“We derive our power from bear meat.”
Ezra Miller is very elusive, despite the success of his much talked about filmWe Need to Talk About Kevin. Luckily for us, we discovered that he is in a band — a pretty good one at that — and that one of our contributors went to school with one of his bandmates. Meet Sons of an Illustrious Father: Lilah Larson, Sofia Albam, Jake Generalli, Josh Aubin and Ezra Miller.Steff Yotka: I noticed that there are a tonne of teen-girl fansites about you, Ezra.
Ezra Miller: I don’t want to talk about it.No?
Because it makes you feel weird?
Miller: I feel very uncomfortable [laughs]. I’m scared.
Lilah Larson: A fun note, though, is that most of our fans — as a band — are pre-teen girls. A lot of them tell us very interesting things.
What kind of “interesting things”?
Larson: Someone asked us to send her samples of our pubic hair to attach to a giant sculpture of an unfolded skull.
Did you do it?
Miller: No! No way! You don’t want somebody being able to, you know, clone you.
That would be ‘Sons of Sons of an Illustrious Father’.
Miller: Brilliant, but terrifying [laughs]. We don’t want anybody cloning our pubes. No pubic cloning! No! No! No!
How did you land on the band name?
Sofia Albam: I was reading a really bad translation of Plato’s Republic, and someone was mentioned as a “son of an illustrious father”. It was born out of a poorly translated philosophical text. It’s pretty apt.
If you could trade places with any band, which would it be?
Larson: The Band.
Miller: They are literally the band.
Larson: There’s already a The Band cover band called The ‘The Band’ Band, so we’d have to be something else.
‘The Band Band’ Band?
Miller: The ‘The The Band Band’ Band would be better.
Larson: Ezra would be Levon Helm, Jake’s Robbie Robertson, and I’m Rick Danko, because he died young and fat. No, wait — he was old, but still fat [laughs].
If you were given the opportunity to have a superhuman power but you had to give up your musical ability, would you do it?
Miller: Whoa! I don’t know.
Larson: For flying, maybe. I’m not sure. That’s too difficult.
Miller: Could I learn how to play drums again, or would I be completely tone-deaf and musically incompetent?
I guess you could teach yourself how to play drums, but you’d have to start from the absolute beginning.
Miller: Then maybe.
Larson: No. It’s not worth it.
Miller: But flying… I don’t know. Next question.
You just recorded your second album, One Body, in pretty unusual conditions, right?
Miller: It was suicidal and perilous.
Why do you say that?
Larson: We wanted to record an album with this guy Oliver Ignatius.
Miller: I met him on a trampoline on Halloween, and he was like, “Hey, man. Are you in a band? I have a studio.” I said, “I think you’re going to record us.” Then Jake showed up.
Jake Generalli: And then we were like, “We’re all on acid!”
Larson: But his studio was filled with talking birds, so Ezra’s mother graciously let us record at her dance studio during the winter.
Miller: It’s a small house and a massive uninsulated barn on a mountain in Vermont.
Did you ever think that recording in an uninsulated barn in the winter was not such a good idea?
Larson: Well, there was one day when the handyman called us to say, “You can’t go outside today or your eyeballs will freeze.”
Miller: Essentially we put ourselves in this survival scenario. To an outer ear it might sound like a bad idea, but there was something in the struggle of fighting the cold that gave us drive. We gave birth to the necessity that then mothered our invention.
Larson: Which then was sort of a Rosemary’s Baby–type situation [laughs].
Miller: Yeah, but a baby nonetheless.
This is an excerpt. For the full interview, pick up a copy of Oyster #98, out now!
Interview and Sittings Editor: Steff Yotka
Photography: Stef Mitchell
Production: Georgina Koren
Sons of an Illustrious Father wear all vintage from Amarcord, Fabulous Fanny’s, Resurrection, Screaming Mimi’s and Stella Dallas, except where otherwise noted.
I’ve added photos from the Official Myspace of Ezra’s band, Sons of an Illustrious Father:
BANDS > Sons of an Illustrious Father > Gigs > Myspace #1 – “Reconquering Canada: NXNE 2010″
BANDS > Sons of an Illustrious Father > Gigs > Myspace #2 – “On the Road in Sanford, the Meisner Mobile”
BANDS > Sons of an Illustrious Father > Gigs > Myspace #3 – “in the studio”
BANDS > Sons of an Illustrious Father > Gigs > Myspace #4 – “My Photos”