REVISING MUSICAL GENRES

Q: Where does the band name “Captain
Ahab” come from?
A: Ahab is a character in Herman
Melville’s “Moby Dick,” and he’s the captain
that’s chasing and trying to kill Moby Dick.
So I guess that name comes from that. Both
of us read the book and it struck us as a good
name rather than something relevant to what
we’re doing. The name is longer to me than
what the conception of the band is.
Q: What do you like about the music that
you make?
A: I guess I listen to a lot of music. I
mean, I’m pretty obsessive. I have thousands
of records and Cds, and I’m always looking
for new music. When I’m writing music,
I’m trying to write the music that I would
want to be listening to that I’m not actually
finding. This is why it’s such a hodgepodge
of different styles, genres, and ideas thrown
together. I mean it’s kind of like you’re
listening to mash-ups, but with no samples.
It’s all written and it’s all original, but
conceptually it references so many things
that. it’s more of a conceptual mash-up.
Q: So you mix up all genres into your
music?
A: Pretty much, yeah. I mean, I like
music that is phonetic and I don’t have
a very long attention span. I like being
confronted with new ideas a lot, you know?
And I like hearing multiple contradictory
ideas happening at the same time so I like
getting combined elements that feel really
incongruous to me. And then even lyrically,
I’ll write lines that purposefully contradict
each other. I enjoy confusion and vagueness
in that way.
Q: Does your band travel a lot for
performances?
A: Yeah, we do. We’ve done a lot of
tours. We’ve been to Europe twice already
in 2008. Usually we do a big, national US
tour once a year.
Q: Are there any crazy traveling stories
you would like to share?
A: On our last big US tour, we went to
Florida to play and we were the only band
booked at a sushi restaurant. So while
we were playing a bondage troop was
performing, and the people who set up the
show, who were also part of the bondage
troop, had arranged for us to stay that night
in the sex dungeon that they ran. Yeah, that
was weird. I don’t know. So far – knock on
wood – we’ve never had a car break down,
though we did miss a train. Well, the trains
weren’t running in Lauderdam when we were
there last year, which caused us to miss our
flight out of Amsterdam. So we had to take
a $200 cab ride to Amsterdam and had to
change our flights for an additional $400 and
stay the night in Amsterdam. All the while I
had food poisoning, which was lovely.