Friday, July 06, 2007

Guest Interview: The Pity Party

I recently had the good fortune of interviewing the members experimental LA two-piece The Pity Party about home town pride, subversive office tactics, and their respective preferences for liquid meals.

Drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Heisenflei and guitarist/vocalist Maurice are almost as fun to interview as to watch perform. I've seen them play a few times and have never been disappointed. For that reason, I'm willing to forgive Heisenflei's unjustified support of (mediocre, but well-priced) Tacos Mexico.

I broke up with that place the day it stopped serving tripe...

Hey, Heisenflei! Hey, Maurice! You're not only one of my favorite live acts in LA these days, your band name is one of my all-time favorites. How did you come up with it?

Maurice: I was a registered Democrat from 1996 until 2003. When I got super-frustrated by organized religion and abusive governments, that's when I registered Pity.

Heisenflei: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of The Pity Party.

I've read that the two of you are not only from Los Angeles, but also from the world famous San Fernando Valley. Where in the valley did you grow up?

H: Encino and Northdridge respectively. We went to private school together and had very sheltered upbringings. However, Maurice was put into forced labor as a child actor upon development of his ability to jabber and make facial expressions. I had a perfect childhood without incident.

M: Northridge's "Sherwood Forest." There were orange and plum trees, roses and tangerines. It was sunny and perfect all the time. There were also some synogogues involved.

Did growing up in the Valley have any impact on who you are now? It sure did on me.

H: Absolutely none. Riding the railroad really shaped who we are. What impact did the Valley have on you, Jed?

M: My day job is in the Valley. Seriously.

How did you meet? Did you always get along as well as you do now?

H: We starred in the 10th grade musical together and had to kiss at the end of one of the showstoppers, which made me want to vomit, not to mention it was my first kiss...

M: We merely tolerate each other's existence.

Have either of you ever played in a band before?

H: No.

M: No

As LA harbors fewer and fewer independent music stores (especially since the closing of Sea Level Records), where would a fan of The Pity Party purchase your recordings? (In other words, what does one do if, for instance, his employer's having blocked Myspace prevents him from streaming songs at work�)

H: Approaching from behind, swiftly swing the hankerchief around the front of your employer's face and tie tightly behind head. The arms will then be flailing - stabilize them immediately. Next the legs. Bring plenty of laundry rope. Enlist a friend to carry the dead weight to the toner closet. Lock closet. Stream The Pity Party over the office PA.

(Or you can purchase the EP or Vinyl through our myspace utilizing Paypal. If you don't have a Paypal account and you're going to be that way about it, we can make other arrangements. Email us at

M: I love Sea Level. My heart is broken.

In your opinions, where is the best place to get a burrito in Los Angeles?

H: I like the corn sopes at Tacos Mexico.

M: Alegria on Sunset.

Who are your top three favorite bands of all time?

H: Utter Respect for Blur.

M: Quasi, Autolux, Radiohead.

But who are you listening to the most right now?

H: Ariel Pink. Broken Social Scene. Queens of the Stone Age. Blonde Redhead.

M: Noisettes, Metric, She Wants Revenge, Failure [and Autolux].

You've been playing a lot of venues around LA recently. Where is your favorite place to play, and why?

H: Very political question. But I'd probably say the Staples Center. We play there so often, though, that I guess sometimes it makes me miss playing smaller venues like the Hollywood Bowl.

M: Dodger Stadium was alright.

I remember that. I found some video from those performances.

Have you ever been on tour outside of the LA area? Any plans to do so in the near future?

H: We desperately need to get the fuck out of LA, so if anyone has any good leads, email us at

M: We recently toured with the Raveonettes on the East Coast. They're nice.

What's your favorite thing about being a two piece? You wouldn't ever consider adding a third, would you?

H: Music should never be limited by a good profit percentage or conceptual gimmick.

M: I'd consider adding a third foot. Heisenflei could probably use another arm or two. I'm sure there are some really talented limbs out there...

Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or grits?

H: Definitely not Cream of Wheat. Cream of Wheat is the neo-nazi of hot breakfast cereals. (Incidentally, Wheatena is the Jew...)

M: Cream of Wheat! Cream of Wheat! Cream of Wheat!

That's all I've got. Thanks for your time. I can't wait to see you guys play again.

H: Yeah. We're doing a residency at the Disney Concert Hall. Every Dooday in Saluary.

M: Support An End to American Democratization of Non-American Peoples!

Interview by Jed "Lawyer Jed" Lowenthal

- WMD (Live) MP3
- Dronebots and Peons (Live) MP3


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