The End: Kelcey Ayer of Jaws of Love. and Local Natives on Endings and Death | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The End: Kelcey Ayer of Jaws of Love. and Local Natives on Endings and Death

"I would like to die the way Tea Leoni and her dad dies at the end of Deep Impact."

Nov 03, 2017 Web Exclusive
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To end out the week, we ask Kelcey Ayer some questions about endings and death. Ayer is Local Natives’ vocalist, pianist, and one of the band’s primary songwriters, but in September he released his debut solo album as Jaws of Love. (the period at the end of the name is intentional). Entitled Tasha Sits Close to the Piano, its title was suggested by Ayer’s wife and named after their dog, Tasha. As Local Natives were getting ready to record Sunlit Youth (which came out last September via Loma Vista and Infectious Music), Ayer laid down the initial tracks over the course of three days in the same Electro-Vox studio in Los Angeles that Local Natives recorded in. Engineer Michael Harris and mixer Cian Riordan were involved. Ayer later finished the album with Local Natives’ drummer Matt Frazier. Read on as Ayer talks about his favorite endings to movies, TV shows, and albums, as well as his personal versions of heaven and hell and what he’d like his last words to be.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

I would like to die the way Tea Leoni and her dad dies at the end of Deep Impact, peacefully staring at this beautiful tidal wave that obliterates them. I’d like to be old though, probably 90s, and my dad wouldn’t be around, so I’d do it with my wife, Mel. It would also have to be a “there-is-no-other-way-to-survive” kind of situation.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

I would have said “Pyramid Song” by Radiohead, but I feel like I should go out on a more optimistic note. I’d probably want “Sara” from Fleetwood Mac. I think that would calm me as I went into the dark, unknown oblivion.

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

It’s very hard for me to enjoy the endings of movies, because I never want them to be over. But if I had to choose, I guess the end of The Fifth Element ends pretty amazingly, with them finally boning in the rehabilitation pod, and the president being chewed out by Bruce Willis’ mother. It’s super silly, but that whole movie is, and I remember feeling extremely satisfied.

What’s your favorite series finale last ever episode of a TV show?

The last episode of Breaking Bad is pretty amazing. Walter scaring the shit out of his old friends at Grey Matter, then him killing all those goons who kidnapped Jesse in an awesome way, Jesse choking Todd to death, him driving away to start his new life, and Walter finally going in peace. His son will always hate him, that sucks, but all in all it wrapped everything up very satisfyingly and not too implausibly or cheesy.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

Has to be “Motion Picture Soundtrack” at the end of Kid A by Radiohead. My favorite songs sound like you’re ascending into the clouds, and the feeling I get from it is unlike any other I’ve ever had at the end of an album. Doesn’t hurt that it’s maybe one of the best albums of all time. And they’re my favorite band.

Whose passing has most affected you?

Leonard Cohen was a really heavy one for me, but it also could have been the timing as well, because Trump had just been “voted” as our president. Cohen was a big influence for me as a truly honest and incredible songwriter to look up to, where his words were what meant the most, over any of the melodies or music. When Kate McKinnon covered “Hallelujah” on SNL after the election, I lost my shit, balling like a baby. Like how great playwrights can write plays different people can perform over hundreds of years that are still compelling because of the material, he could wrote songs in that way.

If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?

I’d have to say the number 4 combo from Taco Bell, with extra fire sauce. It’s a drink, two hard-shell supreme tacos, and a Mexican pizza. When I was growing up it was the more expensive thing I’d get only on special occasions, and now it’s a thing I eat when I’m drunk and can somehow get my hands on it.

What’s your concept of the afterlife?

I grew up a non-denominational Christian, and every Sunday I couldn’t wait for it to be over. The tenants always seemed alright, but I didn’t like being told what to do because this old book said so. After high school I didn’t think about it for a while, but around my mid-20s I came to the conclusion that there is no way to know what happens after we die, and anyone using heaven or hell as an excuse for things we do in life seems fucked up. You should be nice and compassionate to people because it’s how you’d like to be treated, not because you’re going to burn in hell. And if being gay is a sin, then so is being human, so why would I believe in that?

What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

It’s exactly like Earth but animals are everywhere and you can communicate with them, open relationships are consequence-free and super fun and wonderful for all who are in them, beer doesn’t make you fat and neither does anything fried, jokes are hilarious but never make anyone feel bad, and no one tries to hurt anyone else. Also you can learn things instantly by plugging into that machine from The Matrix. That would be my heaven.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

Playing the first five minutes of every Big Bang Theory episode on a loop for 100 years, then giving you the key to a room that has a computer with Hulu and Netflix, but when you click play on an episode of anything, it just plays the first five minutes of a Big Bang Theory episode. I really, really hate The Big Bang Theory.

What would you like your last words to be?

“Trump killed me, arrest him now.”

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November 9th 2017

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