Before we get started could you please give me your name and position in the band?
- Hello. My name is Chris Richards. I sing the most of the three, and I play guitars, bass, keyboards and other things.
Why don't you consider yourself "that band" after releasing "No Kill No Beep Beep?"
- Because five years is a long time. We've changed so much as people and musicians since we made that record. I think as people, we are drawn to music because it's a very rejuvinating enterprise. There are no bounds to your explorations, and if you exploit that, your past naturally seems more foreign. Here's another way of looking at it: Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself from a few years ago and wondered why the hell you were wearing that shirt or who cut your hair in those days? It's that sort of thing.
Where did you guys get the band name Q And Not U from?
- Harris came up with the band name. The idea is that the Q and the U always appear beside one another in our language and we wanted take them apart.
What spuured you to make your sound more disco-esque and less complicated (but more catchy) drum-wise?
- Sometimes I think our band was actually founded out of a curiosity for dance music, and it's just taken us this long to learn how to express it. We all really listened close when Jam'n 99.5 hit the DC airwaves for a brief spell in the late 90s and early 00s. But for the record, I think our music is far more complicated now than ever. Now we're just able to organize it better.
Are the rumors of you guys moving to Philadelphia true? If so, what is going to happen with you and Dischord?
- I went to Philly last weekend, but no, that rumor isn't true. Muddy, our roadie, just moved there, but that's about it. Some of this confusion might stem from the fact that Harris moved to Brooklyn last spring? I don't know. Harris' move hasn't affected our relationship with Dischord at all. But I do wish they had Hollertronix in DC every month.
Why don't you play more songs off of No Kill No Beep Beep anymore?
- For the same reason that you don't wear all the same clothes you wore 5 years ago. Sure, you might have a favorite sweater or some old jeans that still look fly, but chances are you're gonna wear your new threads on Saturday night. We still play "A Line in The Sand," "End The Washington Monument..." and "Sleeping the Terror Code," but that's about it. Right now we love the songs from "Power" but I doubt we'll love them quite as much in 5 more years. Life is always changing and if you try to hold on to the impermanence of everything you're bound for a lifetime of frustration. That's probably the most important lesson I've learned from being in this
band. You've got to live in the right now.
What are your five favorite things about DC?
- DC is a confusing and beautiful city. I find it fascinating to be a part of a creative community that operates in the shadows of the superpower. I love the sense of community here as well as the disunity here. I think a lot of people DC are constantly hungry for new experiences and new ideas but they struggle to find them. It makes it an engaging place to live. But you asked for five things, and I will oblige:
1. Vace Pizza
2. National Gallery of Art is free
3. Washington Wizards are going to the playoffs this year, no doubt.
4. Go-Go is still always good, even when Rare Essence is covering Ashlee
5. New Amerie record this summer.
How many times have you made out with Tim from Les Savy Fav (willingly or unwillingly)
- Zero times. In fact, I've only met Tim once - but he was an extremely gregarious and charming fellow.
Who would you rather collaborate w/: Dan Nakamura, Loretta Lynn, or Mike Patton?
- I'm not bananas for any of those artists at the moment, but if I had to choose, I would have to say Mike Patton. Thanks to my roommate, Mike Kanin, I've recently been revisiting my middle-school fling with Faith No More. I also really like Patton's singing on the Bjork record that came out last year. What an amazing voice!
Which one of you got detention most often in school?
- Probably me. But never for anything cool. I would always get detention for talking in class or speaking out of turn. I've always been big on communication and down on rules.
What are your five favorite DC bands?
- Tough one. DC music has formed so much of my musical conciousness it's kind of like asking what my favorite word is. I use them all! So that said, I'm gonna break it into two answers. My favorite artists right now and my favorite artists of the past. So looking back I would have to say Nation of Ulysses, Rites of Spring, Trouble Funk, Slant 6, Bikini Kill (on a DC-summer technicality), Bad Brains, Monorchid, Black Eyes, Junkyard Band, y'know, the usual suspects. These days I'm feeling Supersystem, Amerie, Head Roc, Horses, Manhunter, Food For Animals, Raheem DeVaughn, Rare Essence, Uncalled 4 Band (are they still together?Anyone?), Apes, DJ Dave Nada and the dudes who DJ at Krunk, and on and on and on.
What are your five favorite bands?
- Again, this is impossible for me to answer. My pantheon of musicians would include peeps like Prince, the Clash, Public Enemy, Black Flag, Arthur Russell, Eno, Queen, Daft Punk, Caetano Veloso and all the tropicalistas, Michael Jackson, Chic, Roxy Music, Suicide, Fela Kuti, Curtis Mayfield, Tony Conrad, Bikini Kill - I could do this all day. Lately, I've been enjoying songs by Ciara, DJ Technics, Huggy Bear, Phoenix, Annie, the Neptunes, Biggie, Kylie, Todd Terry, Aaliyah, Usher, all the Swishahouse stuff, Camron and all the Dipset stuff, MU, Klaatu, Eddie Palmieri, Sparks, Lil Flip, Gino Soccio, Gloria Scott, all that Sleeping Bag Records stuff - again, I could drop names all day.
If you could play one show with any band, active or non-active who would it be and why.
- Prince, hands down. I think he is superhuman and I am drawn to his work on so many levels.
Do you guys have any recording information you can share with us?
- Reverb will be the enemy unless you make it your friend. Could you imagine getting a fortune cookie that said that?
If there is one thing you could change about the music industry, what
would it be and why?
- I don't think the music industry can be changed for the better, because in a utopian society the words music and industry would never reside next to one another. I know I keep harping on Prince in this interview, but he's always had really amazing thoughts about massively popular artists taking control of their careers and marketing. He's obviously in the most charmed of imaginable positions, but it's still worth a thought. It's just crazy because pop stars wield some of the most intense cultural power imaginable but some weird white business man is still signing their checks. I guess if artists could control the industry, we would all be in a much better place.
What is it like being a part of Dischord records?
- It's been our home since go and we're honored to be part of the label that
we had been fetishizing since we were teenagers.
I notice that you guys don't really come up to Baltimore to play at all, any reasoning behind that?
- I think we hit Baltimore as much as we hit any other major US city. We try to get everywhere at least twice a year. That said, we have never felt overwhelming love from Baltimore. But we feel an overwhelming love for Balitmore Club. Love and respect to DJ Technics.
Are you excitied to play with Interpol?
- Absolutely. I think we are really going to have bring our A-game to the table and I'm looking forward to the challenge. We have no idea what to expect from the crowds and that's a real thrill.
Well before we close out the interview, do you have anything to say for all our readers over at Absolute Punk?
- Listen to music everyday and do something nice to your body everyday.