A duo discusses dualism


We are Hearse: guitar & accordion, male & female, cynical & romantic, hair-splitter & hair-puller,

pedantic & protean, angry & sad, funny & mean, ecstatic & hermetic, individually & collectively,

all-at-once & not-at-all.

3,086 days ago we appeared at Carolyn Mark’s World Famous Hootenanny, having rehearsed

Petula Clark’s “Downtown” & the traditional “You Are My Sunshine” earlier that day over beers &

cigarettes. 441 Hootenannys later we are still together, on stage & off.

2,638 days ago we released our first recording, “448 Days.” 246 days ago we released

“Special”, our second recording, which is actually the teaser-trailer for our first full-length album,

“Pot Calling Kettle”, started 582 days ago & to be released ‘x’ number of days from now.

Ask us how our personal life affects our performing life & vice versa, we won’t have an answer.

We’ve never had a chance to separate the two; we’re too naive to be anything but ourselves on

stage & too vain not to perform off stage. The stage is our kitchen, the kitchen is our stage. We

want everyone to talk too loud, smoke too much, sing themselves raw & cry themselves dry. We

will bring the house down, even when it means bringing it down on ourselves.

Ask us if it’s better to play for money or pleasure, we’ll tell you it’s not that simple. To leave the

kitchen, we need:

1) Family Fun. They set up a show, you’re gonna go. Friends are family & fun is the best reason

to do anything. Anything. 2) Cash. Money is a dark demon but the rent’s got to get paid, the

table’s got to get laid. 3) Schooling. There’s a whole world outside our comfort zones. Live &

learn, learn & live.

When we get all 3 there’s nothing to worry about & everything to celebrate & we exist in the

moment & forever in the eye of a perfect hurricane… but then again, as Meatloaf once said, 2

out of 3 ain’t bad.

Ask us if the ultimate form of music is live or recorded & we’ll tell you the roads might be

different but the destination is identical. Glenn Gould found so much freedom in the studio that

he abandoned the stage. The Grateful Dead’s studio work disappeared in the forest of live

bootlegs & parking lot sideshows. Hearse is so goddamned lucky to be here & now when both

options are available that we’d be fools not to explore & exploit both. Music, live & recorded, has

moved our hearts from the get go; we only hope to do the same.

The universe is absolutely chock full of things. Take any 2 of them & pit them against each

other in a game of metaphysical ping pong; manipulate their qualities to achieve conflict in their

contrast. Examine one idea through the prism of another & brilliant new facets emerge; your

true love’s face as seen through a kaleidoscope. The interactions of matter & energy explode

into fascinating chaos but ultimately their separation is a process of our perception & a product

of our imagination.

Hearse is a constant that describes the intersection of two variables. Join the equation at



words by Grayson Walker and J McLaughlin, photo by Ilijc Albanese


originally published in analogue magazine’s March 2014 issue