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The Elephants Interview Boat

We thought it was a perfect pairing when we saw that local Northwest bands the Elephants and Boat on the same bill together back in August at Chop Suey {read all about it}. Their DIY style, their jangly indie-rock guitars, their cute boy-next-door charms, and their love of pudding. So why not have them sit down and interview each other in the name of being imaginary in anticipation for their back to back September shows? Yes, why not.

Below we've got the Elephants interviewing Boat frontman, D. Crane. Want to see the tables turned? Read what happened when Boat interviewed the Elephants. 


The Elephants: How come you guys can be both AWESOME LIVE and NICE CHARMING BOYS? Usually Seattle bands are one or the other, or neither.

D. Crane: Um, we practiced being nice. We haven't always been…but for the longest time it seems we have been charming. Greg and Mark really have to work at the charming part, while Zach and I have to work on being nice.

The Elephants: How did the BOAT vision begin? Did you all meet in Catholic school, or in the back of a smokey dim lit diner, or at Target? What's the deal?

D. Crane: BOAT began as me just making songs on a red four track in Chicago. I would record when I came home from teaching unruly middle schoolers in Chicago. I had never been able to make songs so they began as me just repeating one or two lines about how Chicago sucked — or how much I missed my girlfriend/now wife over a guitar or keyboard line. When I moved back home to Seattle the next year I began to try and make songs in my new basement. I would make songs and post them online for my friend and former roommate/current bandmate/fellowteacher Zach. He would critique and occasionally cover my songs and eventually they led to making homemade albums in the basement. We didn't play live until I met two very important guys. Greg (drums) and Mark (bass/guitar/melodica) We decided that the songs could be played live at dive bars and we continue to do that to this day. Many of the bars have gotten less divey.

The Elephants: Who do you guys like better; Ken Griffey Jr. or Deion Sanders?

D. Crane: I would choose Ken Griffey Jr. He has a very attractive swing.

The Elephants: BOAT recently returned from tour. Which was your loveliest show? Worst? Did anybody get hurt?

D. Crane: Of all the lovely shows….I would have to say that the two in Sacramento were the most lovely. One was at a bar (The Press Club) and we ended drinking more than we usually do. Usually, it is just Diet Cokes; we pride ourselves on not using drink tickets. But we drank a lot, and ended up dancing before and after the show with guitar cases and microphone stands.

The other lovely experience was when we played a house show at The Yuman House. We wrote down the titles of all our songs and put them in a hat. Then the audience would pull out a song and we would play it.

Did I mention that we played shirtless?

Photo: Erik ClineschmidtThe Elephants: If BOAT were in a tour van driving through some tumbleweed desert and you could see a flaming meteor flying directly your way and you knew you only had about a half and hour left till it exploded your van into smitherenes, and you all had to agree on one last album to throw into the cd player and die happy, which album would that be.

D. Crane: Probably we would agree on Either/Or by Elliott Smith.

The Elephants: What does BOAT mean?

D. Crane: It means never having to say you're sorry.

The Elephants: We love your adolescent artwork. Who does that? Is it for sale?

D. Crane: Um, it is done by me. I am not adolescent. No reasonable offer will be refused.

The Elephants: Your songs are recorded with warmth and love. How do you do that? Is it magic?
D. Crane: The warmth is in fact magic. But the love is created by the fact that we all really like each other and have a lot of fun and laughs… and soda… and pizza/burritos/Frosties. Also, cheap microphones and a love of reverb help.

Photo: Erik ClineschmidtThe Elephants: Our current favorite track is "Allergic to Us." We know how it feels when the audience begins sneezing. Does BOAT have any allergies?

D. Crane: No. I think that is right.

The Elephants: What does BOAT have in store for the near future?

D. Crane: BOAT is working on their follow up LP to Life is a Shipwreck. It will probably be done in November. It may in fact be a double LP. The first half will be called "The Electric House," and the second half will be called "Firefly Diner." "The Electric House" will feature our friend and my brother in law on drums and some guitar. He may or may not start playing with the band once the new album is released. We are also playing some shows in Seattle during September.

So, we are doing the new album and dreaming of playing again this fall with these bands (Our wishlist in no particular order):

  • Tullycraft
  • Math and Physics Club
  • The Thermals
  • The Elephants
  • Vells
  • Koch's Postulates (CA)
  • Darling Chemicalia (CA)