October Band of the Month Winner: Not Them
Make sure check out the BRAND NEW video for “I Want To Fly” below, which you can only see on mySpoonful! For more information on Not Them, please see their original post.
Orlando FL/Los Angeles, CA
Eminem, Aesop Rock, Del the Funky Homosapien
Here's the exclusive interview with Not Them:
Marshall from mySpoonful(mS): How did you two come together as musicians and decide that this was what you wanted to ultimately start doing?
Not Them(NT): This thing came about because we were in class together and Dirt would always show up drunk. We’d freelance at parties but it took forever before we wrote a song, until we moved in together after couch-surfing for about two years. We just hit it off, though, and after that it was all uphill. Or downhill. Or something.
mS: Explain the decision behind the name, “Not Them!”
NT: Everybody takes one look at us and their first thought is usually “uh, yeah, NOT THEM... they don’t rap.” I mean, I’m a white guy with a mullet, and he’s [Gentleman Jack] a Hispanic guy with a pseudo-mullet.
mS: Incidentally, does “Not Them” officially have an exclamation point, or not?
Gentleman J: No.
Dirt Merchant: Yes.
NT:But that’s just it! You’ll never know. It’s like finding out what Destro’s [edit: villian from G.I. Joe] face looks like. You’ll just never know.
mS: I’ve heard you described as any number of different things, in terms of genre. How would you classify your sound?
Dirt Merchant: Awesome.
Gentleman J: Well, I would describe it as poor party poetry.
Dirt Merchant: OK, alliteration aside, I think we’ll take our chances with that.
mS: Can you take me through your song-writing process?
NT: I’d say we’re beat guys. The beat tells us what to write. But it can also be hit or miss as to whether or not the beats inspire us, so it can be random. Like the universe just existing, sometimes it just happens. In the interest of sounding artsy, though, let’s just say we go off to a rock garden and meditate. Lots of meditation, some ohms… we chant, we meditate some more, and we chant again. And then we play rock-paper-scissors for an hour straight, until we have a song. That’s basically our process, and it works.
mS: You reference modern pop culture in many of your songs. The new project involves a tribute to the TV show LOST. What’s the inspiration behind this?
NT: Because “Lost” was the best show ever. We loved it. There are so many underlying themes and we also like to speak in code, and such, so that’s just it for us. Also, when we think “pop culture” we think of the internet, as we’re always online. Like watching Tosh.0 and knowing what videos are featured before they even start, for example. He throws it out and “oh, I know it, that’s what’s up.” People watch that show and say “Oh, he didn’t just say that! Oh no! Not them!” [laughing] I mean, we’re film kids, so that’s where a lot of the references come from.
mS: What are some of the biggest challenges you guys face?
NT: Getting media attention on blogs and so forth is like being friends with the cool kids from high school. It’s friggin’ hard. And it’s a good thing, but we’ve been trying really hard to get any exposure we can. Even with mySpoonful… I mean, thank you for reviewing us, but I didn’t actually believe we had been reviewed until I read it myself. Yep. That’s how jaded I am. Also? We suck at tweeting.
mS: Any guilty pleasures?
Dirt Merchant: Well, I like escorts. I find that any girl willing to give it up for cake is, you know, amazing, in my book.
Gentleman J: Only Dirt would find beauty in that.
Dirt Merchant: I think it’s amazing. I do, I think it is amazing.
Gentleman J: No, but music-wise? My guilty pleasure right now is ASAP Rocky. I’ve been jamming to that a lot lately. He kills it. It’s the epitome of cool. It makes me mad that he’s younger than me, so I gotta up the ante. But ASAP Rocky kills it.
mS: Why the recent move to Los Angeles?
NT: Well for one thing we have loans to pay off. I mean, Orlando is cool and all and there’s a decent talent pool in Orlando, but it’s a transition city. Everyone stays there for a year or two and leaves. Or they go and work for Disney or do other lame stuff. After a while everyone coming to see us became our friends and they didn’t want to pay to go to shows anymore. They’re like “Dude, get us on the guest list! Get us on the guest list” and we’re like “Dude, why don’t you help us get groceries, instead?” Because that way, we can make a couple of bucks out of this and make even more music. And eat!
mS: How is the forthcoming, yet-untitled album different from Blame It on the Blackout?
NT: This is my favorite effort so far. We really think it’s awesome and we’re actually very proud of this record. Not that we’re not proud of our previous stuff, but we’re super-proud of this. I feel like we were in the minors for a while, but once you’re in L.A. you have to play major. So it’s definitely more polished. I don’t know, after listening to it for a while I also think it’s an ode to moving. “I Wanna Fly” is basically about feeling claustrophobic in your own city and wanting to go out and see the world.
mS: Any plans for a tour when the new album comes out?
NT: Yes. Absolutely, yeah. Hey, you got Mac Miller’s number? Holler at him for us and tell him we want to jump on a tour. I hear he’s number one on Billboard. But yes, we’re working on a tour for February now, scheduled for most of the west-coast states.
mS: Describe a typical day in the life for Not Them.
Dirt Merchant: Let’s see. We went to spaghetti karoaoke the other night at a Christian high school. I did “Dancing Queen” and slid across the floor and I mean, I killed it. We got video, and really… I mean I just ripped it.
Gentleman J: Yeah, Dirt is oddly flamboyant when he dances.
Dirt Merchant: Hey now, I’m no pinocha.
Gentleman J: No I know, but you still killed it. Flamboyantly.
Dirt Merchant: [whispering] And I still banged chicks.
Gentleman J: Well, no, you didn’t bang any chicks, and that’s a fact.
Dirt Merchant: Alright, whatever.
By: Marshall Leroy Smith