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Arts and Entertainment

Interview Time with Nate of The Format

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If anyone complains about new music today they're not buying the right cds. Arizona's The Format came out with one of the best new discs of any year and is in LAist's Top 5 of 2006, which is quite a feat since there were so many great ones that came out this year.

Fun, happy, hopeful, easy to get into, "Dog Problems" was there for us as we fell asleep, there for us as we drove around the country, and there for us when we woke up.

This summer we were lucky enough to see them play at a sold-out Avalon and we even took this video to capture some of the magic and love that permeated the famed club. The kids sang along with every word, the girlies danced and the boys were envious of the longhaireds onstage, but in a nice way.

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For weeks we knew the odds were good that we could score an interview with Nate Ruess from the Format but what do you say about an absolutely perfect record other than "uhhhhhhhh great fucking record"? Fortunately we scrounged together some questions and after the jump you'll get to see what our buddy had to say.

If you're in town this weekend do yourself a favor and head over to the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal Studios and even if you've never heard of this band, check them out and you will believe in the power of great music and good vibes. Trust us on this one.

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LAist: Your album is amazingly up-beat. How is that possible when we hear that it's based around romantic break-ups that you've had over the years?

Nate Ruess of The Format: Its a total coincidence...I was a pretty big downer...especially around the time the album was written...but I started getting over it all by the time we started recording...so maybe the songs brightened up in the studio.

Dog Problems sounds like pretty much no other cd that came out this year. Are we missing something? Are there any other cds or bands that sound anything like The Format?

Not that I know of...and that's not trying to be braggy...I just don't think we are inspired by very much music that has come out recently...most of it is just us trying to rip off the beatles and coming out very unsuccessful.

We saw you play at the sold out Avalon this summer and noticed you perform barefooted. Ever get a splinter or stub a toe?

I've since stopped...in fact...I think the avalon might have been the last time...granted I enjoy playing barefoot...it can get a little scary when you see how gross the stages are...it took me 4 years to realize this.

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The album art and the sets that you use remind us of the tshirts we had in the '80s from Big Dogs - are we crazy to think that?

Haha...yes...but as long as it doesn't remind you of those terrible "big johnson" shirts...

We will be naming Dog Problems as one of the Top 5 cds to come out this year along with The Grates, The Go! Team, Sonic Youth, and Wolfmother. Of those cds which do you like the most?

I haven't heard any...but I've played a wolfmother song once on "guitar hero 2" and I actually have been planning on buying the new sonic youth.

You guys have been on the road for a while, what is the schedule for a normal day of a band like The Format?

We don't do anything...we wake up late...hover around catering like wolves...go back to the bus (that's right...bus...very fancy)...insult each other...play a show...go back to the bus and play videogames...watch arrested development...go to sleep....and that is everyday...like groundhog day.

Since you've traveled the country you must have seen some amazing places and never want to move back to Arizona. True?

Hmmm...I enjoy the small towns...or the big citys with a small town vibe...and surprisingly the south can be alright sometimes...as long as its not named "florida" or "texas" (excluding austin) then its alright...but I love arizona...and I wasn't even born there...go figure.

What is the one dvd that you find yourself playing on the tour bus all the time?

Arrested season 3 has been a big hit...I like watching "the last waltz".

The Format play this Saturday at the Gibson with The All American Rejects, Motion City Soundtrack, and Boys Like Girls