w/31 Knots, Get Hustle
Sun Aug 19
When I talked to Tim Kinsella(s), he was eating and belching in my ear over the phone like a dickhead. When we talked about his latest project, Owls, however, he was modest and uncertain, and told me the following sad story: "I read this weekly music column because is makes me so mad. It's like anything this guy thinks is good, you know is just awful. And this morning I read it, and he said how good the Owls' album is, and I was like, that's it, we should just break up right now."
Owls' self-titled album is brilliant, though. The guitar is clear and complex, and the lyrics are stream-of-consciousness, but often come back to a central chorus. It has the random quality of Kinsella's last band, Joan of Arc, but there's a lot more structure, and a lot more rock. Tim Kinsella wails, the guitar goes from plucked and flowy to almost metal. Overall, the album speaks to the confused and slightly depressed fuck-up.
Tim's low self-esteem is apparent when I ask him if he's excited about Joan of Arc's recent, huge success in Japan. He says, "My life is no different because there's some abstract, alternate world that I'm a singer in. I think there are just so many people in Japan, that one trillionth of a percent could like us, and it'd seem like a lot of people."
The Owls' line-up is basically Kinsella's high-school band: members of emo legends Cap'n Jazz, minus Davey Vonbohlen of the The Promise Ring. There won't be any sell-out reunion tour however, according to the integrity master. I asked Tim if he realizes how important Cap'n Jazz still is to so many people, and he replied, "That's a dumb question." Further discounting his own musical talent, he continues, "I just think [our label] Jade Tree is really good at distributing; I think they've just found [Cap'n Jazz's] audience and saturated it."