erasing clouds

100 Musicians Answer the Same 10 Questions

Part Fifty-Three: Sprites

instigated by dave heaton

Sprites's new album Modern Gameplay (Darla) is a witty and fun batch of pop songs, reflecting pop-culture obsessions and the everyday aspects of singer Jason Korzen's life. His wife Amy Korzen is also in the band, which they started after their previous band, Barcelona (another great pop group) broke up. Modern Gameplay is the second Sprites album; the first -- Starling, Spiders, Tigers and Sprites (March) -- showcases the same excellent melodic sense, in a less synthesizer-heavy setting. Check out their music at their website and MySpace page.


What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

I've been collaborating lately with people over the web. Pretty neat sending bits of songs back and forth and being able to work with people all over the place. Florida. Portland. Denmark. Wherever.

What aspect of making music gets you the most discouraged?

Anything that ties making music to making money.

What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, extravaganzas, experiments, top-secret projects, etc).

I'm working on music for two films right now which will probably keep me busy for the next few weeks.

What's the most unusual place you've ever played a show or made a recording? How did the qualities of that place affect the show/recording?

We played a great show a few years ago at a donut shop. Obviously everybody was hopped on sugar which made it a lot of fun. Donut shops should be more common as music venues.

In what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived), affect the music you create, or your taste in music?

Right now Amy and I are a little isolated where we live. Its been a good thing for me music-wise. There aren't as many distractions. I spend a lot more time writing and recording in our studio. The newest Sprites record is the longest thing I've ever recorded. Its practically epic for me.

When was the last time you wrote a song? What can you tell us about it?

I write a lot of songs - usually my best ones - completely in my car. I know what the music is going to sound like, the melody and a good portion of the lyrics. Then it's a mad scramble to get out of the car and get something down so I don't forget it. I wrote one of those in July. But I'm not going to tell you about it until its down on record. So nobody steals my great idea.

As you create more music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people...and why do you think that is?

Less interested or at least less willing to listen. I'm curious to read how your other quiz takers answer this question, because its something that bothers me about making music. I am such a huge music fan but I hardly listen at all anymore because I don't want it to affect what I am working on myself. I kind of worry that I've ruined music for myself somehow.

Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? (Old or new music? Music like yours or different from yours?)

I still love punk and new wave from the late 70s, early 80s. But I like to listen to the bands who didn't make much of an impact. I find that obcure, hit or miss stuff extremely compelling, especially the "misses". Might be because I don't worry so much about it affecting my own songwriting.

Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

The Postal Service got all of the attention, but Jimmy Tamborello's original group Figurine is brilliant. I love the vocals, especially Meredith's. I love the bleeps and blips. It's electronic but its also flawed and imprecise in the best way. Transportation + Communication = Love is a wonderful record. Listen to the song "New Mate". I remember hearing some sort of demo of that record and being so excited about it, so happy somebody had made it.

What's the saddest song you've ever heard?

Yo La tengo: "The Summer". There might be sadder songs, but that one kills me.

To check out the rest of the Q&As, click here.

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