Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Over Virginia-brewed Legend Ale beers and Radiohead's The Bends on the jukebox, I sat down at Charlottesville, VA's Starr Hill Music Hall with one of the most un-rockstar bands to have ever toured with the likes of Ben Kweller. Some of Seattle's favorite sons, Aveo, were on the road in support of label/hometown-mates Death Cab for Cutie as Gibbard and co. co-headlined across the country with the wasted and ready Ben Kweller. Not being much of a Kweller fan, I was only too eager to meet up and share some ale and chatter with William Wilson (guitar, vox) and Mike Hudson (bass), while drummer Jeff McIsaac manned the merch table upstairs against the pretension and well-dressed-ness of the 400 University of Virginia students. William and Mike seemed eager to answer some "Imaginary Questions" about their hometown, being as they hadn't seen it in some time, and Chris my photographer and I were only too eager to get away from the four girls who kept trying to pretend they knew the words to "Lightness" during Death Cab's set, right after trying to figure out if maybe "Company Calls" was a new song.

While everyone was concerned with having a good chat, William may have gotten a little head start with the beer than the rest of us. . .

TIG: So how you doing?

William: Alright man (reaching to tap the tape recorder)

TIG: It's kind of a shitty tape recorder.

William: (laughs)

Mike: Hey if it works it works.

TIG: So, here're some imaginary questions…You guys all live in Seattle?

William: Oui, oui, oui, oui.

Mike: Yes, we all live in Seattle

William: Oui! We? Oh, yes, oui.

TIG: Capitol Hill, Queen Anne…

Mike: Um, currently we're all spread out – Capitol Hill, West Seattle, City Ridge.

William: (saluting the tape recorder) What's up Three Imaginary Girls! How ya doin?

{ed note: Oooooh hi Aveo!! How are you…? (blushing…) ~igDana}

All: (laughs)

TIG: No, I ask just because I'm from Puyallup originally.

William: Are you serious?

Mike: Well we're not from there originally.

William: No we're not from there.

TIG: So what do you miss?

Mike: Uh, I think it's people that we miss…

William: We miss our people!

Mike: Yeah. Definitely, we're just starting our fifth week of tour right now, so this is our first time we've spent that long on the road…and uh, yeah, you definitely start missing, you know, just the people at home. And the comforts…but at the same time, there are some amazing neat things that happen when you're out on the road too. (turns to Chris, my photographer, who just arrived with some beers) Well thank you very much, I appreciate it.

William: (to Mike) Can I share that with you?

Mike: (to William) Yeah, you can have a little bit, but you have to have a little sip of this too. (Pushing a glass of water towards William) Just taking care of you bro.

TIG: So you've been on the tour for five weeks…what's the best story, the best story that's happened to you?

Mike: (contemplative)

William: We got to, I think the best was the time we got to actually stay in the place where we played for the first time ever.

TIG: Where was that?

William: That was a bar in Omaha, NE called the…

TIG: Oh, the Sokol?

Mike: No, we were gonna play the Sokol but we were on tour with the Velveteens and they canceled so they had it in a bar called O'Yearders (sp?). And we slept at the bar. They had a little under, a little basement, but it was pretty nice. The people at the bar were pretty crazy, so we had unlimited beer all night, which really helps the sleeping at the bar.

William: (to Chris, over Mike's story) I need to apologize to you guys for being kind of intoxicated.

Chris: No worries, no worries at all.

William: I don't usually drink, but I got some people in for free and so they bought me all these drinks.

Chris: You got some people in for free?

William: Yeah, they were outside and it was sold out so I just put them on our guest list and got them in, but then they started buying me all these drinks.

TIG: Alright, well here's a question I have to ask…

Mike: What do you have to ask?

TIG: What kind of coffee do you guys like?

William: Vivace!!!

Mike: Vivace.

William: That's kind of biased though.

Mike: Yeah that's totally biased.

TIG: You guys ever go to the Coastal Kitchen up on Capitol Hill?

William: Oh yeah, I know some people that work there.

Mike: Yeah, people work there.

William: It can get kind of out of our budget though, so we don't go to the Coastal too much.

TIG: Yeah, they got pretty good eggs though, with goat cheese and stuff.

Mike: Oh yeah, but our drummer Jeff is vegan so we won't really go to the Coastal.

Chris: The other venue in DC, not where you guys are tomorrow at the 9:30 Club, but this other one called The Black Cat actually has a vegan café downstairs.

Mike: Oh really? In the venue? That's awesome.

TIG: So on the road…have you guys been to Europe yet?

Mike: We have not gone to Europe yet. After we go Washington DC, New York, Boston and then we've got a couple days off. Then we're gonna go to Europe. Well, yesterday our record came out in Europe too.

TIG: Really? Cool.

Mike: Yeah, it's pretty exciting actually. It's pretty surprising because bands that aren't really well-known over the US don't get a license [to release in . Europe] But Barsuk just threw our CD in a package and the guy at the label just looked through and was like 'Whoa, what is this? We want to put this out. ' So yeah, he just picked it out of the bunch. It was pretty cool.

Chris: Well Europe is usually
pretty cool about music. You guys should probably do really well over there.

Mike: We'll see, we'll see.

William: We don't know, we don't know. We could come back with our fucking tails between our legs.

TIG: Yeah, well here's something. I already told him this (indicating Mike) but I have a friend over in Paris who is going through all these sort of relationship troubles, but she wanted to let you guys know that [the opener to "Battery"] "Newton and Galileo" is like, getting her through it. It's like her favorite song right now.

Mike: (laughs)

William: (after a pause) Wow.

TIG: I took the promo, this is before your record came out, but I took it over with me to visit her and was all "You have to hear this new record I just got" and of course "Newton and Galileo" came on first and she was just all "Oh my god, this is amazing, who is this??"

Mike: Right on…that's awesome.

William: She's French?

Chris: She's from Texas actually.

William: Oh, well Texas has been good to us.

Mike: Texas has been good to us.

TIG: Were you guys at South by Southwest? [In Austin, Texas]

Mike: Yes, yes we were.

Chris: How was that?

Mike: It was a lot of fun.

Chris: Did you get to see a lot of other people or are you all just wrapped up in your own stuff?

Mike: We got to see a lot of people because we had one day where we could just run around and see bands…

TIG: Anyone that was just really amazing?

Mike: Well the Hives put on a major show.

TIG: Really?!

Mike: They're so, so crazy. But then I always get this kind of ruffled thing 'cause like some else writes all their songs. Yeah. So keep that in mind — Hives don't actually write their own songs. But their presentation is just amazing. I mean, going to see them play is a helluva lot of fun.

(Time passes)

TIG: So as far as Seattle goes, I remember hearing "Bridge to the Northern Lights" awhile ago on KEXPor something, maybe Rainy Dawg — but around Seattle, do you guys have favorite places to play? Like Graceland, the Crocodile, or is there just anywhere you just love to play in Seattle?

William: We're not biased. We like it all.

Mike: It's not as much about the place, it's more just like a good vibe, you know, we like playing good shows.

William: Sunset Tavern.

Mike: Sunset's awesome.

William: We like it because it's small.

TIG: Well you know they re-did Graceland.

Mike: That's what I've heard, they cleaned it up. I haven't seen it though…that or Neumo's.

TIG: So how do you guys feel about the Seattle music scene right now? Any bands not a lot of people are going to know about that need to be known, that are really important?

William: The thing is, in Seattle there's so much music, it's unfair to say there's a scene. I mean, there's a lot of good music coming out of Seattle.

Mike: Yeah, but we did play with this cool band for a cd-release, the Preons. They're really cool.

William: There's like bands that aren't even like in our scene that are really great.

Mike: Yeah, that's the cool thing about Seattle. There's so many bands…

William: There's so many great bands you can't even call it a scene.

Mike: So many bands, and a lot of them are great Chris: That's great though because then there are a lot of sounds. I mean, there was the whole New York thing for awhile but all the bands were coming out just sounding the same.

Mike: I kind of think that people don't get as caught up in what other people are doing in Seattle. It's like, you know, with the whole grunge thing, how like there was the whole "Seattle sound" but there was so many bands like not doing that stuff, you know at the time, and people in the scene were totally supportive of those bands, it just kind of evolved through that whole process. I don't know, that's just kind of what I've just noticed, it's just people like doing their own thing, they're just not caught up in this one deal. And that's awesome, you know, because if you're all doing just one thing, like if it's all just the New York sound, then it's just one sound.

William: That's the thing, like in Seattle there's like mad underground hip-hop…

TIG: There's El Vez…

William: There is El Vez.

Chris: (to me) Who is that one you were playing me the other day?

TIG: Oh, the Pale. Yeah, I was at the Showbox for their release party.

Mike: Yeah, we played with the Pale up in Bellingham.

William: There's Pretty Girls [Make Graves].

Mike: Yeah, Pretty Girls.

TIG: Well you guys produced both with Phil Ek, right? He did their album as well didn't he?

Mike: Umm, I don't…

William: He did.

Mike: Well yeah, there you have it. He knows…But yeah, Phil's awesome.

TIG: Phil's a good guy?

Mike: Phil's a good guy.

TIG: Have you guys seen Smoosh? The 9-year-old and 11-year-old thing?

William: Oh yeah, they're awesome.

Chris: Isn't that ridiculous though? Can you get over the fact that they're nine and eleven? I mean I haven't heard anything by them, but…

William: (shrugs, waves his hands in the air)

All: (laugh)

It was at this point that the tape ran out. Oh well. C'est la vie. In any case, we had a good time and met up with Aveo again after the show in D. C. the next night. Such great guys in such a great band, it gives you hope for the government.