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40 Watt Club

285 West Washington St

Athens, GA 30601

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of Montreal - Locate S,1

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Kevin Barnes’ Self Interview for “I Feel Safe With You, Trash”

Q - why do you feel safe with trash?

A- ‘cause trash and trashy things are underdogs and I’ve always identified with the discarded and unloved things of this world.

Q- did you steal the title from a movie? A- yes


A-...oh it’s called “1990:The Bronx Warriors”. The main character’s name is Trash, and at one point in the film the female lead tells him “I feel safe with you, Trash”. When I heard that line I knew it was significant and that I needed to use it for something.

Q- what about this line/movie resonated with you?

A- it is a sort of knockoff of “The Warriors” from around the same time, but I think it stands on it’s own as a great film. It’s very playful and awkward and it has it’s own logic. It has an energy and personality that I relate to.

Q- okay moving on, what are the musical influences on this album?

A- well I’ll just throw out a bunch of names that played some

role in the inspiration of the songs...ROSALÍA, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Thundercat, The Red Krayola, Xavier Cugat, PC Music, Holger Czukay, 100 gecs, Francis Bebey, SOPHIE...

Q- was your approach to making this album different from previous albums?

A- I really wanted this album to sound unlike the past albums and for it to have a strong identity of it’s own. I created an approach to working in which I’d attempt to George Costanza all of my creative decisions.

Q- what does that mean?

A- it means to think about what you’d naturally do and then do the opposite.

Q- do you feel you were able to accomplish that?

A- it’s hard to force yourself to do something creatively that feels “wrong” or not “you”. There were many instances during the recording sessions in which I felt kind of lost and confused about where the song was going but I found that sensation to be very exciting and so I intentionally cultivated that energy as often as I could.

Q- did you labor over the songs or did it all come together quickly?

A- it was a combination of both, if that’s possible. I spent

about 7 months working on it but it felt like the time went by

very fast. It was great to be able to completely immerse myself in a new project because Covid completely destroyed my plans for 2020. I feel like in a lot of ways the album saved my life because I think I would have gone crazy if I didn’t have a project like that to focus my thoughts and energies on.

Q- why did you decided to self release this instead of putting it out on Polyvinyl?

A- the original plan was to have Polyvinyl release the album but when I learned that it wouldn’t come out until August 2021 at the earliest I asked them if it would be okay for me to release it on my digital label. I felt like the songs were so deeply connected to this moment in time and that if it came out in August it wouldn’t really resonate as much with people. So much of the album deals with the alienation, depression, anxiety and dissociative feelings that arose as a result of being isolated at home because of the pandemic. It felt wrong to release it during some other phase of the moon.

Q- You recently “came out” as bisexual and non-binary, do you feel like going public with that personal information influenced this album at all?

A- I do. It felt liberating to announce it publicly and to be less guarded in the way I interface with the outside world. It sort of unlocked new voices with which I can now express myself.

I used to feel like I was play acting with my different

personas but now I realize that all of the aspects of my identity and self concept are equally authentic. I realized that there isn’t a “real me” and a “fake me”. Coming to terms with the fluidity of my gender/sexual identity and how it informed my work was very illuminating and inspiring. I sing on the new album “I walk alone in a body built for multitudes” and that’s how I truly feel. I’m alone in this body and I am everything in this body as well.

Q- you recorded this album in your home studio?

A- yes

Q- did you have any collaborators or special guests?

A- no but I did try to pretend that I was different people so that I could make believe that other people were playing on the album

Q- what do you mean?

A- well for example, If I was going to do a guitar overdub I would pretend to be a different person and imagine how that person would play guitar. I thought that would be a good way to try and expand how I approached playing and performing on the different instruments. I didn’t want it to sound like things I’ve done in the past. I pushed myself to play outside of my abilities. Becoming new people in my mind helped me play differently. I recommend it.

Q- did those personas ever spill over into your personal life?

A- yes I realized that a certain bass player persona was a better kisser than me, so now I only kiss Christina from that persona.

Q- seriously?

A- no but yes

Q- what is your plan for 2021?

A- I don’t know, I need to make a new album this year and I’ve started writing for it. The first song is tentatively titled “Fakes Orgasms, Has A Career”. I’ve discovered Delta 8THC and I think that might influence things a little. I’d like to spend the summer being very attractive...I mean...very active. I miss traveling and having adventures and hanging out with people. I think I might get into mountain hiking. I like that it’s impossible to fall off of a mountain unless it pushes you off. It’s a nice trust exercise with the universe.

Q- any last thoughts?

A- yes, I'd like to tell everyone that, obviously, the last year has been an intensely challenging test of our abilities to function and to maintain sanity and that, if you're reading this, you are an extremely strong and resilient human and you should feel proud of that.

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40 Watt Club

285 West Washington St

Athens, GA 30601

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No Refunds

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Organizer of of Montreal

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