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Cheer-Accident

Interviewed by Gary Hill

Interview with Thymme Jones of Cheer-Accident from 2018

MSJ:

Can you catch the readers up on the history of your involvement in music – sort of a "highlights reel?"

You know, when I think of a "highlights reel," at least in terms of what would translate into interesting "copy," I think of mostly extramusical moments, such as: ending a show with a 15-minute Buddy Rich rant (which was a surprise to all of the guest musicians onstage); interrupting our set with a church board budget meeting (which we'd all memorized, each of us playing a role in said "meeting"); instead of playing music (at Fireside Bowl, on NYE going into 1998), we decided to have an awards ceremony (wherein we won 17 out of the 18 awards given). Sometimes we play a one-chord/one-groove riff in a city park for eight hours at a time; sometimes we turn into statues onstage for a few minutes.

MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Earning a living.

MSJ:

The sort of twist of a term concept is obvious, but is there any special meaning to the name of the band?

Initially, I was just struck by the phrase (which I first encountered, hyphen and all) at a Hallmark card shop in Palatine, Illinois.

 

Over the years, the name has accumulated more meaning(s). If you were to take it somewhat literally, I think it points to the serendipity that we put at the highest premium in the band.

MSJ:

What's the best thing that's ever been said about your music?

My friend, Virginia, once said that, even when our music is accentuating the masculine side of things, we never lose touch with the feminine. She said that a long time ago, and I don't know if I'm translating the sentiment well through the years, but it made me feel good.

MSJ: What's ahead for you?

I'm gonna head down South for a couple weeks and sort through about a dozen hours of music to see what's gonna go where.

MSJ: I know many artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?

I wouldn't. "You kind of have to be there."

MSJ:

In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?

If the performance is good, I'm happy. If it's ungood, I cringe.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?

No, and my brain is thirsty.

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

I got to see the Sun Ra Arkestra (for the third time-- the first time, in 1990, was when Sun Ra himself was still with us) on the night before New Year's Eve, here in Chicago. It was (inter) stellar!

MSJ:

Do you remember the first concert you attended?

I do! It was Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass at Arlington Park Race Track in the summer of 1968.
MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?

I'm happy to say that Cheer-Accident is now a two-Nord family, so I look forward to exploring that world.

MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”

I really despise that term, because I don't think one should be guilt-ridden for experiencing pleasure. The Puritan strain is quite strong in our culture, thank you, and I don't care to give it more energy than it's already sucking out of us. If something is pleasurable, it augments the goodness of being alive. Okay, but in this context, I suppose "guilty pleasure" means "what pop music do you like?" I love The Police. Just about all of it. Tears For Fears. The Beatles. The Monkees. Dionne Warwick. The Carpenters.

MSJ:

What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

There have been so many that I couldn't possibly pick just one. Maybe it would be easier to pick a non-Spinal Tap moment.

 

How about this: there was this one time we played at the Park West in Chicago (opening up for Shudder To Think), and the stage volume was absolutely perfect. I could hear the tiniest nuance from everyone onstage. The soundcheck was completely stress-free. There was no issue finding the stage. All of the people who worked there were incredibly kind and conscientious. Our set was just the right balance of chaos and order. Even a broken guitar string turned out to be a work of art.

MSJ: If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?

Kate Bush, Herb Alpert, Andrei Tarkovsky

MSJ: What would be on the menu?

Chicken makhani

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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