back to the Black Table

Veteran singer songwriter Kristen Hersch is back helming a new band to replace her old one, the Throwing Muses. The band, 50 Foot Wave, is set to release their debut album "Golden Ocean" on March 8. (It has nothing to do with tsunamis. She asks you to please stop asking.)

50 Foot Wave represents a fresh start and a new creative outlet for her, and it's an exciting time. Kristen would have made herself


available for this interview but that would have required a bit of actual work and maybe even a phone call or two. We decided to take the easy route and interview 50 Foot Wave bassist Bernard Georges instead.

There's a reason for this. I work with him. We sit in a bicycle shop all day, a high pressure job full of people with no leg hair. We conducted this interview while we were both supposed to be working. That way we both got paid for our time.

BT: So you guys have a record


coming out, but then you're also working here at the same time.

BG: Yes. But when the record comes out hopefully I'll be somewhere else promoting that record.

BT: Ten years ago, I was an 18-year-old college radio DJ playing Throwing Muses on 90.3 KRNU and here we are together.

BG: The question sure reveals a lot more about you than it does about me. How do you feel about that, Todd?

BT: If I could afford a good sharp razor I wouldn't be here right now. Hold on, I gotta take a call.

BG: You gotta work? What the hell's going on here?

BT: OK. I'm back. So 50 Foot Wave is made up of 2/3rds of Throwing Muses. How is that going?

BG: Kristen will always have an association with that band because that's what she's done her whole life. But if you listen, you'll hear it's a different band. I can understand how people can think it's just the same band. But we're still young enough as a band that we're still developing.

There are a lot of Throwing Muses fans who are 50 Foot Wave Fans, so they're still our base. But I think there's a lot of understanding that you move on and Kristen's writing differently. She's writing a lot harder and a lot more direct. No bullshit.

BT: How do you go from opening gigs for the Pixies and X to coming back to work?

BG: It's great to do that. But coming back you always have a minor adjustment period. There's this point where you feel like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, but then you get back here and this is something you'd just do anyway. If I weren't in the music business, I'd probably be in the bike business. It's not so tough of a thing to do a 9 to 5 in the bike business. We're lucky enough to have a pretty relaxed job. Adult day care with perks. We get naptime in the clothing department at about 3. It's not so bad. If you have your high on something, you have to come down from it. I've done it so many times, it's like 'big deal.'

BT: Does it annoy you that some people are into your band and you still have to drag yourself into a day job?

BG: I've adjusted to my reality. And at that end of it I'm pretty fortunate to do what I do.

BT: What'd you think of the whole thing with 50 Foot Wave's connection to the tsunami? You guys were everywhere for a minute there.

BG: It was unfortunate but we had no part in it so I can't feel too bad about it. I feel bad that people might get the wrong idea. I think it's pretty obvious that we've been named 50 Foot Wave for almost two years now.

BT: Well for the conspiracy theorists, what about you riding a Seven Tsunami bicycle?

BG: I believe they could really sink me to the ground with that one. One of my bikes has a 50 Foot Wave sticker on it. And again I've owned that bike for two years.

BT: So did you record "Golden Ocean" on your days off?

BG: This one we did in a couple weekends, I believe. I kinda asked for days off. It didn't take long to record. Three days to do basics. A couple days to do overdubs. And then a week to mix. That's the kind of band we are these days, low budget and efficient.

BT: So you don't want somebody coming in and saying "Hey, aren't you the guy in that band?"

BG: Not at all. No thank you. I like to keep my private life, my work life and my other work life all separate.

BT: Look busy. Here comes the boss. (pause) What's your tour have in store? You're going to be gone for a while. Who's going to cover your work while you're gone?

BG: You are. I think we have enough able staff to cover the joint.

BT: Last question, what are you gonna do when your single is out and you're working here and it's played on the radio, are you going play the air guitar to your own music?

BG: I'm going to keep working. Unlike I'm doing now.


Todd Munson is a stand up comic who's funny enough but would miss his employee discount too much to quit his day job.