13 May 2012

Interview With Sean Bergman

Photo by Fally Afani

Here's A Recent interview we did with one of our favorite locals, Sean Bergman of Muscle Worship.

Me: Please State Your Name, Occupation and Location.
Sean: Sean Ward Bergman, LFK, technical director.

Me: How many bands have you been in?
Sean: That's a tough one. I've been in bands since I was 14. Probably a dozen or so.

Me: Has there or will there ever be a Sean Bergman solo album?
Sean: Anything Is Possible. Atone at Tone is probably the closest thing I've done to a solo project. There were a ton of people in that band over the years, but I wrote almost all the songs. Never had a proper release with that band though. Most of the songs I wrote with that band were way too personal. Eventually, I had to hard of a time separating myself from them to enjoy them. Very rarely, I will perform solo and play some of those songs. Laying it all out there by yourself is a difficult thing for me to do. I've always been pretty shy, believe it or not. Muscle Worship is the exact opposite. I get to write songs about the most ridiculous thins I can think of, be as over the top as I want to be. Very little of it is personal.

Me: Muscle Worship is your main project right now. Can we expect anything new anytime soon?
Sean: I have been wanting to just play guitar in something for awhile now. I love to write words, but my first love was guitar. There are a couple folks around the local scene that I have kicked around starting something new with, but nothing has materialized yet. Summer always affords me a lot of time. Anyone need a guitar player?

Me: Who is your favorite local band?
Sean: Crap. That's probably the hardest question yet. I love Fag Cop, even though I'm not cool enough to know when they're playing. JabberJosh is fun to see. The rapport of the Gunnerson brothers always makes me smile. I've enjoyed watching Mouthbreathers come into their own. Kyle writes really great songs. Dry Bonnet tears up something fierce and is better each time I see them. Major Games is made of up of dudes from bands I loved. Even though this band is a whole lot different, I still hits me the way those old bands did. Approach is one of the best performers around. Love me some Up The Academy too. Nature Boys and Long Shadows are the latest bands to impress me. You can tell how hard they've worked.

Me: Do you think Lawrence has a great indie scene?
Sean: I think I just answered that, but I'll elaborate further. This town has always been a musician town. That's what got me to move here in the first place. There's been so many new bands to come out in the last few years, and their all great. Just listen to the Cheap Beer comp. There's not a bad song on it. My only complaint would be the push to label Lawrence as a new garage rock scene. Sure, there are a couple bands that can be called "garage", but that's just a recording aesthetic at best. It feels more like a marketing ploy then anything. It's fast becoming the new lucrative catchphrase in American independent music. I remember garage rock being for old greasers, not kids looking for new music.They used to have garage rock conferences in Vegas for godsake. Mouthbreathers, Dry Bonnet, Up The Academy, Nature Boys. They're all punk rock to me. You don't have to blow smoke up my ass for me to like that. We've got so much more variety than that though too. The Hips are amazing and really original sounding. Hospital Ships are out there touring and representing Lawrence in a big way, so are The Appleseed Cast, Cowboy Indian Bear, The Roseline, and JabberJosh. It's the real deal here. Musicians work hard in this town. 

Me: In an interview with the Larryville Chronicles, Kyle from Mouthbreathers said they're not near as loud as you guys or a band like Major Games. How do you feel about that?
Sean: Haha, he said that huh? Well, that seems to be the most common word to describe us in our reviews. In fact, if you want to google us and not get a bunch of weird porn, look up "Muscle Worship Loud". Billy and I both have a tradition of loud bands. When we were young and going to shows, bands pushed a lot of air. I remember seeing The Jesus Lizard @ The Bottleneck and leaving with my ribs crushed and being deaf in both ears. That kind of antagonism toward the audience is appealing and kinda a guilty pleasure, not gonna lie. That being said, we're not trying to be a loud band. Nathan hits his drums really hard and we use a lot of amps and live looping and whatnot, so it's really an arms-relay race. Major Games has the same problem. i will say that we're trying to find a happy medium that lets vocals come through a bit better. We've even been quite enough lately to play outside at the Replay. It's pretty weird, but we did it. We're always gonna be pretty loud though.

Me: What is your best concert memory from a show that you've performed or seen?
Sean: Finally, an easy question. 11 years ago, Proudentall played a house show while on tour with Ten Grand (known as The Vida Blue at the time). It was in Grennsboro, NC. The place was packed with drunken college students and highschoolers. Our set ended up with a cop's flaishlight in my face. Somehow, after the cops left, Ten Grand busted out one of my favorite performances I've seen from them. The whole house just exploded while they were playing. Afterwords, both bands ended up in a drunken argument out back. Pornography was burned. No one was spared. Pure epic fun, as everyone should have on tour.

Me: You went to SXSW this year. How'd that go?
Sean: We went last year too, but missed our show due to van trouble in Dallas. i think we had the typical SXSW experience for most new bands. Played our showcase at noon to mostly people from our hometown. Spent a ridiculous amount of money getting there and back. That whole scene seems pretty far removed from anything that I thought t would be. Not many people going out to go see new music anymore.Just labels trying to license their bands' music and people standing in line all day. We made the most of it. Saw some really good music. We ran all over creation to do it, but we made it happen.

Me: What plans do you have for this summer?
Sean: Working on the house. Taking my grandfather, mom, and sister camping in the mountains. Playing some shows out of town in June. Muscle Worship is finally putting out it's full length record. just got the final mixes a while back and I'm excited to finally finish it. We'll be writing the next one over the next couple months. Just about every musician I know is recording/writing this summer. There's bound to be a lot of new music from Lawrence this fall.

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