The band American Football formed in 1997, and released only one album and an EP before breaking up about three years later. Their critically acclaimed debut went on to achieve cult status as one of the most influential records of the '90s, and was reissued as a deluxe double-LP last year.
In this episode, Mike Kinsella, Steve Holmes, and Steve Lamos of American Football break down the first song they wrote together, "The One with the Tambourine," from their self-titled EP. They talk about being influenced by the Chicago music scene of the '90s, and how they combined alternative tunings, unconventional time signatures, and naiveté to craft their sound.
This episode is sponsored by Hover, Lynda.com, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
You listening to song exploiter, where musicians take part, their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name has russia case your way.
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some explicit language, and this episode the ban,
american football had a short lifespan. Originally they formed in ninety ninety seven and broke up in two thousand in that
their released and ip and an lp to a small but passionate fan base
over the years since more and more
profound their music?
fourteen years after they broke up, they re issued their lp and buxom shows the
He ended up being a surprise hit landing.
The billboard charts and their tool
it's sold out ass,
if they do a song from the lp for song exploiter, but
whose guitarists eve homes. This is how unexpected that anyone would give a shit. Fifteen years later, we don't have the master tapes, they don't exist. We, after we were,
for the actual album we left
met the studio can't find em don't exist.
Probably lost her thrown out
so I happened to keep the single. So in this episode the very
We first saw recorded by american football from their debut
The epa it's called the one with the
I might consider- and I play
the guitar and sing in the band america. Verbal
and I'm steve homes they also play guitar, but I do not think my can. I
or twenty to twenty two, when this was a bad knows, sir
of more through senior year of college. Basically, so
mike was in a ban with Steve lay mouse before this ban and that broke up
As soon as our band broke up, I said ooh, I'm going to steal. Seemingly most as my drummer and start playing with him, and then I think the idea to have mike join was because the pretty
this ban. If anyone's heard of it, the one up downstairs the guitar
a ban was ridiculously good and Michael.
Thought the two of us together would be as good as him alone. That was the plan. The steamer go
practice with steeply. Most
if you come home and he like had a cassette- you know he's like. Oh, this is what we're working on and there was this song I was like. Oh that's. That's a cool read
mike and I discovered alternate tunings and
took off from their new messing around at two in the supper. I'm trying to hit a note that all this will be much easier to hit. If this string is half a step, lower or half a step higher and you play
thought sounds good. This
happens to be a big e major seven cord with
I don't think I knew at the time and just sounded cool. It's
a b d sharp to shower BP, that's what I'm in MIKE is in a slightly different tuning so stupid. It's so stupid.
The challenge of it is your now you're stuck in that key, which
you know, you can't write ten signs in that key gazelle, sound ridiculous.
But it sounds really cool for one's on. My name is steve labour siloam, the drummer in american football.
I was teaching myself drums at that point. My father had a germ kit when I was a kid any at these sixties, arab books, gonna teach herself different, beats and passing over was one of the beast that I was trying to teach myself and for whatever reason it sort of fit, with the risk that
just plain, or at least the main part of it, that it was the name of the song, and so we went to the studio and actually recorded. We called it the boston over, because that was the drumbeat. I think
Steve drums in particular make these songs, jazzy and unique, and I always said
if I was the dream of this ban noble,
he would care because it would sound like every other ban that exists
and in a lot of the american for post office is me kind of stealing from the scene cake.
I was a big man for us at the time that was my version of jacking. The ball off the first seeing hake record doesn't really sound exactly the same, but sort of the feel we were going for. I do think
The idea not to rock out was intentional, I think going into this band. We knew what we want
The sound like and we ve been in loud bands, and we were kind of done with that.
We were so young and naive, and this is the first saw in this band and sort of ever I recorded vocals like I was a singer in a man.
By default. By the way, I don't think I join to be a singer.
Now I'd be like well, let's drop that song like six steps,
and had some notes, but the time I wore the songs there, I gotta hit those notes you never gonna
just play my vocal partner, you know you
I should have very silent thing
Fuck you. It was
just like high school journal,
All of you know what, like every I mean they,
even going to record all the signs are just like all be a singer and magazine needs lyrics, and so
the mammal ridge
the taiwanese I like eighteen
I was like oh seventeen with you last year,.
MIKE, has a natural ability to right around other parts, much much better than I do. I think
The parts I would come in with would be a lot of times, high noodles part, and then he.
Add the law and to allow the shit you played is like stupid, like if you hurt like that's, not a thing
I heard it and I kind of hard work and going
There is no structure, so was I
ok, I'll, put a structure on it and it made sense to me so
there's only there's the two parts right. What would
of course, I guess, and of course,
Second verse mike does not sing,
and I dont know why I do know- there was a cognizant decision, but in that second verses instrumental,
and he changes his rift to this polyrhythmic thing going on the second time we go through with that made. The composite bow, bow bow bow bow bow mike starts doing this pattern, anything over it, that's in a different time, but like
things and moose things back and forth every time. I hear that to this day, unlike band and such a great part-
towards the end of the song mike, plays a guitar solo. He recorded at using something called an ego which is a little handheld battery powered device, it vibe
it's the string, so it rings and it's like drone- and you can do
move. The note, as
of the note like and bends between him and stuff.
A cool harmony that comes in
one of the things that make
This ban interesting, is the fact that we were kind of learning. Our instruments tell these. For myself and MIKE was
being a front man for the first time,
and lay moss ass he mentioned had been playing drums for maybe two years
for this ban started,
I think we were just doing the best we could with our limited resources and talents, and I think part of the
the stuff that sounds unique is because we didn't know any better. It just came naturally to us, because we were novices in some respects and now
Here's the one with the tambourine by american football in its entirety,
Visit song, exploder dot net for more on american football, and this episode, episode
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Everyday cool, like going to state of mind at this stadium, are correct. Cool car connect the flag, the corrupt. It's like I talk too much. This sub years was enough.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-07.