Richard Dreyfest Interviews Mark Dawson

Transcription of In-Person Interview with Comic Mark Dawson

Phil: Alright, we’re on. So I’m with Mark Dawson here, and just have a couple questions to kind of warm him up and get people excited for him at Dreyfest Comedy Night, which is August 12th at Art House Cinema and Pub from 10:30 to like 1 o’clock in the morning. Mark will be there performing and I’m just here to ask him some questions.

Mark, I was kind of curious how long you’ve been doing comedy.

Mark: Oh yeah, man, it started in 2011. I’ve been a wise-ass my whole life, but that was my first time with a microphone.

Phil: Okay, so you’re kind of a late bloomer.

Mark: Yeah. I was in my 40s when I started.

Phil: Why did you decide to start?

Mark: Funny, I met a friend right here, actually, at the Highlands, and he was — my day being a disaster — he was making fun of me and just being like ‘oh my god, if you were just honest about your life you could be a stand-up comic.’ And I was like, ‘Well, I need to say something nice to him now,’ right, so: ‘I think your wife is hot.’

I didn’t think much about it, either, and then Lucas Seely had a poster for the Lucas and Wayne Cox comedy contest, and I thought, ‘that sounds like fun,’ so I entered that, and I had a lot of friends come out, and I thought if it was funny it would be funny, and if it wasn’t, it would be even funnier. Like sure, this guy might get mauled, it would just be…so.

And I won the contest. It was cool.

Phil: You won it?

Mark: Yeah, then you win a trip to LA, but you have to sleep on Lucas’s couch.

Phil: Really?

Mark: Yeah, perform at the Comedy Store and all that.

Phil: Oh wow, that’s awesome.

Mark: Yeah, he treats the comics around here great. He does really great things for the scene.

Phil: Cool, so that was 2011.

Mark: Yeah.

Phil: So how long before that competition were you working on bits and stuff?

Mark: Maybe that day. I remember actually the thing was at seven or something and I came home at 4:30 or 5 and thought, okay, what can I talk about that’s funny.

Phil: No kidding.

Mark: Life is funny, you know.

Phil: That’s awesome. Had you been into it before?

Mark: The really funny thing about it is I used to love to watch stand-up comedians, and since I started, I don’t like it at all. It kind of ruined it. Except for if it’s like your friends, then you want to see them and see them do well. But you end up with stage envy, you’re like “I should be up there instead of that bastard.”


I stayed at Jim Gaffigan for about 15 minutes.

Phil: Well, I was going to ask you if you had any favorite comics, or maybe that’s not really relevant.

Mark: The ones I appreciate — Jeff Dye, I think he’s here this year. I like him because he’s — a lot of comics are really self-deprecating, and it can really be part of your life, too - and he’s often positive.. And Louie Anderson is a total mentor, and really lucky I got to know him, and he’s helped me a lot.

Phil: So you’ve gotten to know him?

Mark: Yeah, he’s awesome, actually. Great guy.

Phil: How did that happen?

Mark: I lucked out. So Lucas was opening for Louie and said he could bring guests back, and you know, Louie’s clean, and I am, too - not as much any more - but Lucas comes in and says “Louie’s gonna want your set, don’t fuck it …don’t choke. And he was just a nice guy, and said he liked me because I was kind to me wife, and I’m like, ‘who wouldn’t be kind to their wife?’

Phil: Yeah, right? So there’s a lot of assholes in comedy?

Mark: There are a few, I suppose.

Phil: Let’s see, so… Louis Anderson..

Mark: And Mike Birbiglia, too, I love that guy.

Phil: Yeah, he’s great. Oh! I was going to ask you what you liked about clean comedy, and how that’s changed now, or if that was on purpose …

Mark: Oh yeah, I think my life just got a little darker. You know honestly, comedy, I think a lot of people who do comedy, it’s for some reason that they  — if you have a perfect life, you’re not going to — why would you risk that? There’s some pretty screwed up stories behind what comedians do. And my wife got really sick, so I started more… Then I realized —  in fact Louie told me — you’ve just gotta be yourself. And, you now, obviously.

Oggie Smith, who’s from here, who’s successful, he says that same thing: ‘Live and die as yourself.” And I realized that I don’t say the ‘F’ word and I don’t say mean things in a professional setting, but to my best friend I sure do. So, I think, Louie always says: “If you’re likeable and interesting, and if you’re not genuine, who gives a shit?”

Phil: So you’re kind of a big figure in the Billings business community, as owner of Century 21. Do many people in the professional realm know about your comedy life?

Mark: I don’t think I’m a big figure, exactly. This is a small town, right? Everybody knows everybody. And people are like ‘why the hell would you do that?’ And other people are like ‘that’s so cool,’ and the other people are like, ‘You’ll be good at something, eventually. Keep trying!’

That’s more what my wife thinks.

Phil: How long do you think you’ll do it? Is it something that you want to do for a long time now?

Mark: You know, I think that, unless I got really old and had marbles in my head and couldn’t feel like I was sharp... Once you develop a skill, you don’t want to lose the skill. And it’s something you can do your whole life. And, yeah, I think I would.

Phil: Yeah, you see videos of Carlin when he’s old and he’s still tearing it up.

Mark: I think so, too. And, I mean, you do get better and better because it’s a skill thing, more than a talent thing.

Phil. Right, right. Yup, work it. I’m not sure that I have that much more, but if you have anything to add.

Mark: You should really try it some time.

Phil: Yeah?

Mark: Oh yeah, you’d love it. It’s really exhilarating.


Mark will be at the Art House Cinema and Pub for late night comedy, 10:30-1:00.









Dreyfest Poetry Jam: Montana performers join in word and song

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Poets and musicians from across Montana are bringing spoken word and live music to downtown Billings Friday, August 11th at 7pm for the Dreyfest Poetry Jam. In a first for Craft Local, Billings’ newest art gallery and performance venue, local musicians join seasoned performance poets for a lively evening of collaboration, expression, and good tunes. The event is part of the 5th Annual Richard Dreyfest, Billings’ premier all-ages DIY music and arts festival.

“Imagine the excitement and energy of a poetry slam with an added rhythm and melody,” Pete Tolton, event organizer, said. “There’s a great interplay of sound, texture, and voice unlike anything else.” Tolton and co-organizers, James Hickman and Anna Paige, have produced and performed spoken word events around Billings since 2011.

Longtime collaborators Dave Caserio and Parker Brown headline the event, Caserio delivering his potent, animated verse and Brown accompanying with equal vigor on guitar and bass. “I'm really interested in how sound moves through poetry,” Caserio said. “A poem can't literally get up and dance, yet it has something of a dance and music in it.”

Additional duo performances include Anna Paige with Matt Taggart, Nate Petterson with Josh Carter, and Pete Tolton with Carolyn Tolton. The event will also feature solo performances by Molly Ouellette, Cooper Malin, Kelly Mullins, John Christenson, and Jawney Love.

Richard Dreyfest spans the weekend of August 11th and 12th with more than sixty musical acts, comedians, poets, and visual artists descending upon eight all-ages venues throughout downtown Billings, presented by Waste Division and the Beatnik City Council. For lineup info, artist interviews, and tickets, visit

 Craft Local is located at 2413 Montana Ave., the original home of the Yellowstone Hotel. The nonprofit art gallery and performance venue features Montana-made beer and wine, twenty visual artists’ work, and excellent air conditioning. More info at or (406) 702-1458.

For interviews and media inquiries regarding the Poetry Jam, please contact:

Peter Tolton

(406) 672-0396

For interviews and media inquiries regarding Dreyfest, please contact:

Phil Griffin

(406) 860-5487

Waste Radio: Richard Dreyfest Interviews Richard Dreyfuss

We’ve got a lot to share with you about the 5th annual, all-ages, D-I-Y Richard Dreyfest, August 11th and 12th at eight venues across Downtown Billings.

In this episode, you’ll hear interviews with some of the Montana-based and out-of-state musicians, visual artists, poets, and comedians performing at this 2-day event, along with an extra deluxe, super coveted interview with the man himself.

We’re also gonna be sharing samples of the artist’s work, little vignettes of what life’s like for them in the days leading up to the festival, and more.

Check out more artist interviews, discounted presale tix ($15!), and schedule information.


Produced by Brie Ripley.


"Do the Nelz" by Idaho Green

"Daydream" by Bull Market

"New Day Shine" by Noise Noise Noise

"Prairie is an Island" by Megagiant

"Pretty Well and Waisted" by Tiny Plastic Stars

"We Were Young" by Parker Brown

"AFK Pretty Girls" by Silverbow Society

"Barney's Theme" by Snow Bored

"Snow Boogie" by Snow Bored


Backseat Sessions: 

"I am a Stranger" by Ty Herman

"Bully Pulpit" by Maddie Alpert

"Life" by Alex Michaels


Other stuff:

"Make Something Beautiful Before You Are Dead" by Steve Roggenbuck

"Serenade" by Edgar Allen Poe


In case you missed it, here's the teaser we did for this episode:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Modern Sons

by Eric Toennis

Who are each of you and what instruments do you play? Also, what is your favorite pasta dish?

Ryan Saul - Voice and guitar

Dustin Crowson - Bass

Dan Haywood - Guitar

Silas Stewart - Drums

Favorite Pasta Dishes: Shrimp PestoPasta, Spaghetti with SpamPasta, Tinder RavioliPasta, Homemade Potato Gnocchi

What are your favorite aspects of the music scene in Bozeman?

The Bozeman scene is thriving and creative- everyone is constantly pushing each other to be better

How does it compare to the other cities in Montana?

Not sure.

Describe your music using the words “hyperspace,” “King Arthur’s roundtable,” “grapefruit”, and “Tom Hanks.”

Modern Sons’ music is much like a fucked up alternative “sub-region" in hyperspace known as “Tom Hanks-a-topia”. Much like his Volleyball pal Wilson we are like an imaginary grapefruit that sits at King Arthur’s roundtable spoiling because no one has one of those fancy serrated spoons to eat it with.

How long have you been making music together?

Been together since 2012 and have lost members here and there who have tried to grow up and get ‘big boy jobs’, be in wedding bands, or are selling their souls to drugs. We just keep pushing forward.

Give us a little history of the band name. What makes you guys so “Modern?”

Dan our guitar player is a ‘Modern Son’. He was born very premature and would not have survived with out the marvels of medical technology.

What is the biggest crowd you have played for and where was it? How did this experience help you grow as a band?

Biggest crowd we played for was at a handful of SXSW unofficial showcases called Red Gorilla Festival. The bars on 6th Street in Austin are packed to the gills for a whole week straight. People were digging the music. Made us realize that we do make some decent tunes, and that it isn’t just our friends on Montana blowing smoke up our asses.

Who is the biggest crybaby in the band when it comes to being sick?

Honestly, no one has ever been a crybaby. Sick or not we’ve always practiced and/or played our shows. Diarrhea, vomit, crusty infected urethras; we’re always there.

Name your biggest influences and how each of them contributed to your style and sound.

Chris Gains, Fastball, ‘Lil Boaty, 311, Chris Brown - they’ve just taught us so much

Last movie you each saw in the theater?

Theater...Who has money for that? We only watch Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies really.

What was your familiarity with the actor Richard Dreyfuss before this festival?

Didn’t he kill himself by Autoerotic Asphyxiation with a neck tie? Or wait that was Tom Cruise. JAWS!!!!!

You get to choose between three artists to open up for on a world tour. Your choices are: Nickleback, Creed, and 3 Doors Down. Please choose one and defend your choice.

Nickleback hands down. Ryan used to know the bass player, Mike when he lived on Maui. Apparently each band member has their own tour bus and they travel with a chef. So, at least we’d eat well. Eating good food is our #1 priority in life besides sleep. 


Links for Modern Sons:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Dave Caserio

by Anna Paige

You and Parker Brown have been working together since 2008. What brought you together?

We worked together at the restaraunt Enzo, and when I was putting together Feast for the Hunger Moon, I needed local musicians. I knew Parker played, so I asked him. 

What was that performance like? 

It was a melding of all these platforms of poetry, music, and dance. I think people felt transported. They felt lifted into a different space. One audience member said: "From the moment the lights went down until the Feast ended a couple of hours later, I was in a state of disoriented awe. Disoriented because I had never been in the middle of anything so relentlessly, breathlessly creative." 

That performance was important in setting a tone for collaborative culture in our local arts, music, and literary scene. How did that change you as a poet?

It made me suddenly think there were more possibilities for poetry in the community. I was able to find ways to make a living at it, as opposed to the traditional poet-reads-from-book-of-poetry-and-sells-a-book model. 

You've been residing in Billings since 2003, but you've lived and worked in major cultural centers (Seattle, New York, San Diego). These places seem to influence a lot of your poetry. How does the Billings landscape enter into your work?

Places are incidental. New York, for instance, did influence a lot of my writing because there was so much going on and so many different voices you could hear just walking down the street. Those voices had their own rhythm and their own story. That external world began to intersect with my internal world and my exploration of my past, and my family history. 

If it's not about landscape, what is it about for you?

I think being labeled as a regional writer puts you into a box. There are times when I walk out into the Montana prairie, and it feels like I could be in Mongolia–the landscape and history and imagination just have a sort of serendipity and juxtaposing where my mind just wanders.

What does live music add to your poetry?

Here in Billings, it opens up the potential audience. If you just do a traditional reading, you may have people attending only interested in poetry. But if you add music, suddenly you have people who would not normally come to a poetry reading because it's unique. And they can find out, "You know, I think I do like poetry." On the aesthetic part, I'm really interested in how sound moves through poetry. A poem can't literally get up and dance, and yet it has something of a dance and music in it. 

Poetry, spoken aloud, takes on a different quality. How do you prep for speaking poetry? 

I spent a lot of time listening consciously and unconsciously to pop artists, everyone from Sarah Vaughn to Aretha Franklin to Van Morrison, or folk musicians like Hank Williams and Lead Belly. The way they would phrase language gives you some sense of how poetry can be written and spoken.

Do you feel that poetry is an auditory art form?

That is poetry's nature, because it goes back to the oral tradition. Even now, a poet can get up in the middle of a poem and dance, begin to sing, play an instrument. They begin to take on a shamanistic quality. 

You describe yourself as a bardic poet? What does that mean?  

It's the essential idea that a poet, while often solitary in nature, has a larger cultural role. I love Ed Hirsch's understanding of this notion, that "the poet offers us thought schooled by intuition, emotion deeper than thought, and soulfulness deeper than emotion.  Such archaic ways of knowing go all the way down to the roots of being." A poet is just another human being trying to wake up and stay awake, a reminder of what we are and what we can be.


Links for Dave:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Mary Kate Teske

by Phillip Griffin


Hi there! Who are you and what have you done with my shower curtain?

Ayyyy, this is Mary Kate Teske some of you know me as Murray Kurt Tersker or MK. And Phil! Dude, I was walking down on the Southside and actually saw some naked lady bust into your house and ALL she took was the shower curtain. She sort of fashioned it into a dress when I saw her take off.

I hear you've had a busy summer. What have you been up to?

Busy as helllllll. It's been a rad summer though full of traveling, camping, climbing, photo taking, shindigs with friends and a whole lot of other stuff!

I also hear you've been coordinating the visual art aspects for Dreyfest this year. What can people expect to see during their DF experience?

Yeah, I have been! Alright, you guys can expect your faces to melt, your eyes to get trippy, details to stun you and for artists to knock your muthafuckin' socks off.

Much of your work features an old car you call Frank. What's the story there?

The story behind Frank is kind of a long one, but I'll make it short and leave a link to the article I wrote for Last Best News explaining more of it*. My grandpa used to own a gas station in Seattle that my whole family worked at. They were always redoing cars and one day was willed the Lancer from an old customer of his. Eventually another customer came in and ended with the Lancer through a trade between her and my grandpa. My family at some point down the line sold the gas station and moved to Terry, MT to start a farm. My grandpa ended getting the Lancer after it was willed back to him where it sat on the farm for years. When I was fifteen I got to rebuild it with my family and have been driving it ever since! 

*Read the whole story about MK's Dodge Lancer, Ol' Frank, here.

You've also been doing some work on a project called Backseat Sessions, in which artists perform songs in Frank's back seat. This seems like an awesome way for small artists to get content they can share online. How long have you been doing that? How did it start? Any future plans for the project?

So the Backseat Sessions have been going on for about five months now. They spawned from an old roommate and I hanging on the rims one night. We were chilling inside of my car and, being a musician herself, my roomie brought her guitar and started playing in the back while hanging out. I got the idea from that, and it turned into something a bit bigger because a lot of my friends are musicians. As for future plans, I hope to one day get Kendrick or something in the backseat so we'll see how well progressing toward that goes.

What's your favorite Lord of the Rings character?

Oooooh, LOTR is one of my favs. I've always been kinda in love with Aragorn.

To me, a lot of your stuff has an '80s feel to it - something like a hay-day sensibility. Bold colors and some sleek darkness, burgers and a highway. Maybe a gesture back to a time when cars were seen as more of a boon than a burden as they are now, with climate issues upon us. Is there anything in particular you try to capture in your photography, or do you just snap stuff you think looks cool?

I definitely try to focus on colors. I hate the goddamn beige epidemic happening in modern homes today. But really, I try mostly to document my life, and fit my car into iconic, classic scenes. I'd like to do more throwback type of stuff in the future though.

Top three things you're most excited for in the next six months? Ten years?

Damn, it seems like I'm always excited about something, but if I have to choose: I'm jazzed to climb Devil's Tower soon. I'm actually really stoked for Dreyfest. I'm always reeling for the day I get to become an organic farmer.

Dreyfest is less than two weeks away! What are you most excited to see?

Well, Phil, ya told me about that damn Richard Dreyfest piñata head and now I can't stop thinking about that thing.

Top three places you've visited with Frank?

My favorite places I've traveled to in Frank are probably Glacier National Park, The Redwoods, and Big Sur!


MK's Links:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Idaho Green

by Eric Toennis

First of all, who are each of you, and what do you play? And, why the hell should we care?

Austin Finn, I play guitar and sing. And it’s not my place to tell you what to care about!

I'm Caleb Addy. I play guitar and sing and you should not care.

This is Jordan on drums and you should care because we don’t care, and if you don’t care then we’ll have to care and I don’t think any of us want that.

All of you currently reside in Brooklyn, NY after moving from Montana. What drew you to the New York music scene? Why not somewhere else, like Idaho?

Austin: I think we sort of decided that if we were going to live anywhere other than Huntley or New York, we would just rather stay in Huntley. And Jordan and I growing up outside of LA made me like big cities, but fucking HATE LA. So New York it was.

Jordan: Idaho is the promised land so I don’t think we would need to play anymore. The farther we are from Idaho the better our playing. That’s why we’re thinking about moving to Mozambique so we can reach peak playing.

Yankees or Mets?

The Mets? The METS? We don’t watch National League baseball, we only watch the real teams.

Idaho Green has been around for quite a few years now, sporting a multitude of different lineups. What can you tell us about your current lineup and what it brings to the table as far as sound and energy? Does the change in lineup ever cause any problems with the consistency of your sound? As a bonus, list all of the former members of the band.

For Dreyfest, we will have all sorts of secret weapons. But which secret weapons, we’re not going to tell you.

We’ve always envisioned Idaho Green to be a family band, we actually hope one day to change the name to “Idaho Green Fambly (sic) Band”. With the sic included, by the way. But yeah, a la the Underground Railroad to Candyland or Los Campesinos! or Gogol Bordello or something. We can go as a 3-piece if we have to, but it’s waaaaay more fun when there’s like 12 people on stage going nuts. And as far as different lineups changing the sound goes, I actually really like that challenge. It’s like a puzzle, like “how do I get this group of 7, or this group of 4, or whatever, to sound good?” Because there’s really not one way to get a group of people together and sound good, no matter how individually talented they are. It’s like a soccer team. You can’t force a team to play a certain way if they aren’t equipped to play that way. You have to change your gameplan to accommodate the squad you have. It can be frustrating, but the challenge is the really validating thing for us.

Here is a list of everybody who has ever played a show with Idaho Green, also known as “cAPS lOCK bOYS” or “Spuds”-

Austin Finn

Jordan Finn

Caleb Addy

Phil Griffin

Dan Redinger

Damon Hartl

Leslie Metzger

Will Honaker

Ryan Andersen

Guthrie Brown

Richie Vallejos

Rob Smith

Julius ‘Lil Prodigy’ Ostby

Cooper Malin

Ron Bray

Handsome Dan Hansen

Jenni Long

Andy Ezell

Amos Helvey

Kelly “Handsome Boi” La Croix

Johnnie Lindell

Michael Seibert

Jordan Perkic

Henry Goodridge

Jared Benge

Carsten “Karson” Wright

Hayden Duncan

Garret ‘Yer Ol Dad’ Griffin

Peter De Maio

Alex Sonnemaker

Ashley Kossakowski

Evan Lane

I hope I didn’t forget anybody!

The band formerly went by the name Idaho Green and the Caps Lock Boys. When and why was this shortened to just Idaho Green?

Oddly enough, another band called Idaho Green and the Caps Lock Boys threatened to sue, so we had to shorten it to just Idaho Green. A similar situation happened when The St. Louis Cardinals made Ryan Adams and the Cardinals change their band name to just Ryan Adams. Or When Bryan Adams made Ryan Adams change his name to Albert Pujols. That of course prompted Albert Pujols to make the St. Louis Cardinals change their name to Albert Pujols and the Cardinals. And then of course Major League Baseball made them change back to just Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Did you know people still ask him to play “Boys of Summer”? It’s not even a Bryan Adams song!

One of the calling cards of Idaho has always been all of the different crazy costumes and clothing combinations that you wear onstage (wrestling tights, girl scout uniform, animal costumes, French maid lingerie, colored suits, old-school sports jerseys, and sometimes just tight white undies are some of the ones I can remember off the top of my head). Where did the idea for this come about and is it something you guys still continue to partake in?

Austin: I sort of have a theory that all bands are already wearing costumes anyway, and I thought it would be cool to take that to an absurd level. Like, if you, as a performing musician, are conscious of what you are wearing on stage, and want to portray yourself in a certain way, then to me, you’re wearing a costume. Like, for example, there’s all these punk bands in new York that has this look where they wear leather jackets and white super tight tee shirts tucked into black skinny jeans with Doc Martins, or whatever. It’s so fucking lazy. It’s the epitome of telling and not showing. Like, “Hey, in case you can’t tell by my completely misinformed, shallow, and unoriginal music and lyrics, I’m super fucking punk.” And every genre of music has guilty parties of this. By wearing a costume, in the more traditional sense, it’s sort of my way of not telling, and not showing, but opting out of appearances dictating our artistic expression. It can become super distracting, and I don’t have to think about it.  It forces us to have to be able to express what we are trying to express without the medium of clothes. Which, ironically, is sort of an artistic statement by itself. I dunno. Also, David Byrne says that if you wear the same thing every day, people will remember you better. No idea if that’s true, but it seems to work pretty well.  

Caleb: I wear the french maid as a personal challenge. Every time I put it on, I'm pushing the limits of how bad something can smell, and how much wear and tear it can go through without evaporating into the vinegar cloud that I know it's fated for. Also, I just like looking pretty.

Jordan and Austin, how does the sibling dynamic work for you guys with being in a band together and spending so much time with each other? Do either of you have any secret plots to kill the other one in their sleep, or poison their drink?

Austin: Actually, we realllllllly didn’t get along from like ages 1-12(Austin)/3-15(Jordan). Jordan is 2½ years older than me (and he’s 2½ of a man!). So I think we sort of got all our fighting out of our systems for our lifetimes in that condensed period of 12 or so years. But BOY let me tell you, that sure was a rough time. But once we moved to Billings I think we sort of started to get along better, since we had nobody but each other. Cute, huh?

Jordan: Austin’s living on borrowed time for all I’m concerned. I’ve been irradiating his room for the past nine years with minute levels of polonium-210 vis a vis isotropic decay releasing a lethal dosage on track to shorten his lifespan to 31 years max. Unfortunately, we’re on really good terms nowadays so I keep waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats about my regrets. Then again, that might just be the radiation poisoning.

Caleb, how were you first introduced to these heathens and what makes you want to continue to be subjected to the Finn brothers’ tyranny?

I met Jordan at a garage show! It was a fundraiser for an Idaho tour? This was long before I joined the band. I met Austin through friends, but I will never forget the first night we really met. Austin and a mutual friend (Delow Sarb) got shit-housed and went to The Hobbit. They had to leave because they were so drunk. They came over to my house, and we continued to drink and watch Twisted Romance tour videos. Suddenly Austin says, "You should tour with Idaho Green!" And the rest is history.

To answer the second part of this question, love is something that isn't supposed to make sense.

Richard Dreyfest and Idaho Green are two synonymous names. This awesome festival literally wouldn’t be possible without you guys and now it’s in its fifth year running. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Dreyfest?

The very first roots of Dreyfest were before my time… local artist/musician/comedian/genius Rob Smith had the idea to have a show down at Devil’s Tower called Richard Dreyfest, where we would camp out,  get drunk and see punk bands. I think his idea was to have like Teenage Bottlerocket and Gamits headline, and then just have a bunch of local punk bands drive down and play with them, like a big 7-8 band show. But when it became apparent to us that this would be nearly impossible to pull off (the National Park Service was not too stoked on the idea), we decided to throw it locally, and move it to Wyoming once we got off our feet. But it ended up being so much fun doing it locally we decided to keep it in town!

Finish this sentence:

Idaho Green ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______, and also ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ ______ balls.

Austin: Idaho Green buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo, and also buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo balls.

Jordan: Idaho Green balls hard, nothing but balls, balls, and also balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls.

Finally, the question we’ve all been anticipating...Favorite Richard Dreyfuss movie?

Caleb: American Grafitti.

Austin: The Graduate. Even though he’s only on screen for about 5 seconds, I still consider it a Dreyfuss vehicle. Hoffman was just along for the ride. What About Bob? is great as well, but I don’t trust films whose titles are questions. Make me uneasy.

Jordan: Jaws.


Links for Idaho Green:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Ernav K

by Phillip Griffin

Ernav K, what is your position on scrambled eggs? Do you like them more or less forked such that there is more or less distinction between the yolk and the white?

Scrambled eggs are safe. It's hard to screw up and they get the job done. If I'm making them, my white-to-yolk forking ratio depends on how long I can fork before losing interest.

I’m super stoked about having you at Dreyfest, having seen your work at a show I played at the Haufbrau in Bozeman. You describe yourself as the following: "Ernav K is Ethan Hoerr’s psychedelic audio-visualization project combining multiple formats such as analog video synthesis, video feedback, cathode ray oscilloscope graphics and liquid light projection. With an emphasis on analog techniques, correlation between sound and light is made on the fly by human interpretation.” This sounds more like an engineering project in outer space than a psychedelic light show… On the other hand, maybe the two have a lot in common. How did you get into this stuff anyway? How long have you been doing it?

My first exposure to analog video synthesis was watching Nick Ciontea, aka brownshoesonly, performing at Knobcon 2013 in Chicago, a fantastic synth convention. He was kind enough to explain the principles to me, but I waited until November 2015 to buy my first video module. By this time I was in Peoria Illinois playing keys in a psych rock band, The Golden Fleece, when we decided to incorporate a live visual element into our shows, and we also made a VHS-only visual album for our first release. The tapes sold out, but you can find a ripped copy on YouTube.

Had you done much visual art before you got into projection work, or is Ernav K your first venture into the visual realm? 

Apart from making home videos as a pre-pubescent, this is the most involved I've ever been in visual art. The transient nature of using an analog modular synth is really meditative and almost humbling in the sense that you're never going to create the same patch again. I've grown to appreciate that, as I don't actively think like that in my daily life.

You obviously spend a lot of time at shows. Do you play any instruments? Do you currently or have you ever played in a band or music project?

I started out on bass guitar before picking up guitar, drums and keys. Apart from writing occasional solo psych rock/pop stuff. The Golden Fleece was my last stint before I moved here in August last year. They're doing well for themselves in Illinois and I'm really proud of them. Other than that, I've picked up my bass again with a few other musicians in Bozeman, and I have a good feeling about what the future holds.

Last fast food joint you ate at? Did they have sour cream there?

Taco Bell in Belgrade. They definitely have sour cream but it actually surprises me that they don't offer packets of the stuff, whereas when you get a baked potato at Wendy's they pack the bag fat.

What is your favorite piece of equipment in your setup? What does it do?

I like all my fancy video modules and random gear but creating video feedback is probably the most fun and economical video trick I play with. I either point a video camera at the display it's connected to, or you can send the output of a video mixer back into itself. You can get really great fractals or smeared tracer type effects that way. Watch any Earth, Wind, and Fire music video from the early 80's, like September or my personal favorite, Let's Groove.

It seems like you’ve got a whole “retro” thang going on there, with the mumbo jumbo about analog and fluid human interpretation. As far as I know, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters were among the first to come up with the concept of the light show as its own form of art. Do you know/like those folks? How do you see yourself fitting into that sort of lineage?

I have mad respect for those magic bus riding freaks. I'd like to think I would have hopped along for a ride back then. I owe a lot to the liquid light and video art pioneers from around that era; I see myself as one member of perhaps another "wave" of video synthesists. Many artists from back then are still active today; Joshua White of the Joshua Light Show maintains a Facebook group and is very open about his oil techniques; Dave Jones makes video synthesizer modules and drops wisdom bombs every now and then. I dabble a little in oils, but video synthesis is my bread and butter. Up until the amazing folks at LZX Industries made modular video synths accessible to individuals, the only way you ever would have got to play with one without building it yourself was in the 70's and 80's in a university setting. 

What does Ernav Koepp mean?

The meaning is open to interpretation, but it's a nonsense name I made up in 2007 when I thought someone was stalking me on the internet. There are many ways to pronounce Koepp, I usually read it as "cope" but "co-ep" is pretty common. I guess a lot of people actually have that last name, I got a lot of Koepp friend requests shortly after making my Facebook profile.

You’ll be playing at a couple different spots for Dreyfest, on Friday at Smiling Dog Records and Saturday at Nova Theater. Have you ever been to Dreyfest? What can the attendees expect from your performance?

This will be my first Dreyfest, and I am beyond excited to be performing! Expect a lot of colorful abstract patterns that pulse and wiggle along to the music. I don't want to reveal too much, but I recently got an overhead document camera, like the ones used in classrooms, and have been searching for a Ouija board...


Links for Ernav K:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Will Thomas

by Colton Young

Can you tell us a little bit about your comedy experience and accolades within the comedy scene in Montana?

So it's been a wild ride for me. First I was just a guy doing comedy up here. Then I was wanted in other cities in Montana. Posters with my name and face were appearing everywhere. I felt like I couldn't just blend in anymore. Had to keep moving from city to city! Then suddenly I'm winning competitions out here and now I'm ready to perform at the Art House!

If you were trapped in an elevator and had to choose two people to be stranded with, who would you choose and why?

I think I would choose Solange Knowles and Ray Rice. That would be a better fight than McGregor/Mayweather!

Have you any background knowledge on Richard Dreyfuss and or Richard Dreyfest?

Dreyfest, no. This just popped up on me. Dreyfuss though? Who doesn't know the man that brought wonder to the masses in Jaws! Do you know that Jaws doesn't even show the shark until halfway in? Kinda like my comedy-it dosent hit until you least expect it!

So, I hear you used to be a paleontologist, what kind of skills have translated from that to your success in comedy?

Whoa! Who you been talking to? Looks like I didn't bury those bodies far enough! Yeah, I did that for a while. I'd say patience, and the ability to hammer and brush at something (or someone) for minutes on end until I unravel its mystery. Still working on the mystery of women, though.

There has been speculation on you operating an underground, top secret Dino facility. Could you possibly shed some light on these rumors?

Hmm. I can't tell you everything. Just know I've leased an island from the Costa Rican government for project.

What made you decide to pursue comedy and have you always enjoyed the arts?

I've always enjoyed plays. Opera, not so much-but I can really get down with a good cast and story. As for pursuing comedy-sometimes life hands you a lemon. Life threw a bag of lemons at me repeatedly. In fact, I'm pretty sure it assaulted me. But I'm out here making Lemonade that rivals Beyonce's.

What’s the last TV show you watched and why did you choose it?

Ok. So I'm a huge Netflix guy. Give me a good series and I'll binge it. The last show I watched Kimmy Schmidt-Titus Andromeda is off the charts hilarious!

What’s it like being 35 and looking like your 21?

I don't know! I'm not 35....yet! But looking young, why thank you. It's the lotion. Always with the lotion!

If you had the opportunity to either have a Pokémon or Dino as a lifelong companion which would you choose and why?

Oh man, you're hitting the deep cuts now. I love me some Pokémon, been playing since ‘97. I'd have to take a dinosaur though, give me a Ankylosaur anytime, mainly cause they move two miles an hour, so everyone sees you (a dollar for the first person who gets that reference).

Rumor has it you’re a 90’s music guru. When its time to coax the crowd, what’s your go to karaoke song to perform?

Man! Selling my soul here. If I get the chance to wow a crowd, it's Regulators. If it's to woo a damsel, I'm breaking out the N'Sync. Tearing up my heart! Got the dance and everything!

I know you happen to be an improv studmuffin as well as a talented jokester.  How would you describe your style of comedy?

Observational absurdist. A little racial humor and a lot of physical exertion. Basically, I have a ton of stamina.

Will's Links:

Richard Dreyfest Interviews Johnny Hoffman & the Residents

by Jordan Finn

*J= Joseph Krassin      D= Dylan Miller


Are you real?

J- I like to think so.

D- I'm the realest.

Who is Johnny Hoffman?

J- Fallen Hero.

D- A man; A Legend. 

Who are the Residents and what have they done with my wife?

J- I ain't no snitch.

D- ...

Is there any backstory on the formation of Johnny Hoffman & the Residents or did the band one day generate a form from random space goo slingshot around Jupiter's moon Io from the nether reaches of deep space?

J- We picked up some instruments and just kept writing.

D- I really don't think there is an explanation on this.

So Everett's where Boeing's production facilities are, making planes which makes Montana a "fly-over state". Do you take any responsibility in contributing to making our state the butt of many a coastal joke?

J- You guys should stop talking down about your state.

D- We love driving through Montana and always make a point to visit our favorite city...yes, Billings!! Third time performing and partying here.

How is Everett these days? How would you describe the local "scene"?

J- The scene in Everett is beautiful, creativity everywhere.

D- No comment.

If you could purloin the secrets of any band and steal their magic powers which would it be?

J- Probably Royal Bloods management company so I could open for Queens if the Stone Age.

D- Warner Bros. manager for the gifted bands group???

Does the Everett born singer song-writer, fictional radio DJ, and guest star of the ABC Seasme Street special "Elmopalooza"  Kenny Loggins have any affiliation with Johnny Hoffman & the Residents? 

J- Second cousin twice removed neighbor.

D- I know him from Jo. 

Do you have any exciting plans for the band's future? Syndication perhaps?

J- Europe in November and new music. 

D- New songs / Dreyfest 2017

If you could answer in pig Latin, is punk dead?

J- Nuhdago.

D- I can't handle this...


Links for Johnny Hoffman & the Residents: