In this week's paper, we talked to Rats and People, who play what writer Jaime Lees terms "post-punk folklore." Take a listen to two MP3s from the band's first album, The City of Passersby, and enjoy the following outtakes from Lees' interview.
About mishearing lyrics:
SEYLE: That can sometimes lead to way awesomer lyrics. There was this band called Oh Yeah [from Columbia, MO] that [their lyrics sounded like] "Speed it down and slow it up" and I thought it said "Kiss me know, I'm throwin' up" JL: You know that story about "Hey Jude" right? BOTH: No. JL: That lyric were Paul goes "The movement you need is on your shoulder"? That wasn't meant to be the final lyric. It was just something he put in there to fill up the space and then everybody liked it and told him to keep it. It was a nonsense lyric. PACE: That makes me feel so much better about not knowing what that means! SEYLE: When you're singing nonsense lyrics just to get the melody down, you totally get attached to the phonemes or the syntax. JL: [smiles, rolls eyes] SEYLE: You know, how they sound.
JL: How did you get your name? SEYLE: We argued about different band names for months... PACE: [interrupts] Months! SEYLE: ... before we played a show and finally, the one thing everybody hated the least was the Rats and People. PACE: It wasn't, like a victory, it was like 'Fine, Rats and People' SEYLE: I wanted to be called the Sectarian Merchants. PACE: And the Churchyard Cough. SEYLE: Yeah! The Churchyard Cough. It's like an old term for tuburculosis. JL: Cause you gonna die? SEYLE: Yeah, cause you're gonna go to the churchyard.
(Author's note: The name the Rats and People was shortened from The Rats and People Liberation Motion Picture Orchestra, because they originally came together to do a movie soundtrack for one of Brien's girlfriend's movies (Carson Minow, who's a STL filmmaker).)
"Mines and Pantries":
"We Will Be There":
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