WILLIEBOB: It gets harder for me personally, but that is a good thing. We all try to avoid repetition with our lyrical and musical choices as the project moves along. What started as sort of "encyclopedic" songwriting that crams a state-load of facts into a short lyric has become a lot more fluid. "I've Got Friends In New Jersey" isn't about the state in a factual way, but still represents (to me anyway) an attempt to capture something very Jersey-like about the young person in the lyric.
Sufjan Stevens said he wanted to make albums for all fifty states and famously never got past two albums. What makes you think you can succeed where he failed? ;-)
COACH: Sufjan actually admitted after he made Illinois and Greetings from Michigan that he had no intention of writing an album for each state. Rather, it was a gimmick to generate press. I was kinda stunned at that admission because his persona seems contrary to such a ploy, but we all gotta make a living, right? While making an entire album for each state is a monumental task, writing a SONG for each state seems pretty reasonable.
(Here's Sufjan's rejection, though he's a little dodgy (per usual) about his true initial intent. But I read somewhere, a few years after Greetings from Michigan was released, that his 'project' was a ruse. I was dying to hear a follow-up to the first two installments, only to have my fanboy dreams crushed.)
BOOGIE: See the previous question. Plus, I have two other guys to pick up the slack.
WILLIEBOB: Hehe :) Well, I would think that 50 songs is more manageable than 50 albums, but that's still a lot of songs! My answer is: We are just crazy or simple enough to believe we can do it. Eventually...
After ten years of you doing this together, at least half of this full-time, what’s the secret to a happy (band) marriage?
BOOGIE: Sappy but true: friendship. I’ve known Coach since I was 5 years old(!) and Wiliebob since I was 15.
WILLIEBOB: Master Boogerton knows of what he speaks. Friendship.
What one thing (song, concert, whatever) are you most proud of with Rocknoceros?
COACH: I'm proud of many of our songs, most... if not all. I'm proud that we've lasted 10 years, and that we've played close to 2,000 shows. And I'm proud that we've inspired children to love music, and grow up to play music themselves.
BOOGIE: I’m proud to be introducing kids to music. As I said in the first question, it is kind of nice to think that kids “playing” Rocknoceros in their living rooms might be inspired to spend their lives making music.
WILLIEBOB: It might not count as one specific thing, but a constant source of pride for me is the endurance of this band's appeal to audiences around where we live. We're not a nationally famous band, but we are clearly some kind of D.C. area institution by now, and it was all built on our songwriting efforts.
What’s next for the band?
COACH: We're going to write an album for every state in the union. KIDDING!
BOOGIE: 10 more years.
WILLIEBOB: Maybe that "nationally famous" thing, but it'll only come to pass by doing it our way, like Frank sang it.
Photo credits: Nicole Wolf Photography