Interview: Beth Murphy of Times New Viking

Times New Viking play the Siren Festival this Saturday, July 19 at 4pm on the Main Stage. Be there or be stupid.

"I don't think about big things like the meaning of life and all that shit. . . I just think about how to like wake up, get through my day, get one thing productive done, eat at least one thing that's good for me and have like one meaningful conversation and then go to sleep."

If, by chance, you stumble across Times New Viking's keyboardist Beth Murphy this weekend, do not bring up Pavement (even though they were also on Matador). Or Guided by Voices (even though they're also from Ohio). And even if you're trying to be complimentary, whatever you do, for God's sake, do not use the term "lo-fi." That is, if you know what's good for you.

Instead, try to steer the conversation towards healthy eating, the Whitney Museum of American Art or maybe even alternative rock in New Zealand. She'll appreciate it.

We began speaking to Beth promptly at 1:30 on Friday, July 11th, a little more than eight days from what could be the pinnacle of her band's short, though previously ascendant, career.

You're timely.

Yeah, it's because I'm not a musician anymore.

[laughs]

See, if I was still a musician I'd probably be calling you sometime tomorrow night.

Yeah, I'm surprised I'm awake right now, but it's working out.

I thought you were probably a big sleep until noon rock star type person.

Well, I mean, I try not to be, but last night we were up until like five in the morning actually recording, so I felt like I had a right to (sleep late) this morning.

And what were you working on?

We're trying to finish this 10-inch for Matador. Basically they like decided that we should do this 10-inch when we were on tour so we got home and we had like a week and a half to do it, so we're trying to bust it out real quick.

The phrase "10-inch" pretty much only applies to vinyl. Will the release be vinyl-only or will there also be extended EP issued on CD type thing?

It'll be a 10-inch vinyl and I guess it'll be released on CD too.

And if all goes to according to your plans, hopes and dreams, how many songs will be there be?

Well, there's like seven songs. We still have a lot of mixing to do. We still have to title it and we still have to make album art, and we have to do it by next Wednesday.

[laughs]

So I'm crossing my fingers [laughs].

Okay, so you're home for two and a half weeks from your last jaunt away from Columbus (Ohio) and you've got to do laundry, but basically you've just been working hard on recording and will be until it's time to leave again.

Yeah, exactly. I haven't had a chance to do laundry yet. I keep wearing like bathing suits as underwear which is not cool.

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