Playing 20 Questions with The Morning Benders

The Morning Benders are currently my ‘Autumn Obsession’ band. Last fall it was all about Caribou, but this year The Morning Benders have won my heart. I have been listening to ‘Talking Through Tin Cans’ daily since it came out and it actually gets better with every listen. I’m not sure I’ve ever fallen in love with a band this fast as I have The Morning Benders. Every note, every melody, every little harmony on their record is literally flawless. The Morning Benders had agreed to do an e-mail interview for Modern Mystery from the road which I have been very excited about. My favorite part is how hillarious they are…and how they got the ‘Almost Famous’ reference. Enjoy the interview. I know I am!
How did the Morning Benders come together as a band?
We all grew up together in the same house in Berkeley. We aren’t all full brothers, but most of us are.
Who are your influences?
We watch a lot of Seinfeld and Stella. Truffaut. We listen to a lot of NPR. Ray Charles, Grizzly Bear, Kate Bush.
At what age did you start to love music?
Age 5 3/4
What was the first instrument that you learned to play?
Chris: Piano
Tim: Bassoon
Julian: Tambourine
Joe: Guitar
Who does most of the songwriting in th band?
Chris usually writes the chords and words, then we all take it out back and add the special sauce.
What inspires you to write a song?
This crazy world we live in.
Is a song better if it comes from a real personal experience?
Where else would it come from?
Who is ‘Damnit Anna’ about?
Not someone named Anna.
Was there a lot of pressure on making ‘The Bedroom Covers’, in terms of hoping it lived up to the original band’s recording?
Well we were giving it away for free on the internet, so we didn’t feel too much pressure. We love the songs we covered and don’t think our versions even came close, we just had fun doing them…
Were you nervous about going into the studio to record ‘Talking Through Tin Cans’?
Not really. Those songs had a long enough incubation period, and they were ready to be put on tape. It was a cathartic experience.
At what point in your life did you think that being a musician was something you would love to do for a living?
Well, we’re all broke as hell, so I wouldn’t exactly call it making a living. I just love music, it’s what I need to do.
What was the first band that you ever played in?
the morning benders
If you weren’t in the Morning Benders, what would you be doing?
Playing in a band that sounded a hell of a lot like the Morning Benders.
How is the tour with Ra Ra Riot going?
ra ra awesome
What are your favorite and least favorite parts about being on tour?
favorite: playing shows every night
worst: eating crap food every night
Besides being all acoustic, how does the Puma instores different from a regular Morning Benders show?
We play a lot of songs we don’t like playing as a full band, or don’t work as well in the band setting. A lot of the time we just take requests. It’s generally just a more intimate thing…
What album do you wish you had written?
Ready to Die
Where do you see the Morning Benders 5 years from now?
Rocking the free world
What do you love about music in general?
Well to start… everything
What board game can you kick anyone’s ass at?
ping pong
Check out the Morning Benders and Tourdates over at their Myspace

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