AUSTIN DAZE: The motto here is “Keep Austin Weird”, do you think it’s a weird place?
SEAN: I don’t think it’s weird but I’m from Minneapolis. It’s kind of very similar—some people even joke about how they are the same place.
AD: Let’s talk about the new album, which is awesome by the way. I know the songs are about people that a lot of us can relate to. I’m wondering if that was what you were going for with these songs.
S: I was just going with people that I relate to. There are two songs on there that are incredibly autobiographical and there is one song that is about my girlfriend and the rest are about people that I don’t know but are depictions of people I see in myself—if that makes any sense.
AD: Given the success of Atmosphere, where do you see yourself going in the next few years?
S: I have no idea. I’ve never been good at doing the, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” thing. I do everything one week at a time.
AD: Are there any artists that you look at now that you think have lost their touch? Do you ever worry that that could happen to you guys?
S: I think it could happen to us. I think it happens to everybody at some point or another. I think you are supposed to lose your touch; I think you are supposed to evolve; you’re not supposed to be the same forever because that’s not very challenging. If you make the same shit over and over that’s kind of a sellout thing; that tells me that you found an equation that works and you are just beating it to death and I feel that I’ve come dangerously close to that in my own path and so I do kind of hope that we reach places where certain people feel that we fell the fuck off and other people feel like we are actually getting better.
AD: Are there any songs from your album that you won’t play live?
S: Yeah, there are a lot of songs that I’ve retired. The list is too long to go through them. I retire songs once I no longer have an actual connection to them–once I’ve out grown certain phases. There are certain songs that were written during those phases that I just don’t feel belong to me anymore so I just stop performing them.
AD: How do you handle unruly fans?
S: Usually I make them part of the show. Otherwise I have them kicked out. If you are going to come here and possibly distract away from other people enjoying themselves then I’m going to do whatever I can to make an example of you.
AD: Let’s talk about Obama.
S: The main thing about him that makes him important for me is the ideals behind the man. The fact that this person stepped forward to be a candidate and it motivated a lot of people who in the past had been considered a voiceless people–young people, black people, Native American people, poor people–in our society for a long time. Obama motivated these people to use their voice finally and to me that is kind of the ball rolling—that is what we have needed for a long time. If people who are finally using their voice see a success from that then we are looking at the possibility of some of these people continuing to use their voice.
AD: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given and do you follow it?
S: Yes I do and that is to be honest.
AD: What is your drink of choice?
AD: If you could be a woman for a day what would you do?
S: I guess I’d call every ex-girlfriend I got and apologize.
AD: You can’t do it as a guy?
S: Yeah but I think they would take it a little bit more serious. I think as a guy they would think I was just trying to get laid.
S: Nice throw in.
AD: We’ve never been to Minneapolis. What would you recommend doing there?
S: The first thing I would recommend is to get a jacket. Other than that, there are a lot of museums that are really good like the Walker Art Center. I would also suggest that you go eat at a breakfast place called Victors—it’s a Cuban breakfast spot. I would suggest that you don’t sleep with anybody because every male in that city is a needy son of a bitch.