interview | Ezra Furman



Photo Courtesy of Rosie Wagner

Ezra Furman just released music from his first solo project, Day of the Dog under bar/none records. After playing for 6 years with The Harpoons, Furman has moved on to a new band, The Boyfriends. We talked to him and found out about his skeptical feelings towards love, goals, and people’s everyday modes. But he is positive about some things: music’s ability to save the world and The Beatles!

Your tour is in full swing, how did you gear up for it?

I’m trying to take it up a step in terms of performance. We’ve been playing the shows rehearsing a lot and thinking about showmanship.

Can you describe the visuals on stage a bit?

It’ll be just showmanship on a band level, no bells and whistles you know, just good transitions and drama in the music – dynamic changes but we might make a banner.

So you have a new band playing with you, Who are the boyfriends?

They’re musicians. I’ve come into contact with many musicians in my time being a musician. They’re just lowlifes from Chicago, just desperate people with nothing to lose that stay up late at night. Thats the kind of people I want on my team.

How do the Harpoons feel about your new guys?

I think they like them–I mean The Harpoons kind of stopped playing music; they have greater things to accomplish in life.

What did you study at Tufts?

I studied english and liberal arts – Unfocused Studies. You can capitalize that too if you want.

Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?

No, I don’t have a plan now, and I didn’t have a plan then. I do what interests me. I do the things that make me feel alive. Its become my job to be a person who feels alive and tries to share that feeling. I was just working on being a great songwriter in college, that was my goal then. I didn’t know if I was going to be a pro. I’m not interested in my music career, I’m interested in the music that I make if you see the difference there.

Whats the next step for you? Do you have any goals?

I would love to be rich and famous but its not really my job, my job is just to do this as well as I can. I hope we play festivals and I hope we make enough money to live and I hope a lot of people hear my music. I kind of gave up making big goals and having goals as a professional musician.

Why is that?

Well they only stress me out. I’d go around feeling upset because this website didn’t review me and we didn’t get to play a certain show so I got upset about something I didn’t really care about. So now I just focus on the music, the better I get the better chance I have. The best chance I have is to make something that engages.

We saw this quote on your blog: “Don’t turn your back on love, not even for a second. You never know what’s plotting.” Would you consider yourself a romantic?

Ya, I said that because it might stab you in the back. That’s the play on that, you gotta keep your eye on it. I believe in love and hope and I also believe in being dissatisfied and dysfunctional. I’ve got a bipolar streak you might say… in all aspects of life.

It’s really exciting that you signed to bar/none in the last year. How’s that going?

It’s the same, just that they were able to put up some money instead of me doing a kickstarter again. They were able to hire a publicist and make little articles get written and that kind of thing. I had my second thoughts about it, but I’m really glad I went with the label because I think this is a really good record and it deserves the energy they can give to it.

There are some great bands over there! Do you have any favorites?

I really like some of their old stuff like the first They Might Be Giants album. That’s what was exciting to me: to be on the same label as them. I also like The Frontbottoms–I just heard since I signed with bar/none.

Who are some of your favorite artists, lets say top 5?

I used to always say … oh I don’t know… how could I say? Probably Los Beatles… I mean, what could be more powerful than The Beatles? I really like the band Girls. I like The White Stripes and The Replacements and I like Sam Cooke so thats five. I listen to so much music, I gotta tell you.

How do you hope to influence people with your music?

I wanna be involved in peoples lives in the way that music I love is involved in my life. The music I love is important to me, it creates new worlds where I hang out. It makes me feel different, this is what we need, I think people need to find ways to feel different than their usual selfish and bored mode.


Get Tickets to see Ezra Furman

Ezra Furman Official Website

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