20 Questions: The Blakes

Photo: David Belisle

Known for their whiskey-tinged guitar riffs, jangly rhythms, and power-pop vocal harmonies, the Blakes have been lauded for their infectious sound by SPIN and Iggy Pop. Forever touring in support of their debut full-length album, the Blakes tour this spring with the Gossip and the Kills. Drummer Bob Husak answers PopMatters' 20 Questions.

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?

I cried while watching The Cutting Edge, but let's keep that between you and me. I mean, Moira Kelly was really a sweet girl under her aloof veneer, someone just had to get her to open up.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Columbo. I'll tell ya, I got this cousin Ralph who says I look just like him, but he's kinda cockeyed so it's hard to trust his opinion. Now me, I think I'm more of a Rockford type. You know, it's funny how people are different.

Oh, there's just one more thing. I don't have a glass eye. Let me ask you this: Was Columbo supposed to have a glass eye, or was Peter Falk's glass eye playing the part of a real eye?

3. The greatest album, ever?

Jackie Gleason's Music to Make You Misty. Women will melt if you put this on. Besides, it has the best cover ever, bar none.

4. Star Trek or Star Wars?

My roommate lobbies hard for Star Trek. Again, let's keep this under wraps, but I think Janeway's really got something going for her, I mean in a sexual way.

5. Your ideal brain food?

Liner notes to the first three Chicago albums are pretty far out.

6. You're proud of this accomplishment, but why?

Digging irrigation trenches with a pickaxe and a shovel for my dad's landscaping business when I was fourteen, because life's no pink tea and it's healthy to learn that at an early age.

7. You want to be remembered for...?

Amusing anecdotes at LA parties attended by aspiring sitcom writers who liberally borrow my material. That's what I want, but I don't know if I'll get there.

8. Of those who've come before, the most inspirational are?

Sonny Liston, for paving the way for people like me, and Icicle Works, for effort.

9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?

The Desiderata. That one just nails it, right?

10. Your hidden talents...?

I can skin a buck, I can run a trout line, and a country boy can survive.

11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?

Keep clam. Ivar's seafood restaurants in Seattle showed me the light.

12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?

A close family member sent me a tape of Poison from prison when I was seven. Changed my whole shit.

13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or...?

Anything that's colored blue....

14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?

Lady Bird Johnson if she hadn't just died. We lose the good ones early.

15. Time travel: where, when and why?

Russia, 1913 so I could experience the good life as a peasant under the rule of Tsar Nicolas II. Maybe eat some boiled fish, pick some mushrooms, I don't know....

16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?

Spa vacation, seriously.

17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or...?

Music music music music music music.

18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?

Olympic Peninsula, Washington State, far far away from monotonous sunshine.

19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?

How long is your fly fishing cast?

20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?

Things. Why?

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