Sure, we're always curious to know about an artist's upcoming release, most recent tour, or arsenal of analog gear, but XLR8R's also got a curiosity for quirk. Thus, each week, we email a different artist and find out what makes them tick, in the studio and in life. Brighton, U.K.-based four-piece Fujiya & Miyagi released Lightbulbs in 2008. Today, bandmember David Best talks bad shows in London, great shows in Dublin, Morgan Freeman, and gout.
What are you listening to right now?
David Best: At this very second, I'm listening to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins singing “I Hear Voices.” Other than that, I've been listening to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band a lot, especially the LPs Framed and Next.
What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?
That my name was Eric, which was my grandfather’s name. Not really a great story, I admit.
What band did you want to be in when you were 15?
I wanted to be in Dinosaur Jr. I’ve just got a new guitar, which is the J Mascis Jazzmaster. Maybe nothing much has changed from when I was 15. I even had my hair like him and couldn’t see where the ball was when I played football. That was the main reason I stopped playing.
Worst live show experience?
There [have] been quite a few that have gone wrong, with equipment packing up and things like that. One at Cargo in London a few years back springs to mind, where everything just stopped and we stood there like idiots. The bad ones always tend to be in London, for some reason. Sometimes you think you played badly and people liked it and sometimes you think you played well and people are indifferent. So I now just judge a show on the crowd reaction.
Favorite city to play in?
My favorite city is New York, but the best place to play is Dublin, without a shadow of a doubt.
What do you do to calm yourself down?
I imagine that Morgan Freeman is stroking my hair and telling me not to worry.
What is your favorite thing you own?
A few years ago, I started collecting old soul singles, so probably one of them. Maybe Chuck Wilder’s “The Clown.”
Name one item of clothing you can't live without.
I’m not that into clothes, really. I think of them as a necessity and purely functional, like walking or going to sleep. We used to all wear tracksuit tops, but I’m not that into them anymore. I’ve got a nice white Sergio Tacchini one.
Which is more frightening: spiders, the dark, food additives, crowded places.
I’m not that keen on crowded places, so it’s quite lucky I’m in this group, rather than a more popular one.
What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?
I was a very good boy. I can’t remember anything really bad. I rode my BMX over the flowerbed once and got a smack, which I still think was an overreaction.
What other artist would you most like to work with?
What's the last thing you read?
I just finished a book on Roxy Music by Michael Bracewell. It’s more about how they came together rather than an album-by-album type of biography. I’m also 74 pages into Ulysses by James Joyce. He had a way with words.
Complete this sentence: In the future...
Everything will only be slightly different than it is now.
Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?
I got gout, which didn’t make me feel like the cleverest fellow around.
We have been making up new songs, which is quite exciting for us. We think we’ve gone as far as we can with the sound we have had on the last two records and now it is time for something different. Other than that, we are heading back to the States in a couple of weeks, and then some shows in France. I like the French.