Once upon a time, I went on a blind date. Despite my trepidation at being set up, I agreed to meet this mystery women in hopes of finding my “soul mate”. When she walked in, I was overwhelmed by her beauty. You can imagine my disappointment when she opened her mouth to reveal a vast space of emptiness. There was nothing beneath the surface of this beauty. As much as I tried to draw her out and get her to prove that there was substance beneath the tenderness of her smile, it was of no use. I quickly excused myself and never returned. But I still remember her beauty and the image remains with me.
TDOA: I really like the very chill, folky sound that I hear in your songs. Where does that come from?
Chris Mansfield: I was basically born to be nervous. I have a terrible amount of energy. Never have I felt chill. Perhaps I am chilling out via that train beat.
TDOA: Your lyrics are very reminiscent of storylines – where do they come from?
CM: I always wanted to be a writer. Stuck up in an attic with an old typewriter and a dog. I would probably neglect my wife.
TDOA: “Girls With Accents” is a really great song. Can you talk a little about it?
CM: It’s just a snappy pop song. The over-use of profanity was a ploy to avoid radio.
TDOA: Your genre on Myspace is “Grime/Pop/Shoegaze.” I’m not sure I hear much grime in this album – where’s it at?
CM: I just like the sound of that word.
TDOA: How is touring? What’s it like touring with Against Me!?
CM: We start with Against Me! tomorrow. Touring is work. I have never, ever taken it for granted.
TDOA: I love the album cover – who designed the art, and what’s the story?
CM: It’s a photo of a friend on new years eve. Designed by Jenna Derosa. To me the album sounds cold and drunken but also sparkly and optimistic. Just like New Years Eve.
TDOA: Can you talk some about the wolf mask? What were you trying to create/do with it?
CM: They were a prop in a music video that we ended up scrapping.
TDOA: I think I need one of those Fences t-shirts – what’s the upside down church all about?
CM: It was an accident. A mix up at the printers.
TDOA: If you could tell our readers one thing about this album, what would it be?
CM: I am really proud of it and had a wonderful time making it.
TDOA: When I saw a photo of you, I definitely anticipated a different person, but I love all your tattoos. Do they have some kind of collective meaning? (If not, just talk about them. I could listen to tattoo talk forever.)
TDOA: I’m going to go to the bathroom. I’ll be right back….