It’s been a long time since Harvester played a proper Portland show. Safe harbor has passed however, and we’re back to jangle the shit out of you. It is an early show on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Landmark Saloon. More details on Mr. Facebook. Last year, we released our first album in a decade, Mt. Tallac. We’ll be playing some of that, along with the usual assortment of golden oldies. Opening the show will be our buddy, and one-time drummer, Kelly Bauman. Our current drummer, Ario Lynch, will be sneaking in a few jokes between music sets. He’s been doing stand up comedy the last four years. I know almost nothing about this scene, so I asked him a few questions.
1. What about drumming also applies to stand up comedy?
A -Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I mean timing is supes important, obviously. There’s a dynamic to a joke or a story, tension building. Comics develop their own rhythmic style. It’s basically the same thing. Except drummers aren’t desperate for the focused attention of everyone in the room. They understand the innate value of what they’re doing, and experience joy just in doing it. A drummer doesn’t look out, see one person not engaged and think “fuck, I have to throw my whole act away and start over”.
Also, you do have to own that you’re basically in charge of the room when you’re on stage.
2. How come bassists aren’t that funny?
A – I don’t know, have you heard Geddy Lee’s onstage banter? Guy’s a cut up. But seriously, being funny requires quick thinking and intelligence, and that’s what hangs up most bass players. It’s not their fault. They’re lucky someone decided to take two strings off a guitar and invite them to “play” in the band. You can’t just let your friend sit around drooling in the corner all day.
3. I’ve always thought of drummers as the baseball catchers of bands. That is, the team/band’s success depends on them, but catchers/drummers are always… nuts. Why is this?
A – Hmm, I hear that about drummers. I’m not sure I conform to the type. Certainly there is a deeply primitive aspect to it. So are drummers just more connected to that part of being human? Is that crazy? Are you calling me crazy?? Oh I’m sorry, is my ratamacue bothering you? Or is it my double ratamacue? Well, here’s a triple and a flam. I’m outta here.
4. Sometimes I fall under the spell of delusion where I think, “I should be an actor. I could probably do that.” I never think that with stand up comedy. It seems like it would be really hard to be funny enough to make people laugh. Thoughts?
A – To me acting seems hard. Like, there’s a lot of prep work and rehearsal, on top of the talent. But I’m glad that you correctly perceive that comedy is difficult. Many don’t. It’s been said that when standup is done well it looks like anyone can do it, unlike ballet or sculpting or tossing pizza dough. So a lot of people who make their friends or coworkers laugh will try it at a local open mic. And often do “well” that first time. It’s all the crickets that you hear over the next few months/years that separates the regular people from the dedicated masochists.
The hard part isn’t being funny, either. It’s making your ideas presentable in a performance. Stepping up to a mic and being funny, on purpose.
5. Is there a typical shitty thing that some people say when they find out you are a budding comic? Like the next time you hear it you’re going to punch them in the throat.
A – Whoa! That’s a bit extreme. Is there something you need to get off your chest?
Not shitty. Mostly people are in awe that you can even get up there. Most people would rather rescue there iPhone from a pit of vipers than get on stage in front of an audience, let alone try to be funny. It’s annoying is when someone wants to know what kind of comedy you do. It’s the same with musicians. I don’t think we like having to describe our sound or humor to people. I usually just ask if they’ve heard of Louis CK.
Order Harvester’s Mt Tallac here
. Read a feature about the album here
. All of the old albums can be had at Lather Records