You worked on this new EP with Sarah Handelman. How do you guys know each other and how collaborative is that process?
Sarah Handelman: When did we meet?
Darin Seal: It was a really blonde time ago.
SH: A Meg Ryan era.
DS: Do you really think that you looked like Meg Ryan when you were 16? And what does it say about my opinion of Meg Ryan if I take that comparison to be a self-deprecating one?
SH: Well, my hair was definitely her hair circa..."You've Got Mail." And yes, it was supposed to be self-deprecating.
DS: So yeah, we met on the set of "You've Got Mail."
SH: Really though, I do classify my life in terms of hair color. There's my blonde period, my brunette period...and then the length is greatly influential, too. It's a little like Picasso. His blue period is my brunette.
DS: I think that marks the first time in history that a person has compared themselves to both Meg Ryan and Picasso in the span of two minutes. What about my hair in high school, though? What did you think about it?
SH: The color was a lot more vivid then. And it was long. I thought it was cool.
DS: Oh, good. Because when I think about my hair back then, I think about how stupid it was.
SH: Anyway, how collaborative was the process?
DS: Well, I think you can measure how collaborative something is by how much yelling is happening.
SH: Do you remember yelling? I don't remember any yelling. So it must not have been collaborative AT ALL.
DS: Well, I was yelling on the inside. Then again, I'm usually yelling on the inside.
SH: Me too.
DS: "Yelling on the inside." I'm pretty sure that's the name of a Linkin Park song.
Where'd you record it?
SH: Where DIDN'T we record it?
DS: That is a better question. And the answer to that better question is...
SH: Westport Café and Bar.
DS: Right, because that's where we were spending all of our time when we weren't recording. But why are we giving them free press right now? Oh, right: because that place fucking rocks.
SH: And also because Beau is the best.
DS: How sure are we that his name is spelled "Beau" and not "Bo?"
SH: Hrm. It's only a quick Google search away.
DS: Lemme guess: you're searching for "best bartender Westport café bar Kansas City."
SH: "Beau mixologist westport café and bar." That was my Google search.
DS: Is that seriously what you searched?
SH: Yes, and it is spelled Beau. Beau Williams. But anyway, where did we record this EP, for real?
DS: You mean besides the set of "You've Got Mail?" Well, we recorded most of it in my dark bedroom.
SH: This is true, although I associate it with sunlight flooding your room.
DS: Really? Because seriously, it was really dark in there. I try to avoid sunlight.
SH: I know, you like the umbrellas at the pool.
DS: I asked you not to mention that. I specifically told you not to mention that. Interview over.
Do you see it as a continuation of what you did on your first record? Did you have a vision of doing something different? If so, what?
DS: I definitely don't. The last album was just every good song I wrote last year put together in one place.
SH: I think this EP is more cohesive. All of the songs grew from each other. At first, we were just going to release a single, but instead it turned into this highly concentrated time of songwriting, and writing more than one song at the same time, really. I lost my train of thought.
DS: That's okay, I'm soaking wet. I walked to work in the pouring rain.
SH: Guh, Darin, you DO need an umbrella.
DS: When I lived in Portland...
SH: Translation: you think you are so cool.
DS: Ahem, when I lived in Portland, I was told that umbrellas are for wimps.
SH: They're pretty much for wimps here, too. It basically rains sideways here.
DS: Wait, where are you right now? This is confusing for the reader.
SH: Oh, well I'm in a computer lab that's full of British people. I don't know how I got here.
DS: Are you in Britain right now? Because that would explain all of the British people.
SH: Yes, Darin. I've been in London since September 22nd.
DS: So who is the girl with the long hair and dark eye makeup that I've been playing shows with?
SH: I'm pretty sure that's Rob (Mitchell) in a wig.
DS: Really? What a weirdo. He even asks me to call him "Sarah" while we're on stage.
SH: Whatever, my beard looks way better than Rob's anyway.
SH: I don't know what that means.
What are some sounds/songs/bands that influenced this album? (Sorry.)
DS: I think it was a fictional character that we both had in our heads.
SH: Yep, nailed it.
DS: We wanted to write this EP for her, whoever she is.
SH: She's a teenager. She's shy. She keeps a diary.
DS: But most importantly, she is desperately in love. Almost in a self-destructive kind of way.
SH: For me, I think she has a great deal of longing. Longing for love, longing for someone, or to be somewhere. Somewhere else.
DS: I also picture her as being not very pretty. Not even pretty in that "She's All That" secret-babe-in-a-nerd-disguise kind of way.
SH: No, that we knew. To me she was ordinary looking, nothing really stood out about her looks. But everything was a little awkward.
DS: So "Strange Teen Heart" isn't about teen love in general, is it?
SH: No, it's about HER in love, specifically her, this fictional girl we both imagined.
DS: She just has no idea how to be in love. Not that anyone does, I suppose.
SH: And all of her stories are so dramatic. Melodramatic. And I just realized that this computer keyboard doesn't have any quotation marks. What the hell?
DS: Are you serious?
SH: Yeah, there's just an apostrophe.
DS: Are you sure you're in London and not fucking Tibet or something?
SH: Could be. Who knows.
DS: YOU know, dummy. YOU do.
SH: I do. I am in London. Thanks for the emphasis, though. I could totally picture you saying all of that.
What's up with Capybara? Are you guys on like a hiatus or what? One of the dudes moved to Portland or something?
DS: Well, it's funny because we have been talking, this very week actually, about figuring out how to make another Capybara album. It would require some traveling. And it would require some money-saving. And it would require a lot of gusto and heart and, and...
DS: Yep! That too. Basically we'll need to be the ensemble cast of "The Sandlot" in terms of our determination and scrappiness.
SH: How many 90's movies are you planning on referencing in this interview? Because that makes three.
DS: At least five more.
Are you a songwriter in Capybara? For some of the songs? When you get ideas for new songs, do you think of them in terms of which project it'd work better for?
DS: The beautiful part about Capybara has always been that all four of us (Joel Wrolstad, Jared Horne, Mark Harrison and myself) are all songwriters and deserve equal credit for anything that we do as Capybara. Historically, anytime I've written something by myself, with literally none of the other Capybara dudes around, it becomes a Saharan Gazelle Boy song. But if they like it, we will turn it into a Capybara song. That has happened before, and it will certainly happen again.
Missed yr. show at Riot the other night - what's your stage set-up? How many people up there and what are they playing? Do you use pre-recorded tracks, etc.? What are the names of the other people you perform with?
DS: Three of the four Capybara dudes are in SGB - Jared Horne, Mark Harrison and myself. Additionally, we have Rob Mitchell on bass and guitar, John Paul Giago on bass and synth, and Bryce Olson on synth. Oh, and of course Sarah Handelman plays synth and sings with us when she's not in London being a badass.
Are you a Drums fan?
DS: I'll just say that I love The Drums as much as I love sandwiches.
SH: Are you snacking while you write this?
DS: Duh. It's depressing snacks, though. I didn't have time to make a proper lunch. SH: What are you having instead?
DS: It's just Saltines and baby carrots and a disgusting sandwich.
SH: Oooh, what kind of sandwich? Baloney? Bologna?
SH: Ham? Just ham? That would make me yell on the inside and outside.
DS: If this EP were a sandwich, what kind would it be?
SH: Well, I'm tempted to compare it to a Winstead's single with everything including cheese and grilled onions. You might beg to differ.
DS: No way, that's a great choice. But you know what my only addition to that sandwich would be...
SH: Extra ketchup.
DS: Seriously, like, four bottles worth.
SH: EXTRA ketchup.
DS: A king's serving of ketchup.
SH: Gross, Darin.
So there you go. Tonight's show is all ages and starts at 7 p.m. SGB is up first, then Let's Talk, then Drums.