The Basement – 1/23/2020 – Conspicuous Bystanders

George McNeill

Matt Burdick

In the first Basement episode of the decade, hosts Matt Burdick and Gia Haddock talked to Lansing’s own Conspicuous Bystanders about onstage goof-ups, Tarantino movies, and the Dalai Lama.

For more updates on the band you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Transcript below:

*Down on My Luck  (incomplete) *

Gia Haddock: Awesome guys. Awesome. So, let’s dive into a little bit of questions here. We’ll start with a basic easy one. When did you guys start playing together and how did you guys start playing together?

Jenna Roark: I guess the quick and easy way to put it is we had this like, band formulating, and then Duncan and Zach came into the picture and it was like, let’s record this.

So we sat in our friend’s basement who was studying abroad in Germany that summer, and we just recorded it all. And now we’ve been playing ever since. That was probably, it’s gotta be like three years ago. It’s getting close to two and a half to three at this point. Yeah, for sure. Three maybe in like this summer, spring coming.

Emmet McGuire: Something like that. The earliest dates where it was kind of the Conspicuous Bystanders idea. It was probably 2015. And then we linked up with Zach and Duncan about two and a half, three years ago, recorded the album, released it, and then been playing and recording and writing since.

Gia Haddock: So since that time, would you guys say that your sound or like your kind of dynamic has changed at all, or like how has it developed since then?

Emmet McGuire: I would say definitely, but I’d like Duncan and Zach to comment on that as they’ve kind of had to jump in both feet and then they’ve kind of facilitated most of that change, I’d say.

Duncan Tarr:  Yeah, I mean, when we came into the band, I mean, it’s been awhile now, but when we first came in, like a lot of the songs had already been written and they were great songs, which is why we joined the band. But, you know, this next album we’re in the middle of, we’re halfway done recording. You know, it’s been all four of us writing the songs. And I mean, it’s a little bit different. I think, you know, it’s real similar to the first album, but I think Zach and I probably brought some new influences to it. We both have some background in like jazz and, you know, other music like that. And I think we bring a little bit of that and others.

Jenna Roark: It’ll be interesting to see tonight that first song we played is the only song from our first album that we’re playing tonight. And all the rest of it has all been recorded for the next album, and also we have one that we haven’t recorded yet and we just finished up.

Emmet McGuire: We haven’t even played it live ever.

Zach McKinney: So yeah. I mean, the way that all happened, I mean, Duncan hit it on the head. It was just like we came in and there were already just, there’s already good music. It existed. We didn’t have to, you know, pull these pieces, we had a full set. It was like three weeks later, him and I were comfortable with enough of the music where we went and played a show. And you know, so it was just, it was super quick. You could tell it was meant to happen with how fast it happened. It was just like, we got into the music and it was like two months later, we need to record this because this is special. This is cool.

And so now writing our own music all together is like a whole new experience. It’s a full undertaking. You have to be very open to other’s opinions. I mean, the way that, the way the writing process kind of works, we’ll come in and someone will have an idea and then we just, we all workshop it, you know, and it all, it forms from all of us.

I mean, I don’t know how many songs we’ve actually had fully written, and we just said, this is the song. So it’s a lot of workshopping, a lot of.going back and changing small, small things that just make the whole experience completely different. Even with the old songs, we’re finding new ways to play them so, keeps it fresh.

Jenna Roark: We did have that one song done and literally the day before we went in to record it, we changed this one part and you’re like, “No, we gotta make this one part like a little bit different, better, like oh yeah, there we go.”

Emmet McGuire: “Let’s just add a part.”

Jenna Roark: Yeah.

Zach McKinney: Yeah. It came together really nicely and because we’re so open to each other like that, we can make a quick audible like that the day before an important studio date.

Jenna Roark: I didn’t necessarily sing the notes like perfectly that time, but like maybe do that again.

Emmet McGuire:  I played one or two with wrong notes. It’s okay.

Zach McKinney: That’s rock and roll.

Duncan Tarr: I didn’t play any wrong notes.

Jenna Roark: We call them rude. Rude notes.

Gia Haddock: Okay. Well, whenever you guys are ready, if you want to play one of those new songs, you got going?

Jenna Roark: Yeah. This is a song that is like about Conspicuous Bystanders, about like  our little fam here. So get down, get on it.

*Untitled Song*

Matt Burdick: Awesome. Thanks guys. In case you missed it, this is The Basement on Impact 89FM bringing you the best music Michigan has to offer, and we are still in the studio with Conspicuous Bystanders. So you guys have a really cool fusion of sounds from like older blues and hard rock bands to new like more modern indie rock. Do you want to talk a little bit about some of your influences?

Emmet McGuire:  Well, all that blues rock stuff, I mean Led Zeppelin’s my favorite. I love like the Stones, and I mean the Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Hendrix and Led Zeppelin are probably like my four where it’s like, that’s where I kind of draw the most inspiration from.

Duncan Tarr:  I only listen to one band actually now, and it’s ZZ Top.

Gia Haddock: I can hear it in your music. Absolutely. So you guys said that you had a little bit of a jazz background, or maybe more than a little bit. Do you want to elaborate on that? And I can definitely hear it in your songs. Absolutely.

Duncan Tarr: All those wrong notes. That’s the jazz.

Zach McKinney: Duncan and I both went to MSU and we studied jazz studies here in the fantastic MSU jazz studies program-

Duncan Tarr: Go Green!

Gia Haddock: Go White!

Zach McKinney: -under the direction of a distinguished university professor Rodney Whitaker.

Duncan Tarr: DOCTOR Rodney Whitaker.

Emmet McGuire: Go Blue.

Zach McKinney: Emmet’s a hater cause he went to Michigan.

Emmet McGuire: I don’t hate, I love you guys.

Zach McKinney: We let them have that. But yeah, just a shoutout to the jazz program, I don’t know if many people know, they just went to New York City and competed in the first ever Jack Rudin Jazz Championship and placed top three overall in the country over certain New York conservatories who will not be named. Their initials are Juilliard and MSM. So yeah. You know, shout out to them. They did an excellent job. You know, something to be really proud of.

Gia Haddock: Yeah, absolutely. Got a lot of that Spartan pride in this room, one hundred percent. So, this is kind of what I want to know. I know that you guys have played at a lot of co-ops and I know that it’s gone late into the night, so I’m wondering if you guys have any like post-show rituals ?

Zach McKinney: Pizza.

Gia Haddock: Yeah! I was gonna ask what your favorite fast food is to eat afterwards.

Jenna Roark: Mukbang. Ravaging food, that’s our post-show ritual. Plus other stuff but,  ravaging a lot of food.

Zach McKinney: Domino’s cheesy bread.

Emmet McGuire: I was about to say either you stock up before, but at like 2:33 AM the pickings are actually really slim.

Jenna Roark: Domino’s always comes through.

Emmet McGuire: Conrad’s saved the day last weekend as did Domino’s, so send that sponsorship over here.

Duncan Tarr: Straight up, my after-show ritual is like, go outside and try to cool off. It gets so hot and I’m just like drenched in sweat every time.

Matt Burdick: Do you guys have any traditions that you do before shows? Any pre-show stuff?

Zach McKinney: We ignore each oth- no. No, we’re pretty good about just, you know, vibing out with each other before we even get on stage. The tour we did this summer was really cool for that cause, I mean there was nowhere to go. It was like you hung out with the band and that’s what you did. I mean, not like in the bad sense but just, you learned what makes everybody comfy before the show and how to make sure everyone’s in the right mindset.

Gia Haddock: So do you guys want to talk a little bit about that tour? It was on the East Coast, to my knowledge.

Jenna Roark: Yeah! It was so dope , there’s like no other way to put it. It was everything that we, that I would want a first tour to be. I mean, we got to hang out with friends. We stayed with friends basically every night unless we were on our way somewhere in the middle of nowhere and you like, get a hotel there. Then also we went to Niagara Falls and had a good old time there. We didn’t play any shows, but we just just experienced-

Zach McKinney: Gambled. We gambled in a casino. It was sweet.

Emmet McGuire: It was 2,400 miles over 10 days. We booked it all ourselves and had to coordinate artwork and stuff. We love that poster. Liberty Fets did that for us and it was awesome. So it kind of gave us an idea of kind of the scope for how much work goes into a tour, and you certainly learn a whole heck of a lot along the way. We got the right sized van.12 person passenger van for the four of us allowed plenty of space and all the gear.

Jenna Roark: Whole back row for my makeup.

Emmet McGuire: It’s the way to go.

Zach McKinney: Snacks from Costco.

Emmet McGuire: Costco snacks, Red Bull. Zach can’t drive a rented car. He’s not old enough yet.

Zach McKinney: I’m the baby of the band .

Emmet McGuire: A1 navigator when he’s awake, though.

Zach McKinney: I got all the dope podcasts.

Jenna Roark: Emmet’s scared to trust me and Duncan as the drivers, and so he mostly just drove the whole time.

Emmet McGuire: Duncan maybe flipped, almost flipped the car the first day. Very first day.

Duncan Tarr: The Appalachian mountains, man, they just come up real fast. Those exits…

Zach McKinney: You exit at like 60 miles an hour.

Duncan Tarr: Yeah well, we have places to be.

Zach McKinney: But I mean, I think overall with the tour, I think the goal was achieved. It was certainly ambitious in the sense that we played –  we did seven shows – so we played five cities that we had never played before. Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh ?

Emmet McGuire: I think we hadn’t played Detroit either at that point.

Zach McKinney: We hadn’t? Oh, I guess we hadn’t played Detroit either, so six cities that we had never played before. And I mean, in my mind, I kinda knew they weren’t gonna like be packed full of people. New York was popping off. The venue in New York City was kind of small so the 40 people that were there packed it up and it was an excellent experience. Loading in and loading out was terrible, but the show was excellent.

But yeah, to me the goal was just getting on stage seven times and playing seven good shows. Just making sure that we had the energy and the imagination. The energy and the creativity to do it and I think we hit it on the head. And as far as I’m concerned, we really haven’t played a quote-unquote “bad” show since.

Jenna Roark: Yeah, I would say for me it was like definitely, with the way that I sing, is it sustainable? Can I do that three nights in a row? And I was able to learn that yeah, absolutely, I can do that three nights in a row no problems.

Gia Haddock:  Awesome, well when you’re ready to do it again…

Zach McKinney: It’s coming. It’s on the horizon. Do we want to touch on that real quick or whatever you want to do?

Emmet McGuire: We’re trying to book some out of town runs for like long weekends. The end of April and March. Plenty and plenty of emails, many of which go unanswered and that’s just the grind. But we’re also really focused on recording now so you know, we jet out to Minneapolis, “jet” being in a van, not in a jet.

Zach McKinney: Not for some time probably.

Jenna Roark: Yeah, booking tours is a total grind.

Zach McKinney: Private jet’s the third album, you know?

Emmet McGuire: Exactly. Hoping for Geffen Records, something like that.

Jenna Roark: Speaking of the grind, our next song is the song that we haven’t played for anyone yet, and it’s called “The Grind.”

Gia Haddock: That’s a good transition.

Jenna Roark: Yeah, I know! He was like “The Grind,” and I’m like “Oh word, the grind, yeah?” So… here’s to hoping, like, it goes good.

Emmet McGuire: Might be a little rough around the edges, it’s fine. We just finished it like two weeks ago. Woo!

*The Grind*

Gia Haddock: Wow, that was awesome  guys! How did you guys feel about that? First time playing it.

Emmet McGuire: Real good. I felt all right. I missed like two chords. It’s fine though.

Duncan Tarr: It was sweet! It was super sweet!

Gia Haddock: That’s awesome guys. So while you guys were doing that, where does your mind go when you’re playing shows and when you’re playing songs, like are you thinking about anything? Is it absolutely blank? Like what’s going on up in those heads?

Jenna Roark: I can’t speak for these fellas, but like, I’m thinking about a lot of things. I’m trying to think about the right things, for one. It’s really easy to think about stuff you shouldn’t be thinking about up there. But  just trying to – I guess the things I’d want to be thinking about are for me, obviously my pitch, cause I’m not Dolly Parton and I can’t just like open my mouth and all the perfect stuff comes out . And like what I’m playing, like what the song is. Why did I write these words? What does this mean? Why am I singing this to these people? I’m thinking about all that s**t   the whole time. Uh,

Emmet McGuire: When I’m on my game, I’m thinking like a measure ahead and then it’s just kind of like playing. So it’s almost like having the switch off, but just being like, not struggling to play the immediate thing and it’s just, that’s doing its thing while you’re kind of ahead. So you’re never kind of guessing. When it’s really clicking for me, that’s how I think. But also, I’m jumping over some monitor, so I’m obviously being like, I hope I don’t like fuss my knee up or anything, or like sprain my messed up ankle again. Something like that. So, fearing for my life slightly.

Jenna Roark: Sometimes I’m thinking about the earring that fell out and where it is. If you ever see me looking around on the ground, I probably either lost my earring or earring-S, or I lost my earplugs.

Emmet McGuire: Hey Jenna it’s at your feet.

Jenna Roark: That’s not even funny.

Matt Burdick: How often does that happen? Is that a very recurring thing?

Jenna Roark: Well, when I had my locks, like my really long hair, yeah, it happened all the time because they would just like push – My ear plugs have like a little probably like centimeter that sticks out of your ear and it would just get knocked. And I have like this weird issue where I forget to take them out. We’ll be chilling outside after the show and I’ll be like “Oh my God, I still have my earplugs in!” That’s why I lose them.

Emmet McGuire: That’s how it goes.

Matt Burdick: So kinda on that same topic about onstage goof ups, do you ever have a moment you’re standing on stage, everything’s going great one minute, suddenly it is not? Just things are going off the tracks, mess ups happening left and right. How do you deal with situations like that?

Zach McKinney: The show must go on

Duncan Tarr: Yeah. Don’t stop.

Jenna Roark:  I don’t want to hog the microphone, but I don’t feel like that’s ever been the case where literally it’s unstoppable badness. But like for sure there’ll be a moment where I’m standing up there and, like the pin to my debit card, which every now and then I just go to do it and I’m like, what is it? You use this every day, what is it? And I’ll feel the same way about the lyrics. I’m like “You know these lyrics”, but if you overthink something too much, you know, then you’re just up there, so like Duncan said you just go with it. I’ve learned to just like don’t think about it that hard. If the right lyrics don’t come out. Let some other ones come out.

Emmet McGuire: Don’t stop playing.

Zach McKinney: That’s such a big one.

Jenna Roark: Yeah don’t look at the crowd like they can tell you the lyrics.

Emmet McGuire: If it’s gone totally sideways, play the one and then everybody can regroup.

Matt Burdick: Fake it ’til you make it.

Zach McKinney: I’m going to go on a little quoting spree here. To quote one of the guys from the Black Keys, I think it was the drummer Pat, one of the things he said in the podcast with Joe Rogan I thought was really interesting is he sometimes gets onstage. He has anxiety problems, and he says he gets onstage and he wonders “What would happen if I just just didn’t play?What would happen if we counted the song off and I didn’t start playing?” I mean, I have that mentality. When I start making mistakes, my natural reaction –  cause when I practice and I make a mistake, I stop – so when I make a mistake onstage, sometimes I want to just stop and restart. That’s when that comes to mind. What if I just stopped playing? What if I just stopped right now? It’s kind of a demon. You got to get away from that and you gotta go for it.

To quote some other stuff as far as to answer your last question, what’s going through my head? To quote The 80/20 Drummer on YouTube, he’s a really good guy, puts out drum instructional videos, been checking out some of his stuff recently. He quotes, I want to say the Dalai Lama or someone very prolific and important, and he says, you know, that the more you think –  the Dalai Lama quote on meditation says “The more you try to meditate, the further you are from it.” So I try not to think about “Okay I gotta be in the groove, am I in the groove?” Because the more I’m thinking about that, the further I am from it. The more I’m trying to be the groove, the more I’m not doing that. So he just says you don’t see what you want to do, you just see clearly.

So like Emmet said, I try to think about the song as a whole. I try not to think of just the one part and it helps me remember where I am and then I can work straight across the drums in a way that helps to push us into the next section.

Gia Haddock: So more of like a holistic approach as a band? Instead of just like exactly where you are right now, it’s kind of like how your piece is going to be fitting in with everyone else’s?

Zach McKinney: WelI I mean we’re definitely exactly where we are right now. The whole mindset is that this is the moment we’re in and that this moment will never come again. So it’s like, I have to always serve the moment. Like, when I see a video of a band playing a song and they play all the same solos and all the same stuff, and it’s just to the T like the record, it’s like they’re serving this itch that the audience members have to hear what they’ve already heard. I personally don’t agree with that. I think we should try to create every time we play, cause then you get to share something special with the audience. You don’t just share the same thing they’ve heard a million times. They get to hear you in a new way.

Jenna Roark: I think we play like that,  as like an all-in meditation in-the-moment type situation where like, I know that if I do something weird, if Duncan does something weird, Zach, Emmet, any of us, everyone else is going to be there like “Oh, this is weird. Okay, here we go.” You know, I can just whiff it. Not like “Oh my God, that’s not what we’re supposed to do.”

Emmet McGuire: Yeah I missed like the first five chords at the Vesta show. Like I just read the setlist wrong. Started the wrong song and it went sideways.

Jenna Roark: And I didn’t even notice.

Zach McKinney: Five seconds later, we were right back where we needed to be, so it was just like, you know…

Jenna Roark: I was probably looking for my earrings. Let’s be honest.

Matt Burdick: Full circle.

Emmet McGuire: I was looking for that chord.

Jenna Roark: I’m like “Hey, can you grab that little square thing that you see on the floor right there?” She’s like “This?” and I’m like “Yeah!” But I totally agree with everything Zach said. Like, if you overthink it, things go wrong. Just the right amount of light thinking, like you’re trying to meditate where you just have a subject on your mind but you’re not actively creating thoughts. And that plays into what Emmet said, which is like some days that’s like really easy and some days maybe a lot is going on and staying in that open space is so hard and I’m sure we all know about that in our day to day.

Emmet McGuire: Recording. Like, just trying to stay in that space when you record is so hard. Cause I mean, you’re just trying to get this perfect foundational take upon which you can just build the rest of the track, and it’s just such a contrast from life where you kind of just keep chopping. It’s like alright, you missed a note, fine, whatever. Get to the next one. There are about to be like a couple thousand that you’re about to play, so figure out those.

Matt Burdick: Well, when you’re ready, you can go ahead and get into your next song.

Jenna Roark: Well, no need to “wait over me.”

Gia Haddock: Is that the name of it? Ah, good one.

Jenna Roark: Yeah but it’s like weight, you know, like on your shoulders.

Gia Haddock: Two puns in one!

Jenna Roark: Yeah, she wildin’

Matt Burdick: We have a three-pun limit, so use your last one wisely.

Jenna Roark: Good thing I’m not good at puns. I know that seems shocking right now, but yeah.

*Weight Over Me*

Matt Burdick: Yes! That was awesome! Wherever you’re listening from, give a round of applause for Conspicuous Bystanders. They won’t hear you, but they will feel it in their hearts.

Jenna Roark: We love that.

Matt Burdick: So what I want to know is if Conspicuous Bystanders was a movie, what movie would you guys be?

Jenna Roark: Ooh. Oh my God, um, Quentin Tarantino. I don’t know, I just said that.

Zach McKinney: Reservoir Dogs. Sans all the murder.

Jenna Roark: Not including it?

Zach McKinney: Without the murder.

Jenna Roark: What is Reservoir Dogs?

Zach McKinney: That’s when they’re all wearing the super cool suits and they all have code names like colors. Mr. Blue…

Duncan Tarr: A picture of Reservoir Dogs.

Gia Haddock: Just a picture of it? Not a full movie, just the picture of it?

Zach McKinney: The poster where they’re all walking down the street in the black suits, black ties, black Ray-Bans. That’s us.

Matt Burdick: Which one of you would be Steve Buscemi then?

Zach McKinney:  Duncan.

Jenna Roark: Me. Yeah. I dunno. I feel like, just like our genre, we would be a lot of movies mixed together. A lot of different types of movies mixed together, just cause we all bring a lot of different stuff to the table and all the stuff we bring is totally everywhere. Kind of like our music. I think our music reflects that. Like, good luck finding a chorus, bro. Hope you’re not in it for the hook or the chorus.

Zach McKinney: We got hooks

Jenna Roark: Yeah… hope you’re not in it for a repeated hook.

So spinning off of that, if you feel like collectively as a whole, you guys are a bunch of different movies, what do you think individually your life movie would be?

Emmet McGuire: Oh my God.

Gia Haddock: Oh yeah. Deep questions on this.

Duncan Tarr: Easy Rider with a happy ending.

Emmet McGuire: Maybe Pulp Fiction.

Zach McKinney: That’s intense, man.

Emmet McGuire: It’s pride effing with you. That’s real.

Zach McKinney: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I always have a towel on me. It’s in my snare drum case. And I always don’t panic.

Duncan Tarr: I want to revise my answer. Definitely The Princess Bride. That’s my final answer.

Gia Haddock: What’s the reasoning behind that?

Duncan Tarr: Just…that’s our vibe. That’s my vibe. That’s it.

Emmet McGuire: Duncan is actually immune to poison.

Duncan Tarr: Oh, that’s the detail I left out actually. Yeah that’s the big reason.

Jenna Roark: I just saw Little Women, the new one that came out, and like, I effing loved that movie. And that’s like honestly a first, because it’s kind of hard for me, cause like, you know, I’m a Sex in the City, but also like, that’s not all of me. Like where’s the hard part of that? So I think Little Women was nice. It was all of the soft things, but all of the hard things. I thought it was amazing. Loved it.

Gia Haddock: I definitely agree with you on that. That was a fantastic movie.

Jenna Roark: My mom was like, you know how movies all the time, shift timeframes? So you’ve got like five different timeframes happening and you’re jumping from time to time. My mom’s like “I just can’t keep up with it” and I’m like “That’s just the world we live in now, man.” Every movie, every show, just like five timelines. Like good luck, man. You better know what haircut everybody has at what time, cause like that’s your only bet.

Gia Haddock: Absolutely.

Jenna Roark: I’ll teach you Mom. I’ll teach you the ways.

Gia Haddock: So we were actually talking about the different movies that are up for Oscars right now. Have you guys checked out any of those? Are you keeping up to date with what’s nominated?

Zach McKinney: What’s nominated?

Gia Haddock: Oh, I couldn’t tell you. I’m someone who’s not up to date.

Duncan Tarr: The Irishman.

Jenna Roark: We loved Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Zach McKinney: Oh that was a good one, yeah.

Jenna Roark: But like, honestly, we’ve been so busy lately, we haven’t seen a lot of movies.

Emmet McGuire: We prioritized that Star Wars.

Jenna Roark: Oh yeah. Well also we saw Star Wars twice.

Gia Haddock: What about Cats? Did you guys see Cats the musical?

Jenna Roark: No but I want to see Cats!

Gia Haddock:  Oh, I do too.

Jenna Roark: Maybe we should have a date Gia.

Gia Haddock: Well they’re out of theaters now! They took it out of theaters!

Matt Burdick: Already?!

Gia Haddock: Yes, already!

Emmet McGuire: I would watch that from the comfort of my own couch.

Gia Haddock: I don’t want to pay for it honestly.

Jenna Roark: We have a really big TV. We can just do it there.

Zach McKinney: I’m not entirely certain, I think Cats is coming to the Wharton Center this year?

Jenna Roark: With Taylor Swift?

Zach McKinney: I’m not sure, I might be wrong with that. A lot of good shows at the Wharton Center though.

Emmet McGuire: Judi Dench. Hand.

Matt Burdick: Are there any other really bad movies you saw this year that you just want to get off your chest? Complain about a little bit?

Duncan Tarr: I just don’t understand how Emperor Palpatine came back. I just don’t understand that.

Jenna Roark: No, I cannot even have this discussion with you right now Duncan.

Emmet McGuire: We’ll be here the rest of the hour.

Matt Burdick: Do we have to put a spoiler warning up?

Emmet McGuire: It had to happen.

Duncan Tarr: It’s on the poster.

Emmet McGuire: It’s in the opening scroll. Come on.

Jenna Roark: Because what else makes a villain more evil than being the evilness behind all of the evilness that you didn’t know was still lurking.

Gia Haddock: Is this Star Wars?

Jenna Roark: Yeah.

Zach McKinney: On another note, I saw I saw 1917. I thought that was excellent. I didn’t care for the ending as much, but the cinematography of it was absolutely fantastic. It feels like there’s only one break in the entire film, and it’s like the guy falls in like a river.

Gia Haddock: So it feels like a one-shot kind of thing?

Zach McKinney: Yeah, it’s done exceptionally well and they’ll do the thing where they kind of spin around the center part, like the target, whatever it is, so you can see that there’s like no equipment there to help create the shot. These guys are just kinda freehanding it. I mean obviously they have thousands and thousands of millions of dollars worth of equipment, but like it was just executed incredibly well. And then I just saw Joker the other day finally. Still in theaters.

Jenna Roark: What’d you think about that? Cause I wanna see it, I haven’t seen it yet.

Zach McKinney: It’s great. It’s not as intense as some people put it out to be. Like, my mother was like “Oh, don’t watch that.”

Jenna Roark: People are really trippin’.

Emmet McGuire: Thanks, Karen.

Zach McKinney: Karen was not impressed with the Joker, but I thought it was great. I thought it made a lot of really good comments. You know, it was like, I feel like I saw a lot of parallels in that which was kind of scary.

Gia Haddock: Absolutely. I definitely recommend it. Definitely go see it, Jenna.

Jenna Roark: Will do. After I see Star Wars a third time.

Matt Burdick:  Is there anything you can reveal yet about the timeline when we can expect the album coming out

Zach McKinney: 2020 before the,

Jenna Roark: Before the summer summer. Before the heart of summer, Conspicuous Bystanders 2020 album two will be out.

Duncan Tarr: On the hottest day of summer, whenever that is.

Emmet McGuire: We’re hiring a meteorologist actually. We’ve got a mixing session on February 1st and we’re hoping to get a couple of singles mixed and then have those ready for release before the semester is over.

Jenna Roark: Yeah you’ll be hearing something official that’s not the whole album before that summertime situation. But just, we don’t want to rush anything, you know? Leave room for making it what we want it to be. But yeah, I mean, it’s coming. It’s halfway done. It’s coming.

Zach McKinney: You only make the album once. Invest the time in it and do it right.

Jenna Roark: And this is a big year. This is 2020. This is election year. Things are getting crazy already. It’s only January. Conspicuous Bystanders is pretty politically and socially passionate about a lot of things. For whatever reason, if you ever want to talk to us, you know, we got our reasons, and we have one last song that is our definitely most political song. Not the only one, but the most political one.

Emmet McGuire: Remember, you might need to amend that line.

Jenna Roark: Yeah that’s kind of why I stopped. I was like “and there’s maybe a line I should say differently.” Radio edit. Alright.

*Untitled Song*

Gia Haddock: Wow guys. That was spectacular! That was really, really great!

Zach McKinney: Thank you!

Gia Haddock: Yes, absolutely. So we are getting close to the end of our time together. Is there any last things you guys would like to say?

Jenna Roark: I feel like there’s definitely something. No. Oh, I don’t know.

Emmet McGuire: I’m incredibly thankful that y’all hit us up for this opportunity and being the first Basement band of of the decade. You posted that on Twitter and I was like “Oh, for real? Oh my goodness!” What a spectacular fact.

Zach McKinney: WDBM does an excellent job, I will say that. This is probably my third or fourth time on The Basement, and every time it’s always super easy. Everyone’s super helpful. Stimulating conversations, stimulating music. It’s just really positive and a great thing that Michigan State’s got going on.

Gia Haddock: Well thank you guys so much for coming on. We’re so thankful here to have you guys and you guys played a fantastic show. Again, also stimulating conversation. Very great conversationalists, I will say.

Jenna Roark:  Oh yeah, speaking of things I want to like, let you know before we leave, sorry about all the lipstick on the cover of this mic. I even wore like something nude-ish today, but there it is. I see it.

Gia Haddock: I’m sure it’s okay.

Jenna Roark: A little Dr Bronner’s, a little soft rub. Get it right out. No big deal. Yeah, use the lavender smelling one, it’s good.

Gia Haddock: Great. Ok, well, I believe this concludes our first Basement show of 2020, of the wonderful decade. I am Gia.

Matt Burdick: I am Matt.

Jenna Roark: I am Jenna.

Duncan Tarr: Duncan.

Zach McKinney: Zach.

Emmet McGuire: Emmet.

Jenna Roark: And we are Conspicuous Bystanders. Thank you so much!

Gia Haddock: Thank you everyone for listening, have a good night!