Inquiring Minds

Inquiring Minds: A Lengthy Chat With Yo La Tengo Bassist James McNew

[Ed. Note: Nicholas L. Hall asked Rocks Off if we wouldn't mind publishing the entire transcript of his recent interview with Yo La Tengo bassist James McNew, the raw material of this week's print music feature. We're only too happy to oblige.]

Rocks Off: When last I spoke with your publicist, she said you guys were over in Japan. Where are you right now?

James McNew: Oh, we're back home now.

RO: Back in Hoboken, then?

JM: Uh, more or less. I live in Brooklyn, actually, but we can almost see each-other's places from our windows. Almost.

RO: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

JM: It's kind of a good thing. I think bands for the most part should live close to each other.

RO: OK, before we get started, I'm going to go ahead and get this out of the way. I'm sure this is at least vaguely unprofessional, but I'm going to go ahead and geek out a bit for you. I'm really excited to talk to you because I've been a huge fan of the band for, well, basically as long as I've been intentionally listening to music. You guys were actually hugely influential in getting me interested in listening to music in the first place. So...

JM: (laughs) Wow. That's really sweet of you, thanks.

RO: So, now that I've thrown that out there...

JM: (laughs) Now it's time for me to shatter that illusion. Let's go for it.

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Nicholas L. Hall is a husband and father who earns his keep playing a video game that controls the U.S. power grid. He also writes for the Houston Press about food, booze and music, in an attempt to keep the demons at bay. When he's not busy keeping your lights on, he can usually be found making various messes in the kitchen, with apologies to his wife.
Contact: Nicholas L. Hall