October 08, 2001

An Interview with Currituck County's Kevin Barker

While putting together issue #2 (of my now-on hiatus zine Lois Is My Queen) my computer died. Its power supply burned out. It bummed me out. I didn't cry, but I did enjoy the experience, the break away, and one of the records that I enjoyed during that time was the very odd self-released Currituck County LP. It's a broken thing...and in my case, it really was, as there's a long, though boringly short story about this, which revealed to me the true poverty some starving artists face. I also learned the true meaning of Spring, but that's an entirely fictitious other story. I got the lovingly sarcastic Kevin Barker, who also spends his time in the band Aden, who are poised to appear in the annals of indie rock history as Washington DC's saddest boys ever. You know, I could go on and on about the broken-machine folk sounds of Currituck County, but I'd be denying the record its wonderful voice, as well as the money of you hipsters who would be scared off, who would just simply buy it on the strength of Aden's name alone, without really knowing of the dangers yet to be found.....

So what's it like to be a member of Gen-X with credit so good, it's bad?

Great. Actually i just got a credit card--i guess working at a boring semi-well-paying job for 8 months gives me good standing in the eyes of associates national bank (a.k.a. The Associates---i feel like i just joined the masons or something.) anyways my first purchase was a bunch of blank tapes from target. though i should stop shopping there because of that devo commercial, which is almost as stupid as that internet company using MLK's "i have a dream" speech. what a bunch of jerk-offs.

Any truth to the rumors that your decision to stay at home on this latest Aden tour is because you want to make the perfect Aden album? If so, how does Jeff compare to Mike Love?

No, the truth is i stayed home because i thought it would be "irresponsible" to quit my job at that point. By the time i came to my senses andy (my noble and talented replacement) had already booked plane tickets.

"Suicide is painless." What's going on? Are you okay? Is this a subtle commentary about your life, Aden, or childhood dreams of wanting to be Radar?

No, just a passionate expression of my love for Henry Blake. plus, i think it's a great song, and i realized it totally worked with the chord progression of "intertwining hands"--thus a medley was born.

Is it true that Jeff is a real tyrant underneath that sad-eyed mopey indie pop facade? Is it true he got violent when told of yr Currituck project?

Not exactly---but once a Washington city paper article rather straight-facededly quoted me talking about how fred and i would beat up on jeff to get him to write sad songs. when i read the article i was like, "did i say that? OHH, right, i was joking."

But to answer your question, actually on the contrary jeff has been one of my most adamant supporters...without his urging i'd probably still just be fucking aroung on my guitar at home, or just taping home recordings for friends.

What makes ya want to get up in the morning?

Urrgh, that fucking alarm. one day....i swear to god.

Need some new batteries for your 4-track?

Actually that was an old walkman tape recorder that i used to use to tape emo shows back in like 94. after years of neglect, i'm surprised that it recorded anything at all. the recording devices i used on that LP were: that walkman thing, jeff's tascam 4-track, my korg digital 8-track, and one of those old flat rectangular tape recorders everyone had in the 80s.

Ever been to Currituck County? What's so great about it?

Yep. it's the land where dreams can come true and unicorns run wild with the wind.

Fuck the Smithsonian Institution?

I never said that. but after all it is a government institution now. i kind of wonder if harry smith came to them with a stack of crusty 78s now whether or not they'd tell him to go fuck himself. i was just applying to some crappy program assistant jobs though. but hey, buying folkways was a pretty good thing to do. there have to be some good folks working there. after all, where the hell else are you going to find that many free-to-the-public-every-day museums? another smithsonian/harry smith-related story--- a friend of mine, after reading that harry smith's paper airplane collection was donated to the national air & space museum, emailed na&sm asking if it was possible to view it by appointment for the public or for researchers and they basically wrote back saying "harry who? we have no record of owning such a collection." they totally were like, "paper airplanes? whatever." and pitched them in the trash i bet.

So when are you and Rob Christaensen, Mark Robinson, Trevor holLand, and Butch Willis going to go into a studio and get really weird?

Uh... well, i prefer to get weird on my own recording devices and only use outside help if i want it to NOT be weird (i.e. upcoming full-length, which shall be recorded by mark greenberg in chicago). plus, do those guys need to do anything different to be really weird, in or out of the studio? i think not.

Is it also true that you are recording a song that will involve you selling your plasma but on the morning you do the transfusion you plan not to eat beforehand, so as to give yourself a drugged, slurry vocal style that can only be created via blood loss?


---Joseph Kyle

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