Peek-A-Boo: Bands: The 1-4-5s: Interview

Scott and Nick interviewed The 1-4-5s in May 1996 on "The Garage Show," which airs every Saturday night on Austin's KOOP 91.7 FM. Unfortuately, Anna was not present for this interview.

Scott: We have the 1-4-5s here in the studio with us, and we have some questions from listeners. One listener is very interested to know your ages and marital status.

Gavin: I'm Gavin, I play the bass, and I'm 22 and single.

Travis: I'm Travis, I sing and sort of play guitar, and I'm 23 and single.

Dean: I'm Dean, I play guitar, and I'm 23 and technically single by legal means. Anna plays the drums, and she's 21 and is also technically single.

Scott: If I were your manager I probably would have advised you not to advertise that, much like when the Beatles didn't want to advertise the fact that John was married.

Travis: I thought that was covered in the printout our attorney gave you.

Gavin: Yeah, you'll be hearing from him, Scott.

Scott: We have another listener, Winnie, who is 17 years old, and Winnie really digs on the helmet thing, but she is wondering if you wear the helmets for safety reasons or if it's some sort of cheap gimmick.

Travis: No, it's for safety. We're afraid of people throwing beer bottles at our heads.

Scott: And stagediving, too.

Gavin: That's true, our shows can get pretty intense. There's a lot of stagediving that goes on. We have to protect ourselves; we have to take measures.

Scott: I think actually I'd like to see more bands wearing helmets. I think there should be some sort of helmet law...

Travis: We're currently lobbying a helmet law; we've got a petition going around. It's on the internet... Actually, we were thinking of having a gimmick one time. We were going to upgrade our racing jackets to jumpsuits. I went thrift shopping and bought them, but they're still in my closet.

Dean: We just never get around to putting the 1-4-5s on them.

Travis: Yeah, and the jumpsuits are kind of a heavy investment, cause they're hot.

Dean: Maybe that's something we can use on tour, like when we go to Vancouver and it's snowing.

Travis: Our 1-4-5 Survival Parkas.

Scott: Another listener, Bobby Sue, age 22, is really interested to know what kind of qualities you look for in women... you know, that you might meet on tour or something like that.

Gavin: Did you make this one up, Scott? Well, we're hoping that they'll be over eighteen.

Scott: Why?

Gavin: Well, Travis almost had us touring with the Donnas, who are these really cute girls, from pictures at least, but they're also really underage, so I thought that would be pretty, you know... not good.

Dean: Cause they would be too tempted.

Travis: I felt really bad when I found out they were as young as they looked. I read an interview and found out that they were 15 and 16 years old.

Scott: I think now they might all be 16. What a gimmick that is.

Dean: Maybe they'll have birthdays right before we get there...

Travis: Maybe they have younger sisters...

Gavin: (laughing) Oooh, I think I hear the sirens outside, Travis.

Scott: I have a more serious question, it seems that y'all may have recorded some new things?

Gavin: We sure did... just the other day.

Dean: Yeah, at Gavin's house, actually.

Travis: Yeah, these were a little different from our earlier recordings. As you may know, we used a 64-track digital recording on that first single, and it was pretty expensive... we invested, what, like between 12 and 15 thousand dollars on that.

Dean: Yeah.

Scott: But it was well worth it.

Travis: I think it came out pretty well. The second one cost a little more because of all the guitar overdubs Dean wanted to put in.

Dean: Well I was following my idol, Billy Corrigan. But I think it really shows.

Scott: I heard that y'all are maybe bringing in John Paul Jones...

Dean: Ohh, to do some production work?

Scott: Exactly. I mean he did wonders for the Buttholes.

Gavin: Yeah, we call him "John," actually.

Scott: So when is the new stuff going to be out?

Gavin: Well the plan as I know it, and I don't really know a lot, but the plan is to get it out in time for this exciting summer "tour" that we're having, so that we can sell it to unsuspecting victims. So that would be the plan. I just got the good news that Travis squeezed some money out of his parents to put this out (Update: The 1-4-5s Rock Invasion LP was released by Estrus Records).

Scott: We have another question from a listener, his name is Billy and he's seven years old, and he would like to know what the name the 1-4-5s means?

Travis: Well, we're a very serious band, and we have a lot of subtle meanings, and the 1-4-5s is actually Latin for "God."

Gavin: I heard that in an email that someone sent me recently.

Scott: So y'all are a Christian band, is that what you're saying?

Travis: No, I think it's just that our music evokes a sort of a heavenly spirit.

Dean: Speaking of number bands, I heard that 311 got in to big trouble because the 11th letter in the alphabet is K, so like people thought that 311 meant KKK. Luckily we do not have such connotations.

Gavin: Maybe we should think about that. Maybe there's a code to the 1-4-5s.

Travis: We'd be A, D, E.

Dean: A, D, E. What's that?

Travis: That's... um, that's the chords that we play.

Scott: A listener just called in to inform us that around maybe 15 years ago in the Boston area there was a band called "One Four Five." What do you think about that?

Travis: We've been discovered!

Gavin: It's the plastic surgery, Scott, that really covers us there. And the helmets...

Scott: Plus the pact with Satan...

Gavin: Plus the... I don't know about that.

Travis: I guess 1-4-5 isn't exactly a ground-breakingly original idea for a band.

Dean: Or music.

Travis: Our songs are so similar that sometimes I have nightmares where I can't get them out of my head and they drive me insane.

Nick: We have a call in question here, so I'm just going to translate it...

Gavin: Is it in another language?

Nick: Somebody wants to know how many chords you know now that you've been a band for awhile.

Dean: I think Travis only knows two.

Travis: I think I know three. I didn't know how to play guitar when we recorded the first single, and then Dean taught me how to play "Flame On" that summer.

Nick: The same fellow wants to know if you can play and sing at the same time.

Gavin: Travis can, it's amazing!

Travis: I practiced along with our record all summer, and after playing "Flame On" for three months, I could play all the other songs, too, 'cause they're all the same.

Dean: It's actually only two chords.

Travis: Really? Oh.

Gavin: We've learned something here together, tonight, as an audience... and a band. I can't play and sing, actually.

Travis: But he tries to interject random screaming and dance moves.

Gavin: Yeah, but it usually messes me up and I start playing parts of other songs.

Travis: Tell them about how you can never remember what song we're playing.

Gavin: Um, well the truth is I can never remember which song we're playing. Neither can Anna.

Travis: Gavin was telling me about the fear he has every time we start a song that he won't know which song we're playing.

Gavin: This is true, actually, 'cause we'll start a song, and since they're all basically the same, if I know which key we're in I can get by, but I don't really know which... I'm real nervous if I don't... 'cause, you know... I'm faking it. Some of our songs have stops, and that's when I get revealed.

Scott: Maybe you need some cue cards or a teleprompter.

Dean: Travis uses cue cards!

Travis: I've used cue cards many a time.

Gavin: When we played at KVRX Travis had this wall that you could post notes on, and there were song lyrics all over it.

Scott: We have another question from a caller, this is from Ross, who is a graduate student in the English department at UT, and he noticed that all of your lyrics are in iambic pentameter. Is this something that was planned, or is there something behind that?

Dean: I think Travis only knows how to write one song.

Gavin: Once I came up with a different kind of rhythm for a bassline, and we were just at a loss. I think we threw that one right out.

Travis: We made it an instrumental.

Nick: Here's one last question from the audience. They want to know if you have any hidden messages in your songs, like backmasking or any of that sort of thing.

Dean: Well with the digital studio we were able to...

Gavin: There are actually five different songs if you play it backwards.

Dean: And if you plug it into your computer there's a whole CD ROM experience.

Gavin: Right, but you have to be running Windows 95 for that.

Scott: Another listener.

Nick: Someone wanted to know if you have any side projects.

Dean: We've got side projects galore!

Travis: We were actually a side project of the Teen Titans.

Dean: Gavin was in Hottie*78, and Anna and I have a band called Poopiehead, which I guess Travis is also in. Well, he plays for us.

Travis: I play keyboard for Poopiehead, but Anna taught me the parts note for note.

Dean: It's not garage rock, though.

Scott: So what about this big world tour?

Travis: We're going to the West Coast in July, all the way up to Vancouver.

Dean: And then we'll tour Japan in December! We hope.

Scott: Well, we all have our fantasies.