Q&A: Low Bote

in SF Local Bands by

How did you come up with the name of the band?
Without effort, it just became apparent that was our name, nonsensical word choices that try to disassociate a specific sound description. Wanted to avoid pre-conceived ideas of what we ‘should’ sound like. In Old English Lowbote means “A recompense for the death of a man killed in a tumult.”

How would you describe your sound?
We increase levels of sound that make up the open spaces of the room we play. Many heroes we can agree on but we have few shared influences. Big deal pop music that lives on punk rock fumes and love for SF weirdos.

When did you first become interested in playing music?
Nobody remembers how it happened, we all had records, tapes, CDs from a young age. Born before cell phones we used direct listening procedures and all realized it was best for each band member.

Panx: I jumped off a post box wearing a cape and holding a broken yardstick when I was 6 pretending to be a rock star; that’s when I knew.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
We played Stork Club and I (Panx) was throwing balloons and paper airplanes at the audience and someone threw back some markers, plastic cups, and snacks. I drew on my suit with the markers and then spray painted the cups and stuck them to me. The stage got sticky with snacks and spray paint and I tripped over the cords unplugging myself, the guitarist (Mickey) and knocking over the monitors. After the show, someone gave us pizza and beer.

What are you listening to these days?
The Stooges, Mayya & The Revolutionary Hell Yeah, Everyone Is Dirty, The Cure, Gamelan traditional, Borts Minorts, Raven State, The Lost Eyes, Brad Brooks

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
The Chapel, Great American Music Hall, Knockout, Winters Tavern

What are some of your favorites hangs in the Bay Area and why?
Places with music and outdoor seating, cliffs above the ocean, former superfund sites, rallies and protest marches at Civic Center, Stern Grove, recording studio

What does music mean to you?
The present influence means falling forward – not looking too closely at what happens. Most of us have deep and febrile connections to music and none of us can agree on why. The tension and passion is what gives it meaning and when it’s at it’s best.

How’d you guys first get together to play music?
The cops were hassling Mickey (guitar) and Chris (drums) and Panx pulled over and pretended he knew them to help them out. Once they started talking they became a punk rock band called Grubby Mitts. Then Mitzy (keyboard) and Iain (bass) both got discovered sorting through the scrap yards for old transistor tubes to put in their amps. We found a guy who got famous making a chair design and he let us rent out his meat locker so we could practice.

What inspires you to write?
Most things that give me a reason to love or hate will inspire me. Most events that cross the lines of crap or fact, I am interested in intersections and breaking down societies.

What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?
SF Has too many great neighborhoods to decide that, so not really a fair question. The sunset district is a top provider of fun, fear and little-known areas that are still as they were 30 years ago.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?
Nothing is surprising anymore, no one has that capacity left. We all just nod our heads and say “yup,…yup, I figured” surprising is this: I saw Black Flag play with Dez Cadena and that was my favorite lineup.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?
GO SEE LIVE MUSIC!! we have shows coming up at Winters, Stork club and one last time at the Hemlock Tavern on Sept 13 before they close forever. Come see us, it should be a real blowout. Or go see any live music. Thanks for that.

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.