Published on August 1st, 2002 | by Gerry Galipault0
Q&A with Pseudopod
MEMBERS: Kevin Carlberg (vocals, guitar), Brian Fox (bass), Ross Grant (guitar), Tim McGregor (drums).
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles.
ALBUM: “Pseudopod” (Interscope; release date: Aug. 13, 2002).
THE SOUND: Jam rock, in the tradition of Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band.
PRODUCER: Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down, Sister Hazel).
FIRST SINGLE: “Intentions.”
OTHER TRACKS: “Never Mind the Matter,” “All Over You,” “Shrinks,” “Dante,” “Village Fool,” “Come and See the Light,” “Music Maker,” “Wisdom,” “Balloon Ride,” “Ordinary Man,” “Lackadaisical.”
SOMETHING TO KNOW: Music fans voted Pseudopod “Best College Band in America” in an online contest sponsored by Rollingstone.com and iuma.com. With the prize money, the group members – all UCLA graduates – recorded their second independent album, “Rest Assured,” which served as a demo to help land a deal with Interscope.
FIRST OFF, WHAT’S WITH THE BAND NAME?:
Carlberg – “First, we were Pod, but there was nothing to that at all, and then we found out that we weren’t quite Pod, there was another band called P.O.D. We were suddenly Pseudopod. We played barefoot, and (pseudopod) means ‘false foot.’ Ross was a pre-med major and the definition for pseudopod in one of his medical books had a picture of an arrow pointing to a foot. There were too many signs that we had to be Pseudopod.”
BAREFOOT ALL THE TIME?:
Carlberg – “I don’t know if it’s our gimmick, but in rehearsals we would kick off our shoes; it was like playing at home and we’d be relaxing. We liked to make the stage home, so we took off our shoes.”
THIS MUST BE A HAPPY BAND, BECAUSE THE PUBLICITY PHOTO HAS YOU ALL SMILING:
Carlberg – “When we did the photo shoot, our photographer had just mentioned that she had photographed another group a week before and they weren’t smiling at all, that they were mean. They all gave dirty looks and that was their shtick. We thought we would either smile or just have plain faces.”
YOU GUYS ARE HAVING FUN, BECAUSE HAVING A BAND AT ALL WAS A HAPPY ACCIDENT:
Carlberg – “It’s been a wonderful progression. We all met up at school, put together a demo to sell at shows and give to our friends. The next thing we knew, our friends were telling other friends and it snowballed from there. It wasn’t ‘Let’s start out and be rock stars and make lots of money.’ We’re lovin’ it now; it’s a job.”
WINNING THAT ROLLING STONE CONTEST MUST HAVE BEEN THE POINT WHERE YOU SAID, “THIS IS FOR REAL”:
Carlberg – “Yeah, we made what was essentially the final four in that contest, and all four met up in San Francisco at the Fillmore. We opened up for Primus in front of Rolling Stone judges, and we won. They gave us a big check; we self-produced our next CD and that was used as the demo to shop us around to different labels. And here we are now.”
WHAT WAS YOUR MANIFESTO FOR THIS ALBUM?:
Carlberg – “We wanted the best of both worlds and go right down the middle. At our live shows, the songs can sometimes stretch out and solos can go to eight to 10 minutes. Obviously, we wanted a CD where our fans who see us live are going to like it, and people who’ve never heard us before, hopefully we can get some songs on the radio and get those people, too. We have some songs that are cut down for radio edits, and there’s also songs that are jammy and represent us in a live aspect.”
IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE YOU GUYS, YOU’RE ALL OVER THE MAP:
Carlberg – “I like to say it’s rock, jazz and funk combined. Everybody comes from different places and we come together, which is amazing. I’m like a classic rock, acoustic folk guy. Ross and Tim, they had jazz studies at UCLA, and Brian has a major in ethnomusicology, so he has this world music influence. It all comes into one.”
PHISH FANS ARE PHISH HEADS, WHAT ARE PSEUDOPOD FANS?:
Carlberg – “I’ve heard Podpeople and Podheads.”
WHAT DO YOU FORESEE FOR YOU GUYS IN THE FUTURE?:
Carlberg – “We’ve put different goals out there. When I was younger, I dreamed of playing with a group like Blues Traveler and we played at Red Rocks with them in July and (John) Popper came up and jammed with us. I could never have fathomed that happening. We keep reaching for other goals, like right now it would be great to hear a song on the radio and selling a lot of albums. We’ve toured with a lot of great bands and amazing venues. We’re huge on the touring thing and everyone feeds off the crowds.”