An Interview with Darin Gray
Darin Gray is known as a solo artist, tireless collaborator, session bassist, improviser, composer, educator, Jim O’Rourke’s go-to bassist for over 25 years, as half of the long standing duo On Fillmore (with Glenn Kotche of Wilco), as the touring bassist for TWEEDY (2014–2019), as a member of Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi, and as the bassist for Grand Ulena, Dazzling Killmen, Yona-Kit, You Fantastic!, and Brise-Glace.
I first met Darin at the Empty Bottle in Chicago in 2003. I was playing keyboards in Boxstep, then signed to Overcoat Recordings. We opened up for On Fillmore (Darin’s band with Glenn Kotche) and Azita. Over the years, I’ve interviewed Darin a few times, but this interview is the most extensive. It arrives alongside a new solo release The Reduction (music for dance), available as a digital download or a limited edition LP through Ongoing Box. Each LP has unique artwork — a mix of screening and illustration.
A few years back, Darin drove to Pittsburgh and provided the score for a dance work that I premiered at the New Hazlett Theater. This 12" record is an edited version of the premiere performance recording. In addition to four dancers, the dance calls for three camerapersons, each allowed to wander the stage and film anything they want. The recording incorporates the sounds captured on the cameras — unsticking of tape, toppling sculptures, bathroom fan motors, the thump of bare feet on Marley — in addition direct and stage recordings of Darin’s arsenal of upright bass, bird calls, mouthpieces, and pieces of bamboo.
Interview conducted by David Bernabo
March 10, 2021 on Zoom
DB: I figured we’d start talking about the the record The Reduction (music for dance). Can you could talk about the process of how you prepared for this performance, knowing that the dance would be partially freeform within loose structures?
DG: Yes, this was the first time for me that I wasn’t like cleaning the slate and starting from scratch. So, in general, I’m not interested in doing what I’ve done before. I’ve done all kinds of things I’ve done before, but I’m not necessarily interested or engaged in that. It just sort of happens as the process goes along. Usually, I’ll just be, Oh, what is this? How am I going to approach it?
But with this specific project, I was touring massively during this time. I was doing a lot of touring with a lot of different people. I remember getting that call [from you], thinking, I have to do this, I so want to do this. Just say yes and figure it out. I actually came home from tour the day before I drove out there [to Pittsburgh]. And then when I got back, I left for tour the day after. So it was this really condensed, intense moment in time for me, and I didn’t have time to start from scratch. There was no way, so it was the first time that I was saying, what do I have, who am I right now? What am I working on right now? Whatever you are right now, that’s what you’re going to do with this project.
I think it’s also one of the few things I’ve done that actually plays to my strengths in a way because of that, because usually almost anything that I am engaged in or working on isn’t necessarily something I’m very good at. I’m usually working and engaging in things that I’m not very good at, because that’s how I learn and how I grow. That’s probably not super fun for the people that work with me, to be honest. But that’s how I do it. I’m always interested in saying yes to something that I don’t know how I’m going to do it, how I’m even going to go about it, if I’m even capable of it.
I had never [composed] something [for] dance before. I performed countless times with dancers — I’ve improvised with dancers, I performed live with dancers. I love dance. I’m very familiar with that world, but I had never composed anything for it.
So the process was me taking where I was at and going forward from there. I knew that I wanted it to be mainly acoustic. I wanted the acoustics to interact with the room, interact with the dancers. Doing something acoustic with upright bass meant that I could be more interactive with what was happening. At least that’s the way I thought about it. Once I found out that I was going to be on stage with the performers, the imagery of an upright bass — well, I think it’s beautiful and it’s very romantic. Just the imagery of a person standing with an upright bass is a very powerful image. It’s striking, and it has a visual component that I thought would go well with the dancers.
I was working a lot at the time with birdcalls and mouthpieces and all of this kind of stuff. Coming into that day, I didn’t necessarily know that we had this [minimal soundscore] audio of birds. So I remember being very relieved, because I had prepared and worked out these all these systems for that in that dance piece. I remember being very relieved when I heard that. It was like, oh, yes, thank you. The stars have aligned somewhat.
DB: Well, to some extent On Fillmore has influenced some of the outlook I have with music and all the bird calls on Extended Vacation have fed into a certain aesthetic. So, it’s kind of full circle or like a strange loop being shown back to you.
DG: The birdcalls [on On Fillmore’s Extended Vacation], that was Dede Sampaio. That was such an interesting thing, at least for Glenn [Kotche] and I, because that guy is a master Brazilian percussionist. He’s played with Dizzy Gillespie. He’s ridiculous. He’s amazing. We basically called him in to just do bird calls, because he makes bird calls. At the time, he was selling them at little shops around Chicago. The idea of having not real birds was super appealing to me — having these sort of fake birds, but them sounding real.
But I remember how confused he was that that’s all we wanted him to do. It was like, that’s good. Thank you. I don’t think anybody really asked him just to do that before.
When I was a kid, I loved John Zorn’s bird call stuff. I’m trying to remember some of those early records. Archery or those really old ones where he was doing all the duck calls and all that kind of stuff. The duck calls aren’t necessarily my thing, but I love that stuff. At the time when I heard that, when I was a kid, it was just the most abstract. When I was young, I loved music that was a question mark followed by an exclamation point or vice versa. Those were two of my criteria for listening to music. If it fulfilled those, I was really excited about it. And that early birdcall stuff he was doing definitely did that.
When I was young, there was a record called Yankees. Derek Bailey, John Zorn, George Lewis. I still love that record. That record has got to be one of the most abstract records to this day that I’ve ever heard — it’s unlistenable and it’s beautiful. I love it.
So, the idea of expanding what it is to be a bassist has always excited me, and those birdcalls definitely were coming from that On Fillmore zone, for sure.
DB: A lot of the shifts in the piece are demarcated by certain techniques — the wood on the strings, the looping techniques.
DG: Yes, when I saw that you had sent a — what do you call that? The scenes of what was going to happen?
DB: Yeah, kind of a script.
DG: A script, yeah. You sent a very loose script. Because I’ve scored for film, I was looking at them as scenes. I knew roughly how many scenes that I had to have. Like I said, I’m working in these areas, I’m not going to be overly romantic about doing something new each time, I’m going to go with what I am currently working with. So I knew that I would be working with bamboo — that was a big one.
The reason why I started working with bamboo is when [airlines] made [the rule that] bags can only be 50 pounds [on flights], I started working with bamboo pretty much instantly. Before that I was working with a lot of metal and metal rods, and I was taking all kinds of gongs and metal pan lids on tour, and once that rule started, there was no possible way to do that. I started switching to things like bamboo and paper and and fibers that weighed nothing that I could travel with that still sounded cool to me.
I took those scenes and chose these implements, these areas of sound, and then I would rehearse those scenes roughly what I thought the times would be. I knew that was going to be malleable with the rehearsal, so I basically didn’t make it exactly five minutes or something like that. I set a timer, and I would work with these areas of sound, and I would improvise over and over and over again with those implements for hours and make sure that I had something down in that sound field. It wasn’t something specific, but just that when I had these things in front of me, I knew what they would do, which isn’t necessarily my idea as an improviser; it’s much more my idea as a composer. My idea as an improviser is more like what do these things do, let me explore that. As a composer, it’s probably that in reverse.
The other thing, before I got there, I had a beginning and an end. I would keep that and make the middle parts malleable with what was going on with the movement or the sound or what was happening with lighting or whatever kind of things were going on in that piece. I could stretch it. I could make it 10 minutes or whatever. I also had a side thing where I had four or five side areas that if those things didn’t work when I got there, I could plug those in.
DB: Like a set of modules?
DG: Modules, yeah, I can plug those modules in and see if they worked a little bit better. Overall, I had the idea of just completely remaining open to what was going to happen when I got there. That was probably the biggest, most important thing, but I definitely had done my homework. I definitely had this completely mapped out, not only in my mind, but on paper. I wrote all this out. I had it completely ready to go so I could hit the ground running.
I mean, that’s just my M.O. in general. I’m always overprepared. That’s a double-edged sword I’ve learned later in life. Something interesting about being overprepared is that I am always the most prepared person in the room, and I’m always the first person to make a mistake. I’ve played with people that just didn’t prepare at all, walked in, nailed it. Awesome. Sounded beautiful. There’s something about overpreparing that keeps you from being in the moment, because you can get lost in your little mind game — my little mind games — and the matrix of it all. And it keeps you from being in the moment because you’re thinking about what you’ve done, how you’ve prepared, and it doesn’t necessarily allow for things to happen as organically as they could, which means I start making mistakes.
DB: So, there’s a section where you start sawing a piece of wood. Do you remember how that came about? It looks great on video.
DG: Yes, actually I don’t remember how that came about. I will say, though, I’ve always wanted to saw a bass in half. It would just be so awful and so destructive and such a waste and so expensive, but I’ve always wanted to saw a bass for a piece in half or in multiple pieces.
It just seems like there’s definitely times when I’m engaged in improvising in a sort of kinetic way and maybe even a violent sort of way, like the violence of the sun or a hurricane — it’s not as intense of that, of course — but I feel in touch with that level when I’m improvising that I feel like the only thing left to do would be something to saw it in half. So, maybe it came from that.
Also, the acoustics in that room, for me personally, are the best acoustics. That was a dream acoustic situation for a bass. That was a big relief when I got there. Just about anything I did was probably going to sound OK, because that room really was a nice partner. It was very kind.
DB: Do you have thoughts on how the performance formatted into a record? The whole performance was about 50–55 minutes — remember, it had that four minutes of silence where the audience just watched lights dimming. So, making it into a 33-minute record, how does the record feel?
DG: The record feels nice to me. The truth is, if I could release that hour version, I probably would do that too, because those spaces are so strange to listen back to. It’s so interesting, because your mind can fill in the blanks in a really lovely way when you have that amount of space. It’s not really a condensed version. It’s taking all of the sound elements, if you will, and putting them together and stretching out those spaces in between as much as somebody would want to engage in that.
I had not listened to that since we did it, and when I got those recordings, I was shocked about the flow, how organic everything felt, how things flowed like water, for lack of a better word, into each other. It was like the scenes just sort of poured naturally into each other. That’s something that I don’t think I’m very good at and to hear that back and hear that it was in that realm was exciting to me, because usually I’m better at dealing with harsher blocks of sound than I am with having this flowing quality to music. I like that, but I don’t think I’m super good at it.
The first recording that I heard was pretty much a board mix.
DB: A two-channel recording.
DG: Yeah, a two-channel dry recording. Something that I immediately thought of with you is that we needed the movement of these dancers and people walking around — we needed that in this recording. It was crucial to have that. Nothing I could do could compare to this record, but a big influence on that thought process was the Derek Bailey, Min Tanaka record [Music and Dance, 1981, reissued 1996]. Min Tanaka, in particular, is a very big influence on me. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with him and perform with him. His level of otherness appeals to me and inspires me. That particular record is really a beautiful record, and I thought it would be great to have those elements of people moving around, using that like a rhythmic element.
One thing that really influenced that thought is also the dancer Ru [Emmons]. When Ru was doing this piece, they had a pretty severe — I don’t know if it was a broken leg — but their entire leg was in a cast, and I remember what it sounded like when they were moving on the floor — that sort of thumping and bumping on the ground. That would be really great to hear that. I thought all those dancers were extraordinary, but Ru had that otherness thing, which is incredible. And please don’t think I’m saying that Ru wasn’t graceful or silent, at times, or flowing — it was not a clunky performance in any way. I thought it was a heroic performance, frankly. At the time when we did that, that was probably my biggest spark. My biggest push to be better was that anything that I was doing, any struggles that I was having in those rehearsals, which weren’t many, but any apprehension I was having, any sort of fears were sort of taken away, because all I had to do was look out and I was like, come on man, this person is literally dancing with a full leg cast, and it’s awesome. The least I could do is get this together. Get it together, get your head on straight. Let’s go.
DB: Is there anything else you want to talk about regarding this album?
DG: Well, something that someone else can get from the process of this that might be helpful to them, even if you are a person that needs a clean slate to start a new project, you don’t want to repeat yourself — and that’s great. I tend to gravitate towards people like that. I tend to gravitate towards the person where I don’t know what their next record is going to sound like. Certainly the people that I’ve been around the most in my life and made music with the most, like Jim O’Rourke, I don’t have any idea. I’ve been with Jim 30 years, and it’s like I have no idea what his next record is going to sound like. Zero. Even if that’s how you operate, I think it’s also healthy and good to explore where you are actually at sometimes.
Something in my career that I have not done enough of — and this is an older man talking rather than a younger man. I was talking a little bit before about how most of what I’ve done is me not being very good at something and exploring that. I would go as far to say that 75% of what anyone could hear of what I’ve done is me not being very good in a situation. I don’t regret that at all, but something that could have been a better way is having that signpost — maybe a tombstone is too morbid — but like having that this is what I’ve done. I’m working in this area and making some records. I’m exploring, trying to play the bass with some people. But then make the record — make the actual record of the thing, whether that be a film or a photo or whatever it is, make the actual thing, that signpost at the end of that process, as a way to end that in order to clear the slate to move on. I think that’s a much healthier way to go about it.
As you’re walking around in your music and your art, having those signposts or tombstones or whatever, I think it’s a preferable way to clean the slate rather than just doing a bunch of things you’re not good at and then just keep doing a bunch of things you’re not good at. And I have them. I just don’t have very many of them.
I’ve been making records for over 30 years, and I notice now in my 50s that the records that were those signposts are the ones people listen to still, and those are the ones that people actually engage in to this day. There’s just not enough of them. Moving forward, I will do that, and this specific record, The Reduction is actually that for me. And that felt really good. Cutting your foot off at every turn just to keep things fresh and new, to keep learning and growing, you should probably also be engaged in some type of cumulative effort in your art.
DB: Yeah, that makes sense. Are you talking more about your solo playing in the not having those signpost records?
DG: No, I’m talking period. I’m talking about collaborative efforts and being a session person, all of those things. I’m really talking about the whole thing, big picture. Let’s face it, you can’t always choose that signpost. Sometimes you don’t even know that it’s the signpost, that’s for sure. But you do have an idea. You’re working in all these areas. You’re practicing a certain way. You’re working on stuff while you’re practicing. I practice every day, and then all of a sudden you’re working on a project where all these things you’ve been working on come together, and I find it much easier to move on from that spot. The rest of it just seems like fumbling around in a junk store.
DB: I was watching 1993 videos of Dazzling Killmen.
DG: Oh, wow.
DB: You had a lot of swagger then.
DG: Come on, you don’t think I still do? I’m joking.
DB: Are there major differences between how you’re viewing music now versus back then?
DG: Well, I was 25 in that video. I can tell you what I think is the same. What I think is exactly the same is being able to look at what the thing is trying to be, and doing everything I can to make that thing the thing it’s trying to be. That’s what I’m still doing. Sometimes I’m super successful with that, many times I fail miserably.
That music needed that push, that music needed that bright of light. There were very little shadows in Dazzling Killmen. It was all just bright, brilliant light, and that’s what it needed on a performance level as well. At the time, there were really no other bands like that and at the time, it was perceived as very abstract. It would not be perceived that way now; it would be perceived totally different now. Even if it looked weird and awful, I thought it was important to match a movement and match a way of being with that music. If I couldn’t present something as a way of movement and a way of engagement with that music, I couldn’t expect an audience to also engage and move with that music.
DB: When I was watching it and, you know, I wasn’t there at the time it was happening, it wasn’t choreography, but it was a complementary physical presence.
DG: Yeah, it had to have a physical presence. Well, it’s almost cartoon-level. But I think it had to have an intense physical presence, someone that you would definitely be like, what is that guy up to? What is that guy into? What is that guy thinking? What does that guy do when he’s not doing this? And the hilarious part of it was what I was doing was raising my young son at the time. That’s what actually doing when I wasn’t doing that.
I’ve always been a champion of the bass, and I’ve always been a champion of every bassist. I don’t care what kind of music they play. I don’t care if I like it. If you’re a bass player, I am your champion. And I was definitely way, way into that then. I wanted the bass to be presented in a way that was an equal. That old Minuteman record 3-Way Tie (For Last) — I love that imagery of a three-way tie. In Dazzling Killmen, we were all equal musically. At the time, in order to even meet where everyone else was, I had to go a little bit past it just to be level with those guys in the perception of an audience. When we would line up, we all lined up equally on the stage.
Another thing. The way that I go about things is that I work. And it’s not romantic. The only way I know how to do something is to just work hard at it, but just because you’re working hard at something doesn’t mean that you are doing it well. It doesn’t mean that you are helping the people around you. It doesn’t mean that you’re serving the music. It just means you’re working hard, man. You know what I mean?
I could be digging a hole in my yard with a shovel and there could be a bulldozer or a scoop right next to me that I could get in, and I could use that scoop and just scoop out the dirt. But I’m out there sweating and I’ve got a shovel and I’m like trying to dig this massive hole when, frankly, someone else is just like, oh, I’m just going to use this big, massive construction scoop and just take one scoop and go done. That’s what I mean.
As I age, I’m trying to assess that and I’m trying to figure out some new ways to work with that, especially in the last maybe five, six, seven years. I’m trying to grow in those areas. But I will say that most times when I have went about things, let’s just say being in a band, somebody else’s band — I’ve been in a lot of other people’s bands as a session bassist — the way that I approach that is working, grinding myself to dust. I’ll give you a specific for instance, I won’t mention songs or artists. So I had to learn a cover song for a band that I was in. OK, and this cover song was just like an absolute normal rock country cover song. There was nothing weird about this song. I remember learning it, making notes, trying different basses, just on and on and on. I never realized that on iTunes it showed how many times you’ve played a song. When I had learned that song, which was a three-minute rock song that even a beginner bassist could have done without a problem, I had listened to that song over one hundred times to get that song down.
Now again, I’m not saying that’s good. I’m just saying left to my own devices, that’s how it goes. And that stems directly from my time in Dazzling Killmen. We’re talking eight, 10-hour practices, drenched in sweat, just getting after it, something that I carried over into my band Grand Ulena with Chris Trull and Danny McClain.
DB: Wasn’t there something floating around where you all practiced for four years before playing a show?
DG: Well, I love that that’s floating around. Let’s just say yes. No, the truth of that is that we practiced in complete secret for over a year and told no one. Not one person. No one knew we were doing that.
But, you know, I’m from the Midwest and in the States when I was young, there was definitely such a thing as a Midwestern work ethic. You could tell when bands were from the Midwest; they had a work ethic that I don’t think other bands in the country had. We may not be as talented as others, but we will outwork you. You practiced two hours. We’ll practice four. I don’t think it’s that way anymore, probably.
DB: What’s that stem from? Is it that it’s not New York. It’s not L.A.
DG: Yeah, I think it actually stems from there’s really no other way to do it. There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when you’re from the Midwest. The pot of gold is actually the work. There’s not as many high fives. It also comes from seeing — so much industry is from the midwest, also where you’re from — but my grandfathers were bricklayers and farmers. My father worked in a refinery. I saw people work to get what they wanted to get. It’s a whole different mentality that you grow up around, that work ethic. The Mississippi River is really close to me so my father worked on the river when I was young. Just these people work hard, man. So, if you were an artist, to me, it wasn’t difficult to just go, oh, I’m going to do what they do. I’m just going to do it in music.
DB: Do you feel like there is an added push toward overworking, because music isn’t as acceptable a form of labor as something that produces a [digestible or burnable] good?
I completely think that. Yes, I think that the tendency is to overwork. I know that all artists, we all have our battles, we all have wars that we’re fighting. They might be different. In my lifetime, there has not been any gain for that work. The work is the gain. I don’t know if that makes sense, but to me it does. The reviews, the accolades, the whatever, all of that to me is not real. It’s an illusion. It’s not something that I engage in at all. It’s not something I move towards.
I don’t to a detriment. I just don’t care about it at all. All I care about is working and doing the work. That’s also something that can kind of bite you if you’re not careful, because the thing is, when you’re like that, without knowing it, you’re going to wear that as a badge. All of a sudden you just got all these badges that you’re not even knowing that you’re wearing. That’s a badge: I’m going to outwork you. But also it doesn’t mean I’m going to be good, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be better. It actually means I might actually be the worst person there because of it. That’s really interesting to me. That’s a super interesting realization.
And trust me, I’m going to still keep working hard. I’m going to grind myself to dust until the day I leave this place, until my last breath. Rest assured, I will grind myself to dust. And what others perceive as a person that overworks, well, what that really means is that you’re not engaged in them. You’re not involved in their lives. You’re just like over here grinding yourself to dust while they just want to watch a movie with you or go to dinner. That’s not good.
DB: To close, did you want to talk about any pathways that you’re finding in music now or any projects you’re working on, new revelations?
DG: Something that I had done a lot a long time ago is I would keep track of what time of day I felt creative, not only felt creative, but I felt like my senses heightened or I felt the most awake. I don’t do it anymore, but I kept this log of what time that was, and it was always around the same time. I started making my life geared towards that time. For me, that time is in the morning before distractions have occurred. It’s recognizing the time that you are engaged and alert and feeling just slightly more alive, and if you are giving that part of your day to poison, if you are giving that part of your day to a job that you hate or engaging in activities that you shouldn’t be, then you are doing a disservice to humanity, frankly. Because you’re not doing what you’re here to do.
So for me, what that means is discipline is key. Discipline is absolutely crucial. I teach, working with students, working with other artists. I feel like that word [discipline] is a bad word to a lot of artists. I don’t know if it’s too military of a word, but I know that it’s absolutely necessary and all great art has been created with a high level of discipline.
Some people might just call it enjoying what you do, right? That’s awesome. But at the same time, I strip away the romantic notions of creation, and I just use discipline and I just create. I don’t have to feel good. I don’t have to feel bad. I don’t have to have these spikes in my moods. I don’t have to feel like the time is right. I just do the thing. I’m not saying it’s the only way, but I’m saying if that’s helpful to somebody — .
For me, what that looks like on a daily basis, depending on the day, is I get up at 4:30AM or 5:00 every day. I’m not a morning person at all. So something that I would like to share, if it’s helpful to people, is get up earlier than you think you probably are capable of. Just tweak it a little bit. If you get up at 10, get up at nine. If you get up at nine, get up at eight. Seize that day before it’s somebody else’s. The longer the day goes on, it becomes somebody else’s. What I try to do and this is actually a recent realization, but what I do is I have my day done by noon. So before noon, I have studied, I’ve sat, I’ve read, I’ve trained, I’ve practiced, I’ve done my correspondence, and I’ve prepped for my lessons. Oh, and I’ve walked in the woods every day.
What happens is when the inevitable things come my way, that just frustrate us and cause us anxieties and maybe make us a little depressed, they just bounce off of me because you can’t take my day away from me. I’ve already lived it. You see what I’m saying? I’ve already done what I feel like I’m here to do. Whatever happens with the rest of it is beautiful.
I’ve spent the last year practicing lots of nuts and bolts type things with music, lots of things that I think people wouldn’t probably think I practice a lot, but I do.
DB: Like scales?
DG: Yeah, sure. I enjoy practicing. I don’t know its value, but I know its value for me and I enjoy it. I enjoy practicing an etude or a scale, a mode. I do a lot of interval work. What I found with making music is that intervals and the manipulation of intervals is something that has been able to carry through all these different types of musics that I’ve done.
There was a one-week period where I had actually played with Merzbow and Mavis Staples. From Mavis to Merzbow. And I realized that I’m actually just manipulating sound and manipulating intervals. That’s what I work a lot on, interval training.
I’ll pick two chords and go from this chord to that chord. I don’t do a lot of transcribing necessarily — I do for students, but not necessarily for myself — but I’ll have long-term projects. I’ve been learning Lennie Tristano’s “Line Up.” This is definitely an example of me overworking something and grinding it to dust. I heard this “Line Up” piano solo on the record that’s called Lennie Tristano, that classic one where [the cover is] black with a white picture of the silhouette of his face. When I heard the solo, I was just like, is that possible to play that on an electric bass? Can a human being do that — not only the tempo, but just what was happening. I was just like, this sounds like alien music. It’s definitely doesn’t sound like jazz to me. I’m going to see if this is possible to get this to tempo. That was two years ago and I still work on it every day.
DB: How close are you?
DG: I’m about halfway there. My balloon got popped when I was about a quarter of the way done with it. It’s definitely possible. That’s what I learned. But this is me being, frankly, just not very intelligent. I’m super slow with these things. In general, if I’m into something like that, I’ll read a Lennie Tristano book and check out other recordings. Who was this guy, what was he into, what’s going on?
Well, I had already figured out a quarter of it, I got it to tempo, and I read that it was one of the first examples — and it was very controversial — he recorded it at half-speed and sped it up.
DG: He recorded it at half-speed and then played it back normal, which means he played it at half the speed that I was hearing it at. So, it was really an amazing moment, because it popped the balloon, but it also made me go, I’m totally going to do this now. I don’t care how long it takes. I’m going to do this now.