In January, the passing of Charlie Cooper, one half of the electronic duo Telefon Tel Aviv, put the musical future of that group in question. In February, their third record, Immolate Yourself, came out as planned on Bpitch Control. Antigravity Magazine spoke with Joshua Eustis, the band's other half, about Charlie's death, which was ruled an overdose, and the band's future...
ANTIGRAVITY: Even for someone who knew you, the level of friendship you communicated to the world after Charlie died was intense. Can you flesh that out a little bit to help people understand exactly what kind of relationship that was?Later in March, Joshua announced his plans for that tour. He said, "I've decided to play shows (I know, I know, it's not exactly a big deal, but hey...). Fredo [Nogueira] is going to come with me and play keyboards and sing backups. Some of you may know who he is already, but if not, he has co-written some things with TTA and basically been our best friend for a million years. He's always around when we're making a record. We'll be playing mostly stuff from the new LP, and some even newer stuff, so please come out and help us move things forward!"
Joshua Eustis: It's kind of hard to put into words, really, but we depended on each other for everything. Aside from being best friends, we worked together, we lived together for many years, we made three records together, did remixes together and basically never argued about music in the studio...
AG: Are you mad at Charlie at all?
Joshua: Sure. I like to tell myself, to give myself comfort in a very selfish way, that it's a natural response to something like this. But I can't really be mad at him because the Medical Examiner, for instance--I'll tell you this, since everybody is wondering--ruled inconclusively. They couldn't rule that it was a suicide, because there wasn't enough evidence to indicate that it actually was. It very well could've been an accident and that's what the Medical Examiner thinks at this time. We get the toxicology report in a week and it's going to stay between me and his family. If it wasn't intentional, then I'm a lot sadder, but I'll take comfort in knowing he wasn't trying to take an easy way out of life's problems. But, if it was intentional (which I don't think it was), then yeah I'm pissed off because it's a bullshit way of dealing with life's problems--problems that everybody has: girl problems, money problems. Fuck, everybody has those problems. To despair when you have problems is the height of folly, because despair is only for people who know the end beyond any doubt. If you know for a fact that it's going to end badly, then you can despair, but nobody ever knows that everything is going to completely fall apart and your life is going to end. For that reason I would be pissed off if the Medical Examiner comes back and rules it a suicide.
AG: Are you looking forward to promoting [the new record]?
Joshua:I am trying to look forward to that; I'm a little lost on how I'm going to do it. I don't know how it's going to go down exactly but there's definitely going to be a massive tour later this year, basically July through October, ideally. The world, U.S., everywhere else that I can get a show. I don't know who's going to be involved or how it's going to go down: I'm not there yet. If the band's going to continue...I don't know. We'll see.
The pair played Europe in late spring, and now they're coming to North America, with a month of shows starting in September. They'll play NYC shows on Friday, September 11th at the Bell House with The Race and on September 12th at the Mercury Lounge. Tickets for the Mercury Lounge show are on AmEx presale now. General sale starts at noon.
A trailer for the new record and all tour dates, below...
Telefon Tel Aviv - 2009 Tour Dates
Tue Sep 08 - Ann Arbor, MI The Blind Pig
Wed Sep 09 - Toronto, ON El Mocambo
Thu Sep 10 - Montreal, QC Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
Fri Sep 11 - Brooklyn, NY The Bell House *
Sat Sep 12 - New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Sun Sep 13 - Allston, MA Great Scott *
Tue Sep 15 - Philadelphia, PA Kungfu Necktie
Wed Sep 16 - Washington, DC DC9
Thu Sep 17 - Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
Fri Sep 18 - Atlanta, GA The Earl
Sat Sep 19 - New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
Mon Sep 21 - Austin, TX The Mohawk
Tue Sep 22 - Dallas, TX Cavern Ale House
Thu Sep 24 - Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room
Fri Sep 25 - Los Angeles, CA Spaceland
Sat Sep 26 - San Francisco, CA Bottom of The Hill
Mon Sep 28 - Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Tue Sep 29 - Seattle , WA Chop Suey
Fri Oct 02 - Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
* w/ The Race