HAMMER of the GODS: an. interview with Tim Midyett

by Steve Durham

From Fall 2016

Tim Midyett is a veteran of the bands Silkworm, Bottomless Pit, and Mint Mile. He spoke with me via Skype from his home in Chicago. We talked about his Montana roots and the path that took him and Silkworm from Big Sky Country to Seattle and, finally, to Chicago.  Our talk turned to the 2013 film Couldn’t You Wait?, which chronicles Silkworm’s career and sudden end when the band’s drummer, Michael Dahlquist, was killed in 2005.

SD: I think that film does a great job of exploring your independence as a band and as artists.  

TM: That’s been a real gift. I couldn’t have ever imagined that it was even possible to make that movie . . . Seth Pomeroy, the guy who directed it, actually talked to Michael about doing it before Michael died. I remember Michael mentioning it to me and nothing came of it . . . Then after he died, Seth said, “what about this movie I want to make?”

At this point I was in pretty bad shape . . . and he waited a respectful amount of time, obviously.  I was like, sure, do whatever you want, because I thought, there is no fucking way somebody’s going to get a movie out of this shit.

I mean, there’s a story there. I knew there was a story. You’re just going to have a bunch of pasty dudes talking about this band. There’s no footage. And somehow he came up with all this stuff. He did that thing that Julien Temple did in The Filth and the Fury, that Sex Pistols movie. [Temple] did a really good job in that movie of using still photos to create a mood and movement with editing over the music so you felt like you were in something, even if it was just photography. Seth did that in that movie. . . . But still I feel a huge sense of debt. I really owe that guy. Like I was saying, I never even took any pictures. And now I’ve got that.

SD: It’s a great memorial. And that is why we’re here. You’ve mentioned Michael Dahlquist a number of times. Obviously his death was the pivotal moment. That was the end of Silkworm. And 18 months later, the first album from Bottomless Pit comes out. What happened to Michael? And what happened in the year-and-a-half before you had that first Bottomless Pit album out?

TM: [Silkworm] started in ‘87 and moved to Seattle in 1990. We hooked up with one of those manager guys I was talking about for six months and the best thing that came out of that is that we met the Dahlquists. One of those guys was Michael. I guess you could call him a drummer. [Laughs] He was someone who played the drums at that point but he wasn’t really a drummer yet. We could see in him that he had a massive amount of potential.  And we just loved him as a guy immediately.

So we had him join the band even though he didn’t really know what he was doing and he couldn’t keep time particularly well. Then over the next 15 years, we played together in the group. Joel Phelps ended up leaving the band in 1994 but the rest of us stuck together for another 10 or 11 years. Michael became one of the great drummers of his era, honestly . . . a super-awesome, soulful, irreplaceable kind of musician.

In the middle of 2005 . . . he was driving back to the place he worked from lunch with two friends of his who were also friends of mine, John Glick and Doug Meis – two other guys who worked at Shure [Inc.]. And as a side note, I had worked at Shure until about four months before that, so I don’t know if I would have been in that car, but it’s conceivable. 

Michael was driving and they were stopped at a red light. This woman was behind them on the road a few miles but catching up fast because she was going like 90 miles an hour in her Mustang. She was trying to find something to run into; she wanted to die and she found them and ran into them. She didn’t die but all three of those guys did. . . .

SD: Hammer of the Gods came out in November of 2007. Michael’s death was in July of 2005. In that time you’re grieving, there’s an ongoing investigation and trial surrounding Jeanette Sliwinski, the driver of that car. You had to find bandmates, you had to come up with material, and you had to put out an album. And all the time, you’re dealing with the death of a very close friend and bandmate. How did you get through that? 

TM: Playing music was part of it. We never thought about it, [Silkworm guitarist Andy Cohen] and I didn’t. First of all, it was blatantly obvious when we heard what had happened. There was no discussion of, “what are we going to do with the band?” It was just done.

I’m not under the delusion that I’ll ever have that again with anybody; it’s impossible. I play with guys I really like right now. The drummer I play with right now is just awesome. I never thought I’d be as psyched to play with a drummer as I was to play with Michael again, but I kind of am.

As much as I love playing with Jeff [Panall] or the other guys I play with now, you can’t replace a family relationship and when you grow up with someone, that’s a family relationship. We always talked at the end about [Silkworm]. In interviews we would say it’s less like we’re a band and it’s more like you’re just getting together with your brothers to hang out and then you play music together. . . .

Andy and I don’t play music together anymore at this point, but he and his family still come over to eat all the time. It’s that loss. It’s so huge that the band thing was just an obvious casualty of it.

Andy and I gravitated towards playing again fairly naturally and it happened pretty quickly. Which is weird. I don’t really have a great explanation of why it happened so fast. I guess we just didn’t know what else to do. There was no decision even to do it. . . .

    We needed to play with people who weren’t going to feel like they were spectators in watching us work through all the stuff we had to work through. That’s how we hooked up with Brian Orchard and Chris Manfrin. Brian had never played bass in a band before but he played bass in [Bottomless Pit]. Chris is a very accomplished drummer who played in Seem for a very long time. He played in these bands Six Toe and The Shiny Ghost and Diss. We first knew him from him playing in Diss, a great Milwaukee band.

Those guys were good friends with Michael. They were in the same boat we were.

Having guys who kind of got everything and didn’t have to have anything explained to them really streamlined the process and it made us easier for us to pour ourselves into the band. 

That’s kind of how we got going . . . those guys were long term friends who were going through the same stuff we were. There were not going to be any uncomfortable things where they had to deal with this . . . dark music that we were laying on them a lot of the time. They understood and they understood not just from that but from other stuff that had happened in their lives – personal tragedy or whatever.

That was the perfect mix of people to be playing with and we just did it on feel. There was no thought that went into it at all. It was just feel. …  And people started asking us to play at things and we figured well, I guess we better have a band and get these songs worked out. That’s how it got started. 

SD: There’s something really nuanced going on on that first album, Hammer of the Gods. You clearly honor Michael but you never use his name. And at the same time it’s clear to anyone who knows the story that he is central to the album’s focus. What drove that choice?

TM: The interesting thing about making music to me, the thing I love about it, is that I never do anything consciously. I think Andy’s probably slightly less like that than I am. He might occasionally think “I’m going to write a song about X.” But I never have done that in my life, basically. It just pops out and then I have to circle back and look at it. . . . I’ve got to put the antenna out there and pick up whatever is out there. Or, I go inside myself and just vomit it. And then the editing process is a different hat that goes on at that point. That’s the only time I’m self critical. And I’ve got to edit. 

    There were definitely things that we did in Silkworm that are not edited, . . . [Laughs] that are super word heavy. There’s charm in that but it’s also, I don’t want to say it’s a juvenile way of doing it, it’s just a different way of doing it. I wouldn’t have necessarily done it differently but as I’ve aged I’ve really come to value editing. With lyrics in particular.

    To answer your question, looking back on it, there’s just a desire to tap into the essence of what was happening way more than the specifics. Just detailing details or trying to micro-target it to just Michael seemed like not enough because the feelings were so overwhelming and big that it was more important to kind of zone in on them.

When I think about what I try to do with music, it’s to try to take a feeling . . . or a thought, or sometimes an observance, and kind of capture it in amber so that I can look at it in detail anytime I want. Doing that requires either playing the thing live or, if it gets recorded, then that’s another layer of artifice you have to manage: reproducing it through headphones or a stereo. And if I can do that and get what I put into it back or, even better, get a kind of amplified version of what I’ve put into it, then I win and I didn’t put just a story into it. I put a feeling into it; that’s what I wanted to get back and that’s why it’s probably more generalized.

SD: Those of us who are on the outside looking in on grief often concern ourselves with closure. And it’s really tempting to say, okay you put the album to bed, you’re done with it, but I know in previous interviews you’ve dismissed the idea of closure pretty strongly. Why do you think we are so preoccupied with this notion of closure?

TM: I think people don’t want to have open-ended problems. [Laughs] They don’t want to have endless grief about things. I’ve come around on that a little bit. I honestly thought I would never get over Michael dying and that’s kind of where I was coming from before. But the truth is I think I kind of have. I’m never not going to be not sad about it. I had to finally go to therapy, which I should have done a long time ago, honestly. But just in the last couple of years I’ve done a lot of work on that front and been helped to realize you can put this stuff in its rightful place which is in the past. It’s never going to have not changed my life or any of that stuff. Or changed the lives of almost everybody I love as well.

The huge impact of Michael dying can’t be overstated, really. But it doesn’t have to affect my life today. It doesn’t have to continue to change my life. It can be something that happened. It was a little bomb that went off, or a huge bomb in this case, but it doesn’t have to keep blowing up.

    I guess if you’re talking about closure in that sense, then maybe I’ve found it. Maybe I finally got there. But it is irritating [laughs] when you’re in the middle of something and people are like, “well at least this or at least that,” or, “you got to blah, blah.” It’s always well-meaning but you’re just… I’m just trying to keep my head above water here. I don’t really need that. Just look at me sympathetically and give me a hug or something.

There’s kind of a desire to close stuff off. . . . It’s not realistic. . . . There’s some wounds that never really heal for people and that’s okay. If I am where I think I am with stuff then that’s great but if I was still where I was two years ago, that’s common. You don’t need to beat yourself up over not being able to let something like that go. I think it’s a normal thing to not be able to let it go. . . .

SD: How about your regard for Jeanette Sliwinski? I’ve heard you say before that’s another really open wound. Has there been any softening there? 

TM: I honestly don’t think about her much. She’s just someone who did what she fucking did and it was horrible. I don’t know anything about her. The truth is, I don’t have any ill will towards her. I don’t want anything terrible to happen to her. I find it hard to say I’ve forgiven just because I find that hard to believe. But I kind of feel like I’ve forgiven her. Just because I don’t give a fuck.

She did it. She did that. It happened. She ruined three lives for sure, completely, irrevocably. We know that. And these weren’t just random dudes. These were really good people – all three of them. The thing that was so hideous about it was any one of those guys dying would have been terrible. But the fact that they died together . . . Three total birds-of-a-feather. Real gregarious, real friendly friends, guys people loved. Every memorial service for every guy was just jammed to the gills with people.

That’s three guys. The overlap in the Venn diagram of those three guys is significant but it’s not nearly complete. Michael had this circle that went out for a couple thousand people probably. The impact of that can’t be overstated. But she’s just a fucking person and people are fucking stupid. They do dumb shit all the time that affects other people.

She has had her problems and I have no idea what’s going on with her and I don’t really care that much. I don’t wish her any ill.

SD: One of the hardest things to read about was a culture of survivor’s guilt that was around the offices at Shure. The people who could have been or should have been in the car that day. You said it yourself. If you’d stayed on with the company who knows where you would have been on that day?

TM: I know people who literally were like, “Hey do you want to go to lunch?” and the guy is like “Nah, I’m going to stay here.” That guy lives two blocks away from me, my friend Jim who plays with Brian Orchard. Jim was like, “no I brought my lunch, I’m going to stay here and eat it.” Literally, he was one growl of the stomach away from being in the car or one unappealing sack lunch away from being in the car. What can you say? You just kind of shake your head and figure, well . .  

I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe in any of that stuff. I don’t think, “well I guess my number wasn’t up,” because then that implies someone’s number was up. But you just have to figure, “well, I dodged that and good for me, I guess.” If it was going to happen at least I wasn’t there, you know? There were a lot of people who could have very easily been right there with them for sure. There was another seat in the car. There was no reason there wasn’t somebody else in there.

SD: I wonder a little bit about the title of that first album – Hammer of the Gods. Despite the obvious Led Zeppelin reference, were you talking in any way about a capricious universe?

TM: Totally. Absolutely. That’s it. The funny thing is, all the titles for all the Pit records . . . were old titles that one of us had proposed for a Silkworm record that never got used. Hammer of the Gods? I don’t know who nixed it. [Pauses] I think maybe it was Michael so it’s kind of a joke on him, almost. . . . That one was something we just kicked around. It seemed funny back then. There was kind of a dark humor in saying, alright, let’s take this title that was a joke- that you would call a record Hammer of the Gods after the Led Zeppelin biography – and let’s use it for real. This is actually totally applicable.

It’s like when I came up with the name Bottomless Pit. We had discussed calling a Silkworm thing The Bottomless Pit of Partying or something like that as a joke. My kid was a year old and to sing her to sleep, I would sing to her sometimes Redemption Song by Bob Marley which has a line in it about a bottomless pit. . . .  I had been listening – and still do listen – to a ton of Jamaican music. That phrase was in my mind and I also thought it was a totally cheesy name for a band. There’s something about it that’s just so dark.

There’s actually a metal band named Bottomless Pit. We were probably the second and they were the third. So they’ve now inherited it sort of. . . . Hammer of the Gods was the same thing. We were just like, let’s call the record Hammer of the Gods, you know? Fuck us if we thought that was a good title before. It should definitely be a good title now. That’s how it ended up as the name.  

SD: I listen to Leave a Light On and there’s really strong echoes of Joy Division. I know they and New Order were really big for you. And that’s another series of bands with a death right in the middle, that of Ian Curtis. Did that in any way serve as a model?

TM: I think that’s obvious. [The Bottomless Pit] records are shot through with that sound. It is a very strong influence on the first record in particular. . . . For sure, it’s an applicable sound for what we were going through but that’s also our version of blues music. That’s what we grew up on. . . . I learned to play bass playing those super-repetitive bass lines over and over again.

And so it’s natural when you’re kind of rocked to your foundation to go back to what’s there. If the house gets knocked down, you start with the foundation again. That’s it for us. That’s where we end up. When I boil off everything I’ve ever come into contact with since I started playing music, when I boil all that off, that’s what I’m left with, that music. Certainly the feel of that music is desolate and dark and no doubt that was a big influence on us the whole time.

Beyond the music the way that those guys – New Order, in particular – dealt with what happened to them, we did it exactly the same way. We didn’t do that consciously. It just seemed to us like the only way to do it.

I actually saw New Order for the first time – I’ve seen them a couple of times since – just a couple years ago. . . . It was a super-emotional experience for me because I’ve loved them for so long and also because their music is just shot through with this sense of mortality.

I saw them and I saw Neil and Crazy Horse two weeks before that: both amazing shows. I felt the same way at Neil. I cried three times because it was just so heavy and his music, in particular, the stuff he does with Crazy Horse is that way as well. It is just shot through with loss and mortality and in a very real sense, especially with him, with Neil. That might have been the last time I will ever see him play with Crazy Horse. He’s an old man now . . . and watching him transform himself and just pour himself into this stuff. That was kind of a commentary on everything he’d been through and seen and was probably going through now was just really moving.

Same thing happened at this New Order show. At the end, we were waiting for an encore that seemed imminent and my wife turned to me and she felt exactly the same way. We didn’t even have to talk about it – she was like, “So, uh, how do you think they deal with all their stuff?”

I was like, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I guess they just roll with it.”

They came out and they did an all Joy Division encore. They did like four Joy Division songs . . . and then at the end, this enormous thing goes up on the screen that says Joy Division Forever. That was it and they left the stage. And so I looked at my wife and [said], “That’s how they fucking deal with it. . . ”

SD: And that’s almost 40 years after Ian Curtis’ death.

TM:  Exactly. And that’s not a marketing thing I don’t think. Maybe they focus-grouped that and realized, “Oh, ‘X’ number of people saw Control, so we can do this now.” But I doubt it. I think that was just them being, alright, this is how we handle this now. The other shows I’ve seen since then – two of them – have been exactly the same way: with this unflinching “BOOM! you’re going to watch this now and you’re going to have to reckon with where this came from.” The ashes that this group rose from… I admire that band a lot. Obviously they have a lot of interpersonal turmoil with the original members and all that. But the way they dealt with that is the way we dealt with it and I think that’s because it’s the only good way to do that if you’re going to keep going.

SD: When you’re in that creative process is Michael somehow present?

TM: He is for sure. The way we wrote and made stuff up, really, was so intertwined that I would never be able to take him out of that. He literally learned to play the way he plays by playing with me and Andy, in particular, for hours. We would play with him for a long time. I remember an early song of Andy’s called Scrawl that’s on the first record we ever made called L’Ajre. [Andy and Michael] would get to practice early. They would play Scrawl for an hour before we would practice . . . he wanted the drums to be a particular way. If you listen to that song in particular, you can hear the rhythm of him and Michael synching up.

For me and Michael, we worked a lot on playing together. You can hear on the early stuff I push him a little bit. I’m a big proponent of bass not playing ahead of the beat but I will do that on those early records because I’m trying to nudge him into a particular thing. You can hear it happen. We’ve remixed some of this stuff recently. On the old stuff I will do that. But by the time we get to Libertine, which is the third Silkworm album, I don’t do that anymore. I am behind the beat like a bass player typically is, or just on it. We’re bouncing off stuff together. My point is, we became such a unit at that point. That experience will never be gone; it’s in my hands, it’s in the way I play, it’s in the way Michael plays, it’s in the way Joel plays. All of that stuff works together.

The other thing about him is that he was such a lover of stuff. He was voracious in his appetite for movies and music and books. I don’t think I’ll ever probably exhaust everything that he’s left for me to be into. Just recently, I read Suttree by Cormac McCarthy which I hadn’t happened to have read before. I had a copy that Michael had given me five years before he died and then I gave it back to his brother, Stuart. I bought my own and two years after that I finally fucking read it and while I was reading it, I was like alright, I get it. I get why I should have read this book ten years ago when Michael first asked me to read it.

And there’s just so much stuff like that. He was on this comic called Achewood . . . I didn’t read Achewood until three years after it had started and Michael was reading it after six months, you know? He just kept saying Achewood’s really great today and I’m like, whatever, fucking web comic. And then you start reading it and you’re like, shit, he was right. . . .  He told me about the bass playing on that Serge Gainsbourg record. He told me about that record. And then I finally buy it 15 years after he started talking about it. . . . The fact that I’ll never get to talk to him about any of this stuff again is super terrible and gruesome but at least I knew the guy. That’s the biggest takeaway in the end. At least I knew him and loved him and got to be such a substantial part of his life 

SD: The song Human Out of Me, of all the songs on that album, is maybe the most direct address to what he gave you.

TM: That’s me just trying to get to the core of what he meant to me in particular and being sort of honest about who he was as a guy . . . being a bad dresser or whatever. . . . 

That’s what I tried to do there and I think I did it. I have to say as a writer I learned so much about writing and editing, in retrospect. I didn’t sense it at the time on the first Pit record because there was so much I had to take out or zone in on just to keep the good parts .

It has a quality to it. You can’t fake that. You can’t make that happen . . . you can’t just add reverb to it and get that. I’d rather the record had never been made, you know? Which is the weird thing. I’d rather [Bottomless Pit] had never existed. . . . I don’t want to be too grandiose and say it changed my life because I don’t really believe that. But it gave us an outlet. It gave us somewhere to go with all this stuff and it was someplace productive. . . .

It’s just such a tricky thing. One thing I’ve struggled with essaying that kind of feeling: is there some point at which you perpetuate it? It’s one thing to take your grief and your pain and channel it into art . . . but is there a point at which you’re perpetuating it and kind of reveling in it? I don’t know how to define it, but there is a point at which it becomes sort of pornographic and it turns the corner into being this festival of suffering. There’s just something in me that senses when that happens and then I’m totally turned off by it, you know?

I know we didn’t do that by my standards because I never felt that way about our music. But it’s just an interesting thing to think about. Is there a point at which that happens? I’m positive we didn’t get there. But I’m leary of that.

The flipside of music having power, if it has the power to soothe or cleanse someone in a way, it probably also has the power to confuse them or bedevil them. I think it’s good for artists to take that seriously. I’m on kind of thin ice here because I’m totally not into censorship or anything like that, obviously. But when people are sloppy with that power, when they’re casual about it, or when they’re exploitative with it, which I think a lot of modern pop music is, it really offends me.

I don’t want to sound like a cop you know? But just as someone who writes and who knows that stuff can pack a punch – I don’t want to say there’s a level of responsibility there socially – but I think as an artist you have to be really true to what’s really in you and not just be trying to manufacture something. We definitely didn’t do that. Stuff just came out the way it came out. . . .

There is this whole industry of farming human misery for entertainment value. The last thing in the world I would ever want to do is to be part of that. But at the same time . . . it’s false to not acknowledge the pain that exists in the world or in life or the fact that half of human existence is shit. There’s kind of just no denying it, if you take it as a whole.

But like you said, the trajectory, generally speaking, is positive and no matter what your assessment of the given situation is, I think it’s fair to take that into account and remind yourself of that. It’s like this recent thing that happened in Orlando where a hundred people got shot and half of them got killed. That’s insane. That should not happen in this country. It should not be possible for it to happen. And it’s made possible by a variety of dumb reasons that are not that hard to resolve really.

There’s a lot of stuff on my social media thing about the horrible world we live in. I made the point to someone the other day . . . pick another 20 year period in history you’d rather live in. You can’t do it and the reason you can’t do it is things are getting marginally better pretty much all the time. You’re kind of living in the golden age of humanity is the honest truth. There’s never been, in a broad sense, a better time for people to live on earth. There just hasn’t been if you take everything into account: advances in medicine, human rights, all that stuff, war, pestilence, we’ve got it really good. . . .

I don’t harbor any illusions about the general quality of human beings. I try to be a good person but I also can be craven, I think too much about money, material shit is too important to me most of the time even though I know it doesn’t matter. I have all of the failings that almost everybody else has but I know that fundamentally I am here to help people if they need my help. And that’s true of most people.

Most people, if you are up against it and it’s clear you’re up against it, and if there’s something they can do to help you out, they will help you out. Most people, really, are decent human beings. It’s just that the people who are shitty human beings can have this disproportionate effect on the state of play at any given time. And that’s kind of what we’re talking about. Someone who’s had weaknesses and wasn’t equipped to deal with them for whatever reason and having this way outsized effect on the world you know that she should never have had, just to loop back to that.

SD: Shade Perennial came out in 2013. When is the next Bottomless Pit album coming out?

TM: I don’t think there will be another Bottomless Pit record, honestly . That album took three years to make and we had a session we trashed because we just weren’t ready. Finally, we were remastering Libertine for reissue. And listening back to that, Andy and I were both like, holy shit, this record is great. I sent the remastered thing to Joel without comment and . . . he was really blown away by it, too.

The thing that was crazy about it was that there was so much stuff on it I don’t remember doing. And I don’t know why we chose to do it that way. When I thought about it, I realized the . . .  reason it turned out this way is that we played these songs so much that all the little stock bits are worked out of it. There’s nothing stock about it. There’s just this flow of stuff that’s more or less uniquely us.

I thought, we’ve got to make a record like that. Because the Pit records have been a little ad hoc in that we would cobble some stuff together at my house, we’d do some stuff together at the studio. So we worked really hard on those songs, got really immersed in them – still pretty dark stuff most of it. I was really deeply into the record and we made it.

Around the time that we finished it was around the time I started working through some of the more basic problems that I had about what had happened to Michael and other stuff in my life. I felt it was really weird.  We went on this tour on the west coast and it was a great tour and we saw a lot of our friends. The shows were great. A couple of them were sold out.

It was awesome but I felt my connection to that music ebbing. I would play at night and it would be fun, but I didn’t feel as lost in it as I did before. It kind of came back to that thing I said earlier about not wanting to be pornographic about it. I just felt like, “I can’t push this.” I started to look at the stuff that had been coming out of me when I was writing and it wasn’t the same kind of thing. I was like, “Can we make this turn as a band?” Because it’s going to be a left turn. I can’t stay on that track. I’m just not there.

I realized two things. Number one, I didn’t feel like I necessarily had to keep playing that stuff, that old stuff. Number two, we had hours a month as a band together available because of everyone’s schedule. This [was] going to take hours a week. There [was] no way to do this with this group the way it is. To do what I need to do for myself musically, I had to break it up. And that was super hard. The Pit felt like the new band still but we were together for eight years, I think. That’s a long time. We did a lot of stuff together. We went a lot of places, played a lot of shows.

It was bad form of me. I broke it up over email. I talked to Andy before I did it. I regret that I didn’t sit down with everyone in person and do it but I felt like I just needed to state my case and have it be over. It was a shitty way to do it. People do things the wrong way sometimes. At least I did it because I had to do it.

I felt good about it fundamentally – that I’d let it go because I just kind of got to that point in my life where for me to keep developing and do what I want to do I’ve got to break this off. Never say never, I guess but it’s hard to imagine going back. It’s almost easier for me to imagine playing Silkworm songs again because those feel like they’re from a totally different life almost. The Pit stuff doesn’t because it feels like it’s from a period in my life, that it’s from a place that’s in the past, it’s not now. . . .

We got good by the end. We got good for sure. It was a great band and I think the records are as good as the Silkworm records. I think that they’re probably a notch less peculiar for better or worse. But as they’re less peculiar, they’re also more focused, they’re more honed in a way and so I could see very much how they would be more immediately impactful to people.

This is in retrospect. I didn’t think about any of this stuff at the time. Some of that was conscious, like I said, the whole editing process. I don’t write nearly the way I used to. I am, in the new stuff I’m doing, kind of letting things flow. It’s a little more free flowing and stuff but not on the lyric front. The lyrics are very sculpted, edited down. It’s just the music that’s like that. 

I’m really happy doing what I’m doing and I know Andy’s busy doing what he’s doing. We’re still friends and I wouldn’t rule out us ever playing together again. But it was something that needed to happen.