Interview with Qui
February 23, 2014
Interview by: Mindiana Jones
Big Wheel Contributor
The manly noise rock duo Qui is ready to bestow a new album, "Life, Water, Living" upon the world. February 25th 2013 will mark the release of the band's first full length since "Love's Miracle," their 2007 collaboration with David Yow (Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid.) In celebration of this joyous occasion, Qui will hit the road for a west coast tour, kicking it off February 28th at The Satellite in Los Angeles.
They will be headed up the coast to Seattle with fellow hot and heavy rockers Moistboyz, and then cruising back down to LA on the solo.
Witnessing a Qui performance is a magical experience. Paul towers over his warm toned, tiny Gretsch set like a jolly fair skinned giant, while Matt eludes a subtle bear appeal, sway and sweating his heart out all across the stage, sensuously strumming his Gibson ES135. Qui melds together a legion of influences to create a sound that is notably Qui. Hints of jazz dashing up rock riffs, an awkward quirkiness, and their ability to perfectly fuse voices all emphasize their exclusive sound.
Recently Qui have been pushing the boundaries of bromance with their latest video, "Whateryadoin." The killer Qui track features a sensual bass line and silky smooth harmonizing vocals that blend together like a thick and creamy milkshake. The video delves into the hidden sexual tension that grows over years of being in a committed musical relationship, and shows guitarist Matt Cronk longing for special attention from drummer Paul Christensen. The video previews a track that will be on the upcoming "Life, Water, Living" release.
BW- So the music video is...
Paul- That song is going to be on the full length coming out at the end of February, "Life, Water, Living."
Paul- It is out on the 25th of February, and we start gigging the 28th.
Matt- You can order it from Cobraside, or from our site www.ihatequi.com It is a full length and going to be CD and LP.
BW- Is that what you recorded with Deaf Nephews?
BW- Awesome, so this "Whateryadoin" video. You illustrate bromance quite well. Is this based off reality?
Paul- No, I just remember thinking it would be funny to base a song off of that. With the years of people asking in interviews, peers, friends, contemporaries, you know...are you guys a couple? How often do you make out? How many times have you had sex? Stuff like that.
Matt- It has been hypothesized that we are gay for each other, but we are not.
Paul- So yeah, we thought it would be funny to sorta press the issue, and throw it in everyone's face.
Matt- Yeah, it's just a funny thing to do. It's like one of those...you know your sitting with your friends and someone gets the idea "Hey guys, wouldn't it be funny if..." we try to do all those things that we think of. "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if we had a song about how I want to have sex with you?" You know. We do a lot of that kind of stuff.
Paul- The most recent video we filmed stars the lovely Nicole as Goldie the clown. During the verses, she is lip syncing the vocals and then Matt and I are in the back ground wrestling in our tighty whities and its pretty hot...and during the chorus there are a bunch of still photos of her around town as Goldie. It's real icky.
Matt- It's hard to watch.
Paul- It is hard to watch.
Matt- It's because of how sexy we are.
Paul- It's definitely one of those things where we were like "Hey we should do that" OK let's do it.
Matt- It has been fun just doing every stupid thing we think of.
BW - So, this upcoming tour your out with Moistboyz?
Matt- We are just out for the first week, from LA to Seattle, then going out for a week on our own, making our way back.
BW- February 28th is at the Satellite in LA?
BW- So I hear you have a special Greeting Card Release Out?
Matt- Yeah, that is called "No-Legs," and was actually some stuff we had recorded back in 03, with some live stuff from 05. We made a record that never got released, and then some of it got reworked with David Yow and put on "Love's Miracle." So we put that out in November 2013, and it came packaged in a handmade greeting card. People can pick it up at the gigs.
Paul- The Artwork is by David. It's pink.
Matt -You know, Christmas is just around the corner...
BW- Or Valentines Day?
Paul - Actually that would be perfect, you know it's pink, and you can write on the inside and make it hateful or welcoming, whatever you want.
BW- So Paul, if you were to send your band mate Matt this card, what would you write in it?
Paul- I would put a used banana peel inside, because when he would open the card, it would fall to the ground, and then, well... tripping... slipping and sliding all through the house... and then we he goes off camera KABOOM! You know, so that's what I would put in there.
BW- So is that a love felt or hateful greeting?
Paul- Oh, it's both...it's Qui. That's how we show affection to each other.
BW- What about you Matt, what greeting would you like to send to Paul?
Matt- Oh, I would probably put a nice note like "Hey Paul, no special occasion, I just wanted to say what's up. I hope your having an awesome day, I'll see ya at practice later, love ya buddy, alright later." Something like that.
Paul- His was an even bigger lie than mine.
BW- What are you guys working on right now?
Paul- Well we just worked on and recorded a little single for a release on Three One G, which will be out in April.
Matt- That will be a split with Secret Fun Club. Then, we have a ton of sorta half done songs, we keep trying to find time to get in and crank on. With playing gigs, recording, and working full time, it's been a little more slow going than we would have liked. We will have another batch of stuff soon.
BW - Where did Qui start?
Matt- We both grew up in Minneapolis, we met when we were like 16 in high school. We were buddies, but we didn't really start Qui until we moved to California when we were like 21 or 22.
Paul- Yeah, it was 2000, so like 23.
Matt- We sorta played together goofing around, and tried to get some things together, but when we moved out here is when we actually solidified what we were doing.
Paul- Yeah, we came out here and played with a few different people, but nothing really stuck...so after being frustrated with not gelling with a 3rd person we decided to be a two piece...and then gigs ensued.
BW- did you move to LA together?
Paul- We moved to LA together from Santa Barbra. Once we got down here, it was down to business.
BW- When you moved to LA did you live together?
BW- Did you share a room, were times tough back then?
Paul- We had a one bedroom apartment. So I had the living room/kitchen, and Matt had the bedroom/bathroom. It was like one big room with a wall.
BW- Matt, you let him use the bathroom right?
Matt- Within reason....I mean I had a girlfriend at the time, and you couldn't get to the bathroom without going through the bedroom. So if we were in the bedroom making love, Paul would just have to take care of himself in the sink.
Paul- He let me use the bathroom, and I let him use the kitchen...pretty much whenever.
Matt- We lived together in a bunch of different places, and come Saturday we will be living together again.
BW- Well congratulations.
BW- So, as a two piece going on tour, tell me about road time bathroom breaks? Do you guys go in together or spread it out and take turns?
Paul- We typically go together every time.
Matt - Yeah we love it.
Paul- It's rare when just one of us has to go, and if just one of us does, the other guy has no problem going along with it.
Matt- We both drink a fair amount of Dr. Pepper and Earl Grey Tea, so every couple of hours its nice to just get out and stretch your legs and have a pee.
BW- Do you guys ever cross the streams?
Matt- We have in our life, but it's not something we do often.
BW- You mean it's not like a special pre-show ritual?
Matt - We are gonna do it for Paul's birthday.
Paul- Yeah we have... but it has definitely been years.
Matt - We're older...
Paul- Yeah, that's more of an early thirties thing, we're in our late 30's
Matt- Mid Thirties.....or late mid thirties.
P- Late mids....we're Late mids. My birthday is in like a month.
Matt- Which will put you at 37.
Paul- Which is not old...
BW- Have you guys ever had any musical injuries?
Matt- Yes. I don't have it so much anymore, but growing up I had bad tendinitis and carpel tunnel in my left hand. I don't hear so good, if I scream a bunch my throat hurts and I loose my voice so I have to rein that in. I have a bad back from being hunched over a guitar.
Paul- Dead hands, finger nail sensitivity, pelvis discomfort, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, numb lips.
Matt- Involuntary trembling....
Paul- I have hit my left knee, cut a finger open a few times. It was pretty cool in Europe I did that and there was some blood on my snare for like a week. It was pretty cool.
BW- Being a touring band, and coming from Minnesota, has there ever been a time where you guys had to cuddle, merely for warmth and survival?
Paul- That wasn't on the road...and we weren't in Minnesota... and we didn't need warmth. We've cuddled a few time over the years.
Matt- Sure, well you gotta understand were best friends, best friends of 20 years. Eventually your gonna cuddle, and it's not that big of deal, and it's not even a sexual thing...for me.
Paul- There was a time we were sleeping in the van somewhere in rural Nevada...or somewhere. Anyway we snuggled that night, it was kinda chilly.
Matt- There was that night in Utah, that horrible night in Salt Lake City where we didn't quit snuggle but should have.
Paul- Yeah, we got heckled by a midget, and one of the 3 people at the show that night offered his trailer for us to sleep in, so we slept on the floor of this trailer, which was about wide enough for one body, and a small L shaped corner, so we just kinda sporked each other.
Matt- That was a tough night. Also, the trailer was unheated and we were sleeping in these dirty giant military sleeping bags in Utah in the middle of December. And that God Damn Midget...
BW- How do you guys feel about hecklers, do you appreciate them?
Matt- Um...they are so seldom funny or clever. I can enjoy a good rejoinder with someone but it's just so seldom interesting that it's just like ahhh....shut up.
Paul- We used to be in a band called "The Gentleman Callers" which had a much more fun, drinking, rock n roll vibe, and that was sort of encouraged, and we got to do a lot of that with that band.
BW- Have you ever have anything thrown at you?
Matt- Yep. We opened for the Ataris in 2004 in San Diego, and it did not go over. Someone threw a golf ball it hit me square in the forehead.
BW- What makes you guys happiest as a band?
Paul- The writing process is what I take the most joy out of.
Matt- I would say preforming. I like the writing process too, but if I had to pick a favorite. I enjoy every aspect of all of it. I like humping gear, I like driving to gigs, I like all the admin work that goes into it. One of my favorite things in the world is getting in the room and making stuff up. But if I had to pick a favorite part of it all I would say playing on stage.
Paul- I like writing because when you have an idea that your excited about, you might sometimes have an idea of where it is going to go, but then you play it for your friend and it goes somewhere else. Something is created from nothing. I also feel it is the one things that is free about being in a band, you get to write songs. Everything else costs money but you can't get taxed for a song idea. You can do whatever you want with it. I guess I just like the thought of the possibility of where is this gonna take us. For instance, the last song that we recorded, it all started with this drum beat I had, and when I was first playing it and was jamming on it, it was kinda spazzy and jazzy. Then, through playing it with Matt it kinda got slowed down and became dancy, kinda 4 on the floor, and I would not of imagined it going that way. After recording it, it sounds way different than I ever would of thought. So I like all the transformations.
Qui will be hitting the road starting February 28th at the Satellite in Los Angeles. Check www.ihatequi.com for tour dates and links to their albums, including the upcoming "Life, Water, Living."
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