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Based in Encinitas, the New Archaic was formed in early 2007 by Joe Harrison (guitar, keys, vocals) and Sean Carroll (drums), friends since grade school. The duo emerged from the local punk scene with their previous band, the Wrecking Crew, which toured with the Adolescents. The New Archaic is rounded out by Tolan Shaw (lead vocals, keys, guitar) and Tim McNalley (bass, vocals).

In early 2009, they released a four-song, self-titled EP produced by Grammy-nominated producer Steve Churchyard and Big Fish Studios engineer Ben Moore. Their close association with fellow Encinitas band Switchfoot got them an invite to play last year’s Switchfoot Bro-Am.

The New Archaic won Best New Artist at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards, the same trophy won 12 years earlier by Switchfoot. Their debut album Movers and Fakers was released in June.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Tolan Shaw:

  1. White Rabbits, It’s Frightening. “One of the coolest CDs I’ve heard in a while.”
  2. The RX Bandits, Mandala. “Pretty interesting music.”
  3. Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest. “Some cool harmony vocals.”
  4. Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. “These guys are way too catchy.”
  5. Femi Kuti, Best of Femi Kuti. “Sick Afro-jazz CD that I bought in South Africa.”

Joe Harrison:

  1. Lee Morgan, Search for the New Land. “Definitely a Blue Note classic, with an all-star lineup.”
  2. Gilberto Gil, Louvação. “I have a special place in my heart for the music of Brazil.”
  3. Sweet Talks, The Kusum Beat. “Great stuff from the ’70s Afro scene in Ghana.”
  4. Flying Lotus, Los Angeles. “Cool intimate vibe and a great record [to listen to through] headphones.”
  5. The Emerson Quartet, Debussy and Ravel: String Quartets. “They still sound fresh a century after they were written.”

Tim McNalley:

  1. The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds of Fire. “It has some beautifully intricate instrumental music.”
  2. Radiohead, In Rainbows. “Really luscious songs.”
  3. Alice Coltrane, Journey in Satchidananda. “It’s the kind of music that puts you in a trance.”

Sean Carroll: “My CD player in my car is broken, so I mostly listen to my iPod on shuffle, so I don’t listen to songs over and over again.”

WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE?

Shaw:

  1. “Keep the number of countries I have visited higher than my age.”
  2. “Write a thousand songs.”
  3. “Run a marathon. Naked.”

Harrison:

  1. “Tame a bull.”
  2. “Swim in the Black Sea.”
  3. “Stop and smell the roses.”

McNalley: “I really want to find myself in a room that is covered in little knobs and buttons that, when you twist and push, make all kinds of fun sounds.”

Carroll: “Travel the world.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC?

Shaw: “Indie alternative rock with textural elements and layers that catch your interest and make us stand out from other bands.”

Harrison: “It kinda sounds like if John Bonham and Thom Yorke were taking a bath together, while Brian Eno was in the kitchen making an omelet, and Motown’s back-catalog was in the basement doing laundry.”

McNalley: “It’s a tightly knit relationship between pop melodies and outlandish songwriting tactics.”

EVER COME CLOSE TO KILLING SOMEONE?

Shaw: “I’m pretty sure we kill our manager every time we do something stupid.”

Harrison: “One time, I ran Tim over with a lawn mower. It wasn’t an accident.”

McNalley: “I burned my grandma’s house down in Orange County.”

Carroll: “Who wants to know?”

SOMETHING TRUE ABOUT YOU THAT NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE?

Shaw: “I have pet crabs who live in a cage in my room.”

Harrison: “Wayne Brady is my uncle.”

McNalley: “I burned my grandma’s house down in Orange County.”

BEST THING YOU EVER HAD TO LET GO OF?

Harrison: “My teddy bear Fluffy.”

McNalley: “My dream of riding a tandem bike while wearing a two-person horse costume.”

Carroll: “My Pokémon collection in the fifth grade. It still haunts me today.”

WHAT WOULD YOUR GRADE-SCHOOL TEACHER SAY ABOUT YOU?

Shaw: “‘I would have never expected him to be into music.’”

Harrison: “Hopefully nothing.”

McNalley: “‘Great bowl cut, and an even better mullet.’”

Carroll: “That I could finger-paint really well.”

BEST PICKUP LINE?

Shaw: “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Jessica Alba?”

Harrison: “Can I have yo numba?”

McNalley: “It’s the only way.”

Carroll: “I wanna bag you like some groceries.”

THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Shaw:

  1. “I look in the mirror at least 50 times daily.”
  2. “I drink Muscle Milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
  3. “My favorite thing in the world is money. And iPods.”

Harrison:

  1. “My least favorite vegetable is lima beans.”
  2. “I can’t surf.”
  3. “I’m a compulsive liar.”

McNalley:

  1. “I have never set foot in a Jack in the Box.”
  2. “I will never set foot in a Jack in the Box.”
  3. “I have nothing against Jack in the Box.” ■
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Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 6, 2010 @ 8:34 p.m.

Outtakes:

WHAT SONG LYRIC BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE? Shaw: “‘If You’re Into It’ by Flight of the Conchords -- ‘Is that what you’re into/ Him and you in the nude/ That’s what he’s prepared to do/ Is that the kinda thing that you think you might be into?’”

Harrison: “‘Hammer Smashed Face’ by Cannibal Corpse -- ‘As it pounds down on your forehead.’”

McNalley: “‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawamba -- ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again.’”

ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS? Shaw: “I have this crazy dream where the sky becomes one big mirror, the oceans turn to Muscle Milk, and the trees grow money and iPods.”

Harrison: “I’m afraid of the color yellow.”

McNalley: “I have been and always will be terrified of losing teeth.”

IF YOU COULD CHOOSE YOUR OWN NICKNAME? Shaw: “The Skinny Wonder.” Harrison: “Leroy McSoldier.” McNalley: “Theatas Bokatek.” Carroll: “Megaton.”

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djmdavid Oct. 17, 2010 @ 8:56 a.m.

Jay,

Thanks for posting the interview with The New Archaic. Very entertaining.

David MacDonald Manager The New Archaic

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