MM: Yeah‚ well‚ it's necessary. We need that free spirit.
NM: We do - I agree with you.
MM: So his place in the I wonder how Percy Boyd is doing today?
NM: Right‚ it's a great question. How is Percy?
MM: How's he holding up in our world today? How is he feeling about what's going on? I think it's interesting…
NM: Thanks for thinking so (laughs). He is a character that's been in creation for a couple of years now and pops up in different places at weird times. It was a lot fun with the band because there would be one Percy joke after another. We'd enter into character on stage‚ and talk about trying to start a political party where everybody's name had to be Percy Boyd‚ and I thought that might handle a lot of the world's problems. You know‚ you would never have to deal with border issues or identification issues (laughter). And it was just a continuous thing and we'd come up with them all the time‚ whether it was "Lord have Percy‚" or "don't take it Percy-a-nally." (Laughter) Just a lot of Percy-isms‚ you know. It's fun to have some fiction to play with. It's fun to have that fictional aspect as opposed to just Nathan Moore whose heart's on his sleeve.
MM: How does that work with the audience that comes to see you play?
NM: Well‚ it's a little more subtle than that. We just called the band Percy Boyd‚ and I'm thinking about putting together another version of the band here in Portland. A lot of it is just where the music is coming from as opposed to how it's presented. I didn't get up there and act like Percy. I have on different occasions in weird situations where I didn't feel like being myself (laughs). But I've never billed myself as Percy or even put out a record as Percy - he's still a little bit evasive to all that.
MM: Well‚ that's cool.
NM: Yeah‚ he's in the works. It could be nothing more than a grand inside joke (laughs). At the Thought Swamp Parlor (Frogville Records website) I'll post as Percy every once in a while if I'm feeling that way. Last night I responded to Nathan as Percy and told him he sounded lonely and that we should hang out (laughter).
MM: That's great. So Nathan and Percy getting together…
NM: Right‚ he's fun. Alright‚ enough Percy. Fuck that guy - loser‚ he should get a job (laughter).
MM: (Laughing) Right‚ right‚ he's been sleeping on my fucking couch for two weeks.
NM: Yeah‚ he should do something with his life.
MM: So that's a different take on the world of songwriting. So going back to the Surprise Me Mr. Davis thing you did with The Slip - it seemed as if that was going along in a lot of ways with what they do in terms of improvising‚ but it's more about the songs and playing them in the moment and that element of surprising each other. I guess the "Surprise Me" idea is about being musically spontaneous.
NM: I think it played right into that idea of being spontaneous. You've probably heard that story about how we made that little record...
MM: Sure‚ sure‚ the snowed-in recording session.
NM: That became the catch phrase...and I think it was Andrew (Barr) who said it first while we were recording. I was like‚ "What should I do?" and his response was‚ "Surprise me." And the next time I would shoot it back at him and it sort of became this catch phrase. I think we were just taking advantage of the reality of the situation; when we do get together and have the opportunity to play music it's bound to be a surprise because we're not in a band together and we live in different states. It's not going to be well-developed stuff‚ but we do get along incredibly well together. We always have a great time together‚ and we're good influences on each other creatively. It's good for us to get together and it's bound to be a surprise. So it's really about making the most of the reality of the situation as opposed to playing it off as something it's not.
MM: Sure‚ there seems to be magic in that.
NM: Yeah‚ it works out. Some of my favorite music in life and even some of my favorite versions of songs with my band are the first couple times we'll play them. There's always some magic in the air when things are being discovered and heard for the first time. There's a part of what it's all about in there‚ even if it's not the polished part‚ it's the other part. I mean‚ even on the Slip tour the last night we played a song that we hadn't played yet and we were like‚ "Where the hell did that come from? We should have been doing that all along."
MM: I've always believed that was a great way to record an album as well - where a few of the cuts on the album are the first take.
NM: First take‚ yeah. There's always that magic usually in the first or second take. Even though some people work differently than that‚ that is a fact - there is a truth there that everyone has experienced.