Transcription of a chat with Mercury Rev on David Bowie's website, Bowienet, in December 2001.

David Bowie asks: How did you settle on TV to do the string arrangements?

Mercury Rev answers: It was a funny lark, actually. A mutual friend of Tony's had
suggested, that we work with him. And of course we wanted to, but we weren't sure if
he'd be interested without hearing our music. So we we sent him a demo tape of the
sone "Chains" and he was kind enough to give us a response saying that he'd love to
work on it with us. And from there, it was a bout an hour, as the crow flies, from our
neck of the woods to his own.

Tony Visconti asks: What was it like working with Tony Visconti?

Mercury Rev answers: It was like being in the studio with our favorite uncle.

David Bowie asks: Do you consider your work more slanted to the surreal or the
symbolist ?

Mercury Rev answers: The surreal would be a manifestation of the symbolic on this
physical, dense, matter plane.

Tony Visconti asks: Who are your influences, modern and classical? Don't censor
yourselves about what may be considered cool and uncool.

Mercury Rev answers: Classical influences would be Giya Kancheli, the late Beethoven
string quartets, and the Gorecki Third Symphony. Also, 1950's doo-wop.

David Bowie asks: Have you ever played Johnny B. Goode or Louie Louie ?

Mercury Rev answers: Only in sound check -- but we only know 2 out of the 3 chords.

Tony Visconti asks: What to you think of The Flaming Lips? Do you consider
yourselves to be in the same category?

Mercury Rev answers: Yeah, we love the Lips very much. So yeah, we're in the same
category as far a being passionate about making music.

David Bowie asks: If you had to live outside of the USA where would you choose (and
why) ?

Mercury Rev answers: The Mariannis Trench -- because it's deep, and so are we\; and
we enjoy working under pressure.

Tony Visconti asks: What do you attribute to your success, since you avoid labels like
rock, pop and hip hop? Where do you fit in?

Mercury Rev answers: We attribute our success to honest and sincere music coupled
with a desperate, "nothing left to lose" attitude. As fas fitting in goes, we make music
that is good for anyone ages 5 and over.

David Bowie asks: Do you ever listen to the radio and if so, what ?

Mercury Rev answers: We listen to a lot of classic rock radio in America.

Tony Visconti asks: My girlfriend says some of your songs are unabashedly romantic.
Are you okay with that description?

Mercury Rev answers: YES!! We love romance. That's what it's all about.

Mercury Rev answers: Those were some really great questions from David and Tony.
Let's get down to answering your questions now. Fire away...

Giacomo_v asks: Tony Visconti asks: My girlfriend says some of your songs are
unabashedly romantic. Are you okay with that description?

Mercury Rev answers: YES!! We love romance. That's what it's all about.

dbfan1847 asks: hey! how do you feel about David liking your music? Do you listen to
any of David's music? and if you do, what are some of your fave songs by him?

Mercury Rev answers: yeah we love David's music. some of our favorites are:

Jonathan - duet with Bing Crosby
Jeff - Quicksand from Hunky Dory
Grasshopper - Ashes to Ashes

spaceface asks: Jonothan, you know that "transported" look you get at the end of your
songs? What are you thinking? I love the way you look so happy!

Mercury Rev answers:

I'm usually thinking "i only played 3 clunkers and sang two flat notes... not bad. Big
improvement on the night before"

Giacomo_v asks "It would be gorgeous if you made an album together with David or
were the opening act for next David world tour. I know 'All is dream'... but can this
dream come true?".

Mercury Rev answers:

Making a record with David would be a dream. Touring with him would be unbelievable.
I wonder if David likes doowop music as much as we do...

Giacomo_v asks "Is there anything in particular about Bowie (albums, songs...) which
has influenced you in writing songs?".

Mercury Rev answers:

I suppose the desperation and romance of David's voice is something timeless and
un-erringly beautiful. and though it's difficult, we do our best always to manifest this
quality both in Jonathan's singing and the arrangements that accompany it

Giacomo_v asks "You are a mix of the best music of the last thirty years, from
Beethoven to Sonic Youth. Thank you for the incredible songs you write. They are
eternal. Is there any songs you really wish you have written?".

Mercury Rev answers:

I Only Have Eyes For You
It Was A Very Good Year
When You Wish Upon A Star

bianca asks "When did you started to play music?".

Mercury Rev answers: When I realized my back hurt from digging holes

mannanan asks: are you afraid of the cookiemonster too?

Mercury Rev answers:

fear is for muppets

xothique asks "Hee hee - describe your music in three words to someone who has
never heard any of your songs..?".

Mercury Rev answers: chicken, badger, horseshoe

Giacomo_v asks "I went to Milan gig in October and it really was one of the best
concert I've seen in my life. Are you planning to come back to Italy soon?".

Mercury Rev answers: you bet, there'll be four or five shows coming up this spring

aleczandah0 asks "Why doesn't your music have more chainsaws in it?".

Mercury Rev answers: we've lost our Stihl endorsement

taco asks "Do you support live taping of you gigs ? If so, mark it on the tickets.".

Mercury Rev answers: yes, we're trying to get the word out, but some days it's hard
enough just getting out of the bunk

merzbau asks "Hoy! Good to see you around!! Sean, are you coming to Oslo for
Christmas?? I got the Bukowski CDs for you...".

Mercury Rev answers: yes please burn them for me

ziggy1986 asks "What are you favorite movies?".

Mercury Rev answers:

Grasshopper - Treasure of Sierra Madre
Jeff - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Jonathan- Ol' Yeller

marianne1 asks "Grasshopper- why are you called that?".

Mercury Rev answers:

read Cain's book by Alexander Trocchi

Giacomo_v asks "If you had to choose a David song to perform with him on stage,
what would it be?".

Mercury Rev answers: I Only Have Eyes For You, - When You Wish Upon a Star

aucourant asks "Does digging holes humble an artiste?".

Mercury Rev answers: No but it runs up the doctor bills

simone asks "Do you have pets?".

Mercury Rev answers: between the three of us we have two peacocks, 3 highland
cows, 14 snakes, 1 llama and a gaggle of bats

bianca asks "How would you describe your music? I read that you formed your band at
the beginning of the 80s. Have your called yourself the New Romantics?".

Mercury Rev answers: we actually considered "the old semantics"

simone asks "Can you tell us a really cool joke?".

Mercury Rev answers: a gynecologist walks into a barber...

ziggy1986 asks "How high are your doctor bills? :-)\~".

Mercury Rev answers: think Ken Kesey and the electric kool-aid acid test
how high is your doctor, Bill?

ziggy1986 asks "If you could do anything you wish, what would it be?".

Mercury Rev answers: persuade Judge Feeney that what happened that fateful night at
Stanley's was not so much a felony, but more of a misdemeanor

ziggy1986 asks "What are some of your favorite books?".

Mercury Rev answers:

grasshopper - the gospel of thomas
jonathan - the hypostasis of the Archons
jeff - ape \& essence

aleczandah0 asks "What's it like being the most boring and miserable band in the

Mercury Rev answers:

i don't know, you'd have to ask the manic street preachers

ziggy1986 asks "3 in a row! Tic Tac Toe!".

Mercury Rev answers: well thanks everyone, we'd like to thank David and his website
as well as Tony Visconti. we've got a show to play now, we'll see you real soon..

Jonathan, Grasshopper \& Jeff