Mary Timony The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Published Mar 01, 2000Who are you?
Mary Timony of the band Helium
What are you up to?
I've just recorded a solo record that's being released in March on Matador, called Mountains. I recorded most of it with Christina Files, of a band called Victory at Sea here in Boston, at the loft she lives in. She also played most of the drums on the record. I also play drums in a band called Green 4, which is mostly instrumental music, with my friends Anna and Erin. I acted in and did the score for a 15-minute movie called Dream Machine by my friend Brett Vapneck; it's going to screen this spring at NYU. I've also been taking graphic design classes towards getting a certificate in design here in Boston at the Museum school.
Hometown and current HQ:
Only Ones Special View; Alice Coltrane Journey in Satchidananda; the Adverts' singles compilation; the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina"; Boards of Canada Music Has the Right to Children; Thee Headcoats The Messerschmitt Pilot's Severed Hand; Vegan BLT sandwiches; Smog
Mind altering work of art:
I would hope no art has ever "altered my mind," unless it did and I didn't know it and now that's why I have such a hard time spelling sometimes.
Most memorable/inspirational gig:
Not one stands out, but two nights ago I saw Christian Marclay, the sound artist/abstract DJ perform. It was totally beautiful. He plays from three to 12 turntables at one time, spins records backwards and punches off center holes in records.
Don't believe the hype:
That they are upset by all the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears being so popular. I say, who cares?
Your greatest strength/weakness:
Last time I checked, my hair was so strong that you could hang it out a window and someone, a prince or the like, could crawl up it like a rope. My fingernails have always been weak, no matter how much Jell-O I ate.
Your vital daily ritual:
Chocolate of any kind, fried chicken
If I wasn't playing music I would be
Counting from one until infinity in a dark room
Your most memorable day job:
Shrink-wrapping CDs in the Rounder Records warehouse.
Best/worst advice received:
Best advice I never followed: "Save up your money and take care of your ox, and you'll always have tobacco in your ol' tobacco box."
I would drop everything to play a benefit for:
Good college radio, women's shelters
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
The Electrical Rewiring of Your Home, Vol. 1
What personal trait would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed? And have you?
When I think of Canada I think:
Free health care, calmness, Joni Mitchell, Rush
Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?
Funny you asked. I was just starting to realize that playing guitar doesn't make you pregnant like they told me in Sex Ed.
Strangest brush with celebrity:
Playing a show after Arlo Guthrie
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
She wishes I was a pirate.
Mary Timony has released three EPs and two full-length albums as the leader of Helium. Mountains is her first solo album.