Interview - The Malinks
Q & A With Chris Lorraine
By Matt Ashworth
NadaMucho.com: OK, who are you again?
Chris Lorraine: Hey. I am Chris from the Malinks.
NM: Why are you here?
CL: I'm locked out of my apartment. Again.
NM: Bummer. What the heck is a Malink?
CL: It's Russian slang for the thin cut you get from a dull straight razor.
NM: Are you Russian?
CL: No, but I bleed like one.
NM: So how do we learn more about these Malinks you speak of?
CL: Give up the Mach 3's and go old school! Or go to http://www.wide00eyed.com/malinks.htm.
NM: Which bands did the Malinks listen to in their formative years?
CL: The bands I wanted to rip off the most when I started playing guitar were: the Smiths, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Jellyfish, Cub, Unrest, the Hardy Mums, Bread.
NM: The Hardy Mums? You've referenced a band I'm not familiar with. This makes me nervous and a bit frightened. Please comfort me now.
CL: Well, now they're all a bunch of east coast rock critics, but back in the early 90's, the Hardy Mums were a great lo-fi band from Morristown, New Jersey. They had that whole 4-track bedroom ballad thing going. Their song "What's the Equation?" is one of my favorite songs ever. And their cover of "I'm Set Free" definitely inspired the Malinks.
NM: You guys kinda sound like Elvis Costello sometimes, but not as good. Will you ever be better than him?
CL: I doubt it, for two reasons: 1. He's got Steve Nieve on keyboards, who is great, and we don't even have a keyboard player, and 2. Elvis likes to rhyme long, fancy words together, like 'tortured' with 'orchard,' whereas I rhyme 'bed' with 'said.' I'm going to need a rhyming dictionary if I'm going to take on Elvis.
NM: The Malinks are one of the better bands in a city full of good bands. Why hasn't a meteoric rise to success and subsequent fall from greatness due to (drugs/girls/cars/depression/booze/drugs/booze) befallen your band? Can we expect such an event in the near future?
CL: Well, first I gotta get that rhyming dictionary.
NM: Your new album I Can't Shake Last Night sounds a little bit toned down from your previous work? Would you agree?
CL: I think so. Our first record, No One Gets Hurt, was recorded and mixed in four days. That was all the studio time we could afford. We all drank tons of coffee to get that done on time. That's why that first album sounds the way it does. For I Can't Shake Last Night we did more pre-production work with our producer, Johnny Sangster. He started working with us on the songs very early on, before the songs had finished lyrics, before we recorded demos. Johnny wanted us to think about what sounds would be best for each song. So, on the new album there are some fast and reckless songs that are more like the first record, and there's some slower and moodier stuff too. We also have a new drummer now, Bill, and he gets bored with playing any one tempo for too long. Oh, and I don't drink coffee anymore.
NM: Speaking of your new album, when's that sucker coming out? And what happened in the recording process that took three studios?
CL: Litho has a 2-inch reel-to-reel and a piano, and Egg doesn't have either. But Egg is small, so it's great for recording vocals, I can reach up and press my hands flat on the ceiling while I'm singing and that is comforting to me. And we knew we wanted to mix at Avast. The record will be out on October 28, which is also my grandmother's birthday.
NM: Did you get to meet Conrad Uno?
CL: Yes. He pokes his head in the studio now and again whenever we record at Egg. He almost always either offers us beer, or offers to drink the beer we've brought. So it balances out. This time Conrad was shaking his head in disbelief at the samples we were using while recording 'Starlit.' He was like, 'not in my basement!'
NM: Was he wearing a flannel shirt by any chance?
CL: No, he was wearing a Mariners T-shirt. Conrad has some serious Sodo Mojo. He's the reason I even know what that means. By the way, our bass player Shane loves baseball and knows every statistic and fact about baseball. It's scary. Shane actually hates music, but he loves baseball!
NM: So when can Seattle rock fans next see The Malinks live?
CL: Our cd release party is Wednesday, October 29 at the Crocodile Cafe. You should come, it's going to be a great show! Dear John Letters, Verona, and Argo are all playing with us. We're playing at Consolidated Works on Wednesday, November 12 with At The Spine.
NM: Thanks for playing our Nada showcase at Chop Suey last summer with The Glasses and Post Stardom Depression.
CL: That was such a fun show. It was a while ago, though. We've already forgotten how to play the Hall & Oates cover we did.
NM: That guy from Post Stardom Depression seemed like kind of a dick, huh?
CL: I didn't really talk to him. The only thing he said to me that night was 'Hey you have a great voice! The Glasses, right?' So I think he thought I was Will from the glasses, and that Will has a great voice, which Will does!
NM: You've got one of the best rock voices I've heard in a long time. Do you do anything special to sound so unique, or is that just the sound that comes out when you open your mouth?
CL: Well I do not know. Lots and lots of karaoke... Kenny Loggins, REO Speedwagon, Wings. Once you lose all sense of shame, you can sing anything.