VHS or BETA The Exclaim! Questionnaire

VHS or BETA The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Louisville, Kentucky's VHS or BETA is a house/dance band performing on tradition rock instruments. Their debut album, Le Funk, is out now on ON! Records.

Current fixations:
I love Gillian Welch — sweet nothings in my ear that mean everything. I'm floored by My Morning Jacket — songs like grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup when I'm missin' that lovin' feelin'.

Mind-altering work of art:
I'm really affected by Pablo Neruda.

Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
The very first time I looked at Mark Palgy (bass player) after a show we played probably three years ago and the whole place was packed and people were cheering and dancing. We both smiled with a huge kindergarten grin and said to each other "oh my god- what's happening?"

What has been your career high and low?
I must say that one of the worst moments of this career in music is our van breaking down right outside of the Jersey side of the Holland tunnel. It was four in the afternoon on a hot summer day and we got pulled over by a policeman telling us we were leaking transmission fluid. We missed a sold-out show with Super Furry Animals at the Bowery Ballroom and through the whole ordeal ended up with us being $2500 poorer. I hope I haven't seen my career high yet. I love playing. As long as I can, I'll consider myself high.

What should everyone shut up about?
Everyone else's band sucking.

I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
Cancer — it's horrible. It has to stop.

What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?
The fact that I am so very skinny.

What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
Not yet — I hope that I'll not cross paths with that decision. Just don't sleep with my girlfriend!

When I think of Canada I think:
Sasquatch.

What is your vital daily ritual?
I worry. I love. I sleep. Everyday till I disappear.

How do you spoil yourself?
I probably drink more than I should. But I don't know if that fits in the "spoil" category. More of a self-medicating category. The two are pretty close though.

What was your most memorable day job?
I worked at a metal foundry for a summer while in high school. It was by far the worst job I've ever been stuck with. My boogers were black and I have the build of an anorexic Samoan so shovelling shit all day isn't exactly what I would call satisfying.

If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Probably working with children. I would be a teacher.

What is your greatest fear?
Being alone and tired.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
I have always wanted to fly. Really fast and high.

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth." Kylie Minogue is pretty stiffening.

Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
I hope I never have to take a pill to perform good music.

Strangest brush with celebrity:
A couple months back I went to the Ryan Adams show here. I really like his stuff, both in Whiskeytown and his solo stuff. Well, they all showed up at our local hangout and I thought I'd buy us a shot of good ole Kentucky bourbon and let him know that the show was really great. He says "I don't drink bourbon anymore" (as he sipped on his vodka drink) Dude! You were in a band called Whiskeytown and you don't even drink bourbon! Anyway, long story short, he seemed totally drunk and had a very unpleasant demeanour to him. We all left and as I was leaving I thought to myself "hey, fuck this, this is our town. This is our bar. I don't care who the fuck that guy is!" I say to the bartender "hey man, there's this guy here. His name is Ryan Adams. He wanted to buy our drinks tonight." "No problem," answers the bartender.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
I'm adopted so it would probably be pretty cool to eat Korean food with one of my original parents.

What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
She supports me. Even though we still fight. Can't win em all, at least all of the time.