6 Questions: Retribution Gospel Choir's Alan Sparhawk
|Photo by Cameron Wittig|
Alan Sparhawk: For me, retribution is about paying back what you have taken, or making up for a wrong, so it would be stuff like taking back the adjustable wrench I took from my first job at a hardware store in Bemidji, or trying to make up for selfish time away from my family. However, I've got a thing against Dick Cheney, if that's what you're asking.
GN: What was your first reaction upon learning that you'd officially been signed to Sub Pop?
AS: I had already worked with them before, so it wasn't as much a surprise. It's great to be working with people you trust. I've been very lucky with that over the years; I knew they would do a great job with us.
GN: Does "Working Hard" pertain to a certain time or circumstance in your life, or is it more a general expression of rock-meets-hard-place frustration?
AS: The lyrics are short and vague, but it's definitely observing frustration with the pace and demands of life, etc. It feels like a rally cry for well-meaning failures.
GN: Was anything -- say a tooth, or an astral plane, or an amp, or drum sticks, or a guitar string -- actually broken during the recording of "Something's Gonna Break"?
AS: Nope. Accuracy is the key.
GN: What are your biggest musical pet peeves?
AS: People who don't sing with their real voice, too much gear on stage, fake accents, bad pitch, stupid lyrics, the saxophone...
GN: Have you ever shown up somewhere to play a show, only to find the audience confused because you're a rock band, and not an actual choir?
AS: Every few shows, we get a few people who come to hear a choir, but the promoters are happy to give [them] their money back. Sometimes they stay anyway.
RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR play with Andrew Broder on Saturday, February 20, at the Triple Rock Social Club. 18+. $10. 8 p.m.