Who: Ty Segall: A Pitchfork darling and the national hope for San Francisco's hard rock music scene.
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Current Gig: Guitarist, drummer, and vocalist, touring the globe and reminding the world that hard rock started in San Francisco. Foolishly young and ridiculously good, Segall is the only one ignorant of his talent. (When asked about his recent comparison to Kurt Cobain in 7x7, he replied, "That is the biggest compliment in the world, but I think it's just my hair.")
Years in SF: 5
You're from Orange County -- how did you end up in San Francisco? I moved up here when I was 18 to go to school at University of San Francisco.
That's where I went, too. Oh man, that's crazy! We must have passed each other in the cafeteria. Did you live in the dorms?
No, I didn't. Bummer -- living there was a great experience. When I first moved in, I tried to go see The Spits. I asked everyone I knew to go with me, and they all said yes. The night of the show, I waited for everyone and drank beer, but I was drinking too fast because I was nervous. Every single one of them bailed. So I puked right there in the hall. That's the moment I realized that being 18 actually kind of sucks.
That doesn't sound like a great experience at all. Did San Francisco eventually grow on you? Oh yeah it's great here. It's home. If you live here long enough you get to know everyone. It was like that in Laguna Beach where I grew up, but I never thought that San Francisco could be like that. It's a magical place to me.
Does the city influence your sound? Definitely. I'm surrounded by so many insane musicians and bands -- Sic Alps, Kelley Stoltz. And I know it sounds cheesy, but there's this history of psychedelia here that influences me a lot. It seems cliche, but then you take a walk through Golden Gate Park and, man, it's still here.
Can you name a few more of those insane musicians and bands you mentioned? The Culture Kids, and obviously Thee Oh Sees. Rank/Xerox is another one and CCR Headcleaner. Have you ever seen them live? A CCR Headcleaner show will blow your mind.
What are some of your favorite places around here? Alright, here it goes. Favorite taco: El Castillito. But I need a sub category. Best deal for a taco: Well, still El Castillito, but best deal for a fish taco is definitely El Metate. It's ridiculous. And another sub category. Best veggie taco: El Buen Sabor.
I take it you like tacos. Ok, ok. Favorite burrito: Taqueria Cancun. Favorite theater: The Castro and Red Vic — it's so sad that it closed. And favorite coffee: Bean There in the Lower Haight. It's pretty good there, dude. Just a good, solid cup of joe.
Do you ever go out to bars? Umm, yes. Anywhere with beer, but I love the Hemlock. They have the best jukebox in the city. And it's free, man!
Do you think you'll ever go back down south to be with your family or are you here for good? I don't know — we'll see. I try to go down and visit my family as often as I can. My dad is a lawyer and my mom is an artist. So growing up was exactly what it sounds like -- strict household but a lot of creativity. They are so psyched that I get to make music for a living. My parents rule.
Speaking of making music, your new album Goodbye Bread came out in June and it's a lot mellower than your previous albums. Is this going to be your sound from here on out? No way -- the next one will be different. I've got a few ideas about what I want to work on next.
Such as? This album was a nice break from aggressive, abrasive music, but I'd like to blur that sound with some pre-punk stuff for the next one.
What's with the dog on the cover of the LP? We were in Denmark and found this amazing book from the '60s. A photographer had taken these pictures of dogs — it must have been every breed there is. I don't know if he got them all, but I saw that dog and thought, "Oh my god. Definitely -- definitely -- the cover." It was a perfect reflection of the emotion of this album.
One of the hits on the album is called "Comfortable Home (A True Story)." What's the true story? I was walking through the Mission with my ex and we saw this couch for sale on the street. She loved it and she wanted it, but we already had a couch. I said, "That would be cool, but we don't have any money." And she said, "Yeah." That was the end of the conversation. But it really got me thinking about what happiness means in America -- that we would buy a couch when we didn't need one because it would be the projection of happiness in our home. It's funny in a sad way. But the really funny thing is, I would have done anything to make her happy. And if I'd had the money, I would've bought that couch in a second. Funny how that kind of thing works.
Check out Ty Segall performing "Goodbye Bread" in Fader's video below:
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