The Dear Hearts: the new Les Paul + Mary Ford, with a dollop of Loretta Lynn.
Who are you wearing?
Karen: If you could see us right now, you probably wouldn't ask...
Nikt: A nicotine monkey on my back.
Karen: Yes, but what is the monkey wearing? This is like a zen riddle or something.
Pipe or cigar?
Nikt: Pipe, please.
Karen: Neither. All of the elementary school D.A.R.E. propaganda totally worked on me: smoking is gross.
Why so much hate for the rhythm section?
Karen: We don't hate the rhythm section, we're just crazy for guitars! Also, we're lazy. It's so much easier to wrangle up two people for a practice or a tour than three or four. My old band [Magic City] didn't have bass either, so I'm just kind of used to it. The Oblivians and Cheater Slicks don't have bass so we're in good company on that one. Anyway, my guitar is noisy enough to make up for a few missing instruments. Of course, if Duck Dunn wants to join, we'd be happy to give him a shot. Nikt has a drum machine like Suicide's, but we haven't really been able to make that work with our sound...we'll see.
UPDATE: Gloria Estefan was right: the rhythm finally got us. We now have the legendary Tony LoFi keeping that crazy rock n roll beat.
What's the dirtiest word you know in Italian?
Nikt: 'mmocca a chi t' è muorto (Neapolitan dialect, phonetic transcription).
Karen: He was very excited about that question! He even went and checked the correct spelling online. I'll tell you what it means...for a price. The only other place I've heard that extremely filthy phrase is in an Italian kids' movie, go figure.
Runner up for dirty word: Sporchissimo.
What band would have to play only in Ohio for you to go back there?
Nikt: Red Krayola.
Karen: Yikes, that's tough. Nothing has lured me back to Ohio yet...
Nikt: I want to change my answer to pipe or cigar.
Karen: Wait, what? Oh, ok. To what?
Nikt: Pipe and cigar. Please.
Karen: Could you smoke the cigar in the pipe?
Nikt: Yeah, that's a good idea.
Karen: Are you being sarcastic?
Karen: Back to Ohio...I would probably head back to the Buckeye State if Greg Cartwright were stuck there in a forcefield or a county jail or something. Oh! Or a Them Wranch reunion! That would be awesome. Them Wranch + Dear Hearts, anybody?
Nikt: Shall I explain what my dirty word means? It's really an expression, not just a word...
Karen: You are all out of order today. Do you want to give it away already? Not really much for mystery, are you?
Nikt: Maybe people should just Google it? It's hard to explain...it means you're threatening to have oral sex with someone dead who was dear to the person you're insulting.
Karen: Is this really what you want associated with our band? You did manage to use the word 'dear' though...
Nikt: It's folkloric. It's sweet.
Best way to beat off groupies hitting on your dude?
Karen: Oh, I see, so he's the good looking one?
Nikt: Yeah, like Dee Dee was the good looking one in the Ramones and Ringo in the Beatles.
Karen: Oh, now I see. Um, I don't know...I guess I'm a fan of the good old-fashioned evil eye.
Why is the Reigning Sound so awesome?
Karen: Why isn't the Reigning Sound awesome?! I want to be in that band when I grow up. Greg Cartwright is a genius and he has a knack for putting together an awesome backing band, too. Each lineup has had its own vibe, but they've all been great in the end. I'm really glad they have an organ player again. The live shows are really what does it though, I think. I saw them in Columbus once at Cafe Bourbon St. and by the end of the night Greg was playing with like three broken strings and a shot voice. It was absolutely beautiful.
On a semi-related note: Jack Oblivian is criminally underrated. A while back, I went to Southpaw for a Reigning Sound show that was super jam-packed, and a few days later the joint was a ghost town for Jack O. Totally unfair, but he rocked it anyway. Good stuff.
Nikt's eyes are glazing over, so I'll stop now, haha. Next question!
Cheech or Chong?
Nikt: Cheech, of course. Wait, he's the short one, right?
Nikt: That's right! Yeah, Cheech. Because Chong is the good-looking one, but Cheech is the sensitive introspective one.
Karen: Uh huh. He's also a Jeopardy champion. Bu they're both in After Hours, which is awesome, so I'll call it a tie.
If the Dear Hearts were a pizza, what would the toppings be?
Karen: What?! You are not allowed to order pizza anymore. We need a tough rock n roll answer...like gin and kitten paws or something. Yeah, I think that's what Robert Mitchum would've ordered, so let's go with that.
Are you really evil?
Karen: Well played, sir. Well, according to my driver's license, my middle initial is "E". I can only assume that it must stand for evil.
The Dear Hearts on Facebook
The Dear Hearts play Local 269 in NYC on Monday, May 14 with Big Riff, Michael Lynch and Paul Caporino of M.O.T.O.
The Dear Hearts are also featured on the first ever ONE CHORD PROGRESSION PODCAST! Take a listen HERE.