The members of literary-minded art-punk band Ought met while studying in Montreal, and their frontman Tim Darcy has been praised for creating poetry with prosaic details that range from condos to cartons of milk. So with Darcy’s debut solo album Saturday Night (which is very good by the way – kind of like an Ought record with more prominent Arthur Russell and Velvet Underground influences) coming out this month, we convinced ourselves that he was fair game for our 20 Questions questionnaire. Omelettes, nicknames and Darcy’s beginnings in classic rock were discussed in the conversation that unfolded.
What book are you currently reading?
I’m reading a book of poetry called The Gift by Hafiz.
Would you recommend it?
Fuck yeah, it’s amazing. There’s a sense of humour to it, but it’s very beautiful.
What was the first record that you fell in love with?
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. That was a big one for young Tim.
What’s your favourite computer game?
There’s this Robin Hood computer game I used to play. And then like a year and a half ago there was like, tour depression a little bit, so I got it into my head that I’d get into games again, and I found some random site on the internet and I downloaded it.
What’s your signature recipe?
I’ve get worse at cooking the more I tour, it’s really sad. I feel like I make a killer omelette, with mushrooms, almonds and cheese… That’s a pretty lame answer. Well, omelettes can easily be gross. There’s an art to getting the texture and consistency right, and not everyone can do it.
I appreciate that. What’s the worst hotel that you’ve ever stayed in?
I don’t even have to think about it – it was in London, an absolutely ‘shite’ hotel in Hackney. It was super small, really dingy and the beds were practically touching each other. When you turned on the sink, the water just sprayed everywhere in the room. We were railed against this hotel very strongly.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met?
I chatted very briefly with St. Vincent at a festival in the food court.
What’s the best live show you’ve ever seen?
I feel like different shows have had different strengths. I did see Richard Youngs play once at a very tiny venue in Montreal, and he very memorably put down the guitar and did this audience participation thing where he had everyone sing with him. It was really special.
What was the name of your first ever band?
Not a bad name.
It’s not terrible. The music was pretty terrible!
What did Mondegreen sound like?
It was a very serious classic rock effort, there was three of us and we took turns playing the instruments.
“The first record I fell in love with was In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel. That was a big one for young Tim”
Which website do you waste the most amount of time on?
I get pretty sucked into a Wikipedia spiral, especially when you’re looking up bands and artists that you like. There’s clearly some amazing, beautiful nerd out there who’s presented all this information.
Have you ever shoplifted?
I don’t think I have, I grew up in a pretty rural area so there wasn’t tons of opportunities to do stuff like that.
If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be?
That’s a good question… Maggie Smith.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked for a long time at a grocery store, bagging groceries and pushing carts. It was good that I was working, but I hated that job.
Was there a uniform?
The uniforms got a little better. At first you had to wear this ill-fitting, kind of like puke green dress shit with an apron, and you had to wear khaki pants. But then after that, they let you wear your own pants and a red polo shirt.
Is there a number one Ought fan?
Yeah I think it’s either my mom or our friend Tristan. They’ve chatted at our shows, one time Tristan went up to my mom and said ‘I know you think you’re the number one fan… but I’m the number one fan.”
Have you ever had a nickname?
When I played baseball in middle school, I was not very good, but I was decent at hitting, so the coach called me ‘Stick’. It was like a term of endearment and it was nice to be recognised for that. But it was also because I was really skinny, so he was kind of a bully as well.
What would you like written on your tombstone?
“Keep On Keepin’ On”.
Saturday Nightis released 17 February via Jagjaguwar