Pterodactyl's Joe Kremer

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How did the Kickstarter campaign go for the video for “School Glue”?

It worked, it was kind of stressful. I don’t know if you have done something like that, but I mean it’s like you got your hands full sending out e-mails to relatives, friends, friends of relatives. It worked how it’s supposed to work and it was pretty awesome. It’s all thanks to the everyone who made that difference.

That song is crazy. it has this guitar that sounds like a Jurassic Park pterodactyl. How you accomplish that wailing sound?

The whole record has a bunch of stuff on it because we had free reign to do whatever we want on it, and we did all the overdubs ourselves. There are hundreds of overdubs on this record. So there are probably physically four guitars, but the one I think that you’re talking about I played through an octave pedal that I’m turning on and off. So there's this bow when the ocatave is off, where it’s all octave and it makes that robotic humming sound. When I stomp on it, it makes that (recreates the effect vocally) with those few notes. On the record it’s cool! I think we did that on two other songs too…the more the merrier!

Most bands mellow the fuck out by their third album but I think that you guys have gotten louder.

Have you heard the whole thing yet?

Yes indeed.

Well I’m happy to hear that you think we didn’t lose our sound but at the same time I know that there are songs on there that the old school fans of the first record are going to be like, ‘What’s going on here? There’s shit with piano, and acoustic guitar, what are they doing?’ I think we’re just trying to branch out forward and for some of the songs that means exploring a tender side from being stuck in the ways of something that is way I gnarly. So appreciate your comment that we still sound badass even though there are some things on the songs that are decidedly not as badass or intense.

Going back to “School Glue” for a minute, if you would be down with Elmer’s Glue as a tour sponsor?

Oh totally! We could do like, “Elmer’s Stuck on Pterodactyl Tour 2011” or something like that. I would much prefer a tour sponsored by Elmer’s Glue than Camel cigarettes or Red Bull, I can’t handle that shit. Are Elmer’s interested in sponsoring Pterodactyl, have you been talking to them?

I haven’t been talking to them personally but with tracks like “Nerds” and “School Glue” I did get caught up in some school daze trip to back in the day.

We could get sponsored by Nintendo Entertainment System, that would be great.

What subject do you teach outside of Pterodactyl?

I taught physics but I will go back to teaching physics again. These kinds of Pterodactyl-related oppurtunities were closing, like we had a chance to throw ourselves into this record in a way that we hadn’t done before. I wanted to leave work temporarily for other reasons too and they were never really my intentions to leave, I tend to be a workalic-esque teacher. I’m not the only one like that, certainly, but I was trying to do something about that. I think what ended up happening was I left this one sphere where I was able to throw myself into work and found another sphere where I could throw myself into work. Everything that was consuming me in a bad way about being a teacher has been consuming in the same way with this band now, with the studio and everything. In a way I have more time and presence of mind to wrap my head around the whole thing which is good. No, great!

Three things you have to have while touring.

Three things…well definitely one of those AC power converters that can turn your cigarette lighter into a real outlet. Very important. Water bottles are a really nice thing and a small pillow. A very functional item.

Utilitarian, all good to have! So the song “Aphasia,” is devoid of conventional language and speaks through skronk. It's the big blow out at the end of the album and I wondered if anyone in the band suffer from impairment of language?

From time to time, but not clinically! I think there is a theme on the record of not just being in touch with yourself but also communicating with other people in an honest and real way. And that song is kind of about when it comes down to it you are responsible for yourself. I’m getting in over my head here, but kind of the struggle to communicate. Like the three of us in the band are pretty close friends and when we get pissed off it totally shows, the gloves come off immediately, there is a lot of tense moments and the communication is a challenge.

Thoughts and sentiments on the Occupy movement?

It’s awesome, it’s been really exciting to see it travel across the country, I think the movement has the most resonance outside the actual grounds where the protests are taking place. Jesse our bass player has been out there a bunch, he actually got arrested. We were supposed to play some acoustic show and he texted at the last minute, ‘I think I’m getting pinned in by some orange fencing on the Brooklyn Bridge, I think I’m probably going to get arrested and not going to be able to make it to the show,’ and that ended up being the case. He one of those 700 on the bridge. But what the movement is doing well is being an outlet for so many frustrations over what is being done or not being done. At this stage in what could be a very long battle or at least a long process of localizing our frustrations from the left, I think it’s a great thing that it hasn’t coalesced around one thing very specific. I think that there is times where it gels around a few specific interests, but people are really taking notice.