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Music Interview: Seth from Dufus

Thu 31 Jan 2008 By Martin Skivington

(Photo by Pete Ashton)

Fudsu. I mean Dufus. A band with more wild abandon than a bull on heat goring a matador in a china shop, Dufus have combined improvised playmaking and carefully-crafted chaos over their decade-long career, which began amongst the antifolk hustle in New York’s music cafes and continues into their present day 6-albums-in-a-year marathon of goodness.

That coupled with incessant touring, an ever-evolving line-up and new family commitments–frontman Seth Hebert-Faergoliza and vocalist Erin Riedel recently became the proud parents of a newborn babwa– sees the band in a healthier state than ever– as Seth puts it: “(the current line-up) is one of the strongest ensembles we’ve put together under the name Dufus”.

Seth kindly agreed to do an interview chat by e-mail, so here it is.


Martin Skivington: You’re an advocate for the benefits of artistic expression… what is the power of people’s art? And the power of Dufus?

Seth Hebert-Faergoliza: One can create his or her own joy in the world. They may be surrounded by what their imagination tells them. (Dufus is) The power of the clutz, the self-realized idiot.

MS: Is it rebellious have a strong fun ethic?

SF: Dunno, not to me… it would be rebellious against myself to not have fun. It just feels more natural to enjoy life; though often it feels like a ton of work to do so in this world.

MS: You just wrapped up a tour of the UK and Europe- how was it, and what are you up to just now?

SF: Yeah, the tour was a TAZ for sure… tons of fun and a lot of progress made in the band… I feel like music is this perpetual thing where you’re seeking to find the truest music. I think we fell into a really fine balance between prewritten material and improvised work…

Now I’m finishing up the albums I said I would. I predicted 6 in 6 months, but it’s been about 4 in 8 months…. so I expect to get the last two out by the end of February if all goes as planned. Besides that, I’m hanging out with my 8 month old daughter, Anouk Hokuxqpa.

MS: 2007 signalled the tenth anniversary of Dufus, presumably a good chance to reminisce on the last ten years of the band?

SF: A lot of people have put forth great effort to make this vision a reality. Our anniversary show was what I wish the band could be perpetually, a 25 person monster band… those have been my favorite times, I think, though all of it has been a learning experience, and the 5 piece band we’re touring as presently is one of the strongest ensembles we’ve put together under the name Dufus.

MS: If you were to take your first LP and your most recent, where do you think they differ?

SF: I suppose when the band first started the name was a lot more suiting to the sounds. It was a lot more silly and ridiculous. Of course, I feel we’ve all matured as artists over these years… we are able to take more chances and try more difficult things because of the things we have discovered about music. Also, the earlier work was more based on overdubs and messing around in the studio. Lately, I’ve just been going for what naturally happens, working to capture what we are doing, not trying to make something more out of it.

MS: Ok changing the subject a little; Talking about the diaspora of the antifolk scene from New York, Diane Cluck said: “a lot of really strong personalities emerged so it was almost like you couldn’t hang together for too long, it was like having a bunch of leaders in one place, so everyone kind of trickled out“. Is that how you see it? Where is antifolk in 2007/2008?

SF: Diane is one of my favorites. I’ve been meaning to visit her in Georgia… suppose I might sometime this winter or spring…we hope to do an East Coast tour soon…. Antifolk, I’m sure, will grow and become another subgenre of an ever expanding musical universe. I see friends becoming more and more successful in these times…. Regina, Jeff and Kimya in particular will probably continue to expand into wider horizons, opening those doors a bit for we who are but lowly forest beasts. I hear everyones’ sounds changing, maturing, becoming more sharp… I can only predict that it will slowly reach out to more people and that our little think tank will have its place in the superconcious substructure.

MS: Changing the subject again; do you think September 11 and the Bush reign have completely changed the political landscape in America, and even the world?

SF: Everything feels different to me, but I have trouble knowing if it is because of the shifting of the world or simply my own perspective.

MS: Are you interested in the presidential elections next year, or do you think it’s all rather meaningless?

MS: I do think it is all rather meaningless most of the time, but then I look and see something like Darfur and think maybe I’m just here in this sheltered land where the real acts of violence are not happening.Yes, of course, there is murder and there are all kinds of things going on in our society that cause great terrible pain, but looking at our situation as compared to those in the Middle East and Africa it seemssilly, almost recreational.

MS: So what’s the next step for Dufus? Will you be back in the UK soon?

SF: We hope to return to the UK in Spring. We’ll see, we’re on the search for another label… someone who can open some US doors for us.

MS: Any famous last words for this interview?

SF: They haven’t killed me yet.

Dufus @Myspace
Dufus official website


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This post was made by Martin Skivington on Thu 31 Jan 2008
Posted in: Interviews & Music. Tags: , , ,


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Discussion

Subscribe to these comments. 1 Comment


  • 04.01.08 By Laceyfromthe607grid:

    i think this is the absolute best combination of words for a response to this question,..pretty much ever.

    Q: Are you interested in the presidential elections next year, or do you think it’s all rather meaningless?

    A: I do think it is all rather meaningless most of the time, but then I look and see something like Darfur and think maybe I’m just here in this sheltered land where the real acts of violence are not happening.Yes, of course, there is murder and there are all kinds of things going on in our society that cause great terrible pain, but looking at our situation as compared to those in the Middle East and Africa it seemssilly, almost recreational.

    rock on, this is our revolution!


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