Q&As with Jensen Sportag

Nashville’s most unique duo is releasing their Sergio EP tomorrow! Just in time for these exclusive Qs!

01. What’s your role in Jensen Sportag?

    Austin: The beginnings of songs almost always come from piano sketches that Elvis renders incessantly. I sift through them and make notes on the ones I feel show more promise. Then we have a few discussions about mode and texture. During these we cite from memory specific sounds and rhythmic devices we want to reference or even replicate and make exhaustive notes. Soon we’ll begin the process of building a temporary arrangement to which we can begin applying the layers and smears of music and vocal.

    Elvis: We are constantly revising and editing one another and the song is only finished when there is a deadline that has been reached. In a live setting I play keyboards and Austin sings and nancies around.

02. How many instruments to do you play?

    Elvis: In the sense that someone would “play” a song from beginning to end, we each play only the piano or keyboard. However, with the magic of overdubbing and a wealth of patience we can assemble brilliant performances on almost any instrument. A recent and particularly tedious session with a Fender Jazz Bass resulted in one of the funkiest bass lines ever written.

003. Describe your music in 3 words…

    Austin: “difficult easy listening”

04. How do you get ready for a live show?

    Austin: We decide on a set list, relearn all of the songs, regret accepting the offer, do 2 rehearsals the day before, and convince each other that it’s OK to suck live as long as we make up for it on tape.

05. First record you ever bought and where did you buy it?

    Austin: I bought INXS’ “suicide blonde” cassette single from the mall on a very rare trip and obsessed over it for weeks. That rapid battery of sax attacks blew my tiny mind. Elvis and I both grew up in a pretty rural and remote part of Tennessee so there was no cable TV so no MTV- no good radio either. The next trip to the mall I got caught shoplifting from the same music store and was banned from the mall for the next 4 years so I started buying classic rock from K-mart.

06. Last illegal download?

    Elvis: The Eye Popping Sounds of Herschell Gordon Lewis. This compiles some pretty crafty and effective gore scores from the inventor of the definitive film of the genre, Blood Feast. We’re not really into those movies but the sounds in this disc were pretty entertaining.

07. Most played song in your iTunes library?

    Austin: Ariel Pink – A Tomb All Your Own

    Elvis: Dionne Warwick – Deja Vu

08. Name one song you’d hate to have stuck in your head.

    Austin: Well, Elvis complains regularly of waking of with “Wild One” by Buddy Holly stuck in his head. He says he’ll be in the morning shower and that part that goes “well I’m a real wild one and I like-a wild fun” in that huffy voice keeps repeating over and over. That sounds particularly annoying given the time of day but I’ll go with anything by Cake.

09. Name 3 things you need when you travel.

    Elvis: A damn good reason, a way back to Tennessee, and the third would be a tie between each other and cash.

10. I love ___________

    Elvis: The new Max Tundra record! The man is perfect. ( )

    Austin: Petra Cortright ( )

11. What drink is responsible for your worse hangover?

    Austin: Drambuie!

    Elvis: Drambuie

12. Today I am really ___________ because ____________.

    Elvis: Today I am really myself because I haven’t seen a TV in weeks.

13. What do you want to know about the future?

    Austin: Will right now be important?

14. Tell us a fact about yourself that probably nobody knows.

    Austin: Doctors assured my parents I was retarded until the age of 3 due my umbilical cord being tightly wound around my neck in utero. Elvis is pretty private and skipped this one so here’s something about Elvis – He’s sickened to the point of terror by eggs.

15. And finally, if your life flashed before your eyes, what would be the highlights?

    Austin: first real girlfriend – prettiest girl in 4th grade. Dirt bikes on the farm. Waking up with Jippy. Paul Johnson at a warehouse in Nashville. Atom Heart at Mutek in Montreal. Ariel Pink at a ballet school in Lexington. Hearing Max Tundra namedrop Jensen Sportag in a Hot Chip cover.

    Elvis: Austin and my hours long extacy aided drumkey improvs in high school. First sporting win – obstacle course in 1st grade. Discovery of Doritos.

Max Tundra is a huge fan of these 2. He name-checked the duo in an Earplug interview, tapped them for his forthcoming remix LP, and has invited them to open up for his forthcoming tour. SO expect to hear more from Jensen Sportag in 09.

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Written by thatindiekid in: interview,mp3 | Tags:
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