MI.net: How did "The Way You Are" end up on Veronica Mars? How did the people from the show find it?
Jack: I was gonna try to make the joke, you know, "Well, Veronica called...." But we have someone who we've been working with for a while now who represents us to music supervisors to different TV shows and to advertising and film and television. And he gave that to the person at Warner Bros., Warner Productions, I guess it's called, who does Veronica Mars. And he told us that she liked the CD very much. But that can happen any number of times, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're gonna get used on the show. But then he called us one day very excited, that it had been used on this particular episode and she was pretty sure it was gonna happen, but we wouldn't know for sure until they did the final edit. And then it turned out it had made it on, and we watched the show. Did you guys watch the show before that episode? I think we maybe saw one before just to sort of get used to the show.
Clare: Yeah, as soon as he told us that we were up for Veronica Mars and it was a new show, I started watching it.
Jack: And then the way that that song worked with that episode was just so wonderful. We were totally blown away by how well the scene and the editing of the scene meshed with the song. It just gave a whole new meaning to the song, and we thought that the song really added to the atmosphere of that particular moment.
David: Just so you know, we told a lot of our friends and family to watch the episode that we were on. And I think Clare, you told me today that some people that you know are actually watching the show regularly now because of that first time.
Jack: And actually, the thought didn't occur to us 'til maybe that day or the day before to go and see what kind of fan sites might be out there. And lo and behold, there was quite a few. And so we emailed everyone that had a contact email address on their site, which I think included you guys and Neptune High and a few others like that, to say who we were and that our song was going to be on, and where people could find it if they wanted to buy the CD or something afterwards. And the response was great. It was great to see a lot more hits on the website and people downloading it, and we've been having a lot of downloads through iTunes and MP3tunes.com, a number of sites like that, and we can see that a lot of it is happening because of the Veronica Mars websites. So we've got a real nice relationship going with these fansites.
Clare: Also the music supervisor for the show, I can't remember exactly what she said, but she told Steve that it was one of her favorite placements all year, or something like that, that she loved it. And so it kind of stood out in their minds. And it was great for us, and I think that had something to do with getting on the compilation that's coming out.
MI.net: A bunch of fans had a Veronica marathon this past Sunday, and "Silence Of The Lamb" was one of the ones we watched. And when the scene with your song came on, somebody who had no idea that I was planning on interviewing you guys said, "This music is perfect." I think it was around that time that the words "Put yourself in my place" started reverberating over a scene that showcased Mac's anguish over being switched at birth.
Jack: [laughs] I know, it's so great. That's great. We looked later that night and over the next few days there were people posting things on forums, saying like, "What was that song? I picked out the word 'the way,' and I Googled it, I'm looking everywhere for it," and other people were saying, "You can get it here." It was just so fun to see this traffic happening over our song, which up until that point, really, we had just released the CD, and suddenly in one night, three million people have heard that music, whether they all paid attention or not. A lot of people sat up and noticed, so it's really very satisfying. And we also heard that Rob Thomas was quite pleased with that particular placement and the way that those things fit together, so it's really exciting.
MI.net: How much of a consideration is the quality of the show that your song would appear on? Do you put your foot down if it's a show that you don't think is particularly good, or do you just assume that because it's three million people or whatever, that doesn't matter? That sounds like a loaded question and it's kind of not, but...
David: [laughs] We're hopeful.
Clare: No, we have to trust Steve on that. He's the guy who reps us at Steven Scharf Entertainment. I don't think he gonna send us out for something that we're gonna feel badly about. He's got some really good contacts. He's been in the industry for a long time. We had a couple of placements on a show that one episode was really good. The next one, I thought it kinda sucked. But I think that we're at the point where it's kinda thrilling for us to see our music being used that way, and we would love to do tons more of it, and we plan on it. And to actually be able to compose for it, that's the thing that would be really cool. Right now, we can't, so our music is being used like a palette of colors; somebody's choosing this part of the song, and I think our stuff really lends itself to the medium. But again, we kind of trust Steve on that. He's got a lot of integrity, and I think usually we're gonna end up in good hands. And so far, we haven't been disappointed. It's just been a really great learning experience. In my experience, the best of all them has been Veronica Mars, and it's been so much that's come out of it, really. And I'd like to do another one. I mean, I would love to do something actually that we created for the show. That would be a lot of fun.
David: We got a lot of good feedback on the Veronica Mars show. A lot of our friends and family told us that they really enjoyed the show and that the actual moment when the song came up was very dramatic and kind of goosebumpy. I didn't get to see the episode when it first aired, because I was actually on an airplane heading to Florida, but a couple of my family members TiVoed it. And when I got down there, I got to see it that night, and it really was kind of a goosebumpy moment when the song came on with what was happening on screen. So I can see why people do have that reaction to it.
MI.net: How important is licensing your songs to TV shows or commercials or movies or what have you? Is that just a bonus, or is it crucial to your whole approach?
Jack: Well, for us, so far we haven't been a touring band. We're not on the road. We're more of a studio band, so if we can get our music out there in a way that gets our name out there and brings an income at the same time, then it's a great way to do that.
David: These songs were not written for hire or for any particular purpose other than just to write music that we like to create. So the fact that someone appreciates that and wants to use it in another context, it's very interesting. And it's rewarding, too, just to see how that goes. And also the fact that we can earn some income from this is also great.
Clare: Yeah, the whole mixed-media thing... a lot of artists like to work in different mediums, so here we get a chance to do that, rather than just being pigeonholed or being stuck in being around New York City or doing our studio stuff. It just opens up a whole new world. It really opens up a whole other world for us as artists. And it's a really great experience.
David: I just want tell you, we haven't really set the scene here tonight. Clare and I are laying on the floor in front of a candle talking into my cellphone on speakerphone in the dark because there's no electricity here, and Jack's in another room laying on the floor in front of another candle talking on a different telephone. [laughs]
David: We really should set this mood to get the full effect.
MI.net: I feel like I should ask different questions now.
Jack: You're in Boston, aren't you?
Clare: Has the heat wave broken yet? Because ours has with this storm. It took down a lot of trees. In fact, the house next to Jack, a giant tree fell right in the guy's yard and across his driveway. But now the heat wave has broken here.
Jack: And what's the story behind Mar-, oh! We just got electricity!
Clare: Electricity just came on.
MI.net: Turn off all the lights! Stay on the floors with the candles!
Jack: [laughs] Yeah, right. Mars Investigations, it's a volunteer effort, or is it a for-profit kind of thing, or why do you do that?
MI.net: If it's for profit, then I've got a lot of conversations to have with a lot of people.
MI.net: No, it's all volunteer.
Jack: So you just all do it for the love of the show, basically.
MI.net: So do you watch the show now? Are you fans of the show?
Jack: I watched right up until the end. I haven't been watching all of the reruns. But I watched through to the end. And I thought the final episode was great. Did you guys see that?
David: I'm currently without television service. I moved about two months ago, and I've been so busy that I haven't even bothered to hook up cable or DirectTV. I don't watch TV at the moment, which is an interesting experience in itself.
Clare: I I didn't see the last episode, but I think I saw up to the second-to-last. But I have a question. You know what date the season starts in September?
MI.net: Actually, I found that out this weekend. It's September 21st. [It's since been changed to the 28th.]
Clare: Oh, great. Because that means that the CD is gonna be coming out for that episode. And we have a party gig that we're doing the week after it. Really, that's very good. That's very good.
David: We invited, we're gonna invite a lot of people down, it's gonna be a party.
MI.net: There are a couple questions that are always asked of the various people that are interviewed on Mars Investigations. One is, how much taller are you guys than Kristen Bell, who is 5' 1" tall?
Clare: She's five-one?
David: I think we're all taller. We didn't know that she was that teeny. But someone just told me about a new magazine that came out called Now Playing. I think it's published by the people who do PC Gamer. And no one who's already a big star ever goes on the cover of Now Playing. But the magazine picks who they think are the superstars of the future, usually a year or a year and a half before they expect them to be superstars. And on the current issue of this magazine is Kristen Bell.
Clare: Is she on the cover?
David: I believe she is.
MI.net: Is it a life-sized picture?
MI.net: So how much taller are you than her?
Clare: Well, I am an inch and a half taller than Kristen Bell.
David: I am, I believe, nine inches taller.
Jack: I guess I'm just about eleven inches taller.
MI.net: Excellent. What we plan on doing with that information, I have no idea, but there it is.
Jack: I heard she sings, though, so she's welcome to come do a recording session with us.
MI.net: Have you come across Reefer Madness at all?
Jack: I've seen ads. I haven't seen it yet.
David: Reefer Madness? The old, old, old movie from the 1930s?
MI.net: No, there was an off-Broadway musical that was a parody of those types of movies. And she was in the off-Broadway production and they did a televised version of it for Showtime, and she was in that, too. And she sang.
David: We'd love to see that.
Clare: When did they do that? I remember the theatre thing, 'cause I remember seeing it around.
MI.net: It was a couple of months ago, this past spring.
Jack: Yeah, we have to get our hands on that. So was she living in New York at that time, or she just came out to do the off-Broadway?
MI.net: I wanna say that she was an NYU theatre student.
Jack: Oh, no kidding.
MI.net: And the big scandal was the fact that she actually left a couple credits shy of graduation because apparently students in her theatre department got credit for interning in New York theatres but nothing for actually performing on stage. And so she couldn't get credit for being a performer on a nightly basis.
MI.net: So she's I think officially a college dropout because she couldn't get credit for actually making a living as an actor in New York.
Jack: Well, maybe they'll give her an honorary doctorate in a couple years.
David: I was just gonna say that. I bet you they will one day.
MI.net: But yeah, she does sing.
MI.net: So maybe invite her. Who knows? Stranger things have happened, I'm sure.
MI.net: One of the other questions that we generally ask is, which Backup do you prefer? If you've seen, there were three Backups. There was one in the pilot episode, there was a stuffed Backup that's referred to as Backup 1.5 and then the loyal dog that we have now.
Jack: Oh, that's a dog?
MI.net: Yes, her dog is Backup.
Jack: Oh, gee. I think we just proved that we're not really true fans, by not knowing that. [laughs] Sorry.
David: When I hear the word "backup," I usually think of backup vocalists.
Clare: No, the dog, right.
Jack: I was thinking of backup software. That's what a nerd I am.
MI.net: Well, that's three different types, so it's like a yahtzee. Let's see, I know that you guys did an unreleased cover of Badfinger's "Day After Day." Why that song and where is it? What happened to it?
David: Very good question.
Clare: It's looking for a home.
David: Yeah, it actually currently is looking for a home. First of all, it's a beautiful song. It's a really great song. We have done a couple of covers. On our first CD we did a cover of "Across The Universe" and a cover of "Lay Down," the Melanie song. And I think on this new CD we didn't want to deal with cover songs. It was going to be all original. But in between these two CDs, we set out to do a cover in a very different style, very hyper electro-pop, and that song, as you may remember, is a really beautiful '70s ballad. Acoustic guitar and pianos and great vocalists and production by George Harrison and great guitar playing and just a beautiful song. So, I don't know, one day I think I just heard the song and I said, "This is such a good song, it'd be interesting to do a completely radically different version of it, but make it very, very poppy." And so we did that, and the consensus from people that we played it for was, "This is not 46bliss. This does not belong on your CD, this is a totally different thing." Some liked it, some people really hated it. So we are actually looking for a home for it. We don't know the licensing situation of a cover song. I'm not sure how that would work from a publishing perspective, but I think one day, we'll find a good home for it.
MI.net: It's interesting that you just mentioned "Across The Universe" and George Harrison, because one of the things I noticed when listening to the CD is that "Inner Sensation" actually seems to do a lot of the same things that George Harrison did with his Indian music excursions in the Beatles, like "Within You Without You" and "The Inner Light." And it's not even just the sitar, but there are a lot of the same melodic ideas as well, especially in the intro. Was that intentional?
David: I think I'm probably the most Beatles-influenced as far as in the writing of the three of us. I'm like a pickle, I'm just totally marinated in their music that I think it's not necessarily intentional. It's more like it's just a very strong influence, and so it comes out. I also write children's music for another project, and most of those songs sound very much like Beatles songs, except more like the Paul McCartney kind.
MI.net: "Kalimba" in some ways sounds like mid-period Kate Bush. Which might just be the fretless bass, but is that something that you guys listen to?
David: Hmm... No, actually, I don't think that we've thought about Kate Bush, although I love Kate Bush, that period of her music, the mid-'80s. I think we've heard some people say that we remind them of Annie Lennox or Morcheeba.
Jack: Cocteau Twins.
Clare: We haven't gotten a lot of Kate Bush, but I can see what you're talking about.
David: That's interesting.
MI.net: "In A Long Time" was the winner in Pop category of the International Songwriting Competition.
David: Well, we were not the winner, we were a winner. We did not come in first place. We came in tied for third place, I think.
David: And that was out of I forgot how many thousands. It was a lot.
Clare: Eleven thousand.
David: Out of eleven thousand entries or something like that. So we felt like winners. We were not the grand prize winner, but we felt very empowered by that.
MI.net: What did you guys get for placing third?
David: Oh, the big bucks went to the big winner, but what did we get? We got some software, we got some books...
Jack: We got some guitar strings.
Clare: A lot of guitar strings.
Jack: [laughs] We really don't play guitars.
Clare: We have guitars, but we don't really use them.
Jack: Actually, do you play guitar, because we have some extra guitar strings?
MI.net: I do play guitar.
Jack: We'll send 'em over. [laughs] They might come in handy one of these days.
MI.net: They'll be my 46bliss guitar strings.
Clare: And they stay in touch with us, actually. They're gonna submit us for some music festival. I'm not sure, I think it's the Dewey Music Festival or something like that. So, you know, we're now alumnae.
That concludes our interview with 46bliss. If you want to learn more about them, you can visit their official website 46bliss.com. You can also purchase their albums Pistachio Home from CD Baby.com, and 46bliss and Veronica Mars Soundtrack from Amazon.
However, if you are too broke to buy their new CD 46bliss, then enter our contest to win an autographed copy.