by Dan Bolles
Tomorrow's edition of Seven Days features an interview with Thee Silver Mt. Zion co-founder Efrim Menuck. As so often happens, the confines of the print edition require that conversations such as this one be trimmed down to fit the physical limitations of the space. Thanks to the unceasing wonders of the Internet, no such constraints exist in the blogosphere. So you, loyal Solid State readers, get to check out the interview in its entirety. Enjoy.
PS- If you haven't bought tickets to this show yet, you really should. Like now.
A Conversation with Thee Silver Mt. Zion’s Efrim Menuck
Tick Tick Presents: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band with Oak and Greg Davis & Friends this Friday at First Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington, 8 p.m. $12/13/15. AA.
STORY: DAN BOLLES
The members of Montreal’s Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band have passionate social and political beliefs, reflected by an equally passionate fan base — even though their music itself is rarely explicitly political. Seven Days recently spoke with SMZ co-founder Efrim Menuck about politics, misconceptions and a certain ad for the TV show “Lost,” in advance of their upcoming Burlington performance.
SD: TSMZ is often tabbed as a “political” band. But that seems to be a designation you bristle at.
EFRIM MENUCK: For the most part we get broadly cast as a political band or anarchists or openly idealistic. There are all sorts of generalizations made about us, and I think that’s what I bristle at. We don’t conceive of ourselves as activists or political. We just think of ourselves as formed, grown-up human beings who choose to write songs that sort of address the mess that the world is in. There aren’t any statements we’ve made that are contentious or anything. They all seem to be plainly held truths by most people. You know what I mean? I don’t know why people feel the need to characterize us as “political anarchists” or anything. But it’s really far from the truth.
It’s frustrating too. There was a time — I mean, it seems like forever ago now — where, like a lot of people, we were sort of on the margins of the anti-globalization movement and going to protests and stuff like that. There’s a level of politicization that happens in that context that we were definitely a part of. There were references made in songs, specifically about those types of movements.
It’s frustrating at points too because there are a lot of people [for whom] that whole milieu is alien to them. You’re trying to write songs that are kind of nuanced, but it’s kind of specific. It can be frustrating feeling like you have to give someone a sort of like “International Protest Movement for Beginners” spiel or something.
SD: Does that have anything to do with 13 Blues being the first album for which you’ve included lyrics with the liner notes?