They Might Be Giants is a poppy band that describes itself as a rock band that produces ridiculously catchy songs. If you haven't heard of the band or its members, you've probably heard their work. Because they're not a huge band, they have an interesting way of promoting themselves — making music for TV shows. Their names are attached to the theme of Malcolm in the Middle and The Oblongs and even the theme to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I recently had the chance to have a little talk with one half of the band, John Flansburgh, about where the band has been and where they may be going.
To start out I guess I'm going to talk a little bit about how I found out about you guys. I heard TMBG songs throughout my life, and I didn't realize it because you guys have been around doing a lot of things. The first time I connected you with your music was whenever you came on The Screen Savers on TechTv and I was wondering if a lot of people find out about you from random places because you do a lot of random things.
Right, well it's very satisfying for me to hear about somebody finding out about the band that way because I think that's one of the reasons we do things like that. The way rock bands are pushed through the culture have this very conventional thinking behind it, you know: you do this, you open for this band, on this tour, you do a video for this song like this. For a business that prides itself on being rebellious, there's just a lot of very orthodox thinking that goes into how bands are presented and I guess for us, doing projects, doing any kind of side project like that, is appealing on a bunch of different levels. They're just fun to do because they're kind of insignificant. They're just something you're doing in the moment. Often times they have a little bit of a craft challenge, you have to do something that works for somebody else, and then the final, ultimate side effect is that someone may be intrigued by the sound and the ideas in the song and come back for more. For us, we're not going to be in the new faces column, and there's not an old faces column yet, and we're not superstars, so its just a way for us to keep it alive.