Finch | Interview



Words by Nowak

Due to a lousy cordless phone, I was struggling to make out what was said at some points during this interview when I listened to the tape to transcribe it. It may not be 100% accurate but I did the best I could. I guess maybe I’m not supposed to write about stuff like this – like, journalists always pretend like they’re so cool and on top of their game, but fuck that, dude. I barely even know what I’m doing.  So anyway, here it is and I sure hope it’s worth it, because I count myself as a new fan of these guys, and their new record is killer. In the end the noise gave way to some conversation, and here’s some stuff that Alex Linares, guitarist of the band Finch, had to say…

I’ve been listening to the new Finch album a lot, and I gotta say, that thing is great. I had kinda written you guys off when I heard some of the first album. I’m so sorry, I had lumped you guys in with like Yellowcard and Simple Plan…

You son of a bitch!

But I was wrong, man. The new album is darker and a heavier; almost metal in some places.

Well thank you. I’m glad you like it; I’m glad people are liking it. When we made that first record, it was like right when you start growing up, you know? We recorded that record when we were like 18, Like right when you’re just starting to figure out who you are. We’ve definitely grown up, and figured out better what our interests are and what we want to do. But that first record did a lot for us, and I’m definitely grateful, because that’s when things started “happening” for us. We had been touring on [that record] for ages and then it got kinda big, and then I almost thought of that as more of a curse, you know, like, “Fuck. People are gonna expect us to sound like that forever.” We already knew the next Finch record was gonna be shockingly different.

Finch seems to really embrace the division of your audience caused by this album. Like, I was reading your website and thought it was really funny that you were posting hatemail from fans of the old album who don’t like the new stuff.

Oh man, I wish I had printed out this letter I got and just carried it with me all the time so I could quote it. There was this guy, I think he was from the South or whatever because he kept saying “y’all” like every other word. Like, “Y’all’s new record sucks. Y’all should go back to y’all’s old style. Y’all suck now!” Oh my god, it’s  the raddest, most hilarious thing I’ve ever read. But at that first moment I was really pissed off, like, “Fuck this guy!” I wrote him back, and I was like, “Seriously, dude, take your opinion, and shove it up y’all’s ass. I had that moment of anger, but then after I sent it I felt bad.

Back with the first album, you guys had to play a lot of radio shows, and I had read some things where you guys were complaining about having to play with shitty bands like Staind or Godsmack. What were those experiences like, and would you care to talk any shit?

No, I learned my lesson about talking shit about bands that are from Chicago or Boston. I definitely learned my lesson the hard way. It was weird because there were so many different bands playing these things.  We definitely made friends with Aaron Lewis from Staind, you know, and whenever we see each other out at a radio show, we’re definitely out there for each other, and like Derek [bass] and Aaron smoke out together, and just a couple other sort of bonding moments. They’re nice people. Like, all the bands you’d probably despise are the nicest guys in the world.

Nate, your singer, and I shared a common aspiration to be on Conan O’Brien. Finch played on the show a couple years ago. How was being on Late Night, and was it everything Nate had hoped for?

Both of us were looking forward to that; we’re both such huge fans of Conan O’Brien and had a dream of being on there.  But, Conan was just rad.  Max Weinberg hung out with us like all day, and he was like playing drums for us and stuff and being really cool. Then we played the show, and I’m like rocking out, and I open my eyes and caught a glance at Conan, and he’s over there rocking out at his desk! Then he came over after to do his whole, “Hey, we’ll be right back after this break…” and as he’s shaking my hand, the camera cuts away, and he’s like, “Seriously, that was fucking awesome. No band ever fucking comes on here and just rocks the fuck out.” Like, every other word was fuck! And he was just towering over me, and I was like, “Holy shit, I’m nervous!” Nate ended up doing like a bow thing to Conan, and then he was like, “no, no” and was bowing to Nate. My girlfriend was out in the hall watching the program, Conan goes bursting through the door, like blew them open, and was all like, “That band fucking rocked!”, and then like ran into an editing room. That was awesome. It was probably like the biggest highlight of our careers that, and playing Redding and Leeds.

So, I got a couple of death questions. Aside from a funeral, have you ever been in the same room with a dead human body?

I’ve been close to a dead human body. I think I was like 17, and I went camping for the first time. We stopped to get gas, and across the street there was another gas station, and there was this guy like laying there on the sidewalk. A cop walked up and nudged him, and I thought, “Oh that’s weird; that guy’s just passed the fuck out.” So I go into the gas station, and I come out like 5 or 10 minutes later, and there are paramedics over there covering him with a sheet to take him away. That guy was just laying there, dead on the sidewalk. That’s the only other time I’ve been around a dead body except for a funeral.

Have you ever had a near-death experience?

I nearly got into some gnarly car accidents. When I was younger I was a terrible driver. Like when you’re driving on the freeway going like 85 miles per hour, and the guy in front of you hits his brake, my mentality used to be like, “I don’t really feel like stopping, so I’m just gonna go around him…” So I used to just give a quick glance over the shoulder, and then like narrowly miss the car in front of me. I know there was one time where Randy [the other guitarist] was in the car with me, and I barely missed a car, and still to this day I think about it like, “Wow… I’ll never do that again.”

And finally, what do you think happens to us when we die?

I like to be optimistic about it, like if we live a good life we are reborn or go somewhere better. But who knows, man? Maybe we all go to Hell.

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