No matter who you are, you’ve probably had a rough day at the office that changed your perspective, or maybe you made an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back. This week, Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton from the band Electric Guest take our economics-inspired quiz.
Electric Guest‘s latest album “Plural” is out now.
Matthew Compton: In a next life, what would your career be?
Asa Taccone: I think about this a lot, because I’m, like, “Will this music thing work out?” Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. So, [I’ll] probably [be] broker than I am now. You know, actually I revise [that answer]. I think I’d probably do something in the music industry, like maybe I’d work for a label or something.
Compton: I’d probably actually become a music editor, because I’m pretty good at Pro-Tools.
Taccone: Matthew, what’s the hardest part about your job that nobody knows?
Compton: Not knowing that anything will ever happen and the self-doubt that comes with it I think is probably the hardest thing.
Taccone: Yeah, talk about last night.
Compton: Yeah, last night I got food poisoning. After we played “Seth Meyers,” I was literally throwing up in my hotel room until 2:30 in the morning or something like that, and I’m here right now talking to you. It’s not easy to do that, but it’s stuff you have to do when you’re on the road and you aren’t home, and it’s kind of uncomfortable, and you just maybe want to stay in bed but you can’t.
Compton: Asa, when did you realize that music could become an actual career?
Taccone: Probably, like, seven years ago I realized that I might be able to do this for my living when I was doing stuff for “Saturday Night Live” with my brother. [We got] just, like, little check. It wasn’t, like, crazy money, but I was, like, “Oh, I can pay my rent and I don’t have to have another job.” The first time I got paid for actually playing music was probably when we did some TV stuff. We did “David Letterman.” We got paid off that, because everything before that we were kind of lost on the live side [of playing music].
Taccone: Matthew, what was your very first job?
Compton: I worked at a movie theater as a projectionist in Danville, Virginia, where I grew up. It was great. Everyone that worked there actually played music, so at night we would just stay after and play music right in the front where the screen was until, like, 5 in the morning. Also there was a curfew, so I had to stay until about 5 in the morning because we weren’t supposed to be out. So yeah, it was great, it was amazing. Loved it.
Compton: Asa, what advice do you wish someone gave you before you started your career?
Taccone: You know, I got a lot of advice from my mentor, this dude Danger Mouse, who produced our first record with me. I have to admit, he covered a lot of ground, like everything from finances to kind of the emotional side of touring and approaching music. It’s not that I knew everything by any means, but I definitely got a lot of advice. I remember the first two weeks of our tour, he pulled me aside and he was, like, “You should know every band breaks up,” and it’s kind of like a crazy thing to say right off the bat. But it [was] good. He [was], like, if you want to avoid it, [then] read up on on bands that actually survived. So I think you know, me and Matthew have just tried to kind of approach this with gentleness for each other so that we can have it be a long-term thing. But I was lucky, I think I got a lot of advice.
Compton: I think for me it was just about, [you know] doing this band we’re very self-sufficient, and in earlier bands when I was growing up I wasn’t and relied too much on a record label or an engineer and I think really everyone has the resources at their fingertips to do whatever they want and the more you do stuff on your own and the more you’re kind of responsible for your own stuff I think it’s the best. You have more control over it and it’s just more beneficial overall I think.