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The Reputation's Elizabeth Elmore addresses a few more POINTLESS QUESTIONS

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The Reputation (Photo: Chris Strong)


Read Splendid's review of To Force a Fate, visit ReputationMusic.com or buy Reputation stuff at Insound.

Various religions suggest that there's a "special" hell for certain sins (hurting children, being cruel to animals, using the word "blog" as a verb, etc). Who else needs a "special" hell?

Elizabeth Elmore: People who act like they can give you directions, but actually have no idea. Mrs. Ferber, my high school pom squad coach who kicked me off my freshman year. Bored and boring people who spew vicious rumors. People who tip poorly. People who treat cab drivers and service industry people like shit.

Due to poor financial planning, you've got to eat for an entire week on only US$10. What do you buy, food-wise?

Elizabeth Elmore: Wouldn't be that much different than usual.

Big box of brown rice - $2.
Box of Morningstar Grillers original - $3
fresh garlic, ginger, onion and serrano chiles - $1.50
Fake eggs - $1.50
2 cans black beans on sale - $1
1 small can tomato sauce on sale - $0.25
1 packet taco flavoring - $0.75
soy sauce packets from the van from the last tour - free
tax - scrounged from the change in the bottom of my purse.
Okay, so I'd be a little hungry, but it'd get me through.

What's the biggest misconception that people have about you?

Elizabeth Elmore: The biggest? That's hard. There are so many. Depending on who you ask, that I'm either really uptight or really wild. Really friendly or really cold. Really polite or really rude. Really caring or really selfish. Really funny or really bitchy. Fortunately and unfortunately, none of the above are true.

What's the worst injury you've ever suffered for your art (i.e. second degree burns from shorted-out mic, broken leg from failed stage dive)? Tell us about it.

Elizabeth Elmore: My old band Sarge used to practice in our bass player's farmhouse (literally, house in the middle of nowhere surrounded by farms). The wiring was fucked and none of the outlets were grounded so I got shocked constantly by the mics. One time I got shocked really badly, like six times in a half hour. I finally got so sick that I called off practice and started to drive home in the middle of a blizzard. Started to pass out and had to pull over to the side of the road. Then the van wouldn't restart. Didn't have a cell phone. Don't know how I long I laid there going in and out of consciousness before one of my bandmates drove by and saw the van on the side of the road.

Also, literally thousands of bruises I mysteriously accumulate on tour. My legs usually look like I've been beaten.

You've locked your car keys inside the tour van and don't have AAA. How do you get the door open?

Elizabeth Elmore: Can I revise this and make it a better question? Okay, Q: You have a loft built into the back of your van that's completely self-contained so you can't get into it if you break into the front of the van. You also have a bolt lock on the back of your van. You're pulling up to the Black Cat in DC on Sept. 12, your sister's birthday, and hit a bump. A heavy box of cables falls from the top of the loft, wedges inside the door, and lands on the button lock. No matter how you try, you can't get it to unlock so you can open the back of your van and get your equipment out. It's two hours until doors. How do you get the back doors open?

A: You decide the only possible way is to pull out the bench seats from the van, dismantle the back of the loft, pull everything out of the top of the loft, and slide through to pull open the lock from the inside. This requires a heavy wrench and superhuman strength to undo about eight rusted bolts per bench seat. You quickly discover that while the Black Cat has a lot of tools, they are in utter disarray. Despite the valiant efforts of Bernie, Black Cat manager extraordinaire, no worthy wrench can be found. You go to every open store in a two block area trying to borrow a wrench. You realize that the women at the Lesbian Resource Center across the street are disappointed that you're only looking for a wrench. You love the women at a nearby knickknack store who try to no avail to find a wrench for you, but later become your myspace friends. You give up and drive to a hardware store and buy a wrench. The (god bless them, strong as hell) men in your band take turns for the next hour and a half until they get the bolts undone and dismantle the loft. A mere 15 minutes late, you start your set.

Ever find useful stuff in the garbage? Describe your best-ever dumpster find and how you used it.

Elizabeth Elmore: My retainer, at age 15.

In the UK, trying to kill the Queen is still technically a capital offence. If the Queen tried to commit suicide and failed, could she be sentenced to death? Explain.

Elizabeth Elmore: This is a very funny question. However, humorless as I am, I can't help but contemplate the various legal questions it raises. I'm going to go with no. Assuming their laws are somewhat similar to ours, I have to imagine the statute in question requires attempted homicide, which, by definition, requires two parties. But now I'm wondering if the above events played out, what level of culpability would the person who carried out the death sentence have?

If you were a 50ft high Tyrannosaurus Rex, would you use your powers for good or evil? Who would you go after first?

Elizabeth Elmore: Hmmm. I'm first trying to think of exactly what socially beneficial endeavors a Tyrannosaurus Rex could undertake. If I could think of some, I'd say "good". However, since I can't, I think my current inclination would be to put the fear of god into my ex-boyfriend. How's that for petty?

What's your favorite board game? Why do you like it?

Elizabeth Elmore: Scrabble, because I'm an obsessive word freak and strategist.

Everyone likes at least one cheesy/crappy song that totally kills their cred. What's yours?

Elizabeth Elmore: Dude, if that can actually kill your cred, then I've never had any. I love cheesy top 40 songs. The best song of the last 10 years is easily "Toxic" by Britney Spears. Seriously, yo, it's brilliant. Just listen to it closely.

What was the best meal you were supplied by a tour venue? What was the worst?

Elizabeth Elmore: Fake meatball sub at Triple Rock Social Club in Mpls. Easily. Worst... well, any meal is good, so I'm not one to complain.

Will it ever truly be possible to "rock the vote", or will apathy, indifference and laziness always triumph over activism?

Elizabeth Elmore: Don't know the answer to this. Activism has certainly triumphed at many times. But I think it's important the rock the vote efforts focus as much on voter education as on voter registration. I do so wish more people would vote. However, I'd like them to be informed voters, and not just voting because it's trendy.

You discover a new disease, "(Your name here)'s Syndrome". What are its symptoms? What is the cure for "(Your name here)'s Syndrome"?

Elizabeth Elmore: Elizabeth's Syndrome: obsessive multi-tasking. Symptoms include inability to sit quietly and stare into space, progressing social ineptitude, constant anxiety about whatever one may be fucking up any time one is not working, alienation and skepticism from friends and co-workers, possible obsession with logic puzzles. Cure: alcohol.

If you could watch one historical event re-enacted by a cast of chimpanzees, which one would it be, and why?

Elizabeth Elmore: The last presidential election. Oh, wait...

How long after an unopened gallon of milk's "use-by" date has passed would you be willing to use it?

Elizabeth Elmore: Hmmm. Maybe a week. But I'd smell it first. Or, more likely, make my roommate smell it.

What is the most unusual item you've thrown up on/in?

Elizabeth Elmore: Three or four different rooms in the Abbey Pub in Chicago. In one night. Sigh.

Do you prefer the term "underwear" or "underpants"? What does that say about you?

Elizabeth Elmore: Underwear (or panties). Underpants makes me think of some creepy pedophile. Ick.

You've been asked to submit an anecdote or "tip" to a book called Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned On Tour With My Band. What do you tell them?

Elizabeth Elmore: Quit being a lazy fuck and go do something. Wait, that's not an anecdote. Sorry. But it is a lesson learned. I can also diagnose about 40 van problems just from driving one, tell you what t-shirt size you need by looking at you, and tell you how long it takes to get from anyplace in the country to anyplace else in the country with a margin of error of +/- 15 minutes. Putting that higher education to good use, I am.

Due to a breakthrough in technology, it's possible to learn any skill, no matter how complex, pretty much instantly, by uploading the information directly into your brain (yes, like in The Matrix). Unfortunately, you can only do it once. What skill would you learn, and why?

Elizabeth Elmore: Restraint.

Not to be morbid, but let's assume that (a) you've died, and (b) you filled out an organ donor card and potential recipients are lining up. Which part of your body do you think will be most sought-after? Are there any bits no-one will want?

Elizabeth Elmore: Most sought-after: brain, heart. Least sought-after: breasts, lungs, liver.

A long-lost possession has turned up on Ebay, and you're prepared to pay much more than it's worth just to finally get it back. What is it? Why is it worth so much to you?

Elizabeth Elmore: The CDs that were stolen out of my van. It was a $600 van parked in a garage in the midst of Mercedes in Chicago's Gold Coast. Why, oh why, would they break into it? Sucks. Got about 100 of my favorite CDs stolen, several of which were from really small bands w/ limited pressings -- never get them back again. Sad thing is, if I had the chance to buy them back, still wouldn't have any money to.

You've been given the resources and financial backing to create a new satellite TV network that caters specifically to your tastes and the tastes of people like you. What's it called, and what does it show?

Elizabeth Elmore: Geekchic: Four hours of Buffy, four hours of Alias (old stuff, not new), four hours of Lost, couple hours of Veronica Mars, maybe some Survivor and America's Next Top Model. Couple hours of 24. Lots of cooking shows. The rest movies. For the record, I don't have cable so all I know is what's on the networks.

Which is worse: downloading an album and burning copies for five friends, or shoplifting one physical copy of the same CD from an overpriced national retailer? Explain your answer.

Elizabeth Elmore: Well, given that the innate value is in the intellectual property and not in the physical manifestation of it, I say it's far worse to steal five records than one.

A few years ago, anal sex was still taboo; nowadays it's trendy. What will be the next major sexual taboo to fall?

Elizabeth Elmore: It's gotta be furries, right? I keep seeing it on all these TV shows. And, ya know, we all love our stuffed animals, right?

Right this very second, what are you most looking forward to, and why?

Elizabeth Elmore: Being on tour again. For the love of god, I want to be on the road.

· · · · · · ·

The Reputation's most recent record is 2004's To Force a Fate. High time they made another, we'd say.

-- George Zahora


Splendid is always looking for artists and bands who can answer our Pointless Questions quickly and cleverly. We mostly do them by e-mail, so they're quick and painless...unless you can't type. E-mail us for more information!

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