City Paper is not for tourists
“We’re trying to have fun right now and not make it too serious,” Travis “Cobruhhh” Jackson, the drummer of D.C.’s noisiest party punkers The Points said yesterday, discussing the pitfalls of long-distance rock ‘n’ roll — Jackson moved to Blacksburg, Va., not long ago, and his bandmate, guitarist and singer George “Geo” White, now lives in Chicago. The geographic disruption may mean more planning, fewer shows, and less spontaneity, but to hear Jackson tell it, the band’s hard-partying (and, more centrally, hard-drinking) ethos remains the same.
The Points dropped a new seven-inch single this week on Jackson’s own Windian Records (City Paper‘s own Aaron Leitko recently reviewed the six-minute song “Shout” for Pitchfork), and Geo and Cobruhhh are celebrating tomorrow night at DC9. After the jump, my condensed interview with Jackson.
Washington City Paper: Every time I read about The Points, there’s always something about how hard you rock and how hard you drink. But what do you do when you’re doing neither of those things?
Travis Jackson: Well [he laughs] I guess people say that because, you know, the fact that we’re alcoholics. We definitely, you know, when we’re not playing in the band or having beer, well, I dunno. Life is a celebration.
Washington City Paper: The song “Shout,” at 6 minutes long, is unique for you guys. When you wrote it, did you want to make something so, well, epic? Or did it just come out that way?
Travis Jackson: It kind of just ended up that way. We’ve had a couple of other songs that were six minutes or over, from band practices … When it feels right, you don’t want to stop. We’re not always thinking up three-chord wonders or anything like that.
Washington City Paper: Tell me about writing “Shout.”
Travis Jackson: The song was written a while back. We recorded it and we never put it on any of records because it never really matched up with anything else — the more Ramones-sounding, two-and-a-half minute songs. So I started a label and I pretty much just wanted to get these songs that we really, really liked but that we had pushed aside in the past onto a record.
Washington City Paper: What about the rest of the seven-inch?
Travis Jackson: “Beat In Hell” is more a percussion-heavy song. It’s got a really cool guitar riff, and it’s pretty primal. … It’s a pretty bad, mean song. And “F. Dali” is probably the fastest song we’ve recorded. And it’s about Salvador Dali and how much we hate seeing his posters everywhere. We’re art fans, but you know…
Washington City Paper: …but Surrealism isn’t for you?
Travis Jackson: Well, really, it’s just from being around art schools and seeing Dali on all the dorm walls.
Washington City Paper: How did Windian Records come about?
Travis Jackson: Out of sheer boredom. Geo moved to Chicago and I’m in the mountains. … We can pretty much only practice once a month and I still wanted to focus heavily on something rock ‘n’ roll, so I started a label to put out singles. I’m doing a Two Tears single in October, and Personal and the Pizzas, from Hoboken, N.J., want to do a seven-inch this winter.
Washington City Paper: What else do The Points have planned this year?
Travis Jackson: We’re going to be recording our next record here in the next two or three months. We’ve got about 10 songs ready to go for that, and I guess we’re going to be putting it out on Mud Memory, with [label owner] Justin Moyer, the coolest guy ever. And after that, in 2010, we’re going to tour to support that. Hopefully we’ll get to Europe this time. We didn’t do it this year, for, you know, money reasons. But we really want to go to Europe and keep, you know, rockin’.
(An apology: One-third of the interview recording came out as intelligible as the vocals on a Brainiac album, so you’ve been spared the more discursive moments.)
Photo courtesy of The Points’ MySpace page.