Vic: Yeah, that’s a problem. But I just took two strings off my guitar, and tuned it like a mandolin. It’s cool. I was thinking, “I want to show this to Jack.” It’s only four strings, so it doesn’t play minors or majors, because it’s not a whole chord. It’s only two notes, but it’s cool.
Jack: I’ve been writing a bunch lately, just because I have to.
Vic: You’ve got a new record to do, don’t you?
Jack: Yeah. We’ll be recording soon, behind Fellini’s (a pizza place in Atlanta). Are you gonna be in town? We’ll probably start…
Vic: Y’all got unlimited time out there?
Jack: Yeaah! I’m gonna try to demo as much as I possibly can.
Vic: Are you going to get all the boys in there?
Jack: Yeah, it’ll pretty much be the [Liquor] Cabinet. If you’re around, come along. Let’s do something.
Vic: I’d love to.
ND: Here’s Vic’s new CD, which I can’t give to you.
Jack: Is that the new one?
Vic: That’s an early one. That’s not it.
ND: It’s the songs.
Jack: What’s [gonna be] on the cover?
Vic: A photograph of me, of course.
Jack (looking at the track listing): “Myrtle.” The beach, or a woman?
Vic: The bush.
Jack: “See You Around”? Awesome!
Vic: I hate that song. That’s a really old one.
Jack: He played that with the La-Di-Da’s.
Vic: Every gig we ever played, that was the last song. I fucking hate that song.
ND: Why’d you put it on the CD?
Vic: I don’t know.
Jack: Because it’s a good song.
Vic: Well, Tina liked it. But it’s so old, it’s sort of embarrassing.
Jack: It stands up well. But I know how you feel.
ND: All those songs that ended up on Bulk — it seems like you put a lot of effort into getting them right, even though presumably you didn’t expect anything to come of it.
Jack: Oh, yeah. We wanted them to be good. But why would I have [expected anything]? Nobody had ever heard them, except for a small group of friends. (to Vic) You probably didn’t expect to make records, did you?
Vic: I didn’t. I didn’t care. I kind of thought about it, but…
Jack: It seemed so far away, not too long ago. It just seemed impossible.
Vic: Yeah, it was ugly.
Jack: When we were first playing, Vic had his band, the La-Di-Da’s, and I had Lava Treatment. We did shows together, but we were, like, the bottom rung. We were the bands they’d call Tuesday, for a Wednesday night gig. It was like, “These guys dropped out; do you guys want to play?”
Vic: But we did record back then.
Jack: Oh, yeah, always. I’ve got some real old stuff of yours, stuff we did on a boom box.
Vic: See, Logan was my hero.
ND: Do you think there’s a particular “Athens” sound?
Jack: Well, the thing is, in Athens you can do whatever you want. But I think Athens is like anywhere else. Right now, there’s a bunch of country bands, or Flying Burrito Brothers-type bands.
Vic: Yeah, there’s a lot of country shit going on here.
Jack: And there was none of that five or six years ago. There was a lot of Steve Albini-sounding…
ND: So you don’t think there’s an Athens sound, at all?
Jack: R.E.M., they’re the ones who first brought attention to the Byrds-sounding thing, or something.
Vic: Dinga-dinga-dinga-dinga. Nobody does that; not even them. They don’t do that shit anymore.
ND: Do people ever make comments about you and Michael sounding alike, vocally?
Vic: Oh, fuck, yeah! Of course they do!
Jack: I don’t see that. I think you sound like Ray Charles.
Vic: In my wettest dreams.
Jack: It’s that kind of confidence in the words, or something. He’s not afraid to be a little jazzy, but he still keeps the main melody, where you can hum it. Your phrasing, I think, is what’s totally unique. And your enunciation.