So we're watching Telemundo in the ice cream shop and talking about reality TV and breast implants, and Lisa jumps in with: "It's like that baby that just got killed, got her head blown off. You haven't heard about that?"
Lisa Fett (left) and Carrie Conley of Killjoy Confetti
Now you have a pretty good idea what the Killjoy Confetti sound is like, on both their work as Arcade and their latest album, The Fun Is. Unexpected non sequiturs, a poppy punk feel and craziness. After a few minutes, Lisa Fett and Carrie Conley stop talking to me and just chat with each other about their music, and it was more interesting than anything I could have asked. What follows is only slightly edited for clarity.
Carrie: I really like found phrases and stuff like that. When I have experiences like that, like [seeing graffiti] on the bridge or watching TV or looking on the Internet or something really strikes me on ny level as bizarre, it compels me to think about it. And then I end up writing about it.
Lisa: You write about these stories, and this is kind of a silly philosophical question to ask, but what inspiration would you hope people would get from it? Because a lot of people don't look too deeply. Like the song, "Things I Wanna Do," Carrie's being sarcastic. She's looking at the way this girl's thinking and mocking it, but how are people going to get it? People are going to think it's about her. That kind of amazed me, the discrepancy, and that she's OK with that. If that were me, I would be reluctant to say it. Because people judge you so harshly.
Carrie: I've never been in theater, but I look at performing in the band as acting, I guess. That's why I do it. Putting on a mask and pretending. I really like to tell stories, and if I'm really excited about something. I don't know what my agenda is. Like, why did I tell you that story about the baby? I just wanted you to know, I guess. I want to really, sincerely believe in something, even if it's dark or funny or serious or silly. I just want to feel passionate about it so I can get up there and sing, because otherwise it comes off as fake.
Lisa: It's an odd feeling. I love playing music, but playing in front of people is a combination of nervousness and exciting. It's weird. I think I like to feel different ... When we were recording the album, we weren't thinking about it, we were just DOING. And a friend said, 'It's so dark.' And it was! The artwork, the music, the lyrics, everything. I stepped back and tried to see it, and he was right. It's an odd combination of the macabre and - not whimsical, but carnival-esque. [Carrie does a doot-doot-doot calliope sound right about here.]
Carrie: I keep coming back to Sergei Eisenstein, the Russian filmmaker, who felt that editing should be a collection of images crashing into each other, and that's what I want our lyrics to be. You take all these ideas of fun and crash them together.
Lisa: It's like I did with the album cover. Just me taking visuals I can work with and tying them to these generic ideas of fun, like candy and bright colors and pills. I really like it when people look at it and can't tell what's going on. Very abstract.
Carrie: That's what I try to do with my song lyrics! See! You do get it. I like the ambiguity of putting two seemingly opposed things together. It's not necessarily confusing.
Paul: That name, Killjoy Confetti, is carnival-esque and macabre in itself, come to think of it. [As it turns out, they explain to me in a manner that would take too long to relate here, the band name is a combination of all their names: Jill, Joy, Con(ley) and Fett.] So what about the album title, The Fun Is?
Lisa: We were discussing different kinds of fun. Some people like to eat cotton candy and go roller skating; other people shoot up heroin and get hookers. So it's making a play on the different ideas of fun, putting one idea up against another, encompassing different plays on what this word could be.
Carrie: In Kokomo there's an arcade, and it's name is "The Fun Is." I don't know if that's intentional, or if the sign fell apart, like it once said 'The Fun Is Here.' That's where the name came from, and it made so much sense. It was another of those things I just see and take with me.
Lisa: You're like a little leprechaun digging for pots of gold.
For more information check out www.killjoyconfetti.com.