It can be said that if you’re a band who is into literature, or a band who even so much as mentions a literary element – I’ll more than likely sit with your album like an open book. That’s not to say that all my favorite bands are inspired by those on the shelves – on the contrary – writing and music just happen to be my favorite things in the world. You can only imagine my excitement then, when I discovered Rah Rah’s latest EP, Little Poems.
The EP is, at times, highly quixotic. It is also an ostensibly autobiographical compilation of non-ablum songs detailing artistic love on the road. Yet, as romantic as the lyrics are, the sound is genuine and considerably upbeat.
Set to release a full-length album, The Poet’s Dead in the fall, Rah Rah foreshadows the death of its author. Yet, I think the only grief you will experience is with the patience you will have to endure in these next couple of months leading up to their next release.
But hold back those tears, friends. Leif Thorseth and the band chatted with me earlier this week about word puzzles, authors, and of course, poetry!
ASHLEY JEAN: With your EP, Little Poems, and your later to be released album in the fall, The Poet’s Dead, do you think you’ll feel overwhelmed by having too much material to play live?
RAH RAH: Well, we have been playing the same material for over 2 years now so we have been overly excited to be playing new songs. The great thing now is we have a great set of songs to choose from to curate a set for the audience. So no, we are not overwhelmed by having too many songs to choose from, if anything it is exciting to have more choice.
ASHLEY JEAN: Was settling the EP track list more of a word search – a game of seeking– or a crossword puzzle – a game of mystery. Which was it more like?
RR: A crossword puzzle because the question was “what was Rah Rah’s track listing on their 2012 EP?”
ASHLEY JEAN: Little Poems is such a nifty compilation of what it’s like to be a musician in and out of love. Do you think that Facebook and other social media has had something of an influence on the idea of needing/wanting to settle down? (It seems we all aspire to settle down behind a picket fence and change our status to “married.”)
RR: Well, there has always been a cultural whisper in our ear to settle down even without social networks. There is something nice about sharing your experiences with someone intimate whether it’s at home with a house and kids or two people supporting one another’s ambitions of touring in a band.
ASHLEY JEAN: Tell me a story about the artist’s wife as a character. Ideally, what is her role? To keep with the poetry theme, haiku?
Her beauty so kind
Her face so, so beautiful
ASHLEY JEAN: There is an interesting correlation between music and literature. Why is it that you think musicians sing about writing and authors write about musicians? Easy metaphors?
RR: Inspiration inspires those that want to be inspired.
ASHLEY JEAN: Let’s say our instruments were famous authors, who would they be? (I know some of you play more than one, so yes, you have to assign an author to all of them, even the piñata!)
Guitars: David Foster Wallace
Violin: Virginia Woolf
Bass: Ian McEwan
Korg: Susan Sontag
Drums: Khalil Gibran
Organ: Zada Smith
Piñata: Dr. Seuss
ASHLEY JEAN: Because this is Golden Mixtape, I’d like you to compile a mixtape of the songs you’d place on your guest list if they were the temporary loves of your life. And go!