Following a support slot with Texas in February this year Semisonic came back to the UK last month for a headlining tour. We caught up with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jake to find out what's happening in the Semisonic camp and how they hope to be around when they old, married and got a couple of kids to look after.
Q: How did the Texas tour go? It must be your biggest UK crowd to date surely?
A: It actually went very well. The Texas crowd was a good audience to play in front of. I think we had a lot of people who knew our music from the last record and a number of people who hadn't heard of us and who actually got into the show.
Leaving out Glastonbury or something like that it was our biggest shows to date.
Q: You're a major fan of British music. Every interview I've read with you tends to get around to Lennon somewhere?
A: Absolutely. Everything from the Beatles through to Elvis Costello, the Clash, Radiohead, Oasis, the Verve. I think we've always found that Britain has a different attitude which happens to appeal to us. It seems that they have the music junkie mentality whereas over here they have the culture junkie mentality.
Q: Does it worry you when you see bands you've grown up listening to and they don't know when to stop (I.e. The Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney)?
A: That's true of any art. Some people can do it a long time and some people can't. You have to trust your own judgement and your judgement may be obscured. You might love doing it so much that you convince yourself that its still good when in fact its crap.
I do think that part of the goal of music if you're a musician is not just to impress people but to do something that's interesting for you because the making the music if that's your job is the fabric of your life. And you have to keep handling it and producing it and I suppose that is a risk. But the other risk is that you just stop and your soul kind of just withers away because you're not doing it and that's what energizes you.
Q: Can you see yourself still in a band at 50?
A: It would be probably be different. It would have to be different. I can definitely see ourselves doing it but it would have to change as our life's change. I mean the music would have to reflect that by the time were 50 we may all have families and go to PTA meetings and pick up the kids from soccer practice.
That doesn't necessarily sound like the type of life that gets written about in rock & roll - what we produce at that point might not be rock music in the standard sense of the word however it might still be really interesting.
For instance take "Double Fantasy". I think that's a really great record and a lot of that is about Lennons life as a guy who is a father and has been married for many years and woken up to what life is after living the rock & roll life for all those years. Its a really interesting record, not the sort of record that makes you want to throw a chair out of a window in celebration of rock & roll angst.
Q: You're all multiinstrumentalists. Do you find there's arguments in the studio over what should stay and what should go on a track
A: You can really get into that whole arguing situation if you're not careful. And what we always say is anyone who has an idea can put that idea down and we'll record it but we don't necessarily agree to use it. So what happens the last several week of recording involves removing elements and that it's kind of painful, but everybody understands it is making better.
Q: As well as being a drummer you actually arranged the string sections for the recent album. You don't get many musical drummers for a pound nowadays?
A: I used to play cello so I have an intuitive understanding about string instruments from my cello playing days. It is kind of fun to just show up because in general string players have a snotty attitude about drummers - maybe its well founded but its kind of nice to take the podium and take up a drum stick instead of a baton.