Is this how we’ll always find you pre-show?
BASSIST ZACH CAROTHERS: It depends. This trip obviously we have a lot of stuff goin’ on. It always gets pretty hectic. But this drink is a nice touch. It’s a nice vibe to set for a chat.
KEYBOARDIST KYLE O’QUIN: We’re not really big ritual guys. Five minutes before we play everybody in the room is like, “Hey, we’ll get out of here and let you do your thing,” but there’s no set thing. We just sit here and do this.
ZACH: We listen to the Righteous Brothers and drink whiskey with our friends. And usually we’re figuring out what the fuck we are going to play.
Some might think the life of a rock star is easy, but really it’s been eight years of hard work. Do you feel like people recognize that?
ZACH: It’s unbelievable. Some people do, some people don’t. Yeah, we have fun, I drink on the clock but we don’t sleep very much. We left Portland on Sunday and I’ve probably slept eight hours since Sunday, I’m beat. And I’m probably not going to sleep again this whole weekend.
Have you ever had moments when you felt like giving up?
ZACH: Lots. It’s an oddly lonely thing being a musician, which is weird because I’ve got a shit load of friends but in reality I don’t really know them. I’ve got my friends in Chicago and they’ll come and party tonight but I don’t know where they went to school, I don’t their parents’ names. I know absolutely everything about my band and crew but beyond that I just have a lot of really good acquaintances. It’s very strange. Whenever we are home for a few weeks and I get to see people who aren’t my band members for like four days in a row I get fucking really weird. I don’t know what to talk about anymore.
What have you sacrificed over the years?
ZACH: Apartments, college degrees, girlfriends, dogs, beds, homes…
KYLE: I want a dog so bad! I literally live out of a suitcase all year. I don’t even unpack when I go home. We were just home for three weeks and it was the weirdest thing ever … Maybe that’s why my room is so dirty, because I’m used to having somebody come in and make my bed everyday.
How do people perceive you from back home in Alaska?
KYLE: I think they think it’s crazy. Which we do a lot of crazy stuff I guess but they’ll be like, “Tell me a story, what’s the craziest thing that has happened?”
ZACH: We’ll say, “Our God damn travel agent booked us on this flight from here to here and we didn’t have enough time to make the connection. It was fucking psychotic.” Then they’re like, “That’s not what I’m talking about, man.”
Are you able to enjoy each city you play in?
KYLE: We try to spend a lot of time [exploring the city]. A lot of bands go and hang out with people but we always try to find local artists, go out to dinner, meet the people who are running restaurants and festivals and integrate because we are constantly in such different parts of the world. If you don’t actually go and hang out with the people that live there and go see the town [you don’t get to know the city]. We want to go to the shittiest dive bar in Santiago, you know what I mean?
ZACH: We want to go to the nicest restaurant and the worst bar.
KYLE: In that order.
Where did you guys go last night while in town?
KYLE: We keep it classy. We went to a very nice restaurant and then Rossi’s.
ZACH: Nellcôte. It was fantastic. It was delicious. Everyone was hanging out. It was us, Broken Bells and Chvrches.
Is it comical to read tweets from girls saying they want to marry you?
ZACH: It’s cute. It’s very flattering. Well, first of all, I’d be a terrible husband. I’m never here. Unless you like that kind of thing. Never have time to call. I have awful credit. There are a lot of reasons. I’m a very nice guy, I’m a gentleman. I’ll do the dishes, I’ll take out the trash, I’ll pay the tab; I’ll do all of that stuff but it’s not going to be very often. If you’re going to marry me you’re kinda just going to be on your own and we’ll text a lot.
What did your parents say when you told them you wanted to be a musician?
KYLE: My dad was like, “Go ahead and drop out of school.”
ZACH: He just didn’t want to pay for it anymore. [Laughs]
KYLE: Totally. That’s the absolute truth.
ZACH: Mine were always very supportive. My mom of course was like, “Go for it. Follow your heart.” Classic mom stuff. She’s a supporter. My dad was all about that but always in the back like, “So when are you going to knock this off and go back to college?” But then finally when we got to a point where we were playing shows like Lollapalooza he said, “You know what? Never mind. Do this. You have a good opportunity here.” We’ve got really good families.
If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?
KYLE: We were talking about this the other day. I think it would be awesome to have a glass of wine with Beethoven. Actually, I guess we couldn’t really talk so maybe not. I take that back! I’d love to have a drink with Elliott Smith.
ZACHARY: Kurt Cobain would be a good one.
KYLE: I’ve had a drink with Courtney Love! I saw her at Coachella and she was looking around like she didn’t know anybody and I said, “You need a drink.” We walked into our trailer and nobody was in there so we just sat down and started talking.
See that’s one of those crazy stories you can tell your friends back home.
ZACH: We’ve had some weird celebrity run-ins. It’s fun.
KYLE: Danny DeVito tickled the shit out of me. Remember that? For like way awkwardly long.
ZACH: It was hilarious. He messed up our band name. He gave us a shout out on Twitter and he said our band name wrong. He called us Portugal Demand so in honor of that we changed our band name on Twitter for a week and called ourselves Portugal Demand.
KIRSTEN MICCOLI / A DRINK WITH
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