"Can I Ask What the Tampon Hat Is About?": A Talk With JD Samson

You won $12 on the lottery recently, right?
Yeah, that was last week! My girlfriend and I were going for dinner and we were really early and the restaurant wasn't open yet so we were walking around Bushwick and ended up in this bodega that was selling lottery tickets. I bought two and won both of them!

Which tickets were they?
One of them was the one where it looks like a crossword but you scratch off the letters you have and the other one was some basic one where you just scratch off and it tells you if you've won or not. That one was less exciting.

What did you spend your $12 on?
Actually I didn't spend it. It's funny 'cause I just put on some pants and found $12 in my pocket!

Did you consider reinvesting the $12 in more lottery tickets?
No, we actually talked about it but the guy in the shop was like, "I wouldn't do it 'cause you only win once."

See also: Q&A: JD Samson of MEN on Playing Occupy Wall Street on May Day

Are you a big gambler?
No, I'm not a big gambler 'cause I don't really know how to play the games. The only thing I can do when I go to a casino is play the ones where you pull the lever down, the slot machines, and I usually say I'm going to spend $20 and once that's gone it's over.

So what's the most frustrating experience you've had on the subway? Well every once in a while you go down to the platform and it's like the sign that says the next train will be in 30 minutes and you obviously account for that, and that's pretty frustrating. Recently I was going to take the J train downtown and it was early in the morning and it never showed up but I realized it was my fault 'cause it doesn't stop there during rush hour. That was really frustrating 'cause I was standing there like, "What is going on? I've been waiting for an hour!" Then someone was like, "Yeah, it doesn't stop here at this time." That made me feel really stupid. So I probably deserve some karma from the MTA.

If you were in charge of the MTA, what would you do to improve the service?
I actually think the subway is great and it's far better than the taxi situation. That's not an MTA situation but I think people should be able to get a taxi faster than you can at 4-5 p.m. I always think what if someone had a crazy emergency and couldn't get a taxi? That stresses me out. But the subway, I think think the biggest complaint I have right now is that I live in Brooklyn and I think the attention to getting people all around Brooklyn from one neighborhood to another isn't great. There's much more focus on Manhattan, obviously, but I think the G train should run more often and shouldn't have so much work always being done to it. There should be more options for people to get around Brooklyn.

Can I ask what the tampon hat is about?
Yeah, I made these hats that have tampon strings all around the brim of the baseball hat. I made one for myself last year. Before I go on tour I usually make my costumes and I kinda made it in the interest of having a discussion about women and hanging -- like hanging the laundry out -- and I made some for an artist's catalogue. Then I decided to make some as part of a pre-order for a record that's coming out, so I was making one that someone ordered.

Do tampon hats take a long time to make?
Yes, they do, you have to kinda poke holes all around and cut all the strings all around the tampons and then make one knot and put them through and then make another knot. Although that might sound easy I want it to be perfect, number one, and number two it's really hard to get the tampon strings to not fray.

You called your upcoming show at Union Pool the most "conceptual" yet. What can people expect from it?
Well there's a lot riding on this release as it's our sophomore record and we were a bit confused about which direction we wanted to go in as a band and I think that's something that's apparent when you listen to the record -- you can hear some songs that are definitely pop songs and some songs that are a lot more experimental. So we want to portray that experience of self-discovery and self-release -- we put out this record ourselves too. So conceptually we will be presenting some of our songs differently to how we have before in a live setting. People can expect something new.

If someone were to win $12 on the lottery should they spend it on your new album?
Basically, yeah. It's actually cheaper than that -- you can even buy that and a shot.

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Location Info


Union Pool

484 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

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