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The explosive enigma of Volcano, Im Still Excited!!

Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! (yes, two exclamation points), an indie band out of New York City via Austin, Texas, sounds kind of like if Robert Pollard (lead singer of Guided By Voices) took over Stereolab and made them all drink Budweiser -- lots of Casio keyboard wailing and a sort of drunken vocal droning. Led by Mark Duplass, the story goes that he once had a promising career as a solo, guitar-wielding artist until tendonitis forced him to go back to school and study composition, until one day he discovered a Casio keyboard for $10 and found that it didn't hurt him to play. Thus was Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! born. Shrouded in mystery and enigma, the name remains unexplained to this day, though they do have an eponymously titled album. The Indy gave its darndest investigative effort to try and pry the origin of the band's name from Mr. Duplass as he drove through West Texas toward his destiny here in Colorado Springs on April 7.

Indy: Much has been made about your enigmatic band name and the fact that you won't reveal its origin to anyone. Does it have anything to do with the Melanie C single, "I'm So Excited, (and I just can't hide it)"? Will you reveal it to me?

Mark Duplass: No, it does not have anything to do with that single, and ask me again at the end of the interview.

Indy: Does an indie band need a mysterious mystique to make it these days? You know, like the White Stripes sibling/marriage thing?

MD: Not necessarily, do you think we do?

Indy: Every review I've read about you guys mentions it.

MD: I don't think we're terribly mysterious or mystiquey, but that makes me excited.

Indy: So, what compositional theories did you use to make this album, and are you emo?

MD: "Not at all emo!" John [Thomas Robinette III, the drummer] just said. I don't really think we're emo, but we do emote ... [As to the other part of your question] I studied at City College of New York for just a year, so I really just scratched the surface of that. It was more of a borrowing and a cheating than following anything. But it was fugues and rounds and borrowing from Philip Glass with heavy repetition and things like that.

Indy: When you were diagnosed with tendonitis, did you feel empathy with Rick Allen, the drummer from Def Leppard who lost his arm in a car accident in the mid '80s?

MD: If I had thought of that, I probably would have felt a lot less sorry for myself. I still have a ton of problems with [tendonitis]. It's not just guitar; it's computers and things like that. Musically, I have a good handle on it with the Casio [keyboard]. So that's worked out pretty well.

Indy: What do you know about Colorado Springs? Are you excited to come here?

MD: I don't know much about Colorado Springs. I read Fast Food Nation. That's what I know, but that doesn't mean we're not excited to come there. I don't care what that book said, I'm gonna eat at McDonald's when we're there.

Indy: So tell me about your name now.

MD: Only if you come to the show and then we'll go to McDonald's and talk about it some more.

-- Noel Black

capsule

Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!

32 Bleu, 32 S. Tejon St.

Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m.

$5; 955-5664 or www.32Bleu.com

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