I was more open minded than normal because of the general strangeness that lingered in the Halloween-night air, but I was still taken aback by Crime Novels‘ set, which consisted of Ellery Samson parading around the multi-neon painted garage/venue in scrubs, weaving in and out of the crowd, while screaming lyrics over a glitchy pattern of drum machine pops and bass bumps. That was over a year ago, and since then I’ve come to appreciate Samson’s act without under-standing the gist of it until now; a one man show dedicated to sadness.
Q. I’ve seen you live twice, once in Denton with HEALTH, and again in Austin at a Children’s Museum, and both times there seemed to be a great deal of tension, mixed with confusion, between you and the crowd. At one point you were yelling in a crowd-goer’s face and then hugged him after you were done. Is the aggressive nature of your music a sort of reverse psychology towards your followers so that you can ultimately bring them in further, only after pushing them away?
A. Although I can see how my music can be seen as aggressive, it is not designed for that. I’m not yelling at people, I’m wailing in sorrow. I embrace people to achieve a closeness in a sadness that is the human condition.
Q. Do you see your performances as a sort of social experiment, because the behavior exhibited during them is so far out of the ordinary?
A. I don’t really see the audience, if I embrace you it’s because you happened to be there while I was passing engulfed in grief.
Q. Did you start off playing shows in your current style, or was it something that developed over time?
A. It is designed to be exactly what it is.
Q. How does living in NYC influence your music?
A. The city is a cold, sad, dark place, but there are still smiles.
Q. Is it due to living in NYC that you developed into a bad-ass, a sort of “be tough, or at least act tough” mantra?
A. Stay back or I’ll roll on the ground sobbing.
Q. What bands or musicians are you currently digging?
A. American music from the 20’s 30’s and 40’s.
Q. What bands or musicians have shaped your sound, and/or musical theories/endeavors?
A. More books, Samantha Power, Robert Fisk and I love that thug’d out gangsta ish.
Q. What function do you hope to see Crime Novels serve in society?
Q. I really dig the No Fences EP, and I assume you’ve been working on some new music. Would you like to reveal any information on it, such as the name, date, and what it is like compared to your older work?
A. My depression is sadder than your depression.
Q. Would you agree to perform for an AIG benefit show?
A. Save Darfur.
Q. Do you have anything else to add?
A. Panache // Discohuelga // Pretty Blue Presents
Fall ’09 / New Album / Tour