[The Velvet Underground's "Waiting For the Man" plays briefly and fades out]
Anne: Hi, I'm Anne.Melanie: And I'm Melanie. A: And you're listening to Just a Second: A Jump, Little Children Fandom Podcast M: Where the topical discussion is beyond belief. A: Ok, so this is our third episode isn't that right? M: Yep! Lucky number 3! [laughs] A: Yes, third time's the charm. And I did ask if people had any comments to send to us about first episode, which is basically a nostalgic look back, and the second episode which is about female fandom. And I had several people telling and telling us that they did want to comment but I never actually got an email about it. You know I'd ask for email, maybe there's a commenting section on iTunes or something. But I never actually got an email and I never actually got a comment other than stuff like oh this is good or whatever. So we're trying to engage with you people! [laughter] Now um.... M: If you send us questions we will answer them! A: Yeah if you send us questions or have comments or feedback, because some of the stuff can be a little bit controversial, or you might have stories about being a female in fandom that sort of tie into what we've talked about or maybe about this particular episode. But what I was trying to do is avoid a situation where, you know, I'm saying this is a Jump fandom podcast but it's just me and Melanie talking. And that's not really always going to be the case because I'm planning to have a guest on our Jay-centric episode. Yes we will having an episode about Jay, as far as I'm aware, we will be doing that. M: Oh yes.... A: And.... M: As far as you're aware. A: Yeah. We're also gonna have one were we sort them into Hogwart's Houses that I'm planning to have a guest on for that. And of course you know Matt Bivins is supposed to be a guest so we will have people other than you know me blabbing a lot and Melanie helpfully trying to make it seem like it's not just me babbling [laughter] M: I need to learn how to interrupt. I'm terrible at knowing when to interrupt! A: Well I need to like, I was so mortified looking at the transcript from the last episode where was just like these huge paragraphs of text of me talking. I was like ah! But I actually do have a lot to say about this stuff I just need to maybe temper it a little bit. But ironically that's not going to happen today because today is the big Jump Girls episode. M: woo! A: And that's quite a topic and it's sort of the monster topic I'd say of this entire concept, even more so in some ways than just female fandom. And I have been thinking about it so much in preparation for this episode that I'm sort of tired of thinking about it and.... M: [laughs] are you all burnt out on the concept? A: A little bit yeah a little bit! You know first of all for about 10 years during the hiatus I wasn't really thinking about it that much of course. And then since 2015 you know, been thinking about this stuff a little bit and then with the podcast and the Patreon and all these other things they end up taking a larger proportion of my thoughts than I necessarily want them to, if you will, you know what I mean? M: Yeah, yeah I completely understand that. A: Ok good. I'm glad that I'm understood there because it's sort of like, I don't wanna think about this all the time, but it's kinda difficult not to because my job isn't super exciting. And I say that advisedly because the career I'm in is not exciting so it's not really a complaint about the job. I don't really want an exciting career per se anyway. I'm saying that in case my boss ends up listening to this podcast at some point. If I tell him that I have a podcast about Jump, Little Children I'm sure he'd listen to it. M: If you tell him. A: Yeah, see, but I might! The odds are good that I really might tell him that. I've managed not to so far but he is a fan! He is a fan so I might end up telling him. But you know I'm just saying I don't have a lot of willpower about stuff like that. Like if something's sort of fun to think about I'll end up thinking about it. But in the case of job sometimes I end up thinking about stuff from the past that's not so great like you know, my behavior and how silly I used to be and I sort of go into it like a shame spiral. [laughs] M: Oh it's ok. We were all silly. A: Yeah! M: I mean, we're mature people now. Kind of. [laughter] But I think we all deserve to have our youthful silliness. A: Okay, okay that, yeah, that makes me feel better because I was looking at some of my old write-ups of shows and I was like, why did I say that [laughs] why did I say that? Why did I say that out loud? Like, repeatedly! Like oh my God! But you know to sort of tie into your statement about us being--having been young then and we're so much older now, as the song goes, when we're talking about this Jump Girls issue let's frame this first of all with remembering that at the time when we first came across the band most of us were around 20 years old, some younger, some a little bit older. And you know at the time 20 seems really old and not, maybe not really old but it seems quite mature when your 20-21 and looking back it's like oh my God! We're all such babies! But, gosh, okay do you want to explain what this is? Cuz I've been thinking about it so much I don't know how to explain it anymore. You can refuse! You can make me do it. M: I ha--I don't even know if I know how to explain it. A: Yeah, it's weird. I think I can only explain it starting out you know talking about The Beatles. M: Yeah A: And The Beatles, either their marketing people if you will or I think this really is a natural phenomenon, but their marketing people sort of I think took advantage of it because they're four distinct Beatles. They're all quite distinct from each other. And you would like one of the Beatles more than the others, most--that would most often be the case. Some people I guess like them all equally or didn't like them [laughter] in that--like any of them in that way. That's not... M: They hate them all the same! A: They hate them all, yes they hate them all the same. But there's--I think it's natural if you're looking at a group of people and you're to be.... to be attracted to some of them more than the others, or one of them more than the others. I think it's natural to do that. M: Yeah. A: And.... M: I think it colors kind of how you experience their music in a way. A: Who? The Beatles? [laughs] M: Or any band that you have like a loyalty to a certain person or whoever in the band. A: Yeah. [cross talk] M: if you can identify with one of them or whatever. A: Yeah M: Find them cute! A: Yeah, that's the thing too. What are we talking about? Are we talking about identifying with them? Are we talking about finding them cute? Are we sort of.... M: Or both! A: ...fighting those. Yeah. Are we--cuz for some people that's kind of the same thing, which is its own sort of fascinating thing. But I remember you'd said on your Instagram story once, you said something about, you know, if I held a gun to your head which one of the Beatles would you pick? And I'm like, well, goddamnit, it's Paul. [crosstalk] And I know that Paul's kind of a dick and I don't even really like his songs and and I don't even really like his singing style. Like, I can't stand Wings. But if you, if you show me a picture of The Beatles and I have to pick one, it's Paul! M: Yeah. A: It's just Paul. John seemed always kind of like an ass. M: Yeah. A: You know, Ringo's you know, just sort of whatever. I'm learning more about George Harrison and he seems pretty cool but even so I think it would have to be Paul for better or worse. Cuz this isn't always really something where you're making a wise, conscious decision. [laughter] [crosstalk] M: You have to weigh [laughter] you have to weigh each of their personality traits and come up with a well-informed decision. A: Right! It's exac--yeah, it's not that at all because it's a gut decision. And I think sometimes trying to label it and trying to sort out you know 'what am I?' can sort of, cuz that's what I've been trying to do, can sort of mess it up in a way. But I was thinking also about a quote from someone who said that sometimes Matt Bivins makes her feel like driving her car into a tree. M: Wow. A: And that was such a vivid thing to say but I want to emphasize, because sort of like a disclaimer, I don't think she was really saying that she was gonna drive her car into a tree. Cuz sometimes I like to use a lot of hyperbole and I think of a lot of hyperbolic things as really funny, so I thought that was a hilarious and evocative statement. M: Yeah. A: But I think some people would be like, that's so disturbing that she wanted to drive her car into a tree, and I'm like, no, that's not really what's happening. So just to be 100% clear, at the risk of sounding condescending, I don't think she was really planning to drive her car into a tree because of Matt Bivins. [laughs] M: Yeah, it's kinda like you have this level of emotion about something and you can't describe it in terms so you say, "I feel like I want to drive into a tree!" [laughs] A: Yes, exactly, exactly, without literally meaning that. M: Yeah! A: In case we have to spell that out for everybody. [laughs] But yeah I thought that was kind of a good way of putting it. So it's, it is kind of like that in some ways. It is sort of like having this flash of, you know, "I want to drive my car into a tree" but...God! I don't know why this is so hard to talk about because we all know exactly what it is. Maybe it's--I mean you have a pretty clear-cut case of having been a Jaygirl from the start, right? M: Oh yeah. A: Yeah, see, I think--and I think you're a really good example of that. I think most of the Jaygirls that I know, they were you know from the beginning and that's it. And frankly I don't think that many people have changed their allegiance who still have that. And I want to say, too, you know I said earlier that we were all around 19 or 20 or whatever when we first came across the band, first started learning about them and their music and whatever and I want to say you know sort of like I was getting at in the other episodes: yes we are all around 40 now at 35 to 45 or whatever you want to say. Yes, a lot of people are married, the people in the band are married, people have kids etcetera, etc. They have careers and whatnot. So it's not like we're 20 anymore but let's look at there are Beatles fans who are now in their 60s and 70s; they still know exactly you know, who they like or have liked over the years. M: Yeah. A: it's still a thing and I want to emphasize that it is an underlying thing. It's not like 'oh I'm going to marry so-and-so. It's not about that. I want to be clear it's not about that. It's not like, 'oh, I want to whatever whatever.' That's not even what I'm talking about. It's--see, this is again, like I feel like I've thought about it so much trying to describe what it is [crosstalk] M: Well, I think going back to how it helps you kind of experience, it colors your experience of the music to have this person that you kind of feel a sort of loyalty to. A: Yeah. M: More so than the others. A: Yeah I think that's a good way to put it. M: It gives you an anchor, sort of, to the music and to the band. A: Yeah. I was just going to say, which I think I mentioned earlier, that not everyone has this experience because even though I can't remember exactly how I started getting interested in it or noticing it, I definitely noticed it when it does happen because it is a real phenomenon. And I made a quiz on my website and people sort of got--the quiz was sort of a funny thing to me cuz I don't think you can really determine it with a quiz. But people took the quiz fairly seriously and the feedback I would get about it was stuff like you know, 'I don't really have that experience' and I'm like, ehhh, I mean eventually you know we have the Sorting Hat concept, which I think we did at that time too, cuz the Harry Potter books are pretty old. But it's really more like that: you either know or you don't. M: Yeah. A: Or, I mean, no what I mean, like you know where you're like 'oh, mm... M: Yeah. A: 'that's not, yeah, that's not what I'm feeling at all.' [laughter] I can understand being a Jump Girl for anybody in the band. I can, you can make your case to me and I totally get it. What I can't do is feel that way for everybody. M: Yeah. A: And it doesn't really ultimately matter in the end, to your experience of the music, like I don't think it makes someone more of a fan to have that alliance and it doesn't--I don't think it makes you more of a fan to not because I think it's a little more of a problem when people like, 'oh well that's treating them like a boy band.' Okay, so what's wrong with that! [laughter] M: You can ex--you can have an experience liking a band in however you want and I don't think any of it's.... A: Yeah M: ...any of it's more or less anything it's just the way, the different ways that people experience how they like something. A: Yeah. And again it's not really something that is under your control. I mean you can control how you express it M: Yeah. A: But it's not like, 'well, I've decided I'm just not going to them like that anymore.' I mean, I guess you could if you really want to but I don't see what what the point would be unless you're just of the mindset that it's not being a fan the right way. But it isn't, it's like a very, it is controversial even still, it is controversial even though it's a really simple concept at the heart of it. My history with this is weird because at first I was a Wardgirl and I have to say a big part of that, I think, was because he was the first person I really spoke to. I interviewed him for my college paper. I think I interviewed him like twice or three times overall but you know, at first he was the first person that I spoke to. He was, you know, he's really nice, he's very intelligent and that was sort of my first experience really talking to the band that I can recall. I mean I seem to recall vaguely--see I saw them at The Cotton Club; that was my first real Jump club show. I saw them at The Cotton Club and the next day, for some reason, they were scheduled to do a Live X, a you know, a recording for 99X which they don't seem to do anymore, at gosh...it was the Gwinnett Civic Center arena or whatever it was or whatever it's called now which is where, also where I graduated from high school. And this was the next morning so this was like 10-11 o'clock the next morning after a club show. So nobody was really at the best. [laughter] Nobody was really, like, 'yes I'm energized and I'm ready to do this!' So, I honestly cannot recall the details but I think Matt and one other person sort of blew me off when I try to speak with them. Now in fairness, I'm a big dork and I can only imagine that I wasn't like the most enticing person to speak to particularly given that it was like 10 in the morning the day after a show. So I don't actually blame them but it still doesn't make you feel that great but I also must add that I honestly don't remember the details of that. I totally forgotten about that except for the fact that I wrote it down somewhere, just without these details. But I spoke to Ward and I'm pretty sure that--God, no I'm actually not. That was either before or after I'd interviewed on the phone; I think it might have been before. But you know, he was really nice. Jay was actually nice to me that day too. I have a picture with Jay from that day which is pretty funny that I even have that but anyway, my--you know, long story short I think a lot of the fact that I was a Wardgirl at first was because I spoke to him first! Which sounds kind of dopey but, you know, it is what it is! And I was a Wardgirl for a couple of years until I was a Mattgirl. And Matt was really curious about this whole thing and we had a number of discussions about it like how do you know--not really so much that, but you know like, how do you know so-and-so over there is a whatever girl? Like, we'd quiz him and he would talk about it and ask questions about it. And at some point you know, I spoke to Matt quite a bit about all kinds of stuff and...you know, for me, compared to other people in the band. I'm not saying we talked all the time, cuz we didn't. But, you know, I became, you know, friendlier with him and we got along really well and at some point I decided oh, well I'm a Mattgirl now. And even at the time I was sort of like, well you know I'm not like the other Mattgirls cuz there was this sort of feeling that the Mattgirls are the ones that get in front of him and scream and you know what we used to call 'hoochies.' [laughter] That's sort of what Mattgirls were known for. And I'm not like that and I've never been like that. But I just thought, well I'm just sort of an unusual Mattgirl, but I'm still a Mattgirl. But looking back now I'm like maybe I wasn't really a Mattgirl, but I'm honestly not sure cuz I don't know how exactly we're defining this, per se, or maybe I'm hedging! Like, do you think I'm hedging? M: I don't know maybe a little. [laughs] A: Yeah I mean I don't know if I was, if I thought to myself, 'well I'm a special...I'm not a hoochie so....' but at the same time there were certain elements of being a Mattgirl that were not present with me so I mean I don't know how else to put it. But enough about me, what was your experience like? And then we'll get back to me! No, no, [laughter] see in contrast to my experience I think yours is probably more clear-cut. [laughs] M: Yeah I mean...I guess maybe I should tell the whole story. A: Yes! M: That I had a friend who saw them down at the bus shed.... Anne: Yeah! M: ...in Charleston. A: I was at that show. M: And she came back from it and she was just, she kept talking about it and talking about it and she said they're coming to Greenville and that I need to come and then she was telling me about, 'oh, they have a classically trained cellist and there's this one guy who is like, he wears this fabulous clothes and makeup and he's very dramatic and you'll just love him!' And so I go to the show and I'm watching and I, I didn't really like them at first. Cuz I'm watching these two guys that she talked up very, very much! A: Yeah! M: And it just wasn't my thing. I appreciate, I appreciated Ward's talent of course and I appreciated Matt's theatricality and just being as a wonderful performer. But it didn't quite click for me musically until a few shows later, like why did I even go to more shows if I didn't like them? [laughter] Because my friend, she had, she, you know, we were always going places with each other and I was like, okay I'll go with you just to hang out with you I guess? But so a few shows later I kinda turn my head the other way[laughter] and that's when I was like, Oh! It was--a light bulb! A: Then it clicked. Then it all clicked M: It clicked! And that was the moment that I was like--I mean I didn't know the Jump Girls thing existed at that point. A: Right, right! M: But I knew that I was a Jaygirl! A: Right! M: And that's how I came to appreciate their music, was going, 'oh! That guy!' [laughs] A: Yeah, yeah, see, see this is not--see I think sometimes people think this is something I invented. Not to sound paranoid or self-centered or anything, but I did not invent this! I made a quiz about it and I talk about a lot because I think it's a fascinating phenomenon but I didn't do this and I honestly can't remember--this sounds so dumb, but I honestly can't remember anything, maybe Olivia does cuz Olivia remembers everything, how I got interested in talking about it. But it's definitely a thing! And I think it's so funny when you can tell what one someone is or if you already knows and it's a thing and it just, it's just funny. M: Yeah. A: But I've just, yeah it's just always so interesting to me. Not in a belittling way and I don't, I'm not trying to make it like the be-all end-all of fandom. I feel like I said a lot but seriously if you don't feel this way that's fine. If you don't like it that's fine. But it is still a thing for some people. M: And it's a fun thing too. A: Yeah! Even though we're all super old now [laughter] [crosstalk] M: God! We're so old! [laughs] A: We're all just, you know, wretched, decrepit old creatures who don't think of stuff like this anymore, but it is a thing! And so I was a Mattgirl for quite some time really. You know, let's see, it was 2002...really you know it's funny because from 2002 to the end of 2005 is not really that long amount of time but it seems like it is looking back. And there are some--you know, people often talk about how wildly attractive they find Matt and you know, he just captivates them in shows but I realize I never...I never...that was never quite exactly my perspective. And, God, this is so hard to talk about! [laughter] No! No. Where's a good place for me to start over! [laughs] M: I don't know. A: I don't know either cuz I don't want to actually say this! M: I know A: How can I talk about this? How can I talk around this? M: I don't know, maybe I can talk about how I--my feelings about Matt! [laughter] A: Yes! [cross talk] think you would do a better job! M: I can talk about my feelings about Matt cuz A: Yeah, you do a better job, ok. M: Honestly, you know, I'm a Jaygirl.... A: Really? M: I'm a Jaygirl. [laughter] Hello, I'm Melanie and I've been a Jaygirl for 18 years. [laughter] But! I do--I was never taken in by Matt sort of like...cuz he is mesmerizing. A: Yes. M: He has these eyes that just, I mean.... A: and here's the thing.... M: everyone who's listening knows about his eyes. A: Yes! Absolutely and here's the thing if I could just jump in real quick. M: Yeah.... A: No, no, I can't jump in real quick cuz you're leading up to what I want to lead up to. Okay, I'll shut up! M: and.... A: Why don't you start over! [laughter] Ok, I'll shut up. I will literally shut up. Ok. M: But and his whole shtick as you call it, with the hand gestures and you know. I appreciate that and I appreciate the people who are Matt girls who find him attractive. I mean he is an attractive guy he's just not the type of attractive that I'm drawn to per se. A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. M: But I appreciate, I appreciate all that about him and I appreciate that he's very easy for me to t--he's the easiest one to talk to for me. Like if I was basing whichever Jump girl I was off of that.... A: Yeah! M: I would be a Mattgirl because he's so easy for me to talk to and I'm not, I don't talk to people very easily cuz I'm an introvert and I don't really [laughs] know how to initiate conversations. A: Yeah, and Matt's really good at that. M: Yeah, Matt's really good at that! And I don't--there's not a lot of small talk with Matt. A: Right M: Cuz he, I don't know. This is where I'm starting to not get eloquent. [laughs] But he's just, he's easy to like, he's easy to approach and I think.... A: Although some people do find him scary, but I've never really quite understood that. M: I've never found him scary. A: He's not scary. He's not. M: Evan scares me! [laughs] A: Yeah, Evan's a little scary. Yeah. Evan's mean! [laughter] Anyway, anyway. M: But yeah.... A: He's not mean. M: But if I was basing whatever Jump girl I was off of that I would be a Mattgirl but it's not about that for me. A: And see! That's, that's the thing! M: And I'm not shy about saying that. A: right M: Because it's been the one thing in my life where I'm just, I have no shyness about being like, 'oh yes, I'm a Jaygirl!' [laughs] A: Right! Right! And talking about it being easy to talk to Matt I've had some wonderful conversations with Matt and I'm not saying that in a bragging way because a lot of people have! Because he's easy to talk to [crosstalk] in email or in person or whatever; he's wonderful at crafting messages. He's wonderful at communicating. He communicates in a specific way and when you're talking about you know, his stage presence I have to say and I probably will tell him this, he has honed that amazingly. Because there was a time where he sort of was, had this feeling of 'please everyone pay attention to me. I need you to pay attention to me.' Which I'm not totally comfortable with as an observer or as someone who [laughing] wants people to pay attention to them. But over the years he is really honed this to where it seems to me like he doesn't need us to pay attention to him. He's going to do this and it doesn't matter if we pay attention to him or not. And that sounds dumb the way I'm putting it probably but that has really, really made his stage presence amazing because he doesn't care. He doesn't care! M: Yeah. He's grown into himself! A: Yeah, he just, he's like 'I'm, whatever, I'm up here doing this' and that is just incredible to me. And it's so funny to me that prior to this when he was doing this for years and years this, this whole thing I was just like, well yeah that's Matt. A lot of people like Matt. [laughter] And now I'm like, now that he doesn't need you to care it's like, wow! He's really knocking out of the park now, Jesus. But you know, at the same time when you're talking about you know Matt's easy to talk to, that doesn't necessarily mean just cuz you like communicating with Matt that you're a Mattgirl. M: Yeah. Cuz I also... A: [laughs] Does everyone see where I'm going with this! [laughs] M: Yeah I also communicate well with Ward too but I'm not a Wardgirl! [laughs] A: Yes, yeah. Ward is, that's what I realized too I was like I like talking to Ward and Ward remembers a lot of stuff. Ward will remember stuff about you and bring it up. M: Yeah A: But Ward is very practiced at conversation and he knows how to engage with people. And that's good I mean I'm glad that he evinces that level of consideration of knowing that he, it's kind to remember things about people, to ask after whoever you know if they, if someone was at a show last time with somebody else 'how's so-and-so' and you know, remember what's going on in your life and you know I appreciate that. But it's about more than just that. Or not about that necessarily. So at this point if anybody is still listening [laughter] you're probably wondering where I'm going with this. Well, we'll get there! We'll get there [laughter] if you haven't figured it out already. [laughs] We're getting there, I swear. So yes, we've established that you've had a fairly straightforward experience whereas mine I do think it's definitely possible to change your realization about you know, what you're allied or aligned or whatever toward overtime. M: Oh yeah. A: And God knows we're looking at you know 20-25 years so it's okay. M: People change a lot. It's ok! A: Yeah, it's okay to do that. It's ok have, to be steadfast. It's okay to find yourself changing your mind or in my case.... M: Yeah, everyone's different! A: Yeah, or in my case looking back and realizing you know, maybe I wasn't so sure about this all along. Maybe this doesn't apply to me as cleanly as it applies to other people. While you know I still understand that it is a thing for other people. But it's interesting because once again we all know that this is a thing that happens with groups of people but it's strange to talk about it to an extent. M: Well, do you want to talk about your struggle? [laughter] A: This entire episode is my.... M: is your struggle! [laughter] A: The struggle is real! [laughter] Oh, God, but how though? Ok, so...no, I don't! I can't! [laughter] I can't talk about this it's too embarrassing! M: Maybe I should ask you questions! A: Yes, ask me questions. M: I don't know what questions to ask! A: Oh no! M: So! A: We're at an impasse! [laughs] M: So, how do you--as we have matured over the years [laughter] and.... A: Excuse me, excuse me. Sorry. Carry on! M: Okay let's see how I want to phrase this. [crosstalk] So, what were you going to say? A: I was going to say this is gonna be very obvious to some people and be like, 'what the hell are you talking about' to others. I mean, of the pool of people that actually care. M: So, since the reunion and hiatus and all of that and now that we have been thinking about Jump, Little Children more than ever [laughter] A: God help us! M: have you found anything has changed in terms of Jump girls? A: Well I don't know if something has changed so much as it's my understanding of it that has changed. And that's really what has me trying to figure this out cuz I was, I'm like I've definitely had moments in my past where, and my present, where I realized something about myself after the fact and then I'm like, 'oh, well that's humorous [laughter] that's humorous that I didn't realize this.' And then I of course, I find it funny if I tell other people and they're like, 'oh yeah' and I'm like 'oh are you going to tell me any point?' I just find that entertaining. I find it entertaining more than worrying, cuz I tried, I really honestly do want to be a self-aware person. Although when I look at my old show recaps and old Opium emails and stuff like that I'm like, 'wow how did I not understand that I shouldn't have written this?' [laughter] M: Well, it comes with maturity too. A: Yeah I try to sort of be forgiving toward myself given that, I'm you know, like 20 years old saying these stupid things. M: I think we're all on this ride of becoming as self-aware as we can [crosstalk] before we die. [laughs] A: And speaking of self-awareness, you know, I do want to interject and mention that you know talking to Ward and whatever, I did pick up on stuff like you know Buddhism, meditation. Those were actually very valuable things in my life, learning about meditating, learning about Buddhist concepts. I don't consider myself Buddhist but learning about some of that stuff really honestly did help me and there are a number of other things that I was introduced to via Jump but that was really one of the big ones because he was interested in meditation. And you know, to jump back to the idea of you know self knowledge of self understanding I did realize that there was a alignment that, alignment--is it alignment or an [unintelligible] is it alignment? Is that the word I'm looking for? M: I dunno. A: That made more sense to me. And I will say that as soon as I told Olivia about it she immediately said, 'well that's just Melanie influencing you.' [laughter] I'm like, thanks! I mean you know, to an extent maybe it was but not entirely! Because I realized you know there's a number of things that draw me more toward what's his name than maybe I had previously acknowledged or I'd sort of written that off as, as something else and...what am I trying to say, Melanie? M: I don't know what are you trying to say! A: What am I trying to say? And I'm going to phrase this real carefully because I don't want to make it sound like I've made a choice. [laughter] M: She may never make a choice! A: Well, it's not my choice to make. But I have realized at my ripe old age of 40 that I think I'm, I think I'm more of a Jaygirl now. M: WOW! [laughs] A: Wow. There I said it. M: You said it! Oh my gosh I'm so proud! A: And yes as soon as I told Olivia she was like, 'no you're not. Everyone's a Jaygirl" and I'm like... M: Not everyone. A: 'That's not true!' M: Not everyone. A: I used to say, well everybody, you have to be a little bit in love with Jay to like the band anyway. And again, disclaimer, I don't literally mean a little bit in love with Jay. I'm saying that as a figure of speech. But it seems it would be a challenge to like Jump, Little Children and not like Jay. M: Yeah. But I can't.... A: Maybe not necessarily as a person. M: Right, right. I can't understand.... A: You have to at least like the stuff he does! M: Yeah! I can't understand--that doesn't compute to me. A: Yeah, because he really is.... M: When the bulk of the music.... A: Not only that! M: When the bulk of the songs.... A: Not only does he write most of the music and the songs, you know, it kind of wouldn't exist without him. I don't think that's an unfair thing to say. He's kind of the backbone. Would you say, I mean.... M: Well, I think too that Jay and Matt have kind of a symbiotic relationship within the band. A: Yes! M: In a sense of performing live. A: Yeah, and that's really interesting to me. I've been thinking about that more. And what he kind of does is he siphons off the energy and focus that would normally be on Jay and becomes that sort of focal point. And that's really an ideal situation for an introverted performer, to have somebody who siphons off and takes the, the crowd attention and enjoys it and sort of absorbs that energy that you might necessarily be uncomfortable with. M: Oh yeah! It takes the pressure off. A: Yes, yes, exactly! So you're free to continue with your creative expression for the band without thinking now I've got to field all all the attention that I get as the lead. So, it's weird. It's like, it's part of what makes them difficult to explain to people. I always find it a challenge to introduce people. So a lot of times I don't really try to. I just, you know, you're either going to like their music or you're not. But how did we get onto that, this part of it? Was this.... M: I have no idea. A: I don't remember. [laughter] I wanted to mention also that you know I did have talk--I did have discussions with Matt back in the day, back in 2001. You know it's not really something I talk about very frequently with--I've never talked about it to the best of my knowledge with anybody else in the band and I haven't talked with Matt about it in years. But I did you know sort of offhandedly refer to myself as a Mattgirl at the licmag show and Matt made a face like I'd thrown garbage at him. And afterward I was like 'well that was strange! I wonder why he reacted so strong.' He didn't say anything but like, this look flashed on his face like ahhh. I learned later on from a reliable source that Matt doesn't like this concept! And I thought that was--I sort of went through the seven stages of grief [laughter] when I heard that because, you know, I wasn't aware that he didn't like it. I was pretty sure that it's not something they think about very often and certainly haven't thought about in many years. If, you know, there was some discussion back in the day, but there was no indication that you know, they rejected the concept. But you know I'm sort of like, 'Don't feel too bad for Matt if he learns about this because he doesn't like the concept anyway.' [laughs] M: Well he doesn't.... A: So there! M: He doesn't really have a choice that it exists anyways. [crosstalk] He can like it or dislike it. A: Yeah. Yeah. M: That's his thing. But it's gonna exist either way because I think it's unavoidable when you have a band that's full of distinct personalities. A: and really I think it's for the best that they don't engage with it or really spend much time thinking about it. Not that anyone's listening to my declarations on it. But you know it's, there's not really a point and to an extent even if they don't know this is a phenomena I'm sure they understand the concept based on the people they see time and time again. Yeah, I mean you know everybody gets this. It's not necessarily something that needs to be dwelled on which is why we've talked about it for and hour. [laughter] M: We had to explain why doesn't need to be dwelled on. A: We had to explain why it's not important. M: It's just a fun thing. Okay. Case closed! A: It is fun! I'm sorry but it is fun. M: It's fun! A: It's fun to observe in other people. [laughs] M: Oh yeah! A: So I sort of got a little bit of that when I was sort of casually mentioned to handfuls of people, a very small number of people that you know, I think I'm more of a Jaygirl now. They're like, 'yeah, no shit!' [laughter] Except for Olivia cuz Olivia was like you just think that because you've been talking to Melanie! And I'm like, no, look. M: No. I just gave you your space to figure it out. A: Yeah, see! M: Without any sort of judgment! A: In fairness it is not a completely off base accusation because you know [laughter] look at my history! Look at my history. And I am sort of you know, like Homer Simpson says, 'yes, Lisa, I am the highly suggestible type.' But you know that might be me just being down on myself. Cuz I do not want to get into like a list of reasons... M: Right. A: ...on this podcast! [laughter] I don't want to get into an explanation! M: Right. A: I don't want to do that. But trust, just take my word for it! Take my word for it. Insofar as this is still a thing, or a thing for me because I don't have as airtight an alliance as many others have had in the past and over the years. There, you know, it's still, it still is a thing. And I think I've pinpointed this correctly, but it is very humorous to me that I'm realizing, 'hey!' [laughter] I mean if, and I think a big factor--this is going to make it sound like I'm really just easily influenced, a big factor is actually listening to Jay talk about himself. [laughter] Like that podcast! He was in a podcast where he talked about being an atheist and it was probably the most I'd ever heard him talk. Then of course now he has his own podcast and we talked to him after the licmag show. And you know I think the reason I had not really, actually I know the reason that I had dismissed this before was, you know, I don't really connect with Jay. It's difficult to get a bead on him. It's difficult to understand him. M: He's inscrutable. A: Yeah, he's inscrutable. And then I realized later on that's how all the Jaygirls think, except for you know, understanding hey I'm like that too or you know, like, I kinda get it. I mean that's sort of me being sort of hyperbolic there. Do you feel that he's inscrutable and you're ok with it? Or do you actually like, get him? Or is it like a combination? M: It's a combination of the two. There, you know, there's a mystery about him. A: Right. M: And I think that appeals to a certain kind of person. A: Yeah. M: But also I don't think, I dunno how to phrase this [laughter] I don't think he's as mysterious as he would like to come off. A: Yeah. Yeah. I get that, yeah. And I think another factor for me is, I'm a shy person and he's described himself as a shy person. And I'm not often comfortable with other shy people because you never know what they're thinking. [laughs] M: Right. A: I understand why people think I'm weird because I'm either saying nothing to you or I'm telling, giving you too much information. There's no pleasant small talk modulation. M: Yeah. A: Again, I'm you know sort of exaggerating for comic effect but that is kind of what it is. You know, i'm either you've never spoken to me before or I'm giving you far too much information. But as a shy person there is sort of a remove and some division between you and other people and it is a strange thing to deal with in trying to understand how to deal with another person. But once you realize and once you know, let's say you've got two shy people talking to each other once you each realize 'hey they're just like me!' Then I think you can get somewhere. M: The doors open. A: Yeah. You can talk, you can immediately start talking about death. [laughs] M: Yeah! A: Death or a limited amount of time on this earth! M: I think that's the thing with introverts. Once you find out that you have this common bond of this thing, you're like okay we both know that we hate small talk so we can get to the meat of the stuff. A: That's another thing about Jump shows that I want you to underline is the fact that we take it for granted that we're going to talk to them all after the show is pretty unusual. M: Yeah. A: And I think they regret sometimes having started this precedent. [laughter] And of course if you notice it's very--some people are much more difficult to talk to after shows. Some of them have legitimate reasons not to talk to people after shows, but you know, still. And it is very unusual and to a large extent, people want to talk to Matt and he's really been incredibly gracious and giving in extending this to people. And I think he legitimately enjoys interacting with people. It's not something that I really understand because I wouldn't if it were me. But you know I don't want to undersell how important that is in making people feel engaged with the band. M: Yeah. Like, would.... A: It is, they don't have to do that! M: No! And would they have such a dedicated fan base without that sort of side? A: Yeah. M: I have to wonder. A: Yeah. M: Cuz it really feels like, I don't know...it--I don't know, I don't know where I was going with that but.... A: I mean it is a legitimate question because that is a big part of going to a show is, you know, you stay afterwards to talk with the band. M: Yeah. A: And, you know, usually most people want to talk to Matt. And part of that is because Matt has, perhaps he wishes he hadn't done this, but Matt's known for being really nice to people. And you know I think he, you know he's concerned about people. He wants to keep up with people's lives and stay engaged, but I wonder how much of that he sees as an obligation at this point. M: Yeah. A: But yeah, I think I've thought about this all so much in preparation for this episode that I sort of got a little burned out on what's a relatively simple concept. Like, sometimes I'll try to pull the, you know, there's a gun to your head thing on myself [laughter] and I'm like, oh, okay. But you know, even so. Cuz it is sort of a controversial topic, in part because not everyone shares this experience and they have worried to me in the past, there's like, 'does this mean that, you know is there something wrong or not?' And I'm like no, probably better off than the rest of us and than some of us. But it's still a real thing. It still colors your experience of being a fan. And I think it does tie back to the female fan stigma in certain ways because it's seen as such a frivolous, silly thing. But it's, you know, even for all that it's still a real phenomenon. It doesn't mean all that much really per se. And sometimes it's a way of understanding yourself which I realized the other day it, that it is kind of a way of understanding yourself using your known for persona of a band member as a proxy. Because you know, again, we don't know everything about everyone just from being fans. That's an important thing to realize. I think most people know that but you know. I want to emphasize that too, you know, these are still people that we don't encounter in day-to-day life. So, was there anything we hadn't really covered in talking about this? That we did want to cover cuz there's somethings I didn't want to really get into. [laughs] M: I think we covered it well. A: Okay yeah. M: So, in conclusion! [laughter] A: In conclusions.... M: In conclusion! Jump girls are fun. A: Yeah. M: It's not a serious thing. A: It's not serious. M: It's just fun. It's just another way of liking something and.... A: Yeah, and experiencing. M: Experiencing. Yeah. So. I guess we should thank people for listening. [laughter] I've been listening to podcasts and all the episodes are like, 'well, thank you for listening.' Thank you. A: Thank you for listening and please don't say anything about this to me if you see me in person. [laughter] Please respect my privacy at this difficult time. [laughter] No, actually, actually it's not that difficult a time, it's just funny. M: It's a funny time. A: Cuz I really could get into my reasons but we'll wait to do that [laughs] on the Jay episode. [laughter] Oh, man. Okay. Oh yes, thank you for listening. [laughter] On the next episode we're going to have Matt Bivins. [laughs] M: And we don't know what we're going to talk to him about so that'll be fun. A: Well, I mean, we kinda do. M: We kinda do. Yeah. A: We kinda do know. Should.... M: We have made a note. A: Should be very good. M: So.... A: Alright, until next time.... M: Well, well! We should probably remind people to subscribe. A: Oh yeah, yeah! M: So, remember to subscribe on either iTunes or Spotify or find us on SoundCloud and.... A: And if you have any questions for us or comments just email justasecondpodcast (at) gmail and.... M: and.... A: That's about it! M: And we'll see you next time!
[Pixies "Here Comes Your Man" fades in, plays briefly, then fades out]