Wednesday, July 31, 2013


"We'll keep each other warm and we don't cover up our scars..." -The Getters 

I've only seen The Getters once. I've seen the members, Chris and Jake, do a million other things - hundreds of times. I've lived with both of them, gone on long walks, shotgunned beers by the truckload, and attempted to save our hometown from floodwaters. I've played music with both of them and watched them in other projects. What struck me most about seeing them perform was how much sense it made for two of the most sincere people I've ever met to try to save themselves - and anyone who would listen - with songs. It's absurd. It's beautiful. It's folk-rap-goofball-punk. It's endearing and heartwarming and, sometimes, heartwrenching. It's inspiring. They also live all of it. It's hard to find that kind of commitment. They were all of these things before they had a band; the band is really, really good - the members are great.

Who are you and what do you do? 
We're Jake Flaten and Chris Brown. Jake Flaten plays bass more than he plays guitar while simultaneously maintaining caustic screenprinting machinery and doing some really rad theater. Chris Brown makes guitar pedals and electromances and rocks your world in ways that you're not even aware of yet. He's also a lapsed vegetarian, but if you want to get in an argument about it, he'll win. For the record, these are our descriptions of each other.

What are you getting? 
Tired. Tacos. Tattoos. Tinnitus. Terrified, Oil.

What's weird is Chris plays banjo and Jake plays a bongo.
What’s in your Pokeball? 

Better living situation: trailer, duplex, or parent’s basement? 
Trailer. for sure.

Have you ever been threatened to get got? 
Nope. but we have been told to get lost. Or fucked. Or drunk. or Stupid (the last two have been told to us by pop radio, so we can't say that it was a personal critique on our particular brand of art).

Chris- would you mind talking about your business? 
I've been experimenting with DIY electronics since I was pretty young in one facet or another. Now I'm just trying to turn what has always been my second (or third or fourth) job into my primary means of getting by. I build, modify, and repair, audio electronics. The bulk of the work has been guitar effects and amp repair, but I'm working on some vacuum tube studio gear right now and working on a few amplifier designs. It's been a lot of fun. I try to keep things really affordable and accessible; I have no interest in becoming a "boutique" builder or anything.
...And I almost forgot - the name is Midwest Modulation; I have a Facebook and a website ( and a Tumblr ( That's a lot of URLs.

What is on your current playlist? Does that reflect what The Getters do at all?
Jake: Brook Pridemore's Gory Details, Rosa- I mississippi you, Fall Out Boy- Save Rock and Roll, Vampire Weekend- Moden Vampires in the City (or whatever), P.O.S.-We don't even live here, Tokyo Police Club- Champ, Bombadil- Metrics of Affection.
Chris: The sound of screaming children at the North Dakota State Fair, A whole bunch of podcasts, Brickmower - My Hateable Face, The Taxpayers - To Risk So Much for One Damn Meal, Al Scorch & The Country Soul Ensemble - Tired Ghostly Town, Aesop Rock - Bazooka Tooth, Pat the Bunny - The Mark Inside, Tim Bary - 28th and Stonewall.
I would say what we listen to has a pretty huge influence on the music we make. Even more importantly, the musicians we are surrounded by and who travel through Minot have an even more significant influence on our music making. On the personal interests front, we both listen to a pretty weird mishmash of shit that varies pretty wildly day to day. Jake probably listens to more pop music than I (Chris) do, but I probably listen to more signal generators than he does.

If your band had a slogan, it would be: 
Take it or leave it. 

Synonyms offer hope; Orwellian Newspeak has yet to win the day. Community is family and sometimes family is community. It took nine people, including the band, to provide you with this intro, interview, and conclusion - that I know of. This number is no doubt wrong. How many people are responsible for Richard Dreyfest? I can't be sure; I'm writing this from eight-hundred miles away, and I've never met the villagers that raised this party-child. I know that those people are important and that they should be celebrated; Chris and Jake know it too. Heart, soul, and passion pair extraordinarily well with responsibility. Nothing I've ever seen these two accomplish lacked heart. I mean it: you should hear Jake's jokes! There's commitment in each one! Ask him to tell a few after their set, because you'll be there and The Getters will be one of the best bands you'll ever see; sometimes exaggeration and fact are the same thing. 

I'd like to thank Stro, Alex, Charlie, and Daniel for helping me out with that quote above. I don't have any recordings. Someone fix this.

And we at Richard Dreyfest would like to thank Billy Luetzen for the guest write-up on The Getters. You're a goddamned gem, sir!

See you at Dreyfest!

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