steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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An interview with Steven Walls of 33.3

1) How did you guys meet and decide to form 33.3? It must have been difficult to get a group of people all interested in creating a similar type of music. Or not?

We met while at Yale. Brian and I were there for our Masters of Fine art, and Dominique was there for her Masters in Architecture. As far as the difficulty of putting a group together with a similar sensibility..........we didn't start playing with any sort of musical agenda, other than making music that we felt was compelling. We all had similar influences but very diverse backgrounds. The development was surprisingly very organic.

2) How did you find out about Aesthetics and decide that you wanted to have your music released on it?

As far as I know......Brian knew Ken through Joe Costa (from L'altra). He came to see us play our first time in Chicago. We had an awful show, but, luckily we were invited to play the next night at a party, which proved to be a much better performance. So, Ken liked it and offered to put out the record. I didn't really know anything about Aesthetics, it was really new at that point, but, Ken seemed like a cool guy. It was that simple.

3) How long did it take you to create your debut album, and how did you decide upon the (wonderful) packaging?

The first record was recorded in about 3 hours. We went live to tape. We had the incredibly good fortune to work with an amazing engineer, with state of the art equipment in an amazing music hall, for free.....long story. The packaging was easy. We're all artists, we had ageneral idea, Brian's friend Jordana had a great design, our friend Marc offered to lay it out. That's it.

4) When you first started, what type of gigs did you get? For example, was it in local clubs, or what?

We played in all sorts of situations; coffee houses, parties, local bars, benefit shows, etc. I think our favorite place early on was Rudy's. Which is a great little New Haven dive with great people working at it.

5) Got any interesting stories for us?

Well.........I'm not sure how interesting this is, but it's the first thing that springs to mind.............We were in Louisville KY during our first tour. We had just loaded into the club and done a sound check. We decided to get some dinner, the nearest place was a block away, a pizza place called "Bearno's." We walked in and ordered a cheese pizza and some pasta with Marinara. We sat down and ate, and within 20 minutes we are all in front of the club vomiting. We went back to the restaurant where we were assured, "It's not food poisoning, food poisoning takes 14hours to set in." (bullshit) Anyway, we played the set on the verge of passing out. We somehow make it to a hotel where we spend the next 48 hours wretching and watching basketball, which was on the only channel we could get.

6) Scenario: You gain the ability to "erase" one musician/band off the face of the Earth (or at least force them to make better music). Who would it be?

I guess I'd like to see less of the prefabricated music/bands that seem to prevail. I completely support any artist genuinely expressing him/herself. Even if the music isn't something I listen to. I have a big problem with the products of the music industry. How many rap-metal bands can the market support? How many boy-bands? How many 18 year-old virgin-sluts? Apparently quite a few.

7) Any plans for an upcoming album/single/tour/whatever? Any chance you'll be coming to the Toronto area for a show any time soon?

All of the above. We are planning to tour the US this fall for a couple of weeks. We are set to start work on the third record, and we are hoping to tour Europe and Japan early next year. As far as Toronto....... I'm not sure. Where is Toronto? I'd love to. Can we stay at your house? We're clean and we don't eat much.

8) What bands are you most interested in currently? What genres?

I personally love the new Tortoise record....sorry that's predictable. I'm also obsessed with Outkast's record. Oh, and all of the bands on our label.

9) Scenario: You are offered 10 million dollars to change your musical styles and become the next mainstream pop band... what do you do? It's a tricky one, isn't it?

I'd take the 10 million and create a band whose insidious pop music would, through subliminal suggestion, convince all of the 13 year old girls to buy Coltrane's Sun Ship and listen to it obsessively.

10) What are your favourite colours?

RED WHITE AND BLUE!!!!!!!! Yehhaww!!!!!!!

11) Were these questions "informative yet fun to answer"?

It was fun.

Thanks for the priviledge to ask these questions! It's greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your interest!

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