A former resident of Auburn and 1999 graduate of Edward Little High
School, Nick Burgess lives in the Boston area with his wife and works in a photography shop. Nothing too unusual there. But then there’s his music career.

Burgess met friend and bandmate, Mike Gintz during
orientation at Boston University. During college, the two started
Project X, a two-man band that covered theme music from the Megaman
video game. Currently, Burgess and Gintz make up Clawjob, a rock band
duo “specializing in hammering raw petrous material into breathtaking vistas of artistic
perfection,” according to their Web site clawjob.com.

Name: Nick Burgess

Age: I’m 28

Where did you come up with the idea to write songs about events in
the 19th century?
We finished up our science fiction rock opera, Space
Crackers, and that was fairly draining. We had written one song that
had to do with the 1800s and we decided we wanted to write a B side for
that, and we kept writing. It started out as a themed single and we
ended up with at themed EP. We like the concept, because it’s old
enough that you can look back and have some perspective on things, but
it’s not so long ago that you feel totally removed from it; you can
still feel the direct effects of the decisions made 200 years ago.

When did you become interested in being a musician? I went to Auburn
Middle School, and I was into all kinds of creative stuff. I was in a
class where I played a little guitar and found it was easy. I had a
friend who was looking into getting a new guitar, so I bought his and
started playing around 15. I learned some covers, but pretty much
immediately started writing. I didn’t have any kind of outlet, as far
as a band goes, until after college. So there was a long period of just
fooling around and writing.


Twitter – good or evil? Well, I don’t really use it in my personal
life, but being in a band these days, it helps to be on any social
networking site you can be on. It’s fun. People can use it on their cell
phones — from anywhere. I don’t totally get the appeal, but I can see
why it would be fun for people. I wouldn’t call it evil.

What food do you find completely vile? Foie gras. They force feed
the animals, and it just seems like a cruel thing to do for food.

How do you feel about public cell phone usage? It can get pretty
annoying. I don’t really mind it if it’s limited. It is a little
obnoxious to hear other people’s conversations, some people talk very
loudly on cell phones. I ride the bus and the subway around here all
the time and it is absolutely irritating at some points, although it
doesn’t bother me as much as walking around and almost getting run over
by people driving and talking on their cell phones at the same time.

Is there anything you miss about childhood? Not being as concerned
with the state of the world. It’s easier to be amazed when you’re
smaller. If you go to Disneyland, you only see huge, amazing things;
you don’t think about how expensive everything is or if something
hasn’t been cleaned recently.

What might some people not know about you? I did a radio show at Bates
radio station (91.5 FM WRBC) for years. I started when I was 14. They
thought I was older than I was because of my voice. I worked there
until I left for college and then whenever I came home on break until I
graduated from college. I was mostly doing alternative rock in the
mid-’90s, and I did a show of all video game music, and that was the
most popular show I’d ever done.

What would your ideal gig be like? Ideally, I’d like to play for some
packed room, full of people, who are absolutely going crazy for us. One
thing about playing at clubs is you play much shorter sets, because
usually there are three or four bands, so the set will be 45 minutes;
I’d like to be able to play longer. We haven’t played a show in Maine
yet, and I’d like to do that after this CD comes out.

What would you say is a pro and also a con about the
accessibility of music today versus in the 1990s?
I think the major pro
is that it’s really easy to get music out there for people to hear, and
because of that it’s also really easy to find new music to listen to.
The major con is that people spend less time getting to know the music
that they get. You don’t just spend $15 on a CD and that’s the new
music you have for the month, so you really get to know it. We now have
so many mp3s downloaded, you might buy a CD of a band you like, rip it
and listen to it on shuffle or something; not really get to know it
like you used to know music. I think that’s probably why we like doing
the conceptual stuff. It’s like a trick; it gets people to listen to
the whole CD, or at least think of it as a unit. So instead of just two
songs, they may listen to all six at least once.

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