With his new band getting ready to rock Austin as part of SXSW, we rang up Sun Airway frontman Jon Barthmus to talk about Zunes, confusing lyrics, and what can happen in a warehouse with a bunch of thumbtacks.
If you had to do a top five of bands that influenced you, what would it be?
Probably My Bloody Valentine, Spiritualized, I'll say Phil Spector as a band, Brian Eno as also a band, and The Beatles.
There's a wealth of synth sounds on your album. What all gear did you use?
Uh, most of what's on the record is computerized. A lot of it is built from little samples of other things. So, uh, yeah. I don't think I used any real synths on there. No guitars.
I don't have any keytars, but I'd probably throw one on there if I could.
Would you change your mind if you knew Roland calls all their keytars "AXs"?
Vocally you sound somewhat similar to, and please don't hang up, Chris Martin.
I've heard that before, which I guess is fair. I guess it's sort of flattering. He does have a pretty good voice.
Is this part of a plan to one day confuse and hook up with Gwyneth Paltrow?
My diabolical plan has been revealed at last.
Better MP3 player: Zune or SanDisk Sansa?
Uhhh...I don't think I ever saw the SanDisk one.
In your opinion, is it better to be Swallowed by the Night or Blinded by the Light?
Probably Swallowed by the Night.
Any explanation for that, other than it's your song?
If you're blinded by the light, you have to be revved up like a deuce.
I always heard something different there...
Yeah, it's one of the most commonly misunderstood lyrics out there.
Speaking of lyrics, you've got a lyric in "Waiting on You" that reads "forests so solemn with regret and sorrow."
Is this a metaphoric reference, or just a warning to never go camping with you?
Yeah, it's mostly about camping.
As for Austin, who's your favorite?: Stone Cold Steve Austin or Austin Powers?
Between the two, I guess Austin Powers. The first Austin Powers is still really good.
So, not a fan of the wrestling?
Uhhhhhhh, no not really. I've been to a South Philly warehouse to see a Million Thumbtack match, that was pretty good. That's my only wrestling experience.