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20 Questions: The End of the World

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Thursday, Dec 11, 2008
by PopMatters Staff
Photos: Michael Schmelling
Stefan Marolachakis from the End of the World talks to 20 Questions. The Brooklyn band's latest album French Exit came out on Flameshovel Records this fall.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
I got a little choked up when I saw Man on Wire, the documentary about Philippe Petit. He’s the man who walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers the year they were erected. It’s the most poetic movie I’ve seen in a long time. Oh, and I almost found myself crying when I went to see Ghost Town, the Ricky Gervais vehicle, in Chicago last week. I guess a good hangover can make you a little emotionally vulnerable.


2. The fictional character most like you?
I’d like to say George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life). Maybe we can throw in a dash of David Addison (Bruce Willis on Moonlighting).


3. The greatest album ever?
Today it’s a toss up between Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Be (The Replacements’ one). I’ll say side two of Tattoo You. That sets the right mood for me these days. Best album ever is just an impossible question.


4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Wars for sure. Han Solo was a hell of a guy. I could never relate to anybody on Star Trek—except for when Spock laid the hammer down on the guy with the boombox in Star Trek IV. I enjoyed that.


5. Your ideal brain food?
Anything new. The less I fall into routine, the better. Variety keeps the brain strong.
  


6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
We played three shows in one day during CMJ this year, and that felt like a Herculean task. I was a bit nervous going into it, but it ended up being a great time. Surprisingly fun despite all the equipment moving and rushing around town.


7. You want to be remembered for…?
For being a man of my word who could be relied upon by his friends. And maybe even left behind a few interesting things for people to mull over.


8. Of those who’ve come before,  the most inspirational are?
Those guys who could wear many hats and make them all look good, like Paul Newman and George Plimpton. Anyone willing to stick their neck out and try new, different directions. Always a good thing to scare yourself.


9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Raging Bull, a Stefan Marolachakis film.


10. Your hidden talents . . .?
I think I’m probably one of the best whistlers in the world. I feel a bit underappreciated in that department.


11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Always let the olive oil heat over a low flame before you throw on the garlic.


12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
I bought a snare drum two days ago and I love it. It’s a 1968 Ludwig Pioneer, made of mahogany, as so many other wondrous things are. It’s a real beaut.


13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or . . .?
This jacket I bought a few weeks ago. It’s made by American Eagle. It’s not new but I’m sure it must have been at some point. What a jacket.


14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
My future wife. Don’t know if I’ve met her yet.


15. Time travel: where, when and why?
New York City, 1964, so I could see my parents at 19. That would blow my mind. I’d go catch my dad singing doo-wop at the World’s fair in Queens with my mom wandering in the crowd before they’d ever met.


16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
I vote spa vacation. I’m actually planning on making my first visit ever to the Russian Bath house in the East Village before we leave for tour. You pay them to beat you with tree branches, so I guess that sort of combines hit man with spa vacation.


17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka,  cigarettes, chocolate, or . . .?
Lately I’d say beer. I never thought I would like beer when I was a kid. I remember going to a party when I was a sophomore in high school, and this junior who played with me on the baseball team told me “one day, nothing’s going to taste better than an ice cold beer.” He wasn’t wrong.


18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
It’s been all city thus far, that’s all I really know. But I can feel myself leaning towards the country. I’m getting a little tired of all the hustle and bustle of city life.


19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
“Let’s run a nice little pick & roll this time, President Obama.” I mean, have you seen the man play ball on YouTube? What an inspiration.


20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Getting rid of the things I don’t need and considering the state of food in our country today. That, and the next issue of Take the Handle.

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20 Jan 2009
The fact that just two people can make a sound this full and invigorating makes French Exit one of the great hidden gems in music today.
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