STNNNG in a Stunner

Picked to Click XV


If you were forced to wear a hat all the time for a year (sleeping hours excluded), what kind of hat would you wear?
Something classy. Perhaps a bowler?


What's the best thing about the Twin Cities music scene? What's the worst?
The sense of community and sheer number of amazing bands right now is awe-inspiring. Having to choose between several great shows on any given night of the week is a wonderful problem to have. The worst thing about our music community right now, however, is probably the lack of opportunities for those underage to see bands, but I don't know that that's something necessarily unique to our city or point in time.


Who's one of your heroes or heroines?
I greatly respect and admire my grandfather.


Favorite painter, photographer, or sculptor: For some reason, the only thing that comes to my mind right now is Mark Fischer's painting of a head of lettuce on the cover of Cheer-Accident's Salad Days, so I'm gonna say him. I'm impressed by anyone who has any talent whatsoever in these areas, because I don't.


As it turns out, I was wrong about: Asparagus. I hated the stuff growing up, but now I know better!


Nathan Nelson, guitar

What's the most valuable piece of parental advice you ever got?
"The hood ornament on your car is for telling you where you're going. The rear-view-mirror is for showing you how good you look while you're getting there." That was either from my dad or DLR [ed.: David Lee Roth], I don't remember. I've turned to both men for chestnuts of inspiration when faced with life's many challenges over the years.


What's your favorite 2005 album and what's so great about it?
A-Frames, Black Forest. I love the sound of this record. The riffs are catchy yet grating at the same time. The lyrics and vocals are great as well.


Are you good at sports?
I am Michael Jordan.


Is the information on your driver's license pertaining to height and weight accurate?
Yes. But my picture isn't accurate at all.


Least favorite adjective: Gay. Like, "That movie was really gay" (meaning bad). Ugh.


I spend way too much money on: Food. I eat almost every day.

Chris Besinger, vocals

What's the coolest thing you ever saw someone do onstage?
Either Han Bennink playing drums with two flaming Lunds bags or the bass player from the Nerves face-planting on the Entry stage without missing a note or taking the cigarette out of his mouth.


If you were forced to listen exclusively to music from one decade, including this one, which decade would you prefer to be limited to?
I guess the '70s, since that is the decade that birthed most of my favorite records/styles: early punk, weird art rock, krautrock, free jazz, underground rock, dub, funk etc., and it seems like one of the more fertile creative periods. However, I could take just about any decade; there's always interesting stuff going on somewhere.


What do you most like about being in a band?
Playing shows, being able to play shows with bands that we like, writing songs, etc.


If you had a dollar for every pizza you've ever eaten, what could you buy?
A $10,000 dollar turntable, a set of six-foot-tall stereo speakers, and a large cup of coffee.


All-time favorite album title: Third World War 2 by Third World War.


Of all the guys in the band, I'm the one most likely to: Know the complete discography of a band no one has ever heard of.

Some Stuff You Don't
Know About The Deaths

And the straight dirt on hard drugs and partner swapping in North Dakota
By Peter S. Scholtes + Photo by Darin Back


1. None of their songs are about death.


2. Their near-death experience in 2004 came as a relief. The van they flipped in Missoula had been leaking exhaust through the floor. "Our Converse were actually melting a little bit," says guitarist Mark Schumacher.


3. Music on the stereo at the time of the accident: AC/DC's Highway to Hell.


4. Though they play pretty pop music, the Deaths love metal. "I'm obsessed with Mötley Crüe's Too Fast for Love," says drummer Tom Stromsodt.


5. The Deaths' 2005 debut, Choir Invisible (GoJohnnyGo Records), is actually their third album. Tapes of the previous two were lost, the first by a producer, and the second by a former bandmate.


6. The Deaths are originally from Fargo, and recently retrieved old posters from the legendary (and soon-to-be demolished) Ralph's Corner Bar in Moorhead.


7. "Fargo is so small that you generally know everybody," says singer Karl Qualey. "There's a joke [about relationships] in Fargo: You don't break up, you just lose your turn."


8. "Fargo is a drinking town. Grand Forks is more of a coke town. There's a saying: It always snows in Grand Forks."


9. The Deaths have not booked any of their own shows in the Twin Cities for the past year. Other bands invite them to play.


10. Being called the Deaths gets old. "Speaking for myself, I'm really tired of the name," says Qualey. "Though it's awesome trying to explain it to your great-aunt."

You Slay Me
Former Oddjobbers turn dark days into avant-rap as Kill the Vultures
By Chuck Terhark + Photo courtesy of
« Previous Page
Next Page »