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No Age band members talk about all-age shows, what’s next

When the band No Age was in town last year for a 21-and-older show at the Beauty Bar on Fremont Street, the two members of the L.A. Vegan Noise Rock band — who also support all-ages shows — were nice enough to let me interview them before their gig.

We talked a bit about their then tour with The Pixies and what they had been working on. I stood with drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall in front of a white bail bonds building where we were interrupted by panhandlers and the sound-check noise from the Beauty Bar.

R-Jeneration: How do you feel about opening for The Pixies?

Randy Randall: Wow. When we got invited to do it, it kind of blew my mind. Pixies were a band that I first heard of I think in eighth grade and I saw this band do a cover of "Gigantic." It was like a local high-school band at a talent show and I thought they wrote the song, and they were like, "Oh, it’s from this band called the Pixies," and then I was like "Oh, OK." Then I looked it all up and was just blown away by the band, so the fact that we are playing with them is so surreal.

Dean Spunt: Pixies were one of my top favorite bands in high school. I think I was also in eighth. They are just one of the best bands. It’s just really crazy.

R-Jen: So what has been the craziest concert? Were there any fights you guys almost got in?

RR: The one show that always sticks out to me still is like the "What is going on" shows where we played in Austin — when we were playing South By Southwest — on a footbridge, it was like a bridge over this huge river with this band (Expletive) Up and it was like 4 in the morning and there was like a couple of a hundred people standing on this janky bridge and it felt like we all were going to plummet to our death at any point. So yeah, that stands out as the "This is about to get really crazy" feeling.

DS: Mine ranged from shows where there’s 12 people in a basement but it feels really packed, like this one after Pitchfork Festival, and you could possibly fit like 30 people in there but there was like hundreds of people wanting to get in. It was crazy because people were standing on our drums and crowd-surfing, plus the ceiling was this high (he puts his hand a couple of inches over his head).

R-Jen: So how about you guys talk about the new EP, "Losing Feeling."

RR: The new EP, "Losing Feeling," is four songs and I think we wrote it earlier this year (2009) because we have been writing for a full-length record and these songs were coming together, and we just wanted to put something out this year. It kind of sounds different but the songs written for (their 2008 LP) "Nouns" were three years ago, but it’s what we are writing now and that’s what makes sense to us.

DS: Like the songs on the EP and the songs on the new record are completely different. We had two ideas for songs and they seemed perfect for an EP. The EP has a certain vibe and tone and for the record we are just going to do something different.

R-Jen: So Dean, are you thinking about acting again soon, like in "High School Record"?

DS: No! Well, I was also in another movie, called "Reflection of Evil." It’s a weird movie, probably the weirdest movie ever. Acting is a weird thing, like the times I have done it I always feel like I don’t enjoy it and I actually feel like I can be good at it but I don’t get the same pleasure like being in music, (which) is very fulfilling and interesting. It’s like a subject in college you’re studying, like microbiology, and you really want to make art. I kind of feel like I’m not all there. Being in a movie, if there is like a set and you’re forced to act, it’s just a weird feeling I can’t describe. With music, it’s like you’re giving it to them and actually waiting to get something from it.

R-Jen: Are you guys thinking about doing anything else besides music?

RR: I have things ongoing; (a) full-length documentary for a couple of years now about all-ages spaces and sort of look at why these spaces are important on the music community. I’ve had a lot of chances to sit down with a lot of amazing artists and got to pick their brain about why it matters to play all-ages spaces while we are playing the Beauty Bar.

R-Jen: Yeah, Beauty Bar is actually in enemy territory for me.

RR: Yeah, we are kind of sleeping with the enemy tonight.

DS: Every once in a while there is a certain ethos and a certain thing to evoke, but our main thing is that we don’t want to be exclusive to anyone. We play all-ages spaces and people come, but those regular bar jerks, they all go and in a way sometimes I think we should play for them, too. Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and play for the "Yeah You Guys Rule Bro!" That’s what it is, but those guys need to get kicked in the butt by us sometimes.

R-Jen: What is the next thing for you guys?

DS: Well, we got the next record; we already recorded two songs. The last thing that we have is The Pixies tour, then we just got asked to do All Tomorrow’s Party’s, and then we will be trying to work on our record.

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