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.

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 [???].