Box Elders

Posted: January 6th, 2010
"It was surprising that the club in DC didn’t have any cognac."

Interview & photos by Joe Hammeke

When you come from a small town, you’ve got to make do with who’ve you got when forming a band. The McIntyre brothers lucked out in that both of them dig the same music and work well together. On top of that, both are talented musicians who are down to hit the road. After moving to Omaha, NE, for college in ’07, Jeremiah met Dave Goldberg at a show and recruited him as the third member, forming the Box Elders in its current form. Following a spot at Gonerfest Five in 2008, they scored a record deal on the Goner label and were invited back for Gonerfest Six this September 24–26. 
I caught one of their shows in LA a few months ago and also picked their brains. Here’s what they had to say.

How did the Box Elders begin?
Jeremiah: Clayton and I are brothers. We had a band that would goof around on Friday night. Our mom would sing, and Clayton would play bass and kick drum and snare.
Clayton: We did “Wooly Bully” and “Blitzkrieg Bop.” We wrote a couple songs and figured we should find somebody to complete the band, 
so we recruited Dave since we’ve known him for a long time.

Your mom was a band member?
Jeremiah: That’s kind of how it started. 
I was in school. Clayton was 14 or 15 and we lived in the middle of nowhere. It was mostly covers. She does a mean “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” Our parents are both musicians. My dad played the guitar. My mom’s from Texas where people are generally into music, but she was never in a band.

Jeremiah, what’s it like being in a band with your brother?
Jeremiah: It’s good. We fight like brothers fight, but it’s usually over pretty quickly. We can fight and then it’s forgotten about. Not like a fight with a regular band member where the tension lingers.

Dave, what’s it like being in a band with brothers, neither of which are your own?
Dave: It’s like being in a band with a married couple. Which I have been in before. I just 
learn to tune it out. With the married couple, 
I would always pick the wife’s side. With these guys I just stay neutral.

Did you tour or record an album first?
Jeremiah: We did a 7-inch that sold pretty well. We did a tour through the South and a West Coast tour. When we were in the South we met the guys from Goner records. Eric, 
who worked with the Oblivians and Jay Reatard, was into us. Goner supports us. We’re doing a Goner LP and a 7-inch on Jay’s label. We also have a 7-inch coming out on Hozac.

What genre would I find Box Elders 
filed under?
Jeremiah: We call it cave pop.
Clayton: Maybe ’60s pop, early punk stuff.

Five influential bands?
Jeremiah: Slade, the Ramones, CCR, Minutemen, the Clean.
Dave: Cramps, Gories, Oblivians, Slade.
Clayton: Devo, the Modern Lovers, CCR, Little Richard, Red Kross.

Dave, what made you decide to play drums standing up?
Dave: I always thought the guy from the 
Stray Cats looked super cool, so I would stand up for a few songs. Then these guys convinced me to get rid of the stool.

You’ve been a frontman in other bands. What’s it like behind the drums?
Dave: I feel like I’m a frontman regardless of where I am on the stage.
Clayton: We are all frontmen here. No one is behind anyone else.

Do you plan to stay in Omaha?
Dave: It’s a good place to be if you’re touring. We plan to leave often. It’s a good home base; at least six months out of the year we’re gone.
Jeremiah: It’s centrally located. You’re never too far from your stuff.

What’s your favorite place to play a show?
All: The South. Alabama, Louisiana. Dixie.
Jeremiah: We’ve had good times in Brooklyn. San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Canada.
Clayton: All the shows in Canada are in the south of Canada, so it’s got to be the south.

Any city that just sucked?
Jeremiah: It was surprising that the club in DC didn’t have any cognac.
Dave: It was anti-crunk. Not what we expected.
Clayton: We kind of have a crunk list, rating cities by their crunkness. DC was a disappointment. The Chocolate City was a letdown. New Orleans and Memphis top the list for crunkness.
Jeremiah: Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC was crunk.

What’s next for you guys?
Jeremiah: Our record Alice and Friends came out August 11 on Goner. Then we’re going two weeks with Jay Reatard, two months on our own to some festivals, and then a month in Europe. Everyone tells me that they love rock and roll in Spain.

Download Box Elders albums and songs from the iTunes store here or check their myspace page for upcoming shows.
  • Diamond Supply Co. x The Beatles

    Diamond Supply Co. x The Beatles
    The Diamond Supply Co x Beatles Yellow Submarine ‘Nothing is Real’ capsule is now available. Check it out.
  • Gatecreeper Interview

    Gatecreeper Interview
    Sam Hitz tracked Gatecreeper down in LA and they elected frontman Chase Mason to answer a few questions about the tour.
  • G Perico Interview

    G Perico Interview
    G Perico had a few minutes to talk about catching the wave, getting shot last year and why he’ll never straighten his hair again.
  • Larb Fest 4

    Larb Fest 4
    Got scurvy? Maybe Larb Fest 4 can help. Double dose! Check out the full line-ups now.
  • Sheer Mag Interview

    Sheer Mag Interview
    Tina Halladay, Kyle Seely, and Matt Palmer took some time to talk about song writing, playing crappy music festivals and more. Check it out.
  • Michael Burnett's "Full Blast" Brooklyn Photos

    Michael Burnett's "Full Blast" Brooklyn Photos
    Bad Sh!t, Slashers and DJ Cardiel helped celebrate Burnett's 20 year show at the Brooklyn House of Vans while the locals got loose! Check the flicks!
  • Blood Wizard Oceanside Premiere

    Blood Wizard Oceanside Premiere
    Blood Wizard week continues with photos from the Oceanside premiere of Mythical and Magical this past weekend—individual parts are dropping on the site all week, so stay tuned for the most wicked wizardry on four wheels.
  • The Damned Interview

    The Damned Interview
    The Damned are among the first generation of British punk and still standing. We caught up with Captain Sensible on their recent 40th anniversary tour.
  • Blood Wizard's "Mythical and Magical" Premiere Photos

    Blood Wizard's "Mythical and Magical" Premiere Photos
    Rock 'n' roll, sorcery and shredding—the Blood Wizard himself was summoned for the premiere of Mythical and Magical and conjured up a night of savage skating and good times. And so it begins…
  • Ross From Friends Interview

    Ross From Friends Interview
    Ross From Friends is to release The Outsiders EP, his third and most expansive release to date on Magicwire. Get to know him here.