Spud Cannon | The Family Interviews
Meet Spud Cannon
Spud Cannon is not just an incredibly dangerous way to launch starchy vegetables into mid-air. It is also, in fact, an incredibly talented band that launches “sloppy kiss rock” into mid-air.
Formed while at Vassar College, these baby spuds stay true to their house party roots and make some fun tunes. Their most recent release, Squeeze, is a lively piece guaranteed to get you a bit messy.
Below, these potato rockets deliver what may be one of the most accurate portraits we’ve received, reveal their childhood professional dreams, and the differences between Poughkeepsie and NYC.
Pick up your potato of choice, have a little snack, and read on below.
Would You Rather…
live in a house with no windows or no doors? (There are still doorframes just no doors) Please explain your answer.
Jackson: Definitely a house with no doors--living in a house sans window would be rough on my psyche. However, living with no doors would also kinda suck. Potato Pototo I guess.
Lucy: I would go with windows over doors any day. You can get in and out just as easily and so can the light.
Meg: if this house is in no danger of being broken into than NO DOORS all the way for reasons stated above. If not, though, I might go with no windows in the interest of preserving my life.
Some Questions with Spud Cannon
What did you want to be growing up?
Jackson: I definitely wanted to be a professional skateboarder for a bit. I was always terrible though--I never could bring myself to jump downstairs or anything wild like that. I still do skate for fun. However, by the middle of high school, being a professional musician/rockstar/band dude definitely took its place.
Lucy: I went through several different phases. In high school, I was really into Grey’s Anatomy, so I decided I wanted to be a doctor, but my dismal track in AP Biology definitely helped that idea fade. I also had a short period of wanting to be a lawyer after reading a really good book but music has been the most consistent theme throughout my life. All the nerdy orchestra and bluegrass camps that I went to only solidified my passion for music.
Ari: The first thing I ever wanted to be was a paleontologist -- I really love Jurassic Park. Then I moved on to a doctor, mortician (briefly), detective, etc., until I realized that I needed creativity in my life. I’ve played piano my whole life but joining a band in high school really started the ball rolling
Meg: An OB-GYN! I remember running home from school in 2nd grade to catch “A Baby Story” on TLC, and I would make all my friends play with the “pregnant Barbie” whose baby I’d deliver. Later on, I wanted to be an actress, so I went to an arts high school in NYC (LaGuardia) to major in drama - the toxic environment kind of killed that dream. Simultaneously, I always wanted to be a songwriter but didn’t like any song I’d written until Spud’s first song, Midnight, happened.
Describe your sound in three colors.
Lucy: Red, purple, cream
Ari: Purple, green, gold
Meg: Gold, purple, silver
What was the best encounter you had with a fan?
Jackson: There are two that come to mind for me. It was my 21st birthday on tour last year and after a show, a fan invited us to come key his car with our band name. That was pretty wild. Another pretty great one was when we were having this catastrophic night in San Antonio as our show kept getting bumped to different venues around town. We literally loaded into three separate venues. Ultimately we didn’t even play. But a small group of fans was following us from spot to spot, and one of them happened to be a local TV news reporter. He did a really funny reporter style show update for our Instagram, and then at the end of the night I gave him a t-shirt, and he gave me the paisley button-down shirt he was wearing. The gesture meant a lot even though I never wear paisley, and months later at a different date, I actually returned the shirt to him. Funnily enough, both of these happened in San Antonio a year apart. Whacky town.
Lucy: It’s really hard to pick just one encounter, but it’s always amazing when people in the crowd sing the words of our songs back to us.
Ari: While we were in San Antonio on our first tour, a fan met us outside of the venue and let us key his car!
What is the dynamic like between all of you when creating new music? Is it often a more collaborative process?
Jackson: We tend to use the same vague workflow. I’ll write a very loose sketch of a chord pattern or maybe even have a single riff, and then we will flesh the song out together in a practice space. It is a very collaborative process. We always joke that writing a song is almost like birthing a child. If we feel that the initial chord pattern of riff is any good, we will say ‘this fetus has legs’. The record we are currently working on has been our most collaborative to date in my opinion, and it has been an absolute blast.
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
Jackson: I’m currently reading Keep Music Evil: The Brian Jonestown Massacre Story and I love it. Truly one of my favorite bands. I’ve been reading it for a while though--I’m a very slow reader.
Lucy: I have been reading a lot this summer, and the book that stands out to me most is Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s a fictional interview-style book about the dynamics of being in a band with a lot of different strong personalities. It’s funny and crazy and relatable.
Ari: I just finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Highly recommend -- it’s a dark murder mystery combined with a narrative of personal struggle and self-destruction. Loved it.
Did anyone's foot get cooked during the photoshoot of your album "Squeeze"?
Jackson: If only. It is actually a photo we licensed from the artist Gab Bois, who also did the cactus mouth on our first record. She has an incredible aesthetic. However, we did decide to photoshop in the yellow nail.
If you could speak the same language as one animal on the planet which would you choose? What would you do?
Jackson: Ruff Ruff. Ruff. Ruff Ruff. (incomprehensible dog speak).
Lucy: I would speak to birds so that I could get them to carry messages to people and tell me all the crazy stuff they see flying over the world.
What is the best drinking game to play with people? (have you ever invented one?)
Lucy: I recently invented an incredibly fun drinking game called Chug the Duck (patent pending). It involves a room full of people with drinks, and a small rubber duck. The goal of the game is to throw the duck across the room into another player’s cup. If the duck goes in, you have to chug your drink, if it hits the rim, you take a sip, if you miss completely, you take a sip. Whoever receives the duck gets the next shot.
Are there any major differences between the music scene in Poughkeepsie, and in NYC?
Jackson: They couldn’t be more different--Poughkeepsie is borderline a music desert. There is no scene whatsoever there. For most of our time as a band, you could seriously count the number of Poughkeepsie bands on one hand. Kids do want more music though, and that’s why I think we were always given a bit of a homecourt advantage there.
What was your first show like together as a band?
Jackson: Oh geez. My Place Pizza on main street in Poughkeepsie. In attendance was the other band and the guy serving pizza. And very crappy pizza at that.
Ari: My Place Pizza was a stinker and I don’t think we even got pizza out of it!
Lucy: My Place Pizza was our first show. In retrospect, I’m grateful that only about three people showed up.
Meg: Haha. Haaa. My Place Pizza truly sucked, but the first show we played with Ben on drums was amazing - it was in this huge space on campus called the Aula that we somehow packed. Big lights, fans who knew the words, even a little crowd surfing!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Jackson: When somebody in our band buys Broccoli at a gas station in the middle of nowhere Kentucky and stinks up the van! (it was actually quite funny but the smell was not)
Do you have any upcoming projects you are excited about?
Jackson: We are working on our next record at the moment, and it’s been so much fun. I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Ari: So many! A new album, maybe some videos, maybe some new merch… Working on a new album is such an exciting and busy time, and it comes with so much potential for creativity.
Lucy: There is so much to look forward to! Our next album is bangers only and the artwork and music videos going with it are going to be top-notch.
Which was better Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network?
Jackson: Mmm tough question. My dad worked for Warner Bros animation when I was a kid so that’s pretty much what I was spoon-fed to watch. Justice League, Xiaolin showdown, Batman, etc.
Ari: Cartoon Network -- Meg, Lucy, and I were the Powerpuff Girls for Halloween last year! But yeah, Courage the Cowardly Dog is my spirit animal and I live for Scooby-Doo.
Lucy: Nickelodeon holds a special place in my heart because of Spongebob, which I still occasionally watch to this day. Love that holey little guy and all his optimism.
Any final comments? (This is your electronic soapbox for one last answer.)
Jackson: Boogie woogie oogie till ya can’t boogie woogie oogie no mo’.