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They Might Be Giants class photo ... circa 2008



They_might_be_giants They might wear glasses. They might be wearing the same clothes they wore to a Mac users group meeting today. And they might dress up as a tree stump and wolverine in a leisure suit for album covers.


But don't make the mistake of thinking They Might Be Giants might also be geeks.

"We never really identified with that characterization. We don't feel [like geeks]. I don't even know what that is exactly," Giants co-founder John Linnell said. "I feel like culture has changed a lot since we started. It seems really mainstream now to know something about technology."

Linnell -- the wolverine in that photo, I'm guessing? -- is this week's guest on our Stuck in the 80s podcast as the band slowly heads south for their March 11 show at St. Petersburg's Jannus Landing. Here are some highlights from our interview.

On the public's reaction when they first started playing live: "Originally when we started out, we were playing in the safety of the Lower East Side in New York. We started out playing for friends of ours. Mostly we were performing in clubs and rooms that hosted performance art so we were often the most normal thing that was happening. We fit right in."

On why they rework their classics during live shows: "I think we just forget how they go. We try to make it interesting each time, but we're really just trying to do a good show. We're not really making a statement about rejecting an old arrangement."

On their move into children's music: "We just felt it'd be fun. It seemed like a break from stuff that was more high pressure. What we didn't expect was that the kid's record was going to be a big seller. Suddenly, it seemed like it was a career move. We weren't thinking rock critics were ever going to hear it or talk about it. So maybe that was part of what was good about it."

On winning a Grammy in 2001 for the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle:
"It was very weird. I think we felt like we were imposters. We'd always made fun of the Grammys. The whole thing was very dream-like. And we pretty much stopped making fun of the Grammys after that, I'm embarrased to say. It kind of shut us up, which was maybe the point. They give you one so you'll stop mocking them."

Click here to listen to this week's show. Or just click here to download all our shows for free on iTunes.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:30pm]


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