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Arts & Culture

Gary Sweeney Interviews Hyperbubble

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Gary Sweeney and Hyperbubble, trying to think of ways to rhyme "tonight" with "tonight"


The same thing happened with Winter Records, a label out of Toulouse, France. The French totally got off on this weird Texas band visiting their country. The promoter couldn’t figure us out. He said, “You two are a total paradox: Vegetarians from Texas who use drum machines!”

So, yeah. There’s some truth to what you said. If we were a European band, it probably wouldn’t be as big a deal to them. But here’s a Texas band, a Texas synthesizer band, at that, so it’s strange and special.

Is your worldview more Iggy Pop or Jonathan Richman?

JEFF: I tend to take the Iggy approach: Let’s kick this place around and see what we scare up! Though the shirt remains on. Jess has a more Richman-like dry wit and consideration.

Jess, one of the reasons you gave for bringing me on to your Luminaria gig was that you were getting burned out being the center of attention on stage. Do you go through phases where you want to be in the background?

JESS: I don’t imagine that I’m ever the center of attention when I’m next to Jeff on stage, as he’s the “Hyper” in Hyperbubble! I do have times in performing and teaching where I’d prefer to be low-key, but you do have to put on a dynamic performance, whether you play music, sing or teach, or even when you have an art exhibit. You’ve got to put on your best face and give them their money’s worth and leave an unforgettable impression. I have no regrets about being on stage, as real connections with the audience and fans are meaningful. I just can’t be that “turned- on” person every day.

Are people born with talent, or is it something you have to cultivate?

JESS: I do think there’s such a thing as the creative gene. However, all it takes is one parent, teacher, or mentor to encourage you when you’re young to follow that direction. I was lucky to have a dad that encouraged my drawing and showed me how to develop film and take photographs. My mother and grandmother encouraged us to pick a musical instrument and practice often. My grade school music teacher told me I could sing. If you don’t have that support and want it, create it for yourself.

JEFF: So, cultivation of creation from inspiration and motivation? Hey, that sounds like a song lyric!

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