I think it's fair to say we can all use some more Rozwell Kid in our lives. Especially now that the idiots have taken over and you find yourself reaching for the Xanax every time you turn on the news. Enter West Virginia's Rozwell Kid who have just released their fourth album, "Precious Art". Their new album, the band’s fourth since forming back in 2011, comes with twelve songs' worth of big hooks, melodic riffage and upbeat rhythms. In other words, it's instant bliss. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Jordan Hudkins to talk about "Precious Art", Michael Keaton and puns. (photo credit: Emily Dubin)
PRT: Let’s start this interview off in a culturally responsible way… what is your favorite piece of art?
Jordan: The @coffee_dad twitter account. Modern art.
PRT: When do you think something can be called art rather than just something somebody made/drew/wrote?
The definition is 100% personal. That was one reason the title appealed to me so much. Even if no one else calls what we do “precious art” at least we can.
PRT: According to Pitchfork, the new album is your ‘first high-profile release’… is that something that crossed your mind from time to time while making the album?
Jordan: I don’t know that the phrase “high-profile” ever crossed our minds, but we were definitely aware that this record would be our introduction to a lot of people. Even though it’s our fourth LP, it would be RK’s debut as far as a lot of the music-consuming public was concerned.
PRT: For the people out there who haven’t heard of you just yet… if you were on Tinder, what would be your bio?
Jordan: “Not trying to hook up. Too busy. Why are we here?”
PRT: Lyrically the songs come with some at time pretty self-deprecating lyrics that deal with anxiety, growing up, friendship and heartbreak. All based on personal experiences or do you approach your songs more from a storytelling point of view?
Jordan: It’s a mixture of the two. Sometimes I’m just tellin’ it like it is/was. Sometimes I’m taking my personal experience and filtering the emotions through an allegorical lens. Sometimes I’m just trying to paint a picture to express something I’m going through.
PRT: Comparisons to Weezer are never a bad thing, but “Precious Art” is already your fourth album… do you ever get tired of the comparison?
Jordan: I don’t mind the comparison, but my vision does start to go a little blurry seeing it over and over. But hey, I totally get it, and I can’t deny their influence on my songwriting. The Blue Album is one of the reasons I wanted to write music in the first place. Everyone is going to be surprised when our next record sounds 100% like The Aquabats.
PRT: The song “Booger” sees you addressing picking one’s nose. Something that is best kept hidden? Or should it be brought out of the shame-zone like breastfeeding?
Jordan: Everyone does it. It’s not a big deal. Yeah, it’s kind of rude. I don’t really feel like breastfeeding is a fair comparison… I mean, it’s not like we’re literally nourishing our children by picking our noses in public. Also, the narrator in “Booger” can’t understand why they got dumped in the second verse, and it’s like, dude, maybe it’s because you’re singing a song about a booger on your phone.
PRT: I read that “Michael Keaton” came from an idea you had for a screenplay. Is that something you would like to do for real at some point? If so, who would you want for/on the soundtrack?
Jordan: I always think it would be fun to write television or movies. Comedy writing sounds like the BEST job, but I’m sure it’s not. Every gig comes with shitty baggage you didn’t expect.
PRT: And while we are on the subject… why 1980s Michael Keaton (Batman, Beetlejuice) over today’s Michael Keaton (Birdman, The Founder)?
Jordan: I celebrate Michael Keaton’s entire IMDB profile.
PRT: You did a 10-hour video for “Wendy’s Trash Can”, you were looking for a parking spot at SXSW in the video for “South By”… do you just have fun with the videos or do you see them as clever marketing tools?
Jordan: I just wanna make videos that I think are interesting and watchable, and that usually means I want them to have some element of humor. Luckily, all the guys in the band share a similar sensibility.
PRT: Your twitter feed is a thing of marvel… from watermarked photos of dogs wearing headphones to stream of consciousness style tweets and witty replies. Yet no puns. How come? Do puns have a place on Twitter or should they be restricted to opening lines on a dating app?
Jordan: Oof, I don’t really enjoy puns. I’ll make them from time to time, sure. Guilty as charged. The groan to enjoyment ratio can be pretty lopsided.