petite mort In this issueBegin & End No.2 2004
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listen to My Teenage Stride:
penelope.mp3 (3.3MB)
let's go to the firewalk.mp3 (2.8MB)
hamburg.mp3 (3MB)

 

 

 

My Teenage Stride is Jedediah Smith

My Teenage Stride

Sunday morning brunch at Enid’s with Jedediah Smith-the wait alone is enough to make you go a bit stir crazy, sitting down to talk about being a one-man band and Jeds influences opened another can of worms. When the interview turned to the obsessive desire to have Emmit Rhodes and Paul McCartney in his make believe band I knew things were going down and that it was the perfect time to get the check and pretend it never happened.

So you just put out “A Sad Cloud” on Banazan Records, that must feel good Are you working on anything else?
Yeah, I’m also putting out a 7” on the UK label Becalmed and I’m also working on a full length on that label due sometime in July.

What influences or inspires you to write?
I’m usually just walking somewhere, or in the shower, or doing something menial and that's when my brain tries to occupy itself elsewhere.

You don’t have a writing hour like a songwriter?
No, I don’t remember last time I actually sat down to write a song. I never write them down.

Do you just memorize them?
Yeah pretty much. It’s like a puzzle. Makes life easier.

Why did you choose the name “My Teenage Stride”?
Well originally there was this project I did. I made a fake compilation of 60s garage pop with a bunch of fake bands. I had all these band names and different songs and then I realize that all the songs had my voice on them. That broke the illusion. I recorded that stuff maybe 4 years ago, 3 years ago. Anyhow, I took the name from one of those fake band names. For some reason that was the one I went with even though it was one of my less favorite ones out of all of them. [laughing] There were better names. “All Presidents Go To Heaven” is one of my favorites.

You didn’t have access to anything that would alter your voice?
I know, I have tricks I can do, but there’s only so many. I mean I can do pitch shifts and different accents but eventually it all sounds like roughly the same band doing different genres.

The name Teenage Stride takes me back to those years and I start to think of young love, or crushes I should say. Do you write many love songs?
My songs usually are not love songs. Maybe a few songs are love songs. In fact when I was younger and I started to really record stuff, I decided I never wanted to write any love songs ever.
I’m a heartless person… [laughing] And I think that’s reflected in my work. [laughing]

You can’t really feel love can you?
I can’t really feel things like that. This whole thing for me isn't cathartic but rather purely mechanical.

"Clones of myself?  Not a bad idea [...] I'd have him cook while we did stuff.  You can get really hungry after practicing.  I can get him a little apron, and he can serve drinks to the rest of us... Like a cigarette boy clone."
My Teenage Stride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Teenage Stride

 

website:
www.myteenagestride.com

Seriously now, how many times has your heart been broken?
Three, four times?

And how many hearts have you broken?
Probably the same number. But I don’t really believe that. I think some people may have pretended to have their heart broken by me.

You think they faked it?
I think maybe they faked it. To boost my ego maybe? Or make me feel better? They were just pity heart breaks. They felt bad for me, because they didn’t think that I could ever really break someone’s heart. They pretended to make me feel better. It’s complicated. These things are complicated.

How would they fake a heart break? With fake tears?
They would cry, or you know, there would be letters, or video performances… sometimes dioramas- I had a couple of those. Then some plaster cast…

Wow, serious stuff. They went to great lengths to fake a broken heart. Plaster casts?
That’s a long story. I was living in Bangkok back than. A different period of my life…

Bangkok?
No, I’m kidding. But seriously, I’m sure I’ve broken someone’s heart. Everyone’s broken someone’s heart before. In various ways. I might have broken my mother’s heart once, or my dad’s, or a girl in high school.

What’s it like being like a one-man band?
I think the reason that I’m doing it is that it suits me best. I have a hard time recording with other people. And finding a band is a totally different thing. I like it but it’s not at the top of the pile. The top of the pile is recording songs –that is really what I love. And that’s basically how I learned to be a musician. I mean, most of my learning to be a musician was me alone with a bunch of instruments and a four-track. So this is always what I’ve done. It’s the way I prefer to make music. I mean obviously there’s a live version of this band, and I really enjoy that and it’s important to do that, but I don’t think it’s for me. By the time I get to record, most of the songs are fully formed in my head without much room for interpretation.

Would you ever think of having clones of yourself to form a band?
Clones of myself? Not a bad idea because then I’d have an extra. I’d have him “cook” while we did stuff. You can get really hungry after practicing. I could get him a little apron, and he could serve drinks to the rest of us… Like a cigarette boy clone.

You wouldn’t mind ordering yourself around?
Oh no, no, I could put us all on different diets and see what happens. Studying the effects. That would be good, and I could find out what I’m allergic to that way. There would be a lot of advantages… not just musical, I mean, we’ve all seen Multiplicity, we know what that's like…

One last question: When are you going to let the world know that you are actually a woman?
Hmm.. I think that’s the kind of thing you want to really time. You want to make sure you have a confluence of certain sociopolitical events. I think if Kerry gets elected and there’s another Jaws movie it’ll be about the right time to make that announcement.  X