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 Bianca Valentino

Giant Drag’s Annie Hardy – The Collapse Board Interview

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Joe + Annie

I was talking to Joe [Caradmone, frontman for Icarus Line] just a few months back and he told me about how amazing your record is and that it was just so ‘crazy’ and so ‘beautiful’. He told me that you’re one of the most natural born songwriters he’s ever met.

That’s really sweet, I love Joe.

He told me that you inspired him to simplify things more in regards to music.

Oh that is so sweet. Joe always has this way of saying the nicest things that he thinks about people to anybody but that person. I love Joe though. He’s weird, but so am I. He was the one common denominator throughout all the shit that was going down, like getting dropped – Joe was always there whether it was sleeping on my floor or because we were friends. Joe I’m sure was more invested in the record when it was being made than I was. I’m going to keep it on the positive side of Joe, Joe really loves that record. I remembered just recently – my memory was jogged – that this record was not supposed to be what it is. It was kind of meant to be this declaration of independence of well, if people leave all the time I’ve probably got abandonment issues so I’m just going to go it alone and anyone that wants to come in and play they can do that; I’m not going to get too attached because they might quit.

I think Joe’s version of the record will come out along with the four-track demoes, along with my version of the record. I think he is so attached that he is afraid that someone will alter the finished product, that for some reason I can’t get a fucking release date on even though next week we [Giant Drag] are going to be on a TV show [Pretty Little Liars] with 13 million viewers and we have absolutely nothing to promote or sell or anything but the same old shit that was there when Hearts & Unicorns came out. It’s so frustrating! I want to put the cigarette that’s in my hand right now out on my face just thinking about it! That’s why I came over here to kick it with Carolyn [Schoenburg – Giant Drag’s new bassist] and start recording because the music business has become so weird and dishevelled and non-existent, people just want music, want it now and want it for free. I should give them some. I want my record out just as bad as anyone else — but I want my version out.

I’ve straight up sent that record in zip format or whatever to many a person and the one common thread was that everyone had a favourite song that was different, which was cool. Everybody said at first that they had to get used to the fact that this is what Giant Drag sounds like now and then they couldn’t stop listening to it. The whole point is that you don’t know what Giant Drag sounds like now because I don’t know what Giant Drag sounds like now. Last night it sounded like me, Carolyn and Alvin [de Guzman] from Icarus Line who is not on tour with them ’cause he has to work, jamming in my bedroom which sounded good!

It has to be nice though for you to know that no matter who you play with Giant Drag is you and that no matter where it’s at, you have the chance to take it anywhere you want it to be …

Yes!

… even though people over the years have tried to play with your sound that ultimately you have that power and that choice to make it your way.

Exactly, you’ve put that so beautifully. I wish I would have said that [laughs]. That’s exactly the point that I was trying to make. I just think that it’s been so long that I’m going to put out three records. I am really excited just to make an Annie box set and do a small run of those, with the four-tracks, the good pre-productions and whatever else gets recorded between now and then but god damn if I don’t hit every single bump in the road and just get thrown flat on my back — it’s incredible my luck! I can’t believe it, it happens to me like every day.

I just want to give you the biggest hug.

Awww that’s sweet. I’d probably start crying and get all emotional and it would break down my hard exterior.

But sometimes it’s good for that to happen. It may be a good thing that your record will come out in three different versions; it’ll be a new chapter for Giant Drag. You may have had all this bad luck but things can always take a turn for the better. It’s a wonderful thing to know that you can wake up every day and start fresh if you want to, it’s all about perspective.

Exactly. When that shit all happens to you, you can take it one of two ways: you can stop doing everything you’re doing which is what I did for a while and that didn’t work out at all – I was completely miserable – or you can clean house and start fresh, which is what I did when I finally got super excited about everything again.

(continues overleaf)

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