I met Cord and Jack of Wow & Flutter in 2000 when a band I was in was touring the west coast. We've traded shows since then and have stayed in touch until I moved here and we contact each other more often. The newest incarnation of the band--Cord on guitar and vocals, Jack on drums, and Ryan on bass and keyboards--play rock and/or roll with an underlying current of lyrical moodiness and on-stage shenanigans. They're kind of an exception to the rule of "Everybody Knows You're Not from Here," because Cord is actually from the area. As the song says, two out of three ain't bad, though. It should also be noted that, in full disclosure, I played saxophone and sang and my wife, Melissa, sang on their newest album Golden Touch on Jealous Butcher, in case there are any cries of foul. Oh, and I blew up Cord's amp at their album release show in December. The one thing I will say about conversing with the band to you, as a reader, is that you should believe about half of what's said. The other half you can do with what you like. Oh, and one final note, they weren't named after the Stereolab song.
They were both on Circle Into Square, which is our friend Tom's record label/interesting writing place. My interviews are called "Everybody Knows You're Not from Here" because I wanted to interview people I knew in Portland and rarely is anyone actually from Portland.
HL: So you have to introduce yourselves.
Jack: I'm Carol.
Cord: Cord Jason Amato.
Jack: What do you want to talk about?
HL: I don't know. How long have you been in Portland is my first
question. Are you from here, Cord?
Jack: Lake Oswego.
Cord: Yes, I'm from here. Corvallis, Hillsboro, L.O., Milwaukie. I lived in Portland for a little bit. I like to stay outside of Portland.
HL: I think this is the first time I've been in Milwaukie when the sun was out and I saw there was water across the way.
Cord: The sun's always out in Milwaukie.
HL: How long have you been here?
Jack: 16 years.
HL: So, awhile.
Jack: It's been awhile. I'm pretty acclimated.
HL: And Ryan, you've been here awhile.
Ryan: I moved up from Eugene 11 years ago.
Cord: So, when you were 5 years old?
HL: Talk about playing shows outside of Portland, or in Portland?
Jack: We can play shows anywhere.
Cord: We'll play anything that moves.
Jack: We can play anywhere you want.
HL: Is there a difference in crowds.
HL: Do people seem to get into more when you're "on the road"? Does it matter anymore?
Cord: I notice in Seattle that it doesn't matter how packed it is, there will always be a 5 to 10 yard radius no matter how many people. No matter how much they're enjoying it.
Jack: They just don't want to get spit on. They've seen those Nirvana videos with lots of spitting at people.
Cord: I've thrown a kick into someone's face before. Shit you not.
HL: Cord is a badass.
Ryan: Tell us about that.
Cord: It happened to be my mom. She was at the front of the stage and I told her I'm gonna throw some kicks.
Ryan: Maintain a five to 10 foot radius around the stage. It's the Seattle ring.
HL: I thought you told [Adam] Bartell you were going to try not to jump around as much.
Cord: Why would you ever listen to anything Bartell ever said?
HL: Because he doesn't lie. He lives in Milwaukee [WI] now and people don't lie from Milwaukee.
Jack: No one lies in Milwaukee.
HL: It's hard to be ironic or lie in Milwaukee.
Jack: 'Cuz you know what happens?
HL: You freeze to death?
Jack: You'll get your ass kicked. You lie to someone in Milwaukee and they find out about it they don't get mad, they just punch you
in the face.
Ryan: We decided to move toward focusing on our music craft rather than hijinks.
Cord: No, the truth is I one time jumped off of Ryan's amp and never returned.
I got stuck in the rafters. read more...