Thursday, November 21, 2013

Underground Gay Music Series Exclusive: A Short Q&A w Future Bible Heroes

I don't even know where to begin to talk about beloved band Future Bible Heroes. So, I guess I will just start with the basics. Future Bible Heroes is comprised of the musical geniuses and life long friends Stephin Merritt, Claudia Gonson, and electronic music wizard Chris Ewen. You may recognize Merritt and Gonson as long time collaborators in one of the most famous indie rock bands of all time, The Magnetic Fields. However, Future Bible Heroes have been around almost as long, with a career that has spanned the better part of two decades.

Earlier this year Future Bible Heroes added to their resume with two amazing releases - a full-length LP on Merge Records called Partygoing and a 3 LP or 4 CD box set of all FBH releases including all 3 full length albums (Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing), songs from the numerous EPs, and some of the tracks they added to soundtracks and compilations over the years, including "O! What a Dream It Was" from the Welcome to the Dollhouse soundtrack! This was all accompanied by a whirlwind Summer tour across the US.

Now that some of the insanity has died down, I was thankfully able to get up with Future Bible Heroes' Claudia Gonson and she was kind enough to answer a few of our highly unusual questions.

Keep Your Children In A Coma by Future Bible Heroes on GroovesharkThe World Is a Disco Ball by Future Bible Heroes on GroovesharkI'm Lonely (and I Love It) by Future Bible Heroes on Grooveshark

Q: On the latest album Partygoing, you guys give a lot of questionable advice. (IE: "Drink Nothing But Champagne", "Keep Your Children in a Coma", saving money on funeral costs by "Digging My Own Grave") What's the worst suggestion or piece of advice you were ever given?
Claudia: Well this certainly isn't the worst thing, but once when I was 12 or 13, my best friend managed to make her dad stop shouting at her by walking up to him and saying "shhhhh" really quietly in his ear. So I tried it on my dad, once, when he was shouting. It didn't work at all. He went apoplectic.

Q: Where on earth did you get the round vintage phone in the "Living, Loving, Partygoing" video?!! I want it!
Claudia: I believe it was part of the gorgeous items in the Long Island home where we shot the video. These were friends of the director's, Naomi Yang. A very swelligent gay couple.

Q: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you on tour?
Claudia: My memory is dim. but this last FBH tour had a lot of good fun in it. Like, watching my not-yet 3 year old dancing throughout our gig in Philly. That was pretty amazing.

Q: In the Merge promo video for Partygoing, Stephin says this is a party album "...largely about drinking, suicide, aging, death, loss, and despair..." What the hell kind of parties are you guys going to?
Claudia: Very few. Stephin famously hates going to parties. The song "Living Loving Partygoing" does enumerate some of the few parties he actually attended in his life (although he mixed up the details on what happened). But generally he does his best to avoid them. I think the endless party is a sexy metaphor for how we get through life, all the different ages at which we encounter ourselves, all the buzz and whirl and social encounters and heartbreak. Partying at 15 is so different from partying at 45. This is all summarized well by "La Dolce Vita".

Q: Unicorns...or Narwhals. Who would win in a fight?
Claudia: I'm a big fan of creatures of the deep. I'd go for the Narwhal. He'd probably lose.

-Top picture copyright photographer Kimberly Butler
-Join FHB on Facebook!
-For all things Claudia Gonson and Stephin Merritt, check out: The House of Tomorrow.

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