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Interview with Michael Lachowski, February 23, 2018

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:09 - Coming to Athens

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Partial Transcript: Um, I like to start by just asking...

Segment Synopsis: Michael Lachowski discusses moving to Athens from Atlanta after enrolling at the University of Georgia as a Studio Art major. He talks about his childhood activities and wanting to attend a public university after being enrolled in Catholic schools throughout his youth.

Keywords: Athens, GA; Atlanta, GA; Decatur, GA; Russell Hall; St. Pius X Catholic High School; University of Georgia (UGA)

00:07:08 - Art School at UGA

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about how...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski shares his experiences of photography prior to coming to UGA, as well as his disagreements with the head of the art department. He discusses the variety of art classes he took and his punk aesthetic in his work.

Keywords: Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Georgia State University; University of Georgia (UGA); film photography; print making

00:13:32 - Discovering New Music

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Partial Transcript: So, maybe this is not the time.

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski explains getting into the music scene by listening to music before Pylon formed, finding music based on recommendations and magazines. He recalls coordinating record purchases with friends and attending house parties to share music.

Keywords: Athens, GA; Atlanta, GA; Barnett's News Stand; Chapter Three Records; Decatur, GA; Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; Interview (magazine); Little Five Points; Melody Maker (magazine); New Musical Express (NME); New York Rocker (magazine); Spencer Thorton; The Village Voice; Wax and Fax

00:19:13 - House Parties/ The B-52s

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Partial Transcript: So, you want to talk about...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski recalls hosting house parties in his apartment and the empty lot by his house, which became known as Pylon Park. He shares memories of members of Pylon and The B-52s attending parties around Athens. Lachowski talks about The B-52s' performances, such as at The Last Resort and Memorial Hall Ballroom, bringing about the feeling of a new era.

Keywords: Bluebird Cafe; Bruce Hampton; Curtis Crowe; Fred Schneider; Kate Pierson; Phyllis Stapler; Tom Waits; Vanessa Briscoe Hay; punk rock; rock

00:30:11 - Forming Pylon

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Partial Transcript: ...and it was probably because of that...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski shares his resistance to Randy Bewley's wish to start a band. He discusses learning to play bass while Bewley learned guitar and the process of getting the band together.

Keywords: American Underground; College Rock; DuPont de Nemours, Inc.; Industrial music; New Wave; Pop/Rock; Post-Punk

00:37:01 - Style of the Pylon

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Partial Transcript: Randy and I both influenced...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski discusses Bewley's and his influence on the band. He explains his interest in the aesthetic of industrialism, which connected to Pylon's first few songs. Lachowski also mentions some of the artists who influenced the style of the band.

Keywords: Curtis Crowe; David Burn; DuPont de Nemours, Inc.; Gang of Four; No New York; Randy Bewley; Talking Heads; Vanessa Briscoe Hay

00:43:09 - Bringing the Band Together

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Partial Transcript: Well, can you talk about how...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski explains how Curtis Crowe joined the band after Lachowski and Bewley rented a studio from him. He shares that Vanessa Hay became their singer after they asked her if she'd be interested in trying out.

Keywords: Bill Tabor; Marietta, GA; Patty Smyth; Randy Bewley; Strictly American; Vanessa Briscoe Hay

00:51:19 - Performing Live

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Partial Transcript: Well- so, it sounds like those were...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski discusses the excitement of the first few shows Pylon played, such as opening for the Tone Tones. He shares the adjustments made to their performances and songs over time, coming together after their performance at Brickhouse.

Keywords: Crawford County, GA; The Place

00:59:23 - First Tour

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about that famous...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski mentions practicing at Bewley's father's house before going to Washington, D.C. He booked shows and a hotel with the help of Kate Ingram, The B-52s, and Danny Beard. He discusses opening for Gang of Four in Philly and New York.

Keywords: Athens, GA; Boston, New York; DB Records; Frederick William Schneider III; Glenn O'Brien; Interview (magazine); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

01:09:30 - Evolving Pylon

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about that sort...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski recalls the changes along the way of Pylon breaking up several times and getting back together. He shares expanding horizons to include more clubs and more cities.

Keywords: Atlanta, GA; Boston, New York; Manhattan, New York; New York, New York; Princeton University; Washington, D.C.

01:15:04 - Performing with Gang of Four

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Partial Transcript: You opened for the Gang of Four...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski discusses opening for the Gang of Four several times on their tour. He shares that there wasn't a club that operated full time for their genre of music, as well as the different expectations in performing in different cities. He feels that R.E.M. changed the popularity of new music.

Keywords: Dave Allen; Houston, TX; New Wave

01:22:08 - First Single

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about recording?

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski shares the budget and experience of recording Pylon's first single and mixing. He explains going between songs to include on their single and the inspiration for their song "Dub." Lachowski discusses going to New York and visiting record stores to sell their record.

Keywords: Atlanta, GA; DB Records; Danny Beard; Dub; Glenn O'Brien; Kevin Dunn; Randy Bewley; Stone Mountain Studios; The B-52s; Vic Varney

01:35:22 - First Album

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Partial Transcript: So, can you talk about making...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski discusses recording their first album Gyrate and releasing different versions for the United States and United Kingdom. He shares his dislike for the recording process and preference for performing live.

Keywords: "Cool/Dub"; Danny Beard; Peter Dyer

01:43:47 - The End of Pylon

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Partial Transcript: So, um, as we are...

Segment Synopsis: Lachowski recalls his research for the Athens Music Project and reflecting on the decision for Pylon to break up. He explains the feeling of frustration with the standard expectations of the band regardless of their preferences. He shares that the final straw being their booking agent booking them without asking.

Keywords: Athens, GA; Curtis Crowe; Randall Bewley; U2; Vanessa Briscoe Hay; rock n' roll