The Lives of Famous Men (Alt.)

Written by Jonny Havoc

The Lives of Famous Men
Posted Feb 18, 2008.

Hello, my name is Jonny Havoc, how are you doing today?

Doing well. The past couple [of] days have been sunny and clear here in Portland, which is abnormal for winter, but it looks like the rain is on its way back.

The Lives of Famous Men could mean a lot of people; when you guys came up with his name did you have specific people in mind?

The Lives of Famous Men is actually the name of a poem by Jack Gilbert. He’s a lesser-known American poet than say, Charles Bukowski, but his imagery is beautiful. If anyone on here is into poetry I strongly recommend “The Great Fires.”

I know this interview is coming to you towards the end of your tour, so how did it go?

We just played a handful of shows in the southwest and they went very well. On the whole, touring has been a lot of fun for us. We’ve played with some great bands, developed great friendships, and met a ton of amazing fans.

You guys have a new CD that will be out soon called Modern Love, The Wooden Vehicle. How do you guys feel about it?

The new EP has been out for about a month and a half now and so far it’s gotten a very good reception. Really, we couldn’t be happier with the songs or the production value.

Do you feel as if this CD captured your true sound?

I think we’re at a point where our sound is still evolving, but the three songs on the EP are definitely a good representation of a sound we want to take further when we get back into the studio to record a full-length, something we’re all pretty anxious to do.

We and a lot of our readers are from Orange County so we would like to know how the music scene is in Portland Oregon?

The scene in Portland is about as diverse as they come, from metal and hardcore to indie and folk to experimental and Nintendo rock to chain gang music. When we’re on the road, we’re always asked if we know this or that band in Portland, and the truth is there are so many bands it’s hard to keep track of them all.

What were some of your favorite bands to listen to when you were younger?

We were all sort of metalheads in high school, so our musical tastes have changed a bit over the years.

What bands influence your music the most today?

We all listen to a ton of different music so it’s hard to say what really influences our music. Lately I’ve been listening to the new Shins, the new Feist, Dear and the Headlights, As Tall as Lions, Phoenix, and the Temptations. I’m also really excited for the new Death Cab – I know it’s pathetic, but I’m kind of a superfan.

What do you think about UFO's?

You never know….

I noticed that you guys don't have a record label, is there any reason for that?

We’re waiting for the right offer from the right label. When we sign with someone, we want them to be just as excited about what we’re doing as we are about what they’re doing.

Did you guys come this far as a band with no label help?

We haven’t had any label support, but we’ve gotten help from industry people – A&Rs, lawyers, etc. – and a lot of help from our friends and fans. I’d say the reason most people know us is because of word of mouth from our fans.

You guys are a pretty big band, and for all the little bands out there do you have any promoting secrets that you would like to pass along to them?

I don’t necessarily consider ourselves a "big band" - the only advice I can give is to do everything you possibly can to promote yourselves, to pursue any idea you have, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.

Any words for your fans?

Thank you so much for all the support. We owe so much to our fans that are always promoting us and passing us along to their friends.

What do you think of Big Smile Magazine?

I think it’s awesome that you guys promote bands that wouldn’t necessarily get a lot of attention in the mainstream press. Thanks for the love!

This article edited by The Bear (is the Editor)



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