Bo Koster of My Morning JacketThursday, February 26, 2009
What has been the biggest MMJ highlight for you? I know of New Year's Eve at the Garden, going to hang at Neil Young's ranch, Bonnaroo at 3 a.m. in a storm – I'm guessing those are some pretty cool/surreal things to have been a part of.
Yeah, the whole year has been surreal. It all goes by so fast, and you almost forget or don't have time to really take in all the moments. As much as I remember those things you mentioned, I also have really strong memories of just hanging out with the guys, laughing, or whatever. Sharing the stage with Erykah Badu was a huge highlight for all of us. Playing Saturday Night Live, Red Rocks, Radio City. We've been so lucky to share the stage with so many ghosts. It truly is humbling, almost overwhelmingly so. Every time I get the chance to play and hang out with the guys, I feel extraordinarily lucky. It's that feeling of being so fortunate that continually drives me and inspires me to keep working at it and keep growing and not take it for granted for one second.
Do you like being the keyboardist as opposed to the lead singer? I'm guessing hanging out in the background has its advantages?
Yeah, I like being the keyboardist. It's a cool role, because you can be a color guy by adding some frosting on top of the cake, but you can also be part of the drum and bass section. I secretly wish I was a drummer or a bass player. Sometimes I really wish I could jump around and be mobile too and lose my mind a little bit more.
What music are you listening to these days? Name some of your favorite bands of all time.
I've never really done any pop stuff. I've kind of been a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. I've been listening to a lot of different stuff lately, and been trying to explore more of my creative side. I've been listening to some really cool movie soundtrack stuff by Henry Mancini, and I've been really getting into Allen Toussaint. I've been digging the new Animal Collective record...It would be hard to mention any one band as a favorite. Keith Jarrett, "Koln concert", Genesis, "Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" from the Peter Gabriel era, and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" were some of the first records I really connected to when I was 13 or 14. I grew up listening to a lot of the typical classic rock stuff, and then I got heavily into jazz and soul music in high school. There was a moment there where I listened to Miles, Coltrane, Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett almost exclusively.
Did touring with the band cause you any problems as far as setting a lineup or making transactions?
No, it's pretty easy to get an internet connection in all the clubs. I did miss one line-up change when I was on a plane all day.
Who are some of your favorite bands to tour with?
I have a lot of fond memories of touring with M. Ward, Dr. Dog, Everest (who I've had the pleasure of playing with lately), and Andrew Bird. Playing "It Makes No Difference" and "A Quick One While He's Away" with Eddie Vedder was really special. The Pearl Jam guys really know how to treat an opening act. Ed would come out and sing with us to encourage people to arrive early to see us. That's a really generous thing to do and really sweet, and it meant a lot to us. Opening for Neil Young was mind-blowing. Watching Neil play music and channel that energy never gets old. I could probably watch Neil play every day for the rest of my life and never get bored.
What's next in the pipeline for MMJ after the success of Evil Urges and the huge tours?
Not sure really. We're going to take it as it comes.
Now that your rookie season is almost in the books, any advice for someone getting ready to start their fantasy sports career?
Ahh, not really. I don't think I'm ready to start giving advice! I would just say jump in and have fun. I'm hoping to join a couple leagues next year. That's how much fun I had this year. I want more!
Although Bo didn't mention it in the interview, he did mention something to me recently about wanting a piece of Stephen Malkmus in fantasyhoopsland. I'm going to do what I can to merge those two worlds together next year.