Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pheaturing Wesley Schultz And Jeremiah Fraites From The Lumineers

Ho hey, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Let's start off with a nice story, shall we? The often deadly affects of volcanoes are not pretty for nearby residents. However, the weeks long eruption from Mount Mayan in the Philippines served as a stunning backdrop for a local couple's wedding photos. While some make lemonade out of lemons, Maria Hussa Maica Nicerio and her husband Arlo Gerald de la Cruz make fire wedding photos out of ashes. The couple posed at the restaurant Red Labuyo in the province of Albay to profess their love and capture the gorgeous and formidable wedding photos.

These deserve to be framed in gold. Mount Mayan is currently the most active volcano in the Philippines, and has erupted 50 times in the past 500 years. Hopefully, the volcanoes' persistence will serve as a positive omen for this couple's marriage. Except, without the whole "killing people and melting nearby villages" vibe.
Are you a busy, cool, attractive person with lots of people on your texting rotation?! Well, then you're probably suffering from the newest health issue succinctly referred to as "text neck." According to "The New York Times," perpetually craning our heads to check how many people "liked" our killer Instagram photos isn't just reflective of looming psychological emptiness, but it also bodes badly for our physical health. This feels like a personal attack on every cool person alive. At resting, the human head only weighs between 10 and 12 pounds on average (unless you have a real honker). However, when we bend our necks to text our scores of devoted fans, gravity's pull puts roughly 60 pounds of pressure on our neck. While the phrase "text neck" sounds like an insult a teen on the subway would make up, it was first coined in a 2017 study published in "The Spine Journal." According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, our habitual gorgeous social media slouch negatively affects our mood, memory abilities, depression symptoms, and of course, the quality of our spinal health. Of course, most of us don't have the viable option (or desire) to throw out our smartphones, strap on a backpack and pull a Christopher McCandless Into The Wild stunt. Even if we had that option, it should be noted that bears exist. Bears deserve our respect and WILL eat us. Do not believe Paddington's adorable propaganda. However, daily small changes will help you stave yourself from becoming the Hunchback of Notre Dame of text neck sufferers. All you've got to do is sit with a straightened back, remember to keep your shoulders back, and keep your chin up. Beyond practicing better posture, a more obvious way to stave off text neck is by engaging in less screen time. A more realistic habit is to more of your social media time to a computer rather than a phone, that way you can sit ergonomically. Just remember, if you're dealing with "text neck," it's only because you're an incredibly cool and popular person. I support your "text neck" treatment journey however it looks, so long as you still read the Phile.
Good news for everyone who wants to see Madonna’s right nipple! Madonna so clearly wants attention that it would be rude of me not to alert you to the existence of her semi-visible nipple on Instagram. Behold, it is Madge, topless, celebrating the purchase of a brand new $4000 Louis Vuitton purse, with her areola barely concealed. Congrats!

Madonna's new Mona Lisa purse is certainly worth drooling over, and so is this picture, which to be honest, I first thought was Miley Cyrus using the aging filter on FaceApp. She says, "still drooling over a handbag," because she posted a photo from what appears to be the same selfie photoshoot back in November. That's right, people: THIS IS A LATERGRAM, BUT SHE DIDN'T LABEL IT AS SUCH! The iconic artist is known to express herself. She even sang a song about it!  Madonna does have a history of fascinating, less-than-flattering selfies on the 'gram. She even makes her life a musical. Madonna will always be in vogue.
A Human Resources manager... you know, the person you're supposed to go to if someone in your office did something racist... got fired for doing something racist. Emily Huynh, an 18-year-old in Seattle, shared a disrespectful, degrading email her dad got from a prospective employer. Bruce Peterson, the now-former HR manager/Hiring manager for Dash Delivery LLC, responded in an email to Mr. Huynh...

Jeez. Emily tweeted that a professional (nay, a person) shouldn't talk to another person in such a manner. Emily's father, Minh Huynh, immigrated to America in 1995 and owned a restaurant before working as an overnight truck driver for 13 years. According to Next Shark, Mr. Huynh was laid off after being unable to get a certain license on time. For the past two years, he's been working day and night to try and find work, using Google Translate when he needs to. Emily also shared her father's reaction. Emily's tweet went viral and people with immigrant parents shared how they can relate. The Huynhs' story was shared on the website Next Shark, and Mr. Huynh was overwhelmed by the amount of support he's received. Finally, the Internet is good for once! The story has a happy ending...  Peterson was fired for his shittiness. Emily also shared an update from her dad, who's grateful for the support but working hard to move on with daily English lessons. And the family got an apology from Peterson himself. Take a lesson from Mr. Huynh... learn from your mistakes and your ignorance. Emily told BuzzFeed that since the tweet went viral, her dad has received numerous job offers. She also said that her dad wants to thank the Internet for their support, and that she was grateful to "to shine a light to this serious problem of workplace discrimination."
Another Trump book, "Media Madness" by Fox News host Howard Kurtz, is doing its best to fill the headline void left by Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury." An excerpt of the new book, coming out tomorrow, reveals Sean Spicer's reaction to a December 2016 tweet that went viral for, as we say in the business, "the wrong reasons." Remember this one?

Then-Politico reporter Julie Ioffe, linking to an article that reported Ivanka Trump would "get [a White House] office in [the] same space" usually reserved for the first lady. Politico quickly rebuked their reporter, who was already planning a move to "The Atlantic." Iofffe also apologized to the Internet and deleted the tweet. It looks like none of that was enough for former White House Director of Communications Sean Spicer, who at some point called "Atlantic" editor Jeffrey Goldberg and demanded her firing. Goldberg defended the reporter, asking Spicer: "Haven't you said some stupid shit in your life?" If you let the light hit it in just the right way, Spicer's comeback is actually hilarious in a self-deprecating, trying-to-repress-the-media sort of way... "I say stupid shit every day. I have never suggested anyone, much less a president, is fucking his daughter." Sean Spicer, whose greatest hits would include adamantly inflating crowd sizes at Trump's inauguration and perhaps mistaking Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for a collection of Christmas carols, might actually be poking fun at himself there. Although maybe that's not surprising, since he did that again at the Emmys, (much to the audience's horror): According to the excerpt of the Kurtz book obtained by Page Six, the Spicer phone call all but "guaranteed Ioffe's employment... [Goldberg] couldn't let an... administration tell him whom to hire or fire." Well, suppose there's no better time for this pic...

Here's to more Spicer anecdotes come January 29th.
It's Sunday, people, and instead of doing this blog I should be listening to this...

Ummm...never mind. If I had a TARDIS I would go to Mars...

That's a photo of the sun from Mars by the way. Kinda cool, right? Hey, so, I Googled "Lady & the Trump" again on purpose to see what other pic I could find. I found this one...

Hahaha. Some people have suck bad luck... but I don't think it could be any worse than if this happened...

Damn! That sucks. A few weeks ago women were marching all over the country again when it was the anniversary of Trump being sworn is as president. Some of this women had some really creative signs...

That's great. So, I think I know where everyone is getting the idea to eat Tide Pods from...

So, parents, I hope your child isn't like the one who did this...

Haha. actually, that's pretty funny. Being this is the Phile's 12th anniversary year I have been showing you some celebrities how they have changed from 2006 til now. For instance in 2006 Emma Watson was Hermione.

In 2018 she is 2018 she is Belle...

So, as you know I live in Florida and there some crazy stuff that happens in Florida that happens no where else in the universe. That's why I have a pheature called...

The concept of find a message in a bottle sound whimsical enough on its own. But finding a message in a bottle that was sent over 30 years ago from Scotland enters a whole different stratosphere of remarkable. This unlikely scenario is precisely what happened to Florida residents Ruth and Lee Huenniger when they happened upon a message in a bottle lying under a fence near the Atlantic Ocean. The message itself was sent in the 1980s by a class of students from Forfar, Scotland who were learning about pirates. "We are learning all about pirates. We would like to see how far this message goes. Please write and tell us where you found this bottle. We are class 213, Chapelpark Academy Street," the message reads. Surprisingly well preserved, the Huennigers were not only able to read the decades old message, but they were able to decipher the return address and send a return letter. The letter's paper was covered in transpaseal to preserve it from water damage. Ruth Huenniger detailed to "The Daily Mail" how they found the letter, and how promptly they wrote a letter. "Lee found it after Hurricane Irma as he was checking for damage along a fence in our homeowner's association. It was a large plastic bottle, like a Coke bottle and it was frosted over and you could not see very well inside. Lee could not get the top off of it but saw a corner of the paper near the neck of the bottle. He was going to put in the recycle bin but decided to cut it open. It was several weeks maybe six before we received a response. We threw the original bottle out because we thought we were not going to hear anything else about the note." The Forfar school's location changed in 2007, however, Huennigers' letter still found its way to school staff. They received a letter back from recently retired teacher, Fiona Cargill, of Angus, Scotland. Cargill was pleasantly shocked by the letter, and managed to narrow the messages down to one of her classes from the 1980s. She said, "It's amazing. I liked to teach a project on pirates because it helped develop a lot of different skills. One part of that would involve getting in groups, writing a letter and sending a message in a bottle out to sea and seeing if it ever came back. I believe it is one class of primary 2/3 in particular because one of the children was related to a trawlerman in Arbroath who would take the bottle in their boat and throw it a bit further out so that it was less likely to just wash back ashore. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the pupil who wrote the letter but looking back there's an error where they meant to write 'street' which I found quite amusing. Stupidly, I forgot to get them to date the letter which really would have helped in narrowing it down." A few former students from the school found the story online and shared their memories. This must be a total mind bender for them. The story of finding this bottle truly exemplifies that one man's trash is another man's message in a bottle.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, I have been watching "The X-Files" and it made me think... I want to look into conspiracy theories. So, once again, here's...

A secretive organization of people that control the world? Well, it turns out it does exist and many of its members are powerful world leaders and titans of industry. The real action happens at Bohemian Grove, which appears to primarily exist as a place, “where the rich and powerful go to misbehave” according to "The Washington Post." Or, alternatively, to hear it from the group directly, where members, “share a passion for the outdoors, music, and theater.” However, along with more traditional fare such as drinking and big dinners, the regular activities also reportedly include performing rituals before a giant wooden owl, according to "The Post." Owners of the property host a two-week retreat in California each year for some of the wealthiest and most influential Americans. Past attendees include Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both of whom attended before entering the White House. Oh, and it’s where the idea for the atomic bomb was first sketched out. No big deal.

So, I wanted to see the movie Dunkirk when it came out and was gonna get to from Red Box or see if it was on Netflix. Anyway, a friend of the Phile saw it so I thought it'll be fun to invite him on the Phile to review it. If he likes the movie then I will definitely like it. He's a singer, patriot, and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. Happy Sunday, phuckerz. Dunkirk equals Tom Hardy’s spitfire slowly running out of fuel... a bunch of WW ll British soldiers NOT fighting... and Kenneth Branagh looking concerned and standing on a dock... FOR AN HOUR AND FORTY FIVE FUCKING MINUTES! That’s it. Total waste of my time.

Guess I won't see Dunkirk now. Haha. The 74th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Author David J. Hogan will be the guest on the Phile a week from tomorrow. And now for some...

Phact 1. Babe Ruth’s daughter says that her father was never allowed to be a manager because he would have hired black players.

Phact 2. British celebrity Katie Hopkins condemned parents who give geography-inspired names to their children in an interview. When the presenter pointed out that her daughter is called India she said “that’s not related to a location."

Phact 3. In 2010, British goat milk farmer reportedly discovered his goats made more milk when Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” was played on loop.

Phact 4. Singer Lorde has sound-to-color synesthesia, a unique condition where sound blends with sight to create certain colors. This greatly contributed to the creative process on “Melodrama," where she wrote music to the violets and blues that appear on the album’s cover.

Phact 5. There was an attempt in Indiana to legislate Pi to the number 3.2. It was abandoned on the day of the vote by a professor who pointed out that it was lacking any basis in proof.

This is so freaking cool. Today's oheatured guests are the two founding members of the pretty popular band The Lumineers, whose latest album Their second album, "Cleopatra," was released in 2016 and debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200, and also on the Canadian and British album charts. It is already certified Gold in the U.S. Why the fuck are they here on the Phile? Haha. Please welcome to the Phile Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites from... The Lumineers.

Me: Hello, fellas, welcome to the Phile. This is so cool to have you here. How are you?

Wesley: Hi, Jason. We are good.

Me: So, I have to tell you that I'm disappointed... I was hoping to interview the cute member of the Lumineers... Neyla. Haha. How is she?

Wesley: Sorry, Jason, we're cute as well. Neyla says hi though.

Me: Hi, Neyla! Haha. Okay, I have to say I love your latest album "Cleopatra." Is it cool to have a hit second album after the first was so popular?

Wesley: Thanks so much. It's great to have a second album out in general, it feels like an enormous weight off our shoulders I think.

Me: I love the title track, guys. This song isn't about the actual Cleopatra? What is the story behind it?

Wesley: There's a female taxi driver who probably is in her 50s at this point but through a friend of a friend I heard this love story of when she was about 15 she was in love with this boy and her father dies in the midst of all this he proposes to her and she's mourning the loss of her dad so she doesn't really give him an answer to his proposal. They live in a small town in the Republic of Georgia, next to Russia. I always have to say that as people think it's the United States' Georgia. So, anyway, he doesn't get an answer and leaves pretty rejected or hurt and he never returns to the small town. It was a rainy day when he proposed to her and he had tracked in these muddy footprints from the mud outside. She never sees him again but she refuses to wash those footprints off of her floor, and rug as it's kind of the only thing she has left to remember him by for that love that she missed. So I heard her story and learned more and more about her as time went on as I was really fascinated by that as any writer would be. Your antenna would go up if you heard something like that.

Me: What came first with that song? The story and lyrics or the music first? I'm guessing the story... 

Wesley: I think we had the music first. We were singing different lyrics with it.

Jeremiah: Yeah, Wes had a lot of the lyrics written, but that was the fun part. You know you have something great with lyrics and melody but how do you dress it up? Do you make it a fast song or a slow song? I think at first almost felt overly sentimental. It was slower and had this almost faster feel or something, for lack of a better description. And then we did the blistering fast tempo started off. 

Wesley: We built a lot of tension through holding onto that first chord way, way longer than the original demos had. It created a lot more tension where there used to be a constant movement of chords. We saved those for the choruses.

Jeremiah: It was exciting for me to as we only had one album out there so when we were pinned against something we already made we wanted to do something interesting and completely different. I was like wow, this is new material, I think we are able to do this song justice now. It was a good moment when we thought finally now, this song will get the due justice it deserves on record.

Me: My friend Sam pointed out to me recently when we were talking about you guys is that on the new album there's a lot of songs named after women... what is the reason behind this? Are they all characters you thought of?

Wesley: In the case of "Cleopatra," that was the archetype. When you're in the mode of song writing and you have so many syllables to work with to tell your story it was the most economical way of saying something. I was trying to connote that this woman was young and indestructible and viewed the world like she was gonna take it over as a young person. There was no fast way to say that so that became the title and it has a weight to it, that name. Something like "Angela" in that song, could've been Los Angeles or Fransesca. Sometimes words and names just feel right. There's a music accountability to it. I heard Keith Richards talk a lot about the music accountability of the words or if it needs to have a certain vowel sound. If the song was "Start the Engine" instead of "Start Me Up" it would make no sense. So they kinda knew that early on. Some of our songs you may notice like "Ophelia" doesn't start with an actual word. I think the sound is more important than the actual words.

Me: Cool. So, how do you work together? Jeremiah, do you work on the music and Wesley, do you work on the words?

Jeremiah: Yeah, that's right.

Me: So, what do you use to write the music, Jeremiah? You're the percussionist, but do you use piano or guitar?

Jeremiah: You're right, it's mostly piano and guitar. I'm obsessed with the notion that it's been our thesis for the last six years that a great song can just work on a single instrument. "Ophelia" for example was just written on the fact that it has to just work on the piano and just us stomping and creating this background rhythm. We didn't want to leave any room that we would dress it up in the studio or quote and unquote fix it in the studio with effects or something like that. Because when you hear a great song, whether it's a Cat Stevens song or a Bruce Springsteen or Dylan, when you hear someone play it around a camp fire I usually get a little mad at how easy it is. How simple the chords are in fact and how the mysteries are revealed. It breathes so easily on a single instrument, so once we have that completed it's really fun to strip to and work other ways with other instruments. The tedious part is trying to make it work in that simple environment I think.

Me: With the success of your first album, and working on this second album, did you go back to any songs that you left off the first album? Does that make sense?

Jeremiah: Yeah, it does. "Ophelia" was an old idea, from New Jersey, when we grew up in Ramsey that it was just this thing I would tinker around with and me and Wes were always drawn to it but we were never had time to work on it I guess. I remember when we were recording the first album the chorus was born during lunch when we spent fifteen hours in the studio and Wes just puked out "Ophelia."

 Wesley: Yeah, that was an interesting thing because I really like the Band and the Band has "Ophelia." That's their territory. I think I thought that was never gonna remain the title out of respect for the Band so it was pretty odd that the thing stuck. At the end of the day we felt okay and good about it but a lot of things in life and in music sometimes the first things that come out is the best thing. It's almost impossible to get a complete original thought or idea down. We're always building on each other I think.

Me: I read that a lot of people try and interpret your songs. What do you think of that?

Wesley: It's like all the conspiracy theories. I think also the job of the artist in my opinion is to provoke and illicit something but what that thing is is not my job. If people feel ambivalence to what we're doing there's a problem there. So people's interpretations never ceases to amaze me how different than how I thought it was gonna be. Or what I thought at the time of writing it. It really is fascinating to me. When we toured recently with U2 and Bono said how "One" was people's first dance at a wedding and how really heartbreaking that song is for him. For us from the first album "Ho Hey" was like that. That became eerily because it was about heartbreak but became people's first dance. I think with "Ophelia" a song like that definitely for me was born out of being detached from touring so much. I think we toured for almost five years if you add it all up. We only had one album that was 43 minutes long and so we were being asked to play much longer than 43 minutes which was also a challenge. We all lost our way a little bit in all that and had to find it again.

Me: How long have you been writing together and when did you first realize you could write great songs together?

Wesley: I don't know, it's just kinda out friend. We both begrudgingly both agreed to meet up as a group but none of us really wanted to be there.

Jeremiah: I think to it was really clunky. It wasn't like we met and started writing. I didn't know how to play piano when I met Wes, on a professional level you could say, 11 years ago. I remember trying to play one of Wes's old songs on this piano and it was just an easy idea but I just couldn't get it. I felt very frustrated with not having the command of a piano at all and trying to write songs. But it was cool. Whenever somebody had an idea we would just finish it. Now there is an insanely, specific, complex, process of what becomes a Lumineers song. Back then was any idea let's do it. I think we've written 75 to a 100 songs before the debut album together which is really cool. It's really hard to imagine how much we've written together. It was clunky though to sum it up.

Wesley: Yeah, I think it's good in this kind of relationship Jer was really good in the theatrical and cinematically side of things. A lot of sounds that you hear buried underneath... that's Jer's wheelhouse. And mine is coming from a more singer-songwriter perspective so I'm putting a big owness on lyrics and melody. Our strengths don't always overlap and when we first met each other we didn't really understand what the other one is doing for a while. We realized afterwards the sings would come out better if the powers unite. When we combined our efforts it was a lot more interesting than just one.

Me: I didn't realize you guys wrote the song Jennifer Lawrence sang for The Hunger Games. Did they tell you what to write? How was that experience?

Jeremiah: It was pretty strange. We got to Skype with the director, Francis Lawrence. He was really generous, he Skyped with us a number of times. He just said this is what I'm looking for. It was a little bit of a tall task because he said he wanted like a children's nursery rhyme. So we tried to create this thing that could be hummed or sung.

Wesley: It's just a timeless classic. What I realized too is a lot of nursery rhymes that we grew up on like "ring around a rosie, pocket full of posies, ashes to ashes, we all fall down" that's a really dark song when you think about it. So with the hanging tree, the subject of the song, we had to work backwards because the lyrics already existed in the book and we really never write that way. It was a really fun exercise but we went into it thinking this is a really big movie and they're probably asking twenty people to write this and they're gonna pick the best one. Then we got the news that they were gonna use it and then eventually Jennifer Lawrence sang it, and everything she does seems to be increasingly successful. It didn't shock me it got a lot of attention and she has a cool voice.

Me: So, you mentioned all the touring you did behind the first album. How did you find the time to write for the second album?

Wesley: We toured from April 2012 to mid-December 2014, so almost three years. Then we took two weeks off and then we began to write for the next record for six months. We rented a little house in Denver and treated it like a 9 to 5 and just showed up pretty much every day and drank way too much coffee and wrote as many songs as we could in that period of time and then we ended up going to a place just outside Woodstock, New York to record the album.

Me: Were you fully prepared by time you go to the studio or were you writing there as well? 

Jeremiah: We were pretty prepared. I think we learned a while ago that if we were gonna spend anywhere from thousands a day to think about let's ponder what we were gonna do is not a great business model or an artistic model for that matter. I think we like to do it in the privacy of our homes. We have our own studio, and I mean that pretty lightly. It's like a pro-tools rig and a couple of mics basically, and a few instruments that we love. We find it easier and more fun to go into the studio and do these things that we know already worked instead of this idea like we are gonna meet around the campfire and smoke some weed and it's gonna be a black out moment of epiphany and fun or whatever. The song "Angela" however was written in the studio through a lot of handwork. Wes kept on tinkering with it and tinkering with it and the producer, Simone Felice, I could see this really cool thing happening, they were really kinda egging each other on musically. It was so magnetic or something. The song was born in the studio. It was so cool to see that and be a part of that.

Wesley: I think there's a little uncertainty about it. If the whole album sounded like that I don't think it'll be as good but it sticks out for me when I hear it because it's so fresh to all of us when we're playing it.

Me: Your music sounds basic but obviously isn't. Did you ever get any grief from your label, manager or anybody about the music?

Wesley: Yeah, I think it's something we found interesting, even at festivals playing, we have a song called "Slow It Down" which is on the first record, and we were up against it with the label. They said it's gotta be a real recording and we looked at each other and thought what does that really mean. 

Jeremiah: Yeah, it was kinda like "your painting is beautiful can't wait til you redo it." What do you mean? You said you loved it.

Wesley: So, that stayed on the album. We noticed when we played something like Glastonbury, it was interesting that that was almost one of the most special moments of the show. For a lot of people it seemed like a risk but I rather go out with something we really believe in and find interesting, not trying to appeal to the "lowest common denominator" by adding drums and more arrangement.

Me: Did you ever put something on a record or add something to a song and you were like no way, that sucks, or that is way too much?

Wesley: We had some of Bruce Springsteen's horn players come in to play on "Ophelia." I was thinking is this one of those moments when we were just taking advantage of our resources and we're really not thinning this few.

Jeremiah: When we have these guys come in, they're human beings in front of us and we hit play... it was really fun listening back to it, but thinking I don;t really want to use this. That was hard to make a decision like alright, thanks guys. We didn't mean to sound like a mean person but that sounds cool but I don't anybody to hear to ever again.

Me: Okay, so, who are your influences, guys? I couldn't guess who'd you say. Haha.

Wesley: I remember listening to Feist a lot and people don't normally bring her name up probably as much as her influences actually carries but she had a dramatic impact on both of us hearing her albums. I remember that song "The Park," where it's just birds in the background and a shitty acoustic guitar and a french horn suddenly comes in and it's just her and it's unbelievably moving. It's so much powerful than what's out there that you hear. I kinda see us a combination of Feist and Billy Joel somehow.

Me: Okay, so, I have to mention "Ho Hey." How did that song come about and were you surprised when it got so popular?

Wesley: I think we figured out that was a live phenomenon song so wasn't gonna work in the studio. We almost didn't put it on the record because we weren't happy with the recording and we tried all sort of things in the demo phase. I remember we ended up in a bath tub trying to write the reverb. We were gonna back to the original open mic setting at a dive bar we liked because we liked the sound of the wood when Jer slammed his foot down we were gonna record there. We had all those ideas but I think what we went back to was just the layering. Like with Queen with "We Will Rock You," when they layered the stomps and claps they were trying to create how long it takes for the guy clapping in a distance to the guy next to you, how does that sound with a big sound of claps in a real way. We began honing on that and creating a chunkier, fatter stomp and fatter clap. Then it started to feel like it did live. But I don't think we had a whole lot of faith in that song. We didn't think it'll do anything, just be this sort of live thing that people looked forward to. 

Me: So, what's the story behind the song?

Wesley: It was written very quickly in an apartment in Brooklyn I was living in. A lot of songs came out of me then, which may be a good lesson which wasn't the best of times. Sometimes you have to turn inward to create those good times when you are struggling a little bit. I think it was a stubborn defiance to the shit time I was having. It's sort of loosely based on an old melody that I tweaked a little bit, but from a different song. Often time that's the nature of what we do, we take little things that we think of gems but don't really have a home and they end up finding a place in another song. Most of the songs we have are Frankenstein monsters of three or four songs or something. They're snippets of a few different things.

Me: I have to tell you guys this... two days ago I got in my car and "Ho Hey" was on the radio. Then last night I was watching "The X-Files" and "Hey Ho" played on that episode. So, two days leading up to this entry I heard that song twice. Okay, so, I have to ask you about one last song... "Gun Song" from the new album. Guns are a big thing in the news right now because of the shooting spree in Vegas, and other places, so I have to ask to what the story is about this song.

Wesley: The story about "Gun Song" is my father passed away in 2007... actually on 7/7/07 at 7:07 a.m. so some quality of 7 is really special to me. Right after that I was working this job and I needed to wear black socks... I was a waiter. They would send you home if you didn't have black socks on, it was that kind of place. I didn't have any clean socks but my father had just passed away and I knew his clothes were still in his drawer. I was running late so I ran in to grab a pair of black socks and instead I pick out a gun I didn't know he had in that drawer. I put down the gun obviously and I grab the socks and I run to work. On the drive over and on the shift I'm just thinking about all the things that A) I can't ask him about about this and B) all the things I didn't know about this person I thought I knew so well that's gone now. So, the origins of that song all sprung up from that one moment of overwhelming sense of what the hell just happened, I don't have time to deal with this right now, I have to get to work.

Me: Wow. My dad passed on February 7th at 7 a.m. but in 2000. I like the holy shit moment in the song. Haha.

Wesley: Yeah. I remember saying to my mom why didn't you tell me and she said it wasn't loaded. It was just an odd response.

Me: Thanks, so much for being on the Phile, guys. Tell Neyla I want to interview her. Haha. Continued success and I hope to see you in concert soon.

Wesley: Thanks, this was fun. Have a good one, Jason.

Jeremiah: Thanks, Jason, I like your blog. This was a treat for us. Take care.

Me: Thanks.

Damn. That was so bloody good. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Wesley and Jeremiah from The Lumineers. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Robert LaRoche from The Sighs. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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