You said you categorize yourself as a rock band, and I do too, but your sound is really different from a lot of other bands out there. One of the interesting things about some of the work you've done like The Daily Show and stuff like that is that it's really different from what you hear but you can always tell that it's you... once you hear that it's you guys, you're like, yeah, I can hear that.
[Laughs] I wouldn't know that from the sound of the orchestral cues from The Daily Show that it was like us, or some of the incidental music from Malcolm in the Middle that you'd know that it was us. I mean, we're songwriters and arrangers and you know we do things, we can do things in styles, so a lot of times we're actually, for that kind of outside stuff, we're hired because we can do a wide range of musical styles in the most generic sense. I like to think we do them with some level of panache, but people aren't always asking for TMBG-ish stuff all the time when they hire us to do stuff. I think of us as a rock band in the same way I think of pop/rock bands of the '50s as rock bands. When I listen to a Beatles album there's a wide variety of rhythms in it; one song does not relate that much to the previous song, even Simon and Garfunkel, it's like there's ideas in it that are similar but they approach the arrangement as if each song has got its own little construct, so maybe a pop band would be a better title, but that would make less sense because we're not that popular.
Something else about your music that's very consistent is your lyrics. You guys always have very clever lyrics that many times say nothing at all about anything, so is it a challenge to maintain that level of cleverness in your songs?
I guess, yes. I mean in our evolution, we've tried to simplify things a little bit; you know when you start writing songs you really like to throw in the kitchen sink, but I don't know. I don't feel that being clever looms as large in our idea as what's right for this band as it does for the fans of the band or the audience of the band. Maybe that's what make us stand out from the crowd, but to us it's not the main event, that's more of the stuff that comes natural to us in a way, you know, just who we are.