Chapel Hill's Embarrassing Fruits write really fun songs about a lot of life's less fun moments - particularly those you might have experienced as a lazy 20-something with a crappy job, a dying relationship and a tendency to drink too much PRB. But even if you're a 40-something with a crappy job, a dying relationship and a tendency to drink too much PRB, you can still relate. Such well-crafted pop songs have garnered the band comparisons to Superchunk and Guided By Voices. They'll have a CD-release show this Friday (Sept. 17) at Duke Coffeehouse for their new Trekky Records release "Frontier Justice." Midtown Dickens and Lonnie Walker open.
1. Of all the fruits, which is the most embarrassing and why? And why aren't there any embarrassing vegetables?
JOE NORKUS (guitar, vocals): Ah this question...The name comes from a work of art by David Shrigley. It's an immature inside joke that kinda stuck. Everyone seems to think the name sticks out, so I guess that's a good thing. That being said, I guess the most embarrassing fruit would be a combination of fruits, rather than any one, specific fruit (see attached).
2. In "Long Distance Breakup Summer," the protagonist deals the repercussions of various friends' breakups (the biggest of which being that he has "no body to party with tonight"). What is the best way to help a friend through a break up? And why do I get the impression that he's being a little overconfident at the end when he keeps singing "I'm so glad I got you"?
LEE SHAW (bass, vocals): I don't really know what the best way to help a friend through a breakup is. I feel like there isn't a lot you can do. That's kind of what the song's about. The Jersey Shore guys probably go to the gym together, drink jager bombs, and have guido gangbangs or whatever, but in real life it's different. Your friend gets mopey and doesn't want to do anything, and a lot of times his or her ex is a friend too--then it's a real pain in the ass. Other people's breakups are just a drag, and are to be avoided at all costs. And yeah, there's probably some irony in the last lines.
3. Your one-sheet states that "Frontier Justice" is the first "fully realized" album from the band. Why is that?
JOE NORKUS: "Fully realized" is kinda just a marketing thing the label came up with - I like to think we're just starting to learn how to write better songs. I think we continue to realize what sounds good to us, and we try and capture that in song form. Also, Lee, who originally just contributed bass has been writing more and bringing in more material; as a result, the sound is broader than on previous records we've made. Some would maybe call it more of a "traditional" rock record at times. More blistering solos perhaps? It comes down to taking more influence from eachother, rather than one person just being the initial creative force behind the songs.
5. What's the worst job you've ever had, and have you ever written a song about it?
LEE SHAW: My worst job was delivering papers when I was 8 or 9. I've never written about it, and that's probably good. It sounds like a shitty song.