Tyvek Q-and-A

Posted on June 22, 2008 – 3:25 PM | by HK
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Tyvek will be playing Delta of Venus on October 26th with the Coconut Coolouts, Nice Smile and the Bananas! This is all ages, starts at 9 pm with a $5 cover.
tyvekMM: When did Tyvek form? It seems like you guys kind of came out of nowhere. What got the band together?
Kevin: Tyvek got started because we were just bored and fed up with the situation in Detroit. There were like 2 good bands around and we (Larry, Matt, and I) had gotten pretty sick of seeing them over and over again. Larry and Matt had never played in bands before (in fact they had never played bass or drums before we started to practice), but we thought we might as well give it a try because whatever we did it couldn’t be worse than all the coked up/delusional “garage” rock bands in town. We practiced twice a week in the fall of 2004 and played our first show in early 2005. Heath joined Tyvek in the summer of 2005.
Heath: The band was already in existence. I met Kevin at a party on a Saturday, talked about Television Personalities amongst other bands…he told me his band was playing a free show that Monday, I checked it out and liked them…sat in on a few practices with them a few months later and it sounded good so I joined up.

MM: Is Tyvek a Devo reference? 
Kevin: Tyvek isn’t a Devo reference; the name just came from wandering around in this area (Detroit) and seeing all of the new houses being built. Detroit has housing issues… there are tons of beautiful old houses that could be fixed up and used, but instead of doing that they just tear down all of the amazing old homes and throw up all these crappy new houses. It’s the same story out in the suburbs. Detroit has urban sprawl on a biblical plague type level. People are emptying out of the older suburbs to buy brand new crap houses in areas that used to be relatively non-fucked with. So, anyway, Tyvek is the name of the material that they put on the new houses to keep moisture out. It’s a vapor barrier, and before they put the walls up you can see the Tyvek brand name everywhere. Whenever I’d go past a new batch of houses, I’d just think to myself “More fucking Tyvek?”
Heath: I don’t know if it was, but the first time i ever saw the word TYVEK in print was on the inner sleeve order form in the DEVO New Traditionalists LP.

MM: How many copies of the Mary Ellen Claims 7inch have been pressed so far, including the recent repress? Are you surprised with its popularity?
Kevin: We pressed 500 initially, and then a repress of 200 and that’ll be it. I was really surprised by the interest in it. Originally, we were only going to press 300 copies because we didn’t want boxes of them sitting around forever, but Scott “of X Records fame” Drunkerly convinced us to do 500 instead. I had never thought about a repress.

MM: What else do you have coming out?
Kevin: We have a two more singles coming out in the next few months, and we’re working on a split single and an album.
MM: Are there any tour plans in the works?
Kevin: We just got back from our first tour, and boy, are our wheels tired! Ha Ha. It was a short Midwest/East Coast trip with our friends Cause Co-Motion! from Brooklyn and the Blankket from Toronto. If you haven’t toured the Midwest in January…Actually, it was the most fun ever. Pittsburgh was the coolest city we went to, even though the show wasn’t so good. The hills there are amazing. I’m kind of afraid of heights, but I really enjoyed driving on the really steep hills and treacherous passes. We’re planning on doing a full west coast tour with our friends Cheveu from France in early May, and we’re already noticeably excited about that.
tyvek twoMM: I recently saw videos of Tyvek on YouTube. How do you guys feel about YouTube and all the things you can find on there?
Kevin: I like YouTube, but I don’t find myself watching it very much. It’s cool that you can find a bunch of old videos from the Slits or watch Amon Duul freak out on German television, but I never tune in. I only have so much free time, and there’s an endless amount of interesting shit on there. I suppose if I had a job that involved sitting at a computer all day long, I’d probably be pretty addicted to it, but I work at a bakery (so I’m addicted to carbohydrates instead.) 
MM: Is there a lot of musical activity happening in Detriot right now?
Kevin: There’s always good stuff going on in Detroit, but it seems like it always gets ignored by the local music establishment and media and other related nitwits. The Human Eye are great, as are the Terrible Twos and Frustrations. The Odd Clouds are totally amazing, really chaotic and free-form Kraut style, trance induction style and muy muy heavy. The Genders were really great, but they left town because, you know it’s Detroit and who can blame them. It’s weird, we feel more at home in Ohio than Detroit right now. Playing in Columbus is great, because they have a great scene with the Guinea Worms, Times New Viking and Psychedelic Horseshit, the unHoly twos and other groups. Also just so you know, Heath and I like to hang out in Toledo, OH which is only 45 minutes south of Detroit. They have weird old neighborhoods that are visibly haunted.

MM: Who’ve been your favorite bands to play with?
all the ones Kevin mentioned, and the Happy Friends from Chicago…they were the opening band on our last show there, did about 5-6 really good songs that they had just learned that day. Ultra-spare.

MM: Do any of you actually drive Honda’s? Let’s get a transportation breakdown from everyone.
Kevin: I used to have a Honda- a 1989 Civic. That’s what was the inspiration for the song. I have a Toyota now. I used to have a Ford Windstar, but the engine blew a head gasket after I had it for 2 months. It was fun while it lasted, though: we drove it to the Stooges reunion concert and partied in the parking lot and I almost thought we were in 1970 until they played some new song that sounded kinda shitty.

MM: College radio has been very supportive of Tyvek, including WCBN (Ann Harbor, MI), WBAR (NYC, NY), WPRB (Princeton, NJ) and the single even hit #1 on KDVS (Davis, CA) during the week of December 11th (2006). How do you feel about college radio? Are there any stations that you guys listen to either on your radios’ or online?

Kevin: I can’t get any good college stations where I live, so I pretty much just cruise the AM dial in the car. If you’re in the Windsor/Detroit area, check out 680 (AM) 690 (PM) for the best in Turkish/Polish/Russian/Iraqi/Albanian/??? sounds.

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