, which always adds to the live experience. Check out mewithoutYou’s performance of “February, 1878″, and “A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains” below, and don’t forget to listen to their new album “Ten Stories“, which came out in April!
Interview with Aaron Weiss
Aaron is a brilliant writer and lyricist, and it was very humbling to get the chance to speak with him and get to share a few minutes in the world together. I asked him a few questions for the blog of course, here’s what he had to say.
You guys have been on tour for almost three months mow after releasing your new album in [May], how quickly have people caught on to the new songs?
More quickly than I would have expected. It seemed more or less immediate that someone would be singing along, if that’s what you mean.
Yeah, that’s what I mean. I mean, your songs are very powerful and very complex and it seems like it would be hard for people to catch on right away, but when I was in there it seemed like people were right in the swing of things, like they had been hearing it since a long time ago.
So, you guys have been on tour for a little bit, what are some of your favorite places to play, personally?
Well, Philadelphia’s always special because that’s our home town. On this tour Oklahoma City was really good. Austin was excellent. Los Angeles was surprisingly good. Sometimes it’s an intimidating place to play, because they see it all, but it was really exciting. Usually it’s the night when, you know, everyone is enthusiastic and it can be contagious. Or sometimes there might be a really good sound system, like we played in Phoenix – this real nice new club, great sound system and the sound engineer was awesome. But different things can make a show good, sometimes it’s the catering. In San Francisco we played and the cook was so darn good that it made the night really special. Sometimes it’s someone you meet at the show, like in Boise.
(Just then, a member of the mewithoutYou crew came and asked Aaron if he was down to go get some tacos. As much as I would love to have heard more about this awesome person that made his day in Boise, you just can’t hold up a man in need of tacos! On to the next question…)
A lot of your songs tell a story somehow; how heavily do you use metaphor and simile to represent actual event in your life through your songs?
Well, I don’t know. Increasingly so. At first, I guess our first batch of songs it was sort of written from a pretty raw place, I just needed to get something out and [it was] pretty straightforward, not a lot of dressing on it, you know. But over time it starts to feel pretty self-indulgent, you know, to just talk so straightforwardly about yourself all the time, so you want to mix it up and put some of your own…it’s still my experiences and struggles but they’re couched in language that might be more universal or, you know, put in the mouths of animals or characters that someone else could identify with a bit more readily than if it was all about me exclusively.
Because storytelling is almost a way of kind of immortalizing yourself, right? We’ve all learned a story at some point from somebody.
True, I don’t know. That’s strong language.
I mean, to pass down a story – maybe not to immortalize yourself, but to immortalize the story, you know?
Well, I think it has some more posterity than just someone venting to a crowd, using them as a therapist or something, just to dump out all my issues in a relatively straightforward way. It’s nice to dress it up in more colorful clothes.
Kind of going on the same note – Ten Stories personifies a number of different animals, each with a seemingly unique outlook on things, how much do these animals represent maybe people in your life that you’ve met or just influences in your real life?
Well, not so much people, but influences, yeah. Ideas that come along. You can pinpoint some of them to certain writers, but even then I wouldn’t attribute the writing of someone to their personhood – their identity. You say, well, they got it from somewhere, or their thought process and their world was an importation from some social sphere. So I wouldn’t attribute them to people, but definitely to conversations or ideas and concepts that have been kicked around over the years and have found their way into my little thought world, and so they’re different aspects of my own thought world but I couldn’t pinpoint their origin exactly. I could tell you where I got this one from or that one from, but I can’t tell you where they got it from, you know what I mean?
So your mind just kind of puts together little bits and pieces, almost.
Yeah. Just things that resonate or that strike you as helpful or provocative or, you know, intriguing, or whatever, and try to put it together in a way that fits the music in a passable manner.
So Ten Stories has clearly been a big success for you guys judging by how quickly the vinyl box sets sold out – and you guys had to get a second run of those, right? So what’s next for you guys? What’s next for mewithoutYou in 2012?
You mean after this tour?
Yeah, and after this record, just kind of your plans.
Well, that might be a little too far ahead for me to answer accurately. To say after the record runs its course – well, I think we’ve got a little more life on this one. You know, hopefully do some more touring on it. In the past we’ve gone overseas and done more touring. And it’s only been out – I think the record’s been out less than three months, so it still feels really new to me.
Yeah, it does.
So the thought of, you know, recording again – that’s not on my radar at all.
So just more touring pretty much for this year?
Yeah, well a few of us are going back to school in the fall. Like, in a couple weeks really, school starts up. So we’ll have to really shift gears and forget about all this for a couple months and focus on the school work. We get a little break in the winter time, but then it’s really not until next summer that we’ll be able to tour in any real vigorous way. So, it’s probable, we all like doing it and in fact this tour I think we’ve been getting along better than ever, and we’re playing well, enjoying the road, and the bus is running great.
Is this the bus that runs on biodiesel?
Well, I think any diesel engine will run on biodiesel.
Do you use it still? I remember hearing of you guys going on a tour a long time ago and you were using biodiesel.
You’re probably thinking of straight grease. Vegetable oil.
Oh, yeah, right. That’s what I meant.
Yeah, I think it’s becoming harder to find these days. I think it’s becoming more popular and some of the restaurants are getting paid for their grease, so they’re not so eager to give it away as they used to be. It’s more challenging, so yeah, actually we’ve been running mostly diesel.
Gotcha. Well it was great talking to you and I hope to see you guys in Orlando again soon. And thanks again for talking, hope you guys have a good rest of the tour. Take care.
Yeah, you too.