LK: I think it changes depending on circumstances, mood, and what we happen to be listening to.
EGS: The burden of endless debt.
LK: Oh, yeah, definitely that.
CH.89: What made you all want to start a band and how did you come up with the band name?
JR: Russian Baths are full of contradictions. Layers of hot and cold. Discomfort that feels good. You have to push through to get the reward.
LK: Also, they occasionally have sordid histories. They’re both intimate and public. A place for backroom deals and illicit plans. It took us months to settle on the name.
ES: Shout out E. 10th St. Russian & Turkish Baths. I go there a lot.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new album?
JR: This is our first time around. We’ll get back to you when we know.
LK: Whatever they prefer.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
ES: I just feel fortunate for any time and space to make art, ever.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
LK: Impulses are involved, but we tend to build around ideas. It could be a structure, pedal, or borrowed musical idea—something like the Petrushka chord.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
JR: Working with other people closely on a shared goal is humbling. You have to let go of part of yourself. You are vulnerable and you have to be forgiving.
LK: And people sense when it’s fake.
ES: Don’t pay for art school.
LK: Definitely not.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
JR: It’s uncomfortable. Songwriting is a challenge. I squirm and avoid it like a child who doesn’t want to do homework.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
JR: You always have something to focus on. It’s therapeutic.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
JR: Broadcast, Swirlies, Slint
LK: Polvo, Frank Ocean, Mamaleek, Talk Talk, Grooms, Spectres from Bristol … too many to name. I really like the new Porches record.
ES: People who give it away.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
LK: The continual democratization of the recording process is wonderful. The shorter road to exploitable labor is not.
LK: I went to Hong Kong once and it was great, but I bet the air conditioning bills are significant.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
LK: Kenzaburō Ōe and Amy Lawless.
ES: Been reading a lot of Fred Moten.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your music?
ES: Make more of it, faster.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your music?
LK: I hope our sleight of hand is good enough to leave people with more questions than answers.