“Everybody is getting ripped off at all times.” —P.O.S What themes do you explore on We Don’t Even Live Here? The record is about recognizing that the world is a rigged place, and figuring out your own way to spin that into your favor. There are things that you’re supposed to do and things that you aren’t supposed to do. But the world that we live in is not necessarily framed like that if you [look at] big business and capitalism. You’re not supposed to steal from a store, but the goods from the store are produced in a world that is horribly irresponsible and is stealing the world from others, so you might as well steal from the store. Everybody is getting ripped off at all times. And even if you’re not getting ripped off, the production that is behind all of our favorite things is violently destructive everywhere. So what I mean when I say “we don’t even live here” is trying as hard as you can to remove yourself from a system that we all can kind of recognize is crumbling at the edges, where the infrastructure hasn’t worked—where the free market is punishing more people than it’s helping. And it’s a matter of, in a way that isn’t cornball, Rage Against the Machine, early-90s “Fight the Power”…how do we make ourselves happy without having to gobble bath salt all day long and work at a garbage job? It’s like an anarchy dance party! Does being in a rock band give you a different perspective that most rap artists don’t have? Yeah, maybe. I think that’s always what I’ve been into: upbeat rhythms. There can be only so many four-on-the-floor loops and rap beats that I can listen to before I’m bored out of my fucking mind, you know? That’s the biggest problem with rap: shit just gets boring, man! 22
THE BIG RIFF
JES STEINEGER OF COALESCE 1:39–2:07 of “Through Sparrows I Rest” from OXEP (Relapse) Straight C# tuning This riff was sort of a hard sell when I first brought it in during the OXEP writing sessions; it just felt a little too ’70s to the guys, I think. Once we worked with it for a while, though, it really felt right for the EP. [Bassist] Nathan Ellis’s first remark when he heard it was “oh no, Jes’s got ‘the bends’ again.” I love the feeling of bending chords in a riff, but it’s always a train wreck live because it’s so hard to match the guitar and bass. Like most Coalesce riffs (maybe even all of them), this one gets quite butchered live because of me overextending that bend.