Posted by Tobias Carroll

Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death make harrowing, sometimes fragmented punk rock that, at its best, is unsettling as hell. If punk’s unpredictability is something that drew you to it in the first place, you’ll find plenty to like on their latest album, Some of Us Are In This Together — it’s bleak and ecstatic and unrelenting in all the best ways. On its second song, vocalist Spencer Moody sings the phrase “If you believe in blood” the way another vocalist might express some sort of romantic devotion. Moody answered some questions on literature via email; up for discussion were topics ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Moody’s 2010 EP I Am the Pedwin Drag King.

MP3: Let’s Leave the Elephant in the Room

Your band’s name was inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned — how did that come about? What first drew you to this book? Do you find Fitzgerald’s life and work more a source of inspiration or more of a cautionary tale?

I was drawn to this book by the title and figured I should try the fancy writers every one likes. I read [The] Great Gatsby after this and felt Damned was by far the better book. Let the rich have Fitzgerald as far as I’m concerned.

 

Beyond Fitzgerald, has literature had a larger influence on the group?

Only the lyrics.

What have you been reading lately?
The last great book I finished was Imperial by W.T. Vollmann. It’s an exceptionally great book that I would recommend to almost nobody.

 

What are some of your favorite books? What about them has stayed with you over the years?
Everything [by] Flannery O’Conner, The Old Man and the Sea, East of Eden. Road to Wigan Pier. That Bockris book of of interviews with W.S. Burroughs. Imperial by Vollmann.

They expanded and narrowed my world view.

Some Of Us Are In This Together comes in fairly detailed packaging; your solo EP on Half Yogurt had a very sparse aesthetic. How do you feel about the look and feel of the records you’ve been involved with? How important is it to maintain a distinct identity for each of them?

 

Mostly I’m happy to put that stuff in other peoples’ hands. I just want to make music and put out lots of records.

 

(photo credit: Coco Howard)
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