From This Might Be A Wiki
The following is a transcription of the interview conducted by the Things That People Carry crew with They Might Be Giants after their set at Larry's Hideaway on January 15th, 1986.
Key: TPC = Things That People Carry crew JF = John Flansburgh JL = John Linnell
[Some of the transcription is missing and possibly incorrect, as during this interview, John Cale was performing his set, blocking out some of the interview.] TPC: I want you to tell me about these and don’t feel the need to tell the truth. JL: They’re made of porcelain. They cost 18,000 dollars. TPC: Now this series is “Things That You Carry Around With You.” Now this implies that you guys wear these (masks) all the time, now what’s the story here? JL: We’re insane. JF: Um. We wear them all the time, cause— JL: We get in a lot of trouble with the police. We don’t care, we’re committed to our art. JF: It’s symbolic of a lot of things, but we can’t talk about that right now. What more do you want from us? TPC: Okay, um.. Where do you wear them? JL: On our heads. JF: We wear them in stages. TPC: What? JL and JF: On our heads. TPC: Okay, um.. JL: On our heads. JF: So, um.. Yeah, we’re really committed to these things. We wear them everywhere, all up and down the eastern seaboard. TPC: Why do you wear those particular faces? JF: Because they look best on us. TPC: What do you mean, they fit your bodies or something? JF: Yeah. JL: From the principal of the least likely face. JF: We went through about 150 faces before we found these two particular faces. TPC: Really? JF: Yeah. TPC: Did you pick the particular expression or just the person’s? JF: We picked the most inappropriate expressions we could find. TPC: Oh, okay. What’s appropriate? Who are they? JF: What’s appropriate? Oh, big smile, button faces... Lazy susans. JL: That would’ve fitted our mood exactly, but that wasn’t any good. We didn’t wanna do that, that would’ve been redundant. TPC: Why? JL: Because we’re very happy people. We wore masks like that, we’d go up to our friends and they’d say, “Hi, John. Boy, you look normal today. What’s going on?” TPC: So, what’s the relation between, umm.. [the faces] JF: They’re best friends. TPC: Oh, I see, okay. JF: They’re best friends, they’ve known each other since high school. TPC: So, tell me about their relationship. JF: Well.. JL: They both share an interest in two-dimensionality. They’re both committed to our art. We believe in art. JF: Oh, yeah. Oh, lots of art. JL: We think the more art you have, the better art it is. TPC: What is art? JL: Yeah. JF: Oden. JL: We think so too. JF: Oden? No, it’s not Oden. JL: Oden? JF: William Oden. Famous rock lyricist. So, uh, we got John Cale, huh? JL: John [Cale]’s a really nice guy. We knew that he was on the fence about us, but he lied and said he really liked the show anyway. And we appreciate that. JF: I lent him my shittiest guitar cord for him to plug through. It’s yellow and it broke about a year and a half ago. TPC: [???] JF: He’s playing through it right now. TPC: It broke a year and a half ago? JF: Well, it’s all bent and covered in dirt. TPC: You lent him the yellow one? JF: Yes. I lent him the yellow one cause I didn’t—I thought if I lost that, I didn’t wanna lose one that I just paid 15 dollars for. TPC: Gosh, you gotta be nice to him. JF: Yeah. Basically we were speck rocks so much more than anyone else and that’s why we got into this line of business. JL: Not to be rockstars but to be near rockstars. JF: We’ve been near a lot of ‘em. I rocked past Joe [Jotson???] once. He looked real unhappy. TPC: [???] JF: It’s what? TPC: He’s really a biggie. JF: He’s a biggie, yeah. So um, what do you think about John Cale? TPC: Um, I think he’s.. JL: Come on. TPC: I think he’s good, a definite personality. That’s one reason [???].