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Everyone’s Quiet When the Record Ends: An Oral Retrospective of Joan of Arc

7 December 2020

Joan of Arc; Photo Credit: Chris Strong

If you generated a complete list of every person that’s contributed to Tim Kinsella’s longstanding Joan of Arc music project, that list would probably number in the ballpark of fifty people. Maybe that’s even undershooting it, but there’s a lot. For Kinsella, the guarantee of Joan of Arc’s continual output seemed as much of a given as the air he breathes until it was announced just months ago that Tim Melina Theo Bobby is to be the outfit’s final record, effectively ending its tenure.

So—to borrow a phrase—it’s tragically December tonight. The record’s out, and the book has been closed on Joan of Arc. I am lucky enough to have interviewed the four primary players on this record in effort to piece together an oral retrospective and grant a sort of closure for fans, however bold that may seem. Bear in mind that these interviews were given separately and I’ve removed my questions and prompts, relying entirely on their quotations to tell the story. Thank you so much to Tim Kinsella, Melina Ausikaitis, Theo Katsaounis, and Bobby Burg for participating.

Tim Kinsella: Cap’n Jazz broke up in July of ’95 and the first Joan of Arc show was maybe July of ’96. At this point, a year feels like nothing. I could do anything for a year. But when you’re younger, that was like five percent of my life that the time had passed in between. It felt like a long time.

I was playing a lot of music and had two bands that were very stylistically different. I was playing with Sam [Zurick], playing drums mostly, and Eric Bocek, who played bass on our first couple records. We were doing a real… I don’t know, Modern Lovers tight and terse pop songs kind of thing as a power trio. And then I was playing with Jeremy [Boyle] and he was making all these homemade electronics and tape loops and stuff. I got to know the Jade Tree [Records] guys a little bit through The Promise Ring and they were like, “We’ll do the record for you if you can get something coherent together.” [laughs] This is the coherent smash-up of the two impulses. Red Blue Yellow is what we called it when we smashed us all together and played our first show. And that first show was such a wipeout that we decided to change our name. [laughs] Just start over because it was disastrous.

In the beginning, everyone was playing an instrument that they hadn’t played before in a band and that was pretty intentional. It’s funny because we were only 20 or 21 but we were so aware of not wanting to fall back on old habits. We also all had full time jobs and/or when to school so we would practice a few nights a week from midnight to 4am because that was the only time we had in common, but we were just that driven to do it that we were like, “Okay instead of sleeping, we’re gonna practice.” So it was a gesture of real effort and strength to make it happen.

Bobby Burg: Tim initially asked Love of Everything to go on tour opening for Owls’ 2003 tour. Joan of Arc was broken up. Tours are booked about six months in advance, so by the time the tour actually happened Owls had stopped playing and Joan of Arc was back with two new albums, So Much Staying Alive and Lovelessness and “In Rape Terror and Fantasy Sex We Trust”.

My band Love of Everything had shared members with Joan of Arc in the past and we went on tour opening for Joan of Arc. One of the conditions of the tour was that Joan of Arc had to be Love of Everything’s backing band and Tim wanted to play drums. So [I said], “Okay, I’m gonna go on the whole tour as a guitar tech,” because they have songs in so many different tunings. So the idea was that I would tune their guitars during their set. The live show was always limited to how many degrees of tuning you needed to do between songs so that it’s not ten minutes [of waiting].

That tour ended up being really long. Basically by the end of the tour I was in the band and they asked me to go to Europe with them. Well… I wasn’t in the band, I still lived in Brooklyn. But they asked me to go to Europe with them. [The touring bill] was like, Love of Everything, Owen, and Joan of Arc. That was all in like 2003. So by July 2003, I had moved back to Chicago. I had kind of already been in Joan of Arc for the tour because after I was done tuning, if the song was still going, I would pick up a tambourine or a keyboard or whatever else I could grab. I listened to the songs so much, I could weasel my way in.

Theo Katsaounis: It was the beginning of 2008. I was playing in a bunch of local Chicago bands and I think it was November or December of 2007, I got a call from Tim—this was right when Boo Human was gonna come out; it was that tour essentially in 2008. None of the drummers could do it. Nate Kinsella was busy, Ryan Rapsys was busy, Mike Kinsella was busy; those were the go-to drummers. Even Cale Parks who’s done it in the past, he was busy. I’ve been in bands that had played with Make Believe and Joan of Arc in the past so we were friends. I just got this blind call from Tim saying, “Hey we’re gonna do this… basically world tour. East/west coast and Japan. Do you wanna do this?” and I was like, “Of course, yeah, that’s a no-brainer for me.” So that winter, we rehearsed a bunch. Then I think [the tour] started… it was just early 2008.

Because it’s always been Tim’s project with a rotating cast of members, for the longest time, because the catalogue is so vast, we’d take a break for a while and get ready for another tour. We would get a bunch of old songs that I hadn’t played on. Tim tries to mix things up and makes it more interesting for himself because I would imagine playing certain songs after fifteen/twenty years, you’d get a little bored with it. So it was kinda cool and fun to mix things up. Like “change this drum beat” or “change these parts here or there” but structurally the song is still intact. Then, over time, when Victor [Villareal] starting playing again in the band—well, for the first time for Joan of Arc—that’s when it started to become a little more collaborative. Still Tim’s vehicle but we would chime in here or there just to give our pointers. It was definitely becoming more of a collaborative thing. And obviously that did happen way more toward the end. It was like a slow burn.

Melina Ausikaitis: 2012-ish. I worked with Tim at Rainbo [Club] and I’ve known him for a long time. You know that bar here? [laughs] Basically I went back to grad school in 2009. I ended up doing this project where I would try new things; that was the project. I ended up taking voice lessons from this woman Azita [Youssefi] who lives here, she’s a really cool musician. She was in Scissor Girls. She started teaching at this music school and I was like, “Oh I’ll try that.” I just had all of these things that I was really insecure about and I was like, “That’s what the project will be, I’ll just make myself do stuff,” and so I started doing that and it ended up becoming useful because I was making a lot of videos and they needed soundtracks so I would just sing stuff. It just became more and more a part of my practice while I was there at UIC.

At one point I had this weird performance, uh, that you don’t need to know about [laughs] but there was a part where I needed help with the music and I asked Tim and he said he would help me. So he performed for my critique that year. That was cool. I guess at the same time I started writing songs from this old journal that I had from when I was like 11 or so. He thought that was interesting I guess and we hung out and I ended up lending him the journal. I guess I just needed some feedback because I didn’t know anything about writing songs.

Instead of trying to absorb me into Joan of Arc, the idea was to use these songs that I had written in this new project that was called Visceral Realists and it wasn’t very good. We couldn’t get it to work. The songs were just way cooler acapella than they were with the instrumentation along with them, in the informal way. What Nate ended up doing [with the album 1984] was take the acapella songs and then make the music for them separately and it worked out awesome.

Theo: Sometimes I still can’t believe I got that call. There’s so much talent, so many amazing, out-of-left-field musicians here that just are incomparable. The talent is just seeping out of their ears and I can’t believe I was asked to do it. I’m totally honored to be a part of it. Something in the water here…

MA: [Tim’s] from this area where all of these weirdos came out of, I think there might be something in the water there. It’s such a crazy honor. I felt like I got into the band accidentally… it’s fucked up, right? And then I have this album and just magically Nate happens to be so skillful. And Tim, his ego is so flexible, he didn’t have any problem with it at all, not worried about what people think or the fact that he wasn’t the focus.

Tim: I think there’s a lot of shows, even these last tours, where we’re playing to ten people. Then it just becomes about us hanging out and having fun together. “Well, here we are in some weird small town in Wales, playing to four people.” In the end, it’s about our friendship.

Theo: When we would go on tour, Bobby and I would bring our skateboards and we would give ourselves a fifteen/twenty-minute window to skate either before soundcheck or right after soundcheck. We wanted to fit it in wherever we were just to A) get a little exercise and B) get out. Sometimes Jeremy would come with us. It was a fun thing to do just to bring our skateboards around and be able to skate a little bit. And of course Tim would be so nervous because yeah, if we fall, then we’re all fucked. Luckily that did not happen at all. We wouldn’t give ourselves too much time to try to go hard. Just fifteen/twenty-minutes before, just keep it low impact. Bobby, he was a ripper.

BB: [There’s] this motorcycle gas tank that Tim always loves to beat on and tries to put it on everything. [laughs] It’s like a [Kawasaki] Ninja! It says Ninja on it. It’s kind of like a steel drum in all the different places you can hit it. And there’s a conga. The conga is very Joan of Arc to me. It’s this giant conga and stand that for some reason we—somehow we brought it to Europe even, flew with it, I don’t know… I think we just put it in a bag. A trash bag. [laughs] Anyway. That thing is pretty Joan of Arc to me. I don’t know, hummus and pita?

MA: I’ll probably come up with something a little more poignant later but I have a really good story. [laughs] The guys are gonna roll their eyes because I bring it up all the time. So we were somewhere in the Unites States and it was the beginning of the day, we hadn’t really gotten on the road or maybe had only been on for a couple hours and then had to stop for gas. Tim was in the front seat and Bobby was in the seat with me right behind the driver in this big sprinter van, so there’s a sliding door next to Bobby. Tim’s kind of a weird eater, just buys weird stuff that’s like, “Really? That’s what you wanna eat right now?”

Tim: Bobby’s a funny eater.

MA: Some, not me so much, but some of the other people are very sensitive to smells and stuff. [Tim] likes to get snacks whenever we stop so there’s always this exciting time [with that]. Bobby barely eats until dinner time, so they’re totally different guys that way. So we stop at this gas station and there’s the little snack area in there with some refrigerated stuff and Tim gets this kale salad with brown rice, and we get back in the van. We pull out and start driving and Tim opens this kale salad and it smells so fucking bad, it’s all rotted. [laughs] As I mentioned, Bobby’s very sensitive, and everybody’s like “Ughhhhh!” and I look over at Bobby and he’s got his neck craned forward and his chin tilted up because his lower jaw is overflowing with saliva because he’s about to throw up. [laughs] So I’m going, “Stop the van! Stop the van! Open the door!” and I’m freaking out and everybody’s like “HAHAHA!” So then we pull over and slide the van door and Bobby tilts his head and all this drool just lashes out. For the rest of the day we’re talking about how the gas station attendant called his boss and was like, “Guess what I sold!” That’s the kinda shit that would happen. It’s just so perfect, I don’t know, those little things… every time I think about Bobby’s jaw [laughs] he’s just very sensitive, barfing over nothing. That’s Joan of Arc for you. Who buys a kale salad at a gas station, man? What the fuck.

BB: We’ve never had ten great shows in a row in Europe before and we did that. And it still felt like the right thing: last album. Also, saying it’s the last album… that’s great. There’s plenty of Joan of Arc source material. We could spend the rest of our lives learning to replay stuff from old records. If you limit the output to just these records, maybe you’ll be able to do shows with more variety of songs. I mean we have so many songs but so many of them are so dependent on a special person’s skill, there’s only certain ones we can do live without that particular virtuoso.

Tim: Partly it just became an unsustainable business model. It was really a response to a cultural shift. The cultural ecosystem that supported us had been shrinking and shrinking, withering even.

Theo: Tim was mentioning [ending the band] before COVID happened and maybe COVID is a good buffer or good excuse to say, “Oh well, we can’t play, so fuck it. Might as well call it a day.” So not a major player but I’m sure it helps his cause. 30 to 40 percent.

MA: COVID came way after [the decision was made]. So not at all.

BB: I’ll believe that when I see it, when it actually happens. I think only not making another record would make that possible. So it’s going to take a lot of restraint. It’s not necessarily the last band we’ll do together or the last time we’ll play Joan of Arc songs together, it’s just the last Joan of Arc album.

Theo: It feels like Tim has brought it up—he’ll kind of bring up things in passing and you don’t necessarily take it seriously because who knows if he is serious or not. If I remember correctly, maybe it was towards the end of the recording process. That’s all I can remember about that, just because he would mention it here and there, under his breath. Like okay, who knows if he means it or not. And then it started to become more of a reality towards the end.

Tim: We knew from before we recorded the first note we were making the last one.

MA: I would say halfway through? Maybe? Tim was already doing his other project by then and pretty much after we got back from the tour we were talking about not doing it anymore. It might have been different for me too because that last tour was such a bummer with the money stuff that I think I was not gonna do it anymore regardless. Bobby for instance, he fucking loves being in Joan of Arc so much that I’m sure he’s like, “Tim’s just talking, he’s gonna change his mind,” because I guess he’s done that in the past. So I’m sure he held on for quite a while longer.

Theo: Tim’s the captain and Bobby’s the co-pilot. A lot of times with tour, recording, or rehearsal even, Tim always has the seed and Bobby tends to have so many ideas to run with off that particular idea which is cool. I think they’re pretty good collaborators. Bobby’s the one person that’s been in the band the longest out of everybody. He’s been the most consistent person. For me, there’s this simpatico, from music to getting directions to deciding what to eat or whatever, Tim and Bobby are the decision makers. Of course, I would throw in my opinion with whatever. Or whoever was in the band at the time, it could’ve been Todd [Matei] and Paul [Koob] or Melina and Victor, but for the most part Tim and Bobby, with everything, the whole spectrum, it starts with the two of them.

BB: I think it’s very Joan of Arc to say it’s your last album because before I joined, they had already done their last album. I attended the last Joan of Arc show in 2000. In 2001 maybe, actually. They played at Rainbo Club and it was billed as the last Joan of Arc show. So when So Much Staying Alive came out it was supposed to be a Tim Kinsella solo [record]. From my perspective, it’s kind of like there was Joan of Arc, and then I came in for Tim Kinsella solo up until we got Jeremy back, and then it was another Joan of Arc record with He’s Got the Whole This Land Is Your Land in His Hands. So it’s kind of like This Land and this new one are the Joan of Arc reunion records.

Joan of Arc 1/22/01 Last Show
Joan of Arc’s “final show” at Rainbo Club 1/22/2001; Photo Credit: Bobby Burg

It’s silly, if you go through the process of breaking up and not playing… it seems like a tradeoff. It’s kind of like bands going and getting their master’s degree. You have to break up for eight years and then that’s the incubation period when you make the big bucks. If you don’t break up, you’ll never get paid. If you’ve learned anything from any of Tim’s family bands, that’s the number one lesson: just don’t play. [laughs]

Tim: I was talking to an old friend of mine the other day, Casey [Rice], who recorded a bunch of the Joan of Arc records and has lived in Australia for the last twenty years. It’s crazy because we were talking about [how] the future’s always pliable but there does get to be a point where you realize that you’ve sort of missed out on certain things. I don’t know what kind of job I could get besides bartending or being a college teacher. There’s certain things where it’s like, “I’ve really bet my life on this band.” And if that’s true then we need to create our futures in a way that works for us, and if the band is me and my wife Jenny Pulse, we share all our expenses anyways. It’s that much simpler to get away without having jobs and being able to play music. If [Joan of Arc] had made more money, we would’ve been able to put more time into the band but we all need other jobs and it got impossible to schedule doing anything around our jobs.

There’s also the technological shifts. I’ve been making “electronic music” for forever. Even on the first Joan of Arc records, there’s moments of [electronic music] that I’m contributing to that. But at a certain point you don’t need all the people to cover every frequency. Me, Bobby, Theo, Melina, and Jeremy for a while too, we all really became more than the sum of our parts so I do miss that collaborative thing but I have it with Jen now and I can actually get away with being a musician; scrape by.

Theo: After Jade Tree went under they sold the rights to Epitaph. So they bought the first three albums and they told us, “Hey if you guys want to do these big tours—the catch is you have to play only [songs from those albums].” It would’ve been great in terms of money. We would’ve gotten paid really well and [the shows] would’ve been packed because let’s face it, those are the hits. Those songs are amazing. I was in high school listening to those albums. That would’ve been so cool but Tim’s like, “I don’t wanna be a nostalgic act,” and I think that’s so cool, I really do respect that. So I can’t argue with that. I’m all about the art side of it which is to keep creating and keep moving forward. Granted, we do of course play a decent amount of old songs because it’s a part of the catalogue, not because it’s a nostalgic act. He is unpredictable and I do like that even though it could upset people or whatever, but that’s how he is.

Tim: We did enjoy playing old songs but it was more a matter of “how do we sound at this moment?” That “plays the first three records” [tour offer], that never even got any serious consideration. I just don’t think we could do it well. If I could just play Cap’n Jazz reunion shows as my job, I would do it in a second. That’s like the best, funnest job in the world. So it’s not like I’m so righteously opposed to nostalgia—if being the singer of Cap’n Jazz could be my job, I would feel like the luckiest man in the world. Due to various reasons, it’s impossible. But I also don’t think the cost-benefit analysis of how much work it would [take] to relearn all those songs… playing those first Joan of Arc records wouldn’t bring me as much money as Cap’n Jazz shows do. It just seems like it would be a lot of work. If there was a greater payoff, maybe I’d consider it.

Looking at Instagram sometimes I can go down a hole of an old friend that I follow—I’m not even thinking of a specific person—and they indulge in certain nostalgia things and it’s so self-important and tacky to me. If it fails, it’s so sad. The reason the Cap’n Jazz thing works is because people wanna see it, so it’s easy. Enough people wouldn’t have come to see those [throwback Joan of Arc] shows that it wouldn’t have just been embarrassing.

BB: To me, [“Destiny Revision”] feels like going on a walk when you’re on tour and you’ve got a song stuck in your head. [laughs] I mean that’s what the video is, that’s how it was created. I was thinking about those slideshows when someone dies and has a funeral. I was trying to make it look like that. Like, “Who died?” “Oh…She was burned alive.”

Theo: Funny enough, I think that might be the first song we started writing for this session, for this album. We, I think, went in chronological order as we wrote them. I could be completely wrong because it’s been a couple of years. It was a slow process. It’s very possible that was the first thing we did. I wanna say [selecting it as the leadoff single] is the label’s doing to, I don’t know, maybe entice people. [laughs]

MA: I think all of the jams we ended up using were done at Tim’s. We took over his living room area which is pretty big.

BB: Funnest way to make a record, setting up time with no plan, no preconceived songs, to mess around and play together. Experiment and get weird.

MA: It was a lot like the idea behind the jam sessions for the 1984 blobs but a lot less crap and more exactly what we need.

BB: A lot of times we’d end up [with a] total complete waste of time. A lot of it. Much of it. 90% of it.

MA: Bobby and I were recording [“Something Kind”], just us in the basement of his house. And he hadn’t heard any of the words. And we had this one track where I say [the lyric “You’ve got the tits and periods”] and he’s like, “Oh shit!!” I really wanted it to be on the album but they wouldn’t let me. Those guys are a little bit more professional.

Tim: We have a very blatant disregard for professionalism, let’s put it that way.

MA: I’m making this video for the last release before the album comes out, it’s a song “Feedback 3/4”, and I got all of this footage from our friend Masa [Aruga] from a show in Nagoya in 2016. He shot the whole show. There’s so many spots where Bobby is having the best time of his life. He has this tambourine and it’s hilarious. He just loves it. Poor guy.

Tim: We agreed to submit to letting ourselves make a beautiful song. It’s okay when a moment is “beautiful” to just let it be beautiful because that is part of the experience of being human, there’s moments of that. So I wouldn’t say that we were shooting for it as much as we were aware that when those moments came up, we would let them happen. Our primary influences, as much as we would go through phases in which we’re focused on different production values, remained pretty consistent and that’s not an accomplishment of ours or a testament to purity, it’s just acknowledging the traditions we’ve inherited.

I’ve been very very lucky, gotten to see the world, I don’t come from a family that has ever gone on a European vacation or something. My grandma has left Chicago city limits like four times in her life at 95 years old. So I’m very lucky, I get to see the world and all, but I was also a janitor for years while writing these songs. I wanted to point out, it’s meaningful to me that people understand that it’s people—not to say that I get the impression that people dehumanize me with some pedestal—just saying, there’s a guy here and I would have to bartend when all those music critics who are writing shit about me then come in on the weekend and I would bartend for them. And I’m cleaning toilets. And these songs mean a lot to me because it’s what I choose to do. Knowing this was the last record, it seemed like I could say “I’m gonna be the next Tim Kinsella” because in that context I’m the guy who did all these jobs. [“Cover Letter Song”] really is just a list of my menial jobs resume. It’s not the final statement of the record, but it’s on the second side of the last record, so there’s a tipping of the hat, waving goodbye, like I’m onto my next thing. I like that as a nod to and flip of the hip-hop cliché of saying your own name and being like, “This is all the stuff I got.” You listen to Drake or Kanye [West] and it’s like a 17th century Dutch oil painting when a rich guy would be like, “Can you paint me with all my stuff? I just wanna celebrate all the stuff I got.” This is all the stuff I got. When I’m not doing [music], this is what I’m doing.

BB: It’s a little difficult to talk about it because I don’t wanna end up contradicting myself. I think the way that you make a last record is you just stop making them, you don’t have to say anything about it. For example, the band I’m in with Tim and Sam and Nate, we never broke up; Make Believe. We just haven’t played since 2008. My most classic Joan of Arc experience has been putting out a last record. They somehow managed to put out TWO “last records” before I joined! The Gap and How Can Anything So Little Be Anything More? Wow! My trip has come full circle.

I think saying “we’re breaking up” is almost dooming [ourselves] to get back together. I mean it’s a publicity stunt. I see it as a publicity stunt and I think it’s silly to say it’s the last one because all we have to do to make it the last one is not make another one. We don’t have to say anything. But maybe that’s the point. It is about saying, “Hey, look at me.” But I don’t know if it is. I would be fine with it going unnoticed I guess. But I’m lucky to be in that position.

MA: If I had to bet, I would put my money on it that Tim’s gonna resurrect it at some point. I can just see him being like, “Now this is the time!” in another 20 years or something.

BB: We will know when it’s time. It will show itself to us.

Theo: We had some real good times just hanging out and traveling the world together. I don’t take it for granted, that’s something I’m definitely grateful for. I will miss them the most. Granted, they are my friends still and actually, Tim, Melina, and Bobby; I talked to them yesterday, so we’re clearly in each other’s lives. If [playing music] doesn’t happen again, then I’ll definitely miss that, but at least we’re still friends. That’s most important.

MA: I still work for the woman that owns the Rainbo, just a few days a week helping her out with some stuff. So we got our albums from Joyful Noise [Recordings]; Tim had to give them to us, so the guys met me in the bar which is totally closed. I had to turn the heat on, it was freezing in there and there’s all this crap everywhere because we’re now just using it as storage space because it’s been empty for almost a year. Bobby and Tim have Miller Lites and Bobby’s on the other side of the bar because he’s really, really COVID careful. He’s way over there and Tim’s kind of in the middle and they’re sipping their beers and he was like, “Oh my god… I can’t believe I’m in the Rainbo drinking a beer right now!” and they’re freaking out and so happy. I don’t see them as much as I did because of this and also because we don’t have practice, it felt so good. That’s how we would hang out; you’re always in a bar on tour and we were always in the Rainbo anyway so it just felt sad, but good. That’s what I miss, those things you don’t talk about unless you’re around those people, or think about.

Tim: Things take as long as they take, right? The thing that’s cool about seeing a movie in the theater is one, you can’t pause it and it’s immersive, but also you don’t know how long it’s gonna be. You can read in advance; this is 108 minutes. And that’s different than reading a book, you can’t help but know “I’m reaching the end.” And in the end, all of these Joan of Arc records are one thing. We couldn’t say how long it was gonna last. Classic TV shows have a certain number of seasons. It just needed to come to an end to make sense of the whole thing. That’s a gesture not just to us for our lives so that I can really fully commit to Good Fuck [current duo with Jenny Pulse] or whatever, but a gesture to the potential audience so that they can understand it; it has a conclusion.

It’s one of those things where one person breaks up with the other one and the person who’s getting dumped might be shocked but the other person’s already gone through it in their head. In this analogy, the members of Joan of Arc are the people doing the dumping and everyone in the world not in Joan of Arc are the people who are surprised. We’ve already wrapped our heads around it. Part of what’s meaningful to me, that I think we did a good job at—when I was a kid, all my favorite bands had cool logos and in that way they became an easily commodifiable tribal identity you could attach yourself to. Joan of Arc never had a logo, my handwriting is on a lot of things but it’s not a logo. I don’t think we could have a logo. People would say it’s eclectic or something but being eclectic for its own sake isn’t a virtue in my mind. Same as being prolific, people say we’re eclectic and prolific but neither of those are value statements to me. If anything they’re just signs of our commitment to the thing, right? So life itself is layered and nuanced and very rarely do I have a complete feeling without some kind of contradictory twinge of a different feeling; it’s shaded, it’s irreducible. I feel like people would be intimidated to approach Joan of Arc if they weren’t already on board with us. It was this mysterious thing, like, “What, are they an emo band? No, I’m not interested, I don’t like emo bands or post-rock bands or whatever.” But if we put this punctuation at the end of it, we can wrap it up neatly and I feel like the whole thing can be understood now better if there’s an end to it, and I’m ready for people to understand it, even if that means the cost of doing so is we can no longer exist; it’s okay. I stand by all of it, but none of it means anything to me. [laughs] It’s no longer an ongoing present, progressive thing. It can just be like, this is what it was. Does that make sense?

 

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