Some bands just like to be mysterious. Take Houston's Indian Jewelry for example. Although the band has been around for a little over a decade, very little biographical material is available. Various articles on the band list five members, but some list only two, and even then, pseudonyms are used. The band itself has changed monikers at least ten times.
In any case, one Tex Kerschen, purportedly a member of Indian Jewelry, agreed to answer questions, but only via email. In anticipation of tonight's show at City Tavern, Kerschen "spoke" about his band's anonymity and its place in the Houston music scene.
What happened on February 15 in California that forced the show to be canceled? Bands getting ripped off by promoters is nothing new.
How has the music changed over the decade you've have been together? Can you talk about the process of making your new album, Sufi Headbanger? Ten years ago seems like last weekend. We've been busy a lot of that time. For a while our guitar amp was on the fritz, then we got it fixed. Through it all, our process hasn't changed much; some songs we have to work for; some songs we have to wait for. Sufi Headbanger is the working title of our new record, but that could change. We might not even release it as Indian Jewelry.
You have cultivated a mysterious image, in that not a lot of information is available about the band. Is that intentional? The Internet cultivates a certain laziness on the part of information seekers. Over the years, we have shown most of our cards without giving away our hand. Nothing good comes of living too publicly.
Why do you use different band names? Is the best moniker Corpses of Waco? And is everyone really a corpse in Waco? We're overdue for a name change. Corpses of Waco meant the government-sponsored immolation of the Branch Davidians in Waco, 1993. We mean to cast no aspersions on the people of Waco or any other city. Other successful brand names we have used include the Perpetual War Party Band, Turquoise Diamonds, Persuasion, Coxcombs, Benzene Lotion Rash, and my favorite, the Electric Fuck All.
Unlike Austin, you don't hear a lot of talk of the Houston music scene. How would you compare it to Austin and Dallas? Houston is the elephant in the room-freak central. We are with the camp that sees Houston-DFW-Austin as one super city divided by a few really big lawns. Here's a pocket guide to Houston music: The Wiggins, Future Blondes, Balaclavas, Rusted Shut, Wicked Poseur, B.L.A.C.K.I.E., Tense, MKF, Cop Warmth, Dead Roses, Black Congress, the Energy, Papaya, Fiskadoro, Exterminating Angels, Muhammadali, Concrete Violin, Richard Ramirez, Little Joe Washington. There's much more, scratch it and sniff away.
One writer described your music as ritualistic dronecore. Is that the best description of your music? Naw. We play the hits and only the hits.
Another wrote that you sound like a mixture of the Grateful Dead and Black Flag. Do you agree? Yeah, there are a lot of folks who say we tour too much.
In your bio, you mention Roky Erickson, Gibby Haynes and Randy Turner as influences. Any other legendary, oddball Texas musicians you'd care to mention? We don't name names in our biographical materials (you're quoting some of our press) but that writer started a good list to which we would add the Geto Boys, Little Joe Washington, Pain Teens, Frank Davis, Voice of Eye, Legionnaire's Disease, Townes Van Zandt and Red Krayola.
Is it true the band never rehearses? Why not? Houston is a big place, especially when you hardly live there. We are seldom in the same time zone as one another, and rehearsal spaces are designed for the kind of bros who apply band stickers to urinals. We rely on more intuitive approaches.
What makes your live shows so special? Our modesty and the fact that we are so good.
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What are the band's aspirations? Get some nice clothes, write more thank you cards, be good to E.C., and keep whatever we can of our teeth as long as we can.
Is the core of the band Erika Thrasher and Brandon Davis? Would you consider new members? The core of the band is also the moral of the old fable, plodding wins the race. Here is the deal: Our names are printed on our records. In the inside text, usually. We are proud of what we do, and we are forthright, and we are always up for making new friends, but we don't belong to anyone.
Indian Jewelry performs tonight at City Tavern with El Paso Hot Button and Nervous Curtains.