We'll be chatting at 1PM EST today. Get your questions ready!

Verification: https://twitter.com/MalkmusAndJicks/status/420597429659238401

New album "Wig Out at Jagbags" out now: http://smarturl.it/wigouti

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MalkmusAndJicks

Comments: 439 • Responses: 81  • Date: 

SMandTheJicks36 karma

Hi everybody! We're here. We will be responding as such: Stephen:SM (duh) Mike Clark: MC , Joanna : JB, Jake: JM

Good after.....noon!

Frajer31 karma

So how did the voice of Geddy Lee get so high?

SMandTheJicks37 karma

MC: I just sorted the questions by "most controversial" and this one came up on top, so maybe I shouldn't answer it, but I'm guessing ice-fishing mishap?

SMandTheJicks30 karma

thanks everybody! Buy music when you can, keep going to shows, always be nice.

see you out there,

thanks for being there we really appreciate it! SM&Jicks

FascinatedPasserby19 karma

Stephen, in a 2006 interview, Lou Reed was asked to name some of his favorite younger bands. He struggled to provide an answer for a moment and then promptly answered: Pavement. Are you ever struck or flattered by certain fans of your work who have bodies of work you admire as well? I imagine being name-checked by Lou Reed would be pretty surreal.

SMandTheJicks37 karma

i dont believe that happened but if it did thats rad. i never expect oldsters to like pavement cuz it not really respectful of oldsters

lou was the best

aplausea16 karma

What do you think of Speedy Ortiz?

SMandTheJicks23 karma

love it!! love her lyrics

hit-ro15 karma

Hi guys. Which songs do you enjoy playing live the most? What's your favorite artist to cover?

SMandTheJicks16 karma

MC: I always loved "It Kills", but we haven't been playing it for awhile.

northernspecific14 karma

Hi Stephen

Big fan of the song Range Life. Feel like talking about it? What inspired you to write it?

SMandTheJicks33 karma

wanted to do an eagles style song but not all consumerist bloated. thought west coast contry rock was an interestng way to approach teenage yearning aclifornia style

caseyl12 karma

Would you ever consider doing a studio recording of the Billy Joel version of "Jenny and the Ess Dog" that you do live sometimes? Maybe for a charity comp?

SMandTheJicks22 karma

MC: Hey, just because it's piano-centric doesn't mean it's the "Billy Joel" version!!!! I like to think of it as the Steve Nieve version myself.

nolanbennettmusic5 karma

would love to hear elvis costello cover when you come to LA!!

SMandTheJicks9 karma

MC: come to the soundcheck!

FacePeppler10 karma

Hey, really enjoying Wig Out at Jagbags. Your last two albums have been less "jammy," if you don't mind me using that "word." What made you decide to scale back on that aspect? Also, there are some great puns in the lyrics on this new one.

SMandTheJicks21 karma

well i think we want to go more jammy in the gigs so you will get two sides of the band if you come see us. for some reason documenting jams on a record feels kinda silly to me right now. since they could go any number of ways and be totally different the next time, why put one on a record for eternity?

guess you could say that for every move on a record....

heytherehandsome9 karma

A friend of mine has had this poster on his wall forever. Just wanted to say it both excites and frightens me. Great job!

SMandTheJicks13 karma

JB: LOVE that poster!!!

my_third_account9 karma

I met you once at Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas, TX in March 2001. Do you remember me?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

JB: We remember you!

nolanbennettmusic8 karma

SM - I love hearing who my favorite guitarists were influenced by (specifically ones that tend to be left off most magazine lists). Who are a few of your favorite "underrated" guitarists?

SMandTheJicks26 karma

blur guy lungfish guy joe walsh devo guys bo anders

swedishreggae8 karma

Where did Jake get his sweet Frasier t-shirt?

SMandTheJicks15 karma

JM: My lovely girlfriend gave it to me in celebration of my forthcoming sports talk/music radio show on XRAY.FM coming soon in 2014

atlanticrim8 karma

I am both a big fan of indie-rock and a demented sports fan (I really love Chartjunk), so I've always loved that you guys also seemed to fit into this narrow slice of the venn diagram.

Steve: Do you think that your fans pick up on the sports references and terminology in your songs (ie: the secondary stumbles cause the cadence of the count has lead them astray)? Do you meet a lot of fans/contemporaries who are also big sports fans?

Jake: Rip City has been struggling recently and their defence is suspect, do you think they're still contenders in the West? PS The Joggers were awesome.

SMandTheJicks11 karma

JM: It's gonna be a long season, but Terry Stotts is a great coach and I think their D will improve throughout the year. They just need to do it more consistently and stay healthy and I believe they will succeed in exceeding expectations, as they have done thus far. Ie: Joggers...Thanks

rimrimpimpim7 karma

Is David Letterman as jazzed on you as he seemed when you played "Jenny and the Ess Dog" on the Late Show?

SMandTheJicks25 karma

is he peculiar. the darkest late night prescence

Jeremy_S7 karma

How do you guys decide on setlists for the tour? Do you guys practice any songs that just don't work out or never make it into the sets?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

MC: Obviously weighted for current album, but SM always seems to have even newer songs that get mixed in. Malediction on Face The Truth is one `i wish we played live, but we never worked out a good arrangement.

TheGreatDave7 karma

Is there a single song or lyric that you've written that over the years you've grown to dislike/hate/loath?

SMandTheJicks19 karma

so many over the years its impossible to count. thats the danger of being lyric person. some shit really dones age well. even after three months i feel like a fool

kaitenzhushi7 karma

What are your favorite snacks?

Big fan of yours. Keep up the great work!

SMandTheJicks11 karma

MC: I've been into Blue Diamond's wasabi almonds lately. And these new quasi gourmet Triscuits like rosemary black pepper are killer!

my_third_account7 karma

Who is the most fun band to tour with? The most lame?

SMandTheJicks17 karma

JM: Recently, Ty Segall. Really looking forward to this tours crop of openers!!!! Be on time!!!

littlebigcat7 karma

The only remaining copy of every LP ever recorded is piled high and about to be set alight until nothing remains. What record do each of you pull from the pile to save?

Looking forward to seeing you guys back in Glasgow.

SMandTheJicks16 karma

glasgow rules!

bring teenage fanclub everything flows 12"

arthbrooks6 karma

What was the guitar setup on Pig Lib?!?! Its awesome...

SMandTheJicks12 karma

really spartan. the last album i ever did in areally oldschool way. think i played les paul and jazzmaster

bussche6 karma

I have to say, Mirror Traffic is the "warmest" sounding record I've heard in years. Is there anything you guys consciously did in the studio to achieve that?

Also, what's your favorite fuzz pedal, Stephen?

SMandTheJicks18 karma

JB: If you mean sonically warm, that's just tape kiddo. If you mean emotionally warm, that's just Steve's sweet side coming out.

majestichooves6 karma

SM + Jicks: longtime superfan, congratulations on the fantastic new album. Now to my serious, serious, question. One thing that's always troubled me about the movie Space Jam is that the aliens acquired the basketball skills of Mugsey Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley. A backup point guard/center, two power forwards, and another center? That's an awful lineup –– it's a no-brainer that Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, and a smattering of cartoon animals would defeat them handily. So if you were aliens inhabiting the bodies of 5 mid-'90s NBA superstars of your choice, which ones would you choose?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

drexler and drexler, attourneys at law

SMandTheJicks8 karma

JM: Spud Webb or Mugsey Bouges

strayslacker6 karma

Hey SM & the Jicks,

SM, you have been famous for ad-libbing lyrics while studio recording with Pavement. Do you still do quite a bit of ad-libbing while in the studio with the Jicks or do you mostly stick to the script nowadays? I guess this can apply to the instrumentals, too.

The title Wigout at the Jagbags reminded me of reading about a song called "Shagbag" that was slated for Pavement's Terror Twilight that was "a load of noise type segue," according to Nigel Godrich. Is "shagbag" a bastardization of a "jagbag"? Also, this song was cut from TT and I've never heard it or seen it appear on any albums, compilation or otherwise. I tend to love songs that are, for lack of a better term, just noise; I would like to hear it.

Do you prefer center brownies or edge brownies?

SMandTheJicks18 karma


still ad libbing a lot

matmosher5 karma

Is @StephenMalkmus1 a fake twitter account?

SMandTheJicks16 karma

MC: look at the 1 account he's following. I'm pretty sure it's guerilla Taco Bell marketing.

SwaggerLeGodwin5 karma

Was listening to the new album at work today, it's great!

What are your thoughts on Elliott Smith's music Steve?

SMandTheJicks22 karma

eliot wrote so many great songs didnt he? love it

arthbrooks5 karma

How was the acid in Germany?

SMandTheJicks13 karma


mostlikelynope5 karma

What new(er) bands would you say carry the good music torch?

SMandTheJicks23 karma

MC: Pearl Jam.

RaspberryBang4 karma

What's the band's opinion on Colorado's recreational marijuana victory? You can get a whole ounce if you're from out of state!

SMandTheJicks12 karma

im all for legalizing weed. booze is poison by comparison and its legal so why not

tonebecerril4 karma

Any chance of coming to Mexico for Wig Out??

SMandTheJicks6 karma

JB: Really hope so!

tuffytoro4 karma

Morrissey: Overrated, underrated, or properly rated?

SMandTheJicks6 karma

MC: wait, is this the guy from Pitchfork over/under? I thought we already answered all your questions! (spoiler alert - mustard:underrated!). I'm still slogging through the Moz's autobiography, but I'm guessing over.

Sketch9999994 karma

Whats been your lamest gig yet? I was at one where some guy wouldnt stop requesting Half A Canyon. Now he was quite a character.

SMandTheJicks9 karma

one time in cardiff thecrowd was nonexistent

Mundial144 karma

Do all of these unrepentant fanboys ever frighten you? What about the rest of the band, what do you guys think about it? To all of you - were you unrepentant fanboys or fan girls for any bands, at any age? For who and for how long?

SMandTheJicks6 karma

MC: I'm an unrepentant fanboy of Pavement and it does frighten me.

cnc4 karma

How do you feel about streaming services like Spotify that allow people to stream music for free? Does the presumed loss of album sales but possible additional exposure affect you positively or negatively?

SMandTheJicks9 karma

im not sure.... sorry. it seems rather undefined right now. as a consumer its pretty amazing to have ...no wonder it thrives thus far. but the business model seems flawed

findable4 karma

Not really a question, but thanks for adding Jake Morris to the band. I was impressed by his performance during the Mirror Traffic tour at Metro in Chicago. He really fills John Moen's shoes in a way I never felt Janet Weiss quite did. Solid feel, great chops.

Looking forward to hearing tunes from the new album although I must say I am also hoping for some choice nugs from the S/T (Black Book, the Hook--although I would be happy with anything from this record), Pig Lib (Vanessa, 1%), and Face the Truth (Pencil Rot, Saints, Post-paint).

Thanks for all the music and see you at Lincoln Hall!

SMandTheJicks11 karma

JM: Thanks!

SMandTheJicks10 karma

JB: You're welcome! There will definitely be some choice nugs on the setlist and maybe a few surprises for longtime fans.

JoeW884 karma

Hi Stephen (and fellow Jicks). My friend is a massive Pavement and Jicks fan but doesn't have Reddit so he's asked me to see if you fancy having a beer with him next Wednesday when you're in Manchester?

Don't worry, he's a tope bloke.

SMandTheJicks9 karma

Our schedule around Manchester is tight with all the promo we have to do, but if the opportunity arrises we rarely turn down a pint.

SMandTheJicks9 karma

kind but we pre gig dont socialize so heavy . try to save our energy for gig. and plus some of our hull posse is there to hang with...

ymgomes3 karma

So sad for me Joanna has a boyfriend, i want to marry her. bu bu :´(

SMandTheJicks17 karma

shes hitched.shes a good catch fo sho

_iamkirk_3 karma


SMandTheJicks13 karma

MC: we make our $ doing these Reddit things. They are incredible lucrative.

kdart913 karma

each of you: what's your favorite rock documentary? I'm on a rock doc kick.

SMandTheJicks8 karma

MC: me too! Just watched Big Star, Muscle Shoals and 20 Feet From Stardom. Ziggy Stardust is my all time fave!

SMandTheJicks6 karma

JB: The Kids are Alright, Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii (NOT the directors cut) Decline of Western Civilization, new Scorcese George Harrison doc.

Clockburn3 karma

Hi Stephen, have you always played guitar without a pick? Jake, did you feel any pressure joining the band after Janet Weiss? She's such a beast.

SMandTheJicks8 karma

JM: YUP. Moens shoes were not tiny either. I hug them both, Janet and John,everytime I see them. They are very sweet.

hyperstation20153 karma

What are some recent record purchases you guys have made and would recommend?

Sidebar; I would love to see you guys play (Do Not Feed The) Oyster at either your Denver or Phoenix date if you're taking requests!

SMandTheJicks5 karma

MC: I'm loving Bob Dylan Side Tracks and The Band Live at the Academy of Music.

danimal60003 karma

what's your take on jambands?

SMandTheJicks22 karma

not so sure..wanna believe

winterfrostghost3 karma

Hello! Dear Mike was it scary to play at such a height at "don't look down"? Dear Stephen how to play on guitar above your head? Hello from Russia

SMandTheJicks8 karma

Not at all scary! Whatever the fear of heights is, I have the opposite!

johndlyons3 karma

SM & Jicks! You guys start your tour in Denver, yes? And it looks like you'll be at the Gothic in Englewood, not the Bluebird or Ogden, which are in the city. Last time you played the Gothic, Joanna was grumpy about being in the suburbs. Would cupcakes help? Can I bring you guys some cupcakes from the city?

SMandTheJicks9 karma

JB: Not grumpy! Cupcakes always help :-)

yuteon3 karma

Thank you so much for doing this. SM and Jicks are my favorite band. To me, the music is loose and it carries some of the best melodies. It's infectious and awesome.

Here are my questions:

In general, I have a hard time following along with lyrics. Yours have always had this hypnotic and melodic feel to them. It's like your voice is another instrument in the band. How much emphasis is placed on the actual words to your songs as opposed to creating a melody with your voice?

I really enjoy the loose "jammy" feel to your music. Have you ever thought of bringing extended exploratory jams to the live show?

Lastly, what equipment do you use to capture song ideas before you're ready to bring them to the studio?

Thanks again for doing this!

SMandTheJicks6 karma

JM: ie: extended jams...WE DO!

KingModest3 karma

Yooo. What do you think of Brudenell Social Club, I saw you play there before and I believe you'll be playing again this year?

SMandTheJicks9 karma

JB: Excited to play Brudenell again, good vibes and all the in-laws will be there!

createdforjicksama3 karma

How do you define success at this stage in your careers? With each release, do you hope to sustain the success you are enjoying or do you always aspire to become "bigger", in terms of popularity and exposure for the band?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

we just take what we can get...our self esteem is kinda low on the band success meter.

passionofthewalrus3 karma

Can you guys go on Portlandia? That would rule.

SMandTheJicks10 karma

JB: Mike and I have both made appearances, keep your eyes open

gfunk10163 karma

dear steve and jicks,

you guys shred. please come to florida one time.


p.s. do it.

p.p.s. what is (the collective) your worst drug experience?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

JB: We will try and shred in Florida again soon!

pps, there is a big difference between Liberty Caps and South American mushrooms.

Mleffler123 karma

What's the best way to learn guitar? Is that how you did it?

SMandTheJicks13 karma

if it doesnt feel like "work" it will come eventually. a couple of tiny victories lead to growth

Dokterrock3 karma

Hey Mike, wouldn't it be easier if you had someone to play guitar while you played keyboards? And someone who could play keys while you played guitar? And shouldn't it be somebody not among all the cool Portland musicians you guys already know? I've thought about this a lot.

SMandTheJicks8 karma

Nothing in life is easy! Also: job security! I do sometimes wish I had a better place to stick my pick than in my mouth.

rockrobinoff3 karma

imagine all the Jicks adrift in the open ocean aboard a life boat. supplies have run out, chance of timely rescue is remote, and cannibalism is your only recourse.

question: who gets eaten first?

SMandTheJicks12 karma

JB: Sorry Jake, you're the new guy...

chartjunk3 karma

will you play a house party on Feb. 13th in Lawrence, KS? It looks like you have the day off it looks like and it's on your way from St. Louis to Columbia, MO? We'll pay you as much as we can, but don't expect much more than a good time, food, beds, etc?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

ill go the the party maybe but we cherish the days off...

partypiece3 karma

After the show in cologne a year or two ago I was waiting patiently to speak to Steve and someone introduced a certain stefan malkmus to him..was that a bit surreal? Please please do something about the jicks board...been trying to join for years but not accepting new registrations...I read everyday but cannot contribute...I have so much to share with fellow jicksters...and its less fun being alone at jicks gigs!!!

SMandTheJicks8 karma

i guesss the spam stopped entry. maybe we should re open it for a bit then shut it to stop the spamm.. keep your eyes out ill ask the web person to open it

kdart913 karma

Steve, are you related to Bobby Malkmus the ex Major Leaguer?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

yes, barely. played for philly. bad hitter

Johnny_Is_Truant3 karma

Hi guys, massive fan here. Pig Lib is quite possibly the greatest thing that' ever happened in ever. I only have one extremely important question.....who was the best ghostbuster?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

JB: I agree that Pig Lib is one of the greatest things ever. Venkmann (sp?) was obviously the best.

Mleffler123 karma

Do you believe in jamming/improvising during shows or do you play it close to your recordings? Do fans want it closer to the recordings and does that influence your decisions? What would be more fun for you?

SMandTheJicks7 karma

Jamming when needed

king-of-nowhere3 karma

Where should I eat lunch today in Portland?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

Bunk Bar?

bss773 karma

Push ups or sit ups? Daevid Allen Coe or Elvin Bishop?

SMandTheJicks5 karma

MC: Squats. Evan Johns.

bluthton53 karma

What's David Berman up to these days? Silver Jews really was great.

SMandTheJicks8 karma

you can check out his righteous wit on MENTHOL MOUNTAINS blog

jameessD3 karma

What's your favourite Album from the cribs?

EDIT: Also you guys have got to come over to ireland. It'll be great, trust me.

SMandTheJicks9 karma

MC: Tought pick, but i'd probably say Men's Needs. The Payola demo cd that came in NME is also Killer. You can\'t go wrong with the Cribs!

hank_kingsley3 karma

To all of you I guess, what's one record you can listen to over and over and over?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

JM: Tusk

SMandTheJicks7 karma

MC: Exile in Guyville

benjamjj2 karma

Hey SM, Do you guys ever play "Sin Taxi" live? Would love to hear it at the Casbah this March.

SMandTheJicks5 karma

MC: We have in the past, and it does melt faces. Not currently in the rotation, but you never know.

Radixxs2 karma

YO, Jicks.

How many songs did you guys+gal record for jagbags? I'm bumming on the blind imagination absence.

SMandTheJicks2 karma

4 or 5 didnt make the cut

arthbrooks2 karma

Why does Beck like Xanadu so much?

SMandTheJicks10 karma

he does? news to me

ahump2 karma

How is it working with Jeremy as a sound guy?

SMandTheJicks6 karma

JB: Working with Jeremy is great but he makes us look bad because he's such a snappy dresser.

diggypow2 karma

Jick has several definitions, which one do y'all identify with?

SMandTheJicks12 karma

MC: the sexy one.

tarmogoyf2 karma

I noticed that the arrangements on the new album are a lot more complex -- horns all over. How are you planning on pulling this off live? Are you just gonna have someone play the parts on a keyboard?

SM, where do your lyrical ideas come from? Do you have a concept in mind and then start writing around that, or is it more 'free association'?

JB, this is unrelated to SM and the Jicks' music, but is there any news about Elliott Smith's unreleased songs from the Basement-era ever seeing the light of day in an official release? (I understand if you can't comment on this.)

Thanks guys, I really love the new music! Good luck and safe travels on the tour, I hope I can make it out when you're in my area.

SMandTheJicks5 karma

JB: I think all Basement era recording are out there on the internet if you look for them. Doubt there will be an official release. For the record, I had some different songs in mind for that album but I got shot down by the official releasers.

scoring_at_home2 karma


SMandTheJicks14 karma

rock and roll, or baseball?

1n4j4r2 karma

Jicks: Thanks for being my favorite band. Are you guys coming to SXSW this year? Jake: Any chance of the Joggers playing together again?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

3/4ths of us hung out last night in NYC.

Darrell, bass player and I have a new band called BLESST CHEST.

We still love the Joggers, no plans of anything on the horizon but we'll play again. Probably only in NY or Portland though unfortunately.

drinkthatfresca2 karma

What does the 'lesbians' from the Cinnamon and Lesbians flavor at Momofuku taste like?

SMandTheJicks7 karma

lesbians have traditionally tasted like rosewater and smoke so kept it that way...

jennybb2 karma

So glad that y'all are coming back to New Orleans after so many years. 1. Do y'all need any restaurant suggestions? 2. What do y'all think about the chances of the Saints making it to the Super Bowl?

SMandTheJicks8 karma

JM: As long as they don't have to go to Seattle......

kdart912 karma

also, how much longer do you see yourself doing this?

SMandTheJicks5 karma

this reddit? Not much longer

monsterwarrior2 karma

I was hoping you guys would do an AMA! First of all, I'm a huge fan of yours. Love all the Jicks albums as well as Pavement and all the rest. I think you're the best songwriter of all time, Mr Malkmus. And you Jicks are all fucking awesome too, met you when you last played Leeds. Super nice people! All of you!

I have a few questions:

1) When I saw you last at the Brudenell in Leeds I met your UK merch guy who apparently has been with you since the early days of Pavement. He told me the first time he ever met Gary Young that Gary was wandering around the crowd, shirtless, before a gig, carrying a big tray of carrots around and handing them out to people. What is your favourite 'Gary Young being crazy' story?

2) Which is your favourites Jicks album, and which is your favourite Pavement album?

3) My favourite lyric of yours is "Look out for the gypsy children in electric dresses, they're insane. I hear they live in crematoriums and smoke your remains." Pure fucking awesomeness. Any insight into what you were thinking when you wrote that, or what it means?

4) Last time I saw you guys you were selling signed posters for like £3 each or something crazy. It's one of my favourite possessions. Any cool shit being sold on this new tour?

5) Finally, if you could form a supergroup of any artists (living or dead) who would be in it?

Thanks for doing this, you're a huge inspiration for me and I can't wait to see you again on Monday for the third time!

SMandTheJicks6 karma

MC: 1) Gary walking around backstage at Greek Theatre in Berkeley randomly carrying a bottle of Scope. 2) Wig Out / CRCR 3)no clue 4) we're behind the curve on merch - should've made Wig Out Wigs or something 5) that supergroup already exists and the are called Chickenfoot.