By Jhoni Jackson
There’s a little bit of L-U-V hidden in the lineup of this year’s Mess-Around. Two of the annual weekend throwdown’s most theatrical performers, Hether Fortune of Oakland’s Wax Idols and Tim Gick of Lafayette, Indiana’s TV Ghost, married in February. Their Friday-night sets at the EARL are part of a joint tour which, because of the timing, could serve as a rock ‘n’ roll honeymoon of sorts albeit one where a handful of bandmates happen to be there too.
But tour is no vacation, of course, and Fortune and Gick are especially exhaustive performers. The raw aggression Fortune channels onstage has only intensified after the release of a brooding, dark and damning second LP, Discipline & Desire. Similarly, Gick is almost trancelike before the crowd. Each song is an intense exorcism of emotion, and Mass Dream, TV Ghost’s debut full-length, is the poltergeist in question. Check out Mass Dream!
Because the pair is so steadfast and serious onstage, a lighthearted chat seemed like a good way to get a peek behind that sturdy fourth wall. And what better angle to employ with these two than a newlywed-themed game? It (mostly) worked. Read the Q&A below, then see them play (back-to-back, in fact) on the first night of the fest.
AMG: Tim, which Wax Idols song is Hether most fond or proud of?
Tim: Most proud of…I’m going to say the “Cartoonist.” I know I’m wrong.
Hether: Wrong! That’s your favorite one.
Tim: I thought that was the one that was the hardest for you to do.
Hether: No way! That song we wrote in 10 minutes.
AMG: What’s the right answer, Hether?
Hether: “AD RE:IAN.” It’s that song off the new record…because I had it in my head exactly the way it came out, which is pretty crazy because that song is pretty nuts, I think. It’s “AD RE:IAN,” yeah.
AMG: OK. Hether, what’s Tim’s favorite TV Ghost song?
Hether: I think it’s probably…this new song that’s not released yet because he can sing in this really low octave that he didn’t know he could sing in before. But I could be wrong about that.
Tim: I don’t really know. I’m going to go ahead and say Hether’s right.
Hether: I’m always right.
AMG: I think that was the right answer. Tim, what is Hether’s favorite band right now?
Tim: I would say…sighs. I would say Nick Cave.
Hether: Yup, he’s right.
AMG: OK! So Hether, what’s Tim really stoked about right now?
Hether: I don’t know, Tim listens to some weird shit. Half the time I don’t even know what it is. Let’s see…well, I know that he’s obsessed with country singers but I don’t know if it’s moreso now than general.
Tim: It’s general.
Hether: Uh…I don’t know.
Tim: Right now? I’ve been listening to a lot of different stuff. A lot of Canterbury scene stuff like Gong and Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt. I guess one album I’ve been listening to a lot is Deceit by This Heat.
Hether: Yeah, you listened to that the other night. I was wrong!
AMG: Ha! OK, Hether, when Tim was 15, what would he have said his favorite band was?
Hether: Probably Nirvana or something.
Tim: That’s right.
Hether: He was like a grunge teen.
AMG: Ha ha. Tim, when Hether was 15, what band would she have said was her favorite?
Tim: I don’t even know. The Cure or something?
Hether: No, my favorite band when I was 15 was definitely Thursday. I was definitely really into Thursday when I was 15. Thursday and Joy Division. I still stand by that record Full Collapse. That record is amazing.
TV Ghost and Wax Idols play the EARL Friday, April 26, as part of the annual Atlanta Mess-Around. The evening’s lineup also includes Las Ardillas, Natural Child Family band, The Go and The Zeros. Be sure to check out the afternoon sets at 529 beforehand too, as well as the rest of the fest, which continues through Sunday.