Barry: As much as Look What I Did is hardly a typical Nashville band by anyone else's estimation, I think we are one in the sense that Nashville is a musician's city, and we have always considered our audience to be our fellow musicians, like those at shows in our town. We wrote Cupid Full of Eros in the Marathon Building over a decade ago. We've been a part of the Music City's chatter for 13 years. Nashville has always had a strong heavy, punk, and alternative music scene, as we are a transplant city that people travel to, so we have everything represented here culturally. Music Row steals all the love, but people in Nashville can play, no matter what genre they are in. East Nashville has blown up SPIN magazine style and all this, but we've had a badass hard core punk and metal scene here since before the TV show and the hype, peaking in the late '90s in Antioch. Skeet and I are native Nashvillians. Look What I Did has country music elements from time to time.
When we lived in LA, we had a difficult time finding musicians who could play our music when we needed a fill-in. Everyone looked like they could do it though, till they started playing. Los Angeles is a great city, but it has got an emphasis on aeshetics that Nashville musicians don't have to worry about because our cookie-cutter industry just only lets 4 good looking people sing everyone's songs to the public per year.
2. There have been a couple of years between each album, only two between My First Time and Minuteman for the Moment but five between that and Atlas Drugged, then four between that and Zanzibar. Is the reason for that just regular life getting in the way or is it the pursuit of perfection for each album?
Barry: We have a very self-defeating perfectionism that has in a big way prevented us from reaching the massive commercial success levels that many of our friends' bands reach. We are not very good at timing our releases to maximize hype. We worry 100% about the quality of the jams and figure the type of people who find out about a band like Look What I Did deserve that treatment anyway.
3. The Zanzibar storyline that you started on MFT is now seeing it's third chapter as an album of its own. Could you tell me a bit about that whole series? E.g. what's the story and was it planned out from the beginning as a multiple part epic?
Barry: Zanzibar was always meant to be a cartoon storyline that continued through at least more than one song. Over time, it began to evolve, and after we didn't find a way to continue it on Atlas Drugged, we decided to just make a rock opera to fully explore it. That gave us the freedom to try some musical ideas we'd otherwise not get to try.
Zanzibar III sees the storyline expand to have a three way conflict, a song with its own custom court system, and a "Devil Went Down to Georgia" esque jam that climaxes on a three-way guitar battle.
Barry: Touring for us hinges on having a headliner to take us out. If that takes place, we shall see you guys in your town! Look What I Did gets random love from the music industry but not predictably enough to make plans based on. We'd love to tour across the seas, we just don't know anyone over there who can plan one.
5. If you could tour the world after the new album and you could take any 2 currently active bands with you, who would join you on the Zanzibar: Analog Tour?
I'd take Machinist! (Eulogy Recs.) cause those kids work hard. Also, I'd try to make Thomas Medicine reunite and do their thing.
6. You obviously have some strong opinions and ideas that you state clearly (although often sarcastically or humorously) in your lyrics, would you say that cryptic lyrics are counter-productive when you have an agenda or statement?
Barry: Honestly, I struggle with that and end up doing both in one way or another. People often find my viewpoints extreme or they misunderstand what I'm going for and think the worst. Sometimes people get what I'm going for. It's a balance because the music comes first, the meaning comes first, the people's interpretation comes second. I do political activism and journalistic writing and I focus those more on communicating to the end-user.
The tldr; version of that is music for me is more about me getting it out and than the listener correctly interpreting it.
Barry: I wanted you guys to listen to it over and over to figure it out. :)
8. I've seen quite a few possible influences thrown around in reviews (Mike Patton, Dillinger Escape Plan etc) are there any bands or artists that you feel have influenced you greatly but often get overlooked?
Barry: Shudder to Think is a huge influence on us. Tears for Fears I think can be heard in our sound a lot more than people realize. Chris' Jellyfish, XTC influence comes out in our sound I think. Also, I feel we fit more into the Voivoid area of metal than people give us credit for sometimes, even though we don't sound like them per se.
9. On your blog you stated a couple of years ago that the future of music was streaming, how does it feel to read that now and see how accurate your prediction actually was?
Barry: It's pretty wild, but I suppose I expected it all along so I can't say it's surprising.
(Editor's note: If anyone's interested here's the link: http://todaysdangeroustruth.blogspot.com/2008/02/future-of-music-consumption-how-you.html)
Barry: Personally, I'd like to do a duet with Diamanda Galas and Miley Cyrus at the same time.
(Editor's note: Triet?)
11. You guys recently moved into a house together right? I'm guessing this means the future of the band must be pretty bright. Is there already a fourth Zanzibar on the way?
Barry: We're getting a home studio going at the Ivory Tower starting November 1st. We're going to work on a new slew of material. We're going to shift away from the Zanzibar stuff for a while, but there will be a Zanzibar IV, which will probably be a single that concludes the story. It's possible that there might be more than one ending.
We're going to do some hard and fast and maybe some singable stuff too next, depending on which way we feel like going. Actually there's no telling what we'll do next, but we're going to try and do it more quickly from now on to provide more frequent content releases for y'all.
12. Are there plans to play Zanzibar III (possibly following I and II) live in it's entirety seeing as it's a rock opera?
Barry: Yes. No specifics yet, but when the records arrive, we're going to implement that. It will be filmed in HD with good audio quality whenever it happens too.
Barry: In all these years, I've still not found a witty way to answer that. haha
14. If there's anything you want to add feel free:
Barry: Follow us at Facebook.com/lookwhatidid, Twitter.com/ih8lookwhatidid, melodicnoise.com, and youtube.com/lookwhatidid
Thanks! You rock!
(Editor's note: Likewise!)
I'll embed a player for each album because they all deserve an equal amount of your time and attention: