Several issues, and years, ago Chunklet Magazine ran a feature whereby readers could apply for their very own “Cred Card” issued by, who else, The Bank Of Indie Cred. Earlier this year, the idea was expanded into a 200 page book that quizzes readers in every conceivable area of “indie cred” (samples? “Do you argue with people who follow recipes?”, “Have you ever been personally responsible for a band getting fired from a label?”, “Has one of your heckles ever silenced the room?”). It’s a massively funny and surprisingly broad laugh-fest. As expected, all sacred cows are slaughtered and the pigs never had a chance.
When the idea to interview my old friend Henry Owings about The Indie Cred Test popped into my head I had a grand delusion that I’d be able to get down to the meat-n-bones of exactly why such a thing resonates with certain people. That is, what is it about “credibility” (as a reality) that we crave and seek out yet also mock and scoff at (as a concept)? Well, we explored that a little bit but not much. Actually, we didn’t really discuss the book itself at any great length but I think our conversation does reveal some insight into the attitude behind the book.
What you’re about to read is really a conversation between a couple of dudes who have known each other for almost two decades, been band mates together, gone through periods of acrimonious acquaintance with each other and, ultimately, landed in full adulthood as long time friends. As it stands, I’m much happier with the way this turned out that the way I planned it.
(This conversation took place over Facebook Chat while Henry was anticipating his infant daughter waking up at any time. So we made the most of our chances.)
Henry Owings (H2O): Boom
Gordon Lamb (24HPP): There ya are. Just sent a message telling you how to sign in.
H2O: Sorry, I don’t “do” this
24HPP: That’s cool. I don’t really either but it works well.
H2O: [My wife] does, judging from the twenty IMs I’ve gotten in the last few minutes
H2O: Jesus, talk about time killer
24HPP: I know it’s not your thing. I read that Pitchfork interview you did once.
H2O: Dude, yeah, that was insane. Nobody ever believes me that it was done via iChat. I still have the transcript because I was misquoted. Hard to believe, huh? Via iChat?
24HPP: That’s the whole idea of doing it via chat, i.e. to not misquote!
H2O: I think because I can type like a motherfucker. I was over-typing and was referring to things earlier [in the interview] or whatever. Anyway…
24HPP: Ah, so it fell out-of-order/context, etc?
H2O: Yeah. You know I’m like a furious typer.
24HPP: I know.
H2O: I was timed at UGA when I got a job there. 95wpm, 100% accuracy. Nobody believes me
24HPP: I’m an awful typist. I even took typing in high school.
H2O: Best skill I ever got from junior high school. Thank God something stuck.
24HPP: Well, let me ask you then: why didn’t you ever go to secretarial school? I mean, you’ve got the legs for it!
H2O: Yeah, I’ve got killer thighs. Anyway, what did you think of the Flagpole piece? It seemed kinda condescending. Or patronizing.