Grapevine: Has playing in a local band always on the lookout for gigs and fans compromised your position as an underground music critic?
Bart: No. Bands that don’t like my reviews can now assault me whilst I play. Bands that do like my reviews have no use for me. I am like a cheap whore in that regard.
GV: You’re saying you’ve never used your journalistic credibility to get free publicity?
Bart: There’s this. This should take care of any credibility I earned. I could have told the Grapevine to send someone to interview me, but I believe they are afraid of me. (I fear no man! –ed.) I threatened to take a dump on the editor’s desk. (or his feces –ed.) I also said the editor’s hero Michael Pollock tends to ramble. And I think I may have stated that Sigur Rós were the worst interview in the world. I can’t believe they still let me write after I said Mínus outclassed Metallica.
GV: What is your ideal audience?
Bart: My ideal audience wears shirts and Brooks Brothers jackets with skulls on them and shivers from the cold. No, sorry that’s my ideal audience in hell. An ideal is an audience that likes songs but doesn’t discuss top ten lists or bands they hate. I’d also prefer people who listen to whole CDs instead pressing shuffle on their iPods and then claiming their iPod has a personality.
GV: Two easy targets: Dead clothing and iPods. Maybe you should write for DV?
Bart: True. I also mocked my childhood heroes The Violent Femmes for saying they were from New York, but I always introduce myself as from Brooklyn. Even though the Femmes and I are from Racine, Wisconsin.
GV: Describe your music.
Bart: The Foghorns are playing guitar and bucket music influenced by Hank Williams and early bluesmen like Blind Lemon Jefferson.
GV: So you somehow skipped the last thirty years of music. How authentic.
Bart: No. I listened to older artists because Bob Dylan and Lou Reed mentioned them. But I play like old musicians because I don’t have money or equipment or skill to sound like Dylan when he had a band. And Dylan is too familiar. I’d rather rip off his influences.
GV: Your lyrics all seem to be about failed relationships.
Bart: That’s only if you listen to the words. A lot of people see me playing guitar and harmonica and think I’m singing protest songs. “I’m a filthy old man you date ‘cause you got nothing better to do” can be read a few different ways, I guess.
GV: Why should anyone see a Foghorns show?
Bart: The bucket. Bucket plays a mean bucket. Also there’s a possibility that one of the people I interviewed may beat me to a pulp or otherwise humiliate me. I’ve also been electrocuted on stage. Many Icelanders found this amusing. I also sing songs I believe in, songs that are open and about parts of life you usually don’t hear out loud.