"Wow" - Slow-speed variations in a tape-transport system causing a taffy-like sound quality.

"Flutter" - Rapid-speed variations in a tape-transport system causing a fluttery sound.

Theoretically it sounds simple and clear. Applied, however, to Wow and Flutter, who are a 5 piece group from Portland in Oregon, the description is endless with regard to this band's musical creativity. Wow and Flutter formed in 1996 and has since then come a long way both in its personnel changes and also in its development. The group's current line-up features Jack (bass, baritone, guitar, keyboard, trumpet, drums, vocals), Cord (guitar, bass, keyboard, samples, drums, percussion, vocals), Donnie (guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals), Chris (drums, guitar, percussion, baritone, keyboard) and Amy (cello). Since it formed , Wow and Flutter has released 4 albums, including 2 this year, its latest 'Better Today Then' and also 'In A Darkroom', which while recorded in 1999 has not come out until now. Both have come out on a local Portland label, Jeaous Butcher. It also toured in the USA over the summer, so all together 2001 has been a busy year for the group. Pennyblackmusic has been fortunate as all five members of the band spoke to us and, therefore, to you in an exclusive e-mail interview.

PB: Why did you decide to name your band Wow and Flutter?

Cord: I became a recording engineer, and thought the term best described the music I wanted to make.
Chris: I don't know, but there were two Wow and Flutters. And then they joined.

PB : What is your most reliable source of inspiration when you are writing lyrics and music?

Cord: Love, life, friends, family, passion, books, films, air, earth.
Chris: Watching good music or movies.
Amy: My inner pain, and the hit TV show "Fame.
Donnie: Piano chords.
Jack: Sadness, love, rain, a kiss, mornings, coffee, good whiskey.

PB: Your last album, 'Better Today Then', beside the music is outstanding for its sleeve, which has sewing on its front cover. How did you come up with such an idea?

Jack: The sleeve was printed by Firefly Press here in Portland. They also did Norfolk and Western's 'Centralia' cover. Donnie did all of the sewing and we all did the gluing, folding, and stuffing. Actually, the idea for the sewing came about because of a horrible mistake we made on the first pressing of the cover. In our efforts to make a beautiful package, we made the huge blunder of misspelling the title. 'Better Today Then'!!! We thought sewing over them might be a good idea and we liked it so much that when we
got the reprints back, we just did it to all of them.

PB: What are you working on at the moment?

Jack: We are in the middle of recording our next album and I must say that this is the most time we've ever spent on the recording process. It is also the most enjoyable. I think in the end it will be well worth the time.

PB: Could you reveal more about what the new recording is going to be like? Have you decided on its name yet?

Cord: The best is yet to come. No name yet.
Chris: More developed and varied.
Amy: Not sure on either.
Donnie: Just like heaven. No name yet.
Jack: I think it's going to be really long.

PB: You went on tour in the summer. Were you satisfied with the tour and how would you compare the difference between playing at home and abroad?

Cord: "It was good. I'd rather be a stranger playing in a stranger town"
Chris: It was fun at times, and difficult at others. We matured as a band.
Donnie: New people to see.
Amy: I spend a lot more time in the van.
Jack: Being away from home, the only concern is to play. It's easier.

PB: Are you planning on touring again soon ?

Cord: Always.
Chris: Yeah. We need to finish recording our new album first.
Amy: Yes.
Donnie: Sometime.
Jack: "As much as possible.

PB: What are you plans for the future?

Cord: Make a meager living doing what I love most...making, writing, recording, and producing music.
Chris: Keep playing and recording. Try to get overseas. Europe, Asia...
Amy: I really want to get a puppy.
Donnie: The future.
Jack: Living

PB: Who were or have been particulary influential artists for you?

Cord: Those whom I play or have played music with.
Chris: American Analog Set, Papa M., Jeff Koons, Bridgett Riley.
Donnie: Artists
Jack: This band, Low, Sonic Youth, The Cure, the list goes on and on.

PB: And a difficult one at the end ? What do you think makes good music? Is it just a matter of a taste?

Cord: A matter of taste. I prefer Tabasco on my pizza.
Chris: Sincerity, originality, innovation.
Amy: I do think it's a matter of taste.
Donnie: Music tastes good
Jack: It's all a matter of taste.

PB: Thank you.

So, there you go. There certainly will be a lot to looking forward to especially as regards the new album. The band seem to be keeping its content very much as a surprise, but it is believed to be the best Wow and Flutter album to date They are each the best though, you know

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