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Despite being referred to with the awkward acronym TGAS instead of our preferred shorthand of GAS, we had some fun with this interview and article. We have made peace with the fact that our indie cred is totally shot now (if it wasn’t already).
But one of the most interesting aspects of the article was the behind-the-scenes fact-checker email we got. Here it is (you’ll notice they didn’t use the information about a good crowd in Lawrence:-):
‘m a fact-checker with Madison Magazine and I have some follow-up questions regarding a short piece we’re publishing about The German Art Students. Would you be able to email me the answers to the following questions by Wednesday, July 3? (Short answers are fine. This is just to verify what the reporter wrote.)
- What year did The German Art Students form? (The writer says you’ve been a band for 26 years?) Andy and Kirk started the band in 1997. Annelies joined in early 1998, and I joined later in 1998. So not 26 years, but a long time ago.
- Can you confirm the names/spelling and instruments for the band members? Andy Larson (bassist), Randy Ballwahn (drummer), Annelies Howell (guitar), and Kirk Wall (guitar) All correct.
- On a mini Midwest tour in 2018, did you play nearly empty venues in Lawrence, Kansas and Des Moines? The venue in Lawrence was actually a pretty good crowd, but the shows in Iowa City and Des Moines were nearly empty.
- Would you say that at those shows there were more people on the guest list than paid at the door? We can’t prove that was true, but yes, that is how we described it in our song “Bands Playing For Other Bands.”
- Are you recording a 6-song EP this summer? Turns out it’s going to be more like 4 songs. We will begin recording late in July at Bobby Hussy’s studio.
- Will the songs “Bands Playing for Other Bands” and “Percussion We Don’t Use” be on the EP? Yes
- Is “Bands Playing for Other Bands” a “love letter to fellow Madison musicians”? Any musicians, not just Madison.
- Did you open for The B-52s at the Orpheum in June 2018? Yes, it was a blast.
- Is your band compared to They Might Be Giants, Buzzcocks, The Ramones, and The Rezillos? Yes, we have been compared to or inspired by all of those bands.
- Was your music previously described as “new wave?” Rolling Stone magazine referred to our music as “nimble-witted New Wave pop” and The Onion referred to us as “new-wave weirdos.” See attachments.
- Did Kirk used to wear turtlenecks during shows? When we started out, we all wore black turtlenecks (or sometimes scoop necks). It was kind of our “art student” schtick.
- Would you say that you’re “mockers” (combination of mod and rocker)? This is an inside joke. It’s a reference to a famous quote by Paul McCartney. Do you prefer mods or rockers? “I prefer Mockers.” This was made famous in A Hard Days Night as a line by Ringo. See the video at this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9e6zHA6eOY
- Is your song “Robots in Raincoats” a song about the downsides of rushing technology into production too soon? That is certainly a valid interpretation.
- Is “Instant Coffee” about unhealthy compromises people make on a daily basis? Another valid interpretation, although I would remove the word unhealthy and just say compromises.