with Eric and Dara of faith & disease May 18, 1999
Eric – in Seattle where we live, we don't get that as much...this question has been beaten to death.
Dara – of course "goth" could now apply to any gun-toting, trench-coat wearing teenage psychopath....
Eric – we used to call our music "pre-raphaelite" until they started making greeting cards & calendars out of that art.
Dara – ...the Pre-Raphaelite artistic beauty that has prevailed through centuries of devastation & sadness.
QRD – you seem to have a constantly changing band roster, how is this an advantage & disadvantage?
Dara – we have always welcomed others to help create our "sound." it's part of what makes recording & playing so rewarding.
Eric – yeah, & ultimately they come & go, but Dara & I persist; we have Charlotte whose a crucial member on the road & Steve who is crucial in the studio, so we have it down to a process by now...like most bands do after they've put out 4+ albums.
QRD – how has your approach to songwriting changed since your first record?
Dara – the songs are still born through Eric & I... so not much has changed in the structuring of songs.
QRD – how much touring would you like to do?
Dara – we've joined forces with a European label (Glasnost) so maybe Europe is nearing (for a tour). being on the road is the best way to connect with people who have helped us along. I'll keep doing it until...
Eric – ...as long as there is a demand... & as long as we feel what we do has meaning, value and is genuine.
QRD – why do you do as many cover songs as you do on your records?
Eric – we don't do THAT many; only about 6 spanned over 4 albums. they are meaningful in that we “unearth" obscure or forgotten songs & in that regard we are paying homage... when I heard "Ashes Are Burning" I felt a need to share it with people, & the same for "Witches", etc.
Dara – there are a lot of great songs out there, songs that we've related to in such a way that it's not only paying homage, but bringing beauty into where we are today
QRD – what’s your favorite Swans’ song?
Eric – "The River That Runs With Love..." the first song on The Burning World, I also like “Lavender” by Jarboe.
Dara – I love the Swans, oh yes... let me count the ways; "Cry Me A River" (ironically a cover of a 1940's version by Julie London. I love the way Jarboe uses her darkness in this song).
QRD – what bands & music do you think people should listen to or respect more?
Eric – seek, unearth hunt down music that you would never hear otherwise!
Dara – people should listen to whatever they want.
QRD – what do you think differentiates professional artists from amateurs?
Eric – "professional" implies a degree of rigidness; maybe I just don't like how that word resonates with me. but I do feel musicians should not do or say things that take away from the essence of what they are conveying in their music. is that an answer?
Dara – playing shows, not just practicing. touring. being tenacious.
Eric – we hardly ever practice anyway.
QRD – how would your music change if you had access to more finances for your records?
Eric – more string arrangements. even less reliance of others, introducing maybe cello, mandolin, harp, some instruments we have yet to work with...
QRD – what do you think of Lisa Frank?
Dara – who? oh the balloons & bears lady?
Eric – ???????
QRD – any interesting dreams lately?
Dara – bloody ones. I keep waking up feeling wrong about the world....
Eric – I recently dreamt I was back in high school, as if I never went to college & just remained in high school up until the age I am now. everyone was still the same, full grown adults but still in high school... pretty pathetic huh? I hated that time of my life actually.
QRD – what job would you like to have not in the music industry?
Dara – a costume designer or make up artist in the film industry.
QRD – which Simpson do you most identify with?
Dara – Bart. poor ridiculous little shit.
Eric – the Iranian 7-11 clerk...
QRD – is there anything you think people should be aware of?
Eric – be wise & content with you actions: don't shop in strip malls, prevent urban sprawl into small towns, don't buy at McDonald’s, support family-owned business, small shops, & indies! buy fanzines instead of corporate rock mags.
Dara – people should be aware of how they smell.
QRD – any upcoming plans?
Dara – a tour in August again. we may jump to a bigger label after the next & final IVY release. I'm just waiting for summer; Seattle is great when it's warm & sunny.
Eric – the album in Europe is the biggest
thing on my mind at the moment, we may call it "Lamentations." a
lot of good things are in the works for faith & disease...it's really
come a long way since the early days when all I really wanted out of it
was a 4-track cassette I could send to my friends.