The Secret Lives of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, CMJ 2008.

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s were kind enough to sit down and do an interview before the Monday night CMJ party for The Syndicate. For a band that comes off in their records as often very dark and mysterious, they have a great sense of humor. . Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s have just released their second record titled ‘Not Animal’ which goes along with their internet and vinyl release only of ‘Animal’, the album the band really prefers. The band opened up to us about everything from the new record to one band member’s secret career.
Which do you prefer, being in the studio or being on tour?
Richard Edwards: I prefer being in the studio better because in the studio it can be so called creative. On tour its very depressing and tiring.
I can imagine. What was the wierdest thing that happened to you solely because you are in a band?
Richard Edwards: I kissed a girl

How does the songwriting process occur for the band? Does someone bring in a song, or is it just a collaboration?

Richard Edwards: Um, I bring in songs then everyone works on their parts and whatnot together. They bring another level to it

Chris Fry: We throw a bunch of crap on the wall and see what sticks.

Richard Edwards: Yea, see what sticks

What is more nerve wracking, releasing your first album and wondering if people will catch on to your band, or releasing your second and having to live up to the greatness of the first?

Richard Edwards: We have not experienced either one (laughs). I thought the first one would be worse, but so far the second one has been kind of shitty.   

How did you come up with the title ‘No Animal,’ and what does it mean?
Richard Edwards: It means it’s not our record and we hate it.

How did everyone in the band meet?
Richard Edwards: Strip club

Erik Kang: I was dancing (laughs)

Casey Tennis: There was a big talk about him.

Erik Kang: It was some hard times.

You gotta do what you gotta do..

Casey Tennis: It was called 2001 a Space Odessy

Erik Kang: Yes, exactly

Richard Edwards: We went to the strip club after that Arcade Fire show we couldn’t get into

What is your favorite song to play live?
Richard Edwards:My favorite song to play live…’Real Talk’. You mean song of ours? (laughs) Uh ‘Oh what a Nightmare’
Is it difficult to bring the orchestration that you created in the studio onto the stage?
Casey Tennis: I think it was kind of a goal we had to make it on stage, to try it. Yes, it was fun, but yes we did.
Richard Edwards: Yea, we ended up bringing out 2 more people out with us to do what we did in the studio, but yea, it was difficult moving it to the studio. 


How did you come up with the name Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s ?
Chris Fry: Strip club
Richard Edwards: Strip club, yes! 

After CMJ what is the band’s near future plans?

Richard Edwards: Retire.

Erik Kang: Go back to the pole.

I knew you were going to say that!

Erik Kang: Once a stripper, always a stripper

What was your first musical obsession? The first piece of music that you really loved?

Casey Tennis: ‘Cats’

Richard Edwards: ‘Fiddler on the Roof’

Erik Kang: ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’

Richard Edwards:’Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?’ (laughs)

Where do your song titles come from? Some of them are quite unusual say for instance, ‘A Children’s Crusade on Acid’ and ‘The Ocean (is bleeding salt)?

Richard Edwards: Strip Clubs. They’re just stupid ideas basically.

What is your favorite city to play a show in?

Richard Edwards: New York, Chicago, LA, no San Francisco


Richard Edwards: Definatly not! (laughs)

I have heard that the band has lived in one house together. Do you still live together?

Richard Edwards: No we all have big houses of our own now.

The artwork on your albums always catch my eye. Who does the artwork for your albums, and do you tell the artist what you want for the cover?

Richard Edwards: Stacey Novak does the artwork and we give her ideas but then she comes up with awesome stuff that is better than our ideas would be.


Who are your influences?

Richard Edwards: I don’t have any influences. I like Jesus and Fiddler on the Roof. My influences, my direct influences, uh, I don’t know, like Starfly69, T Rex. I like Loudon Wainwright, and uh Fiddler on the Roof I like a lot (Laughs)

If you weren’t in Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, what would you be doing?
Emily Watkins: Erik would probably be stripping

Richard Edwards: I’d know where i’d be going every night then…

What album do you wish you had written?
Richard Edwards: That isn’t ours? The third record we’re about to make, and the Fiddler on the Roof ‘ soundtrack.

Casey Tennis: You didn’t say ‘Graceland’

Richard Edwards: Yea,‘Graceland’ I guess. ‘Pinkerton,’ uh, Spoon ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’

Emily Watkins: I think you were missing a ‘Ga’

What board game can you kick anyone’s ass at?
Chris Fry: Scrabble!

Richard Edwards: I beg to differ

Chris Fry: I beat your ass the last time we played

Richard Edwards: I don’t remember that

Casey Tennis: Cranium!


Check out Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s on their Myspace

Also check out Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s Live at the Syndicate CMJ Party (Taken by Modern Mystery) on Vimeo. 


Erik Kang: That was my dancing name. You know ‘Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos’

Thats a long dancing name..Richard Edwards: Thats what she said! (laughs)

What made you decide to release ‘Animal’ and ‘Not Animal’ at the same time? I heard it was because your record label wasn’t too fond of ‘Animal’, and they wanted you to release ‘Not Animal’.

Richard Edwards:Its a ploy to make a shit ton of money, and it suceeded.

Chris Fry: But we did get to put out 19 songs.

Richard Edwards: Yea they kind of got a good scam going. We got paid for like 3 songs.

Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s ‘As Tall As Cliffs’

In about 2 hours from now, I will be sitting down with all of the band members of Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s for an interview. I’m very excited. They are playing a private CMJ Party tonight, and its the perfect kick off to a great indie rock marathon of a week.

I feel like the little writer kid in ‘Almost Famous’ today.

Check out Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s on Myspace

Enjoy ‘As Tall As Cliffs’, Live in San Francisco.