Posted by Tobias Carroll
Collectively, the four members of Point Juncture, WA make incredibly catchy pop music — their latest album, Handsome Orders, abounds with soaring choruses and fuzzed-out guitars. (See below for one example.) It’s a sound that’s impressively timeless; evading trends while still sounding contemporary.
Keyboardist and vocalist Victor Nash updated us on the current state of the band’s reading — from Dishwasher to Ursula K. Le Guin.
The bio for Handsome Orders mentions that the four of you live share a living space; has there been a growing overlap in the music you listen to and the books you’ve read as a result of that?
The house is an important center for all of us. Amanda and I ended up buying it a couple years ago, and building our studio there. We’re not all four living there (Skyler and Wilson have their own places) but we spend a lot of time hanging out there. We’re real close after eight years in this band, and we do a lot of our socializing, eating, watching movies, and recording there.
And books! I’m glad you asked about books. We do all read the same books and pass them around. I think that came out of years of van tours where everybody needs to keep busy and find a little place for themselves. We had a place in our old van called “the library” where we’d bungee all our books behind the last bench, and you could pick through and choose from what wasn’t being read.
What have you been reading lately?
To get ready for tour I’ll stock up on easy reads. A lot of sci-fi paperbacks and pulpy fiction: Arthur C Clark, Heinlein; there was a tour where we were all reading Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series. Amanda and I both read the Jason Bourne Trilogy on our last long national tour, Sheri S. Tepper, Ursula Le Guin. It’s nice to have a work of literature in your bag, but something that help’s you forget that you’re driving 8 hours a day and then spending another 8 hours in a bar every day is the best. Michael Azzerad’s Our Band Could Be your Life is a must have in the van. Reading about Black Flag eating dog food to stay alive and Mike Watt wearing a diaper on stage opening for REM can really get you through a rough stretch.
A couple years ago Wilson was going to school full time and was taking a class on genocide. He spent the whole tour reading and writing about the worst atrocities of human history. It was a dark tour. There was a palpable misery inside the van. He was a trooper. He tried not to spread it around too much but I hope we don’t have to do that again.
Zines are great. Cometbus, Burn Collector, Dishwasher. The Dishwasher book was one of my favorite tour reads of all time. Pete’s got a carefree outlook on life. His life is a rock and roll tour but with dish washing engagements instead of shows. I use his joke all the time: “He told me I had no class. I took that to mean I was helping to forward a classless society.”
What are some of your favorite books? Have you found that that list has stayed constant or evolved over the years?
We’ve all got our favorites. I re-read all the Hemingway books every couple years. I know Wilson likes him as well. Italo Calvino is someone Wilson has turned both me and Amanda on to. Cormac McCarthy we’ve all read. I tried to write some songs based on my impressions of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses.
Are any of you making art in disciplines other than music?
We do lots of art other then music. We didn’t on this record, but we’ve always done spray paint stencils for our packaging, and Amanda and I have taught spray paint workshops in the past at Portland’s awesome IPRC.
(Photo by Christopher Nelson.)