» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

May 20, 2005
June 7, 2005 marks the second release of Drive-Thru/Geffen Records recording artists Finch. The emo rockers are looking to dodge the musical bullet that is The Sophomore Curse. For guitarist/songwriter Randy Strohmeyer the potential for such a reaction is entirely possible, as the band has gained a new member and drastically altered their sound. But Strohmeyer also feels more confident that the band's first release in three years is "the best thing that I wound up doing."

Recently LAS caught up with the Finch member on his cell phone as he ambled around the streets of New York City. He talks of his all-time favorite records, the new album Say Hello to Sunshine, and how Pee Wee Herman inspires him more than anything.

And now, Fifteen Minutes with Randy Strohmeyer.

LAS: So what are the top albums that have influenced you?

Strohmeyer: Jimmy Eat World, Clarity; Radiohead, OK Computer; Pinback, Blue Screen Life; No Knife, Fire in the City of Automatons.

With Clarity, it kinda cemented for me that we would have Mark Trombino [producer of Clarity] to produce our CD [Say Hello to Sunshine]. It was like my dream because that was my favorite CD - aw, god it sounds so fucking good - and all the songs are amazing. It's such a great CD. And it encompasses my favorite song in the whole word to this day, "Goodbye Sky Harbor." Once I listened to that song for two weeks on repeat.

Radiohead to me is the best band in the world. They are 100% the best. I would have said that all their albums are my all-time favorites but I had to be realistic. OK Computer is astounding, it's perfect. It's so original and sets the bar for everyone around them. When Radiohead releases a record, I feel like an idiot.

[Interrupts himself] Oh this is funny, there's this ribbon on the door that says, "Support Our War Crimes," it's pretty funny. I'm walking the streets of New York City.

[The new record] is totally different from the last record. It's almost like a completely different band. We did get a new member. We put everything we had into it and spent so long on it. We wanted it to be so different. There's going to be a lot of people who think it's so shitty because it's not like the stuff they know [from us]. But they just don't get it. They don't understand what it's like to be in our shoes…to be in a band, to be someone that's not expecting the same thing. How exciting would that be to us? We don't even like playing half the songs off our old album. We can't really cater to [listeners], we have to cater to us. They're gonna freak out. Tons of people are already mad that we're doing something like this. People are upset and they think it's shit. It's not my concern really. I really hope that people will love it. I used to kinda freak out about it before. Like, "Fuck, man people are gonna hate this shit. And they are already talking shit on the Internet."

I love it so much but I don't give a fuck. To me, it's the best thing that I wound up doing. I wanted to make something that I would listen to and now I will.

LAS: Is there anything that you do to make it different than what you did before?

Strohmeyer: It's totally different. It doesn't sound like the same band. It's a progression. People won't accept it as the same band…It's three years later, and it took us forever. If you're expecting the same record or anything like it, you are going to be fucking disappointed. You probably shouldn't buy the record. If you want something new and exciting, then get the record. Even if you don't get it right away, when you do it will be really rewarding.

LAS: What direction would you say that you took with the new effort?

Strohmeyer: When I write some of the riffs while we were making this record I was really inspired by movies. Mostly Tim Burton movies. And that movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind really struck a chord with me. I would sit for hours with movies up in my room and my guitar. I'd put them on mute and watch them and just play the pattern or a riff. I'd try to capture what it means to me in the riff.

In the past, I was more inspired by other bands. When we wrote the last album we were 17. That's a time that you're most inspired by music and bands. It's a time when you become obsessed with bands. Now I can kinda see a bigger picture, trying to expand on my ideas.

LAS: What are some of the movies that you watched to influence your writing style?

Strohmeyer: Definitely Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands. Like, totally totally influenced by these movies. And of course I had heard the soundtrack for these movies and that was already in the back of my mind. I was more inspired by the imagery I think. The dramatics of it.

LAS: What are some movies that have influenced you in other ways over time?

Strohmeyer: I don't know what kind of influence they've had, but Big Lebowski is my favorite movie of all time. I love The Cable Guy. I think that movie is incredible. I really like this movie called Wet Hot American Summer, I think it's hilarious. I like most Tim Burton movies, although I didn't like Planet of the Apes. I did not like that movie. I really like Spike Jonze movies too.

SEE ALSO: www.finchmusic.com

Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.



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