Jack Dishel, otherwise known as Only Son, is your friendly local NYC-based songwriter. Often found touring with Regina Spektor, Adam Green or the Strokes, he took time out of his busy schedule to chat to us about various topics including (but not limited to) Guinness, MySpace, Emma, and death threats.

R13: You've been involved in different bands- how did you start your musical journey?
Jack: Well as far as playing out, and things like that, I started playing music in college pretty much. A bunch of my friends there went to this place called Prince's College in New York, and there was, I think, a disproportionately large amount of amazing people at that place. You know- including Regina Spektor and Jeff Lewis, there was just this crazy little cauldron of people. So from there I just started playing and doing all sorts of weird stuff, experimental types of surrealist operas and weird things with my friends, and then I was slowly writing down songs and by the time I graduated I sorta had enough for a record. I got to New York City in '99 and I just started playing out. Then I joined the Mouldy Peaches, and took the next things from there.

R13: When you're touring- because you do quite a bit- do you have a chance to explore the local areas?
JD: Once in a while we will have a day off somewhere, but actually the way that you wind up exploring an area is by going there seven different times. At this point I'm fairly familiar with four blocks of Birmingham.
R13: Are you a fan of Birmingham then?
JD: Well I've been on the wheel, if that's what you're asking.
R13: (Laughs) You've been on the wheel?
JD: Yeah I've been on the wheel- I try to make it on to as many wheels as I can in towns, but I think that Birmingham is actually the only one.

R13: Where have you drunk your best beer?
JD: I think honestly it would have to be Guinness in Ireland.
R13: You're the second person to say that.
JD: I have to admit that it's probably due to that fact that it was so hyped up to me by everyone around me. Like 'Oh dude, get ready, man. Do you know what your lips are about to touch? You would sacrifice your parents for this.' And I'm like, 'I'm ready, give it to me,' and then I drink... I don't know maybe if I was supposed to do a taste test I'd pick like the Milwaukee Guinness and not know any better. But I think it was pretty good.
R13: Who were you with?
JD: I was actually on tour with Adam Green opening for the Strokes on that one.
R13: That's pretty cool.
JD: Yeah, nice little band, the Strokes.
R13: (Laughs) Not that well known, but you thought you would help them out...
JD: Well, you know what I mean- everyone needs a helping hand.
R13: (Laughs) And you're the guy to do it.
JD: Well, you know, when you guys are playing you got, what? Three or four thousand people? I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll play guitar on your support act's band, just to make sure that everything goes all right.
R13: Very charitable of you. (Laughs) Such a good cause!
JD: Yeah, they were so grateful.
R13: (Laughing) Do they still thank you to this day?
JD: They do. One of them calls me up every single day. 'Thank god for that little supporting tour you did last year.'
R13: And then their mothers call you, too?
JD: Yeah. The thing is that every one of the Strokes has named their kid Jack so far... (Laughs) I'm just kidding.

R13: What's the most amazing country you've visited so far?
JD: Man, you know in the last year and a half I've been to so many different places, so many amazing places. I guess it comes down to people or scenery or whatever. We went to Israel and that was pretty unbelievable. Just as an experience, because I had a bunch of family there and the shows where just super lively.
R13: I guess that's a place not many artists tend to go to.
JD: Exactly. You know a lot of those types of places- like I'm sure you guys know, in England- whereabouts are you in England?
R13: We're near Brighton.
JD: Ah Brighton, ok. So you know Brighton's a great place to play. The big cities are a great place to play, but for the most part, when you get to different places that people go to less, the fans are just way more excited.
R13: Yeah and you get better presents too.
JD: Yeah, someone gave me a finger puppet once. (Laughs) I think it was in Brighton, it was of me too.
R13: Did you find it kind of weird?
JD: I thought it was really cool, but then it's like, 'Wait a minute, so if I put my finger up this thing's ass... What does that mean?'
R13: (Laughs) You're finger puppeting yourself?
JD: I feel like if I wore it, I'd have to turn myself in.

R13: (Laughs) Do you ever think you and your iPod band will ever be more than just friends or would that complicate things a bit too much?
JD: Well, I mean... I dunno... It's a little bit sensitive. I try not to give it direct compliments too much, cause then it gets really clingy. But you know what, if it weren't my band anymore, then we could talk.
R13: It's cool that you're willing to talk about it publicly- most bands like to keep that kind of thing private.
JD: Well I hope other people can learn from me and my iPod band's relationship. That's what the next record's gonna be about.

R13: So on the occasions when the stage lights aren't blinding you, and you can see the audience, do you ever feel that you make connections with people in the crowd?
JD: The thing is its cool both ways. When the stage lights blind you, it's almost like opening your eyes in a dark room; like you're alone, playing in your room, except you know there are people there, and when you're done they just pop out between the tracks. Then you hear (impressive imitation of random crowd noise). Then it's really cool, because it's sort of like a childhood fantasy, you know? And when the lights are on the people, for me, I don't really get stage fright. I just look at the people and get interested in them.
R13: You want to know their story.
JD: Yeah, like I'll see a girl with a cool little triple ponytail, I'll think, 'I bet her name's Emma.'
R13: (Laughs) So you're really good at multitasking then?
JD: Yeah, I think it's the same for anybody when you play; sometimes your mind just drifts. And sometimes it drifts in a good way, and other times it drifts in a weird 'Oh look at that person's head, it keeps popping in and out of the exit light... I wonder how you pronounce exit backwards?' You just wonder about this right in the middle of a song, and then you remember, 'There's like two thousand people here, I should get back to this.'

R13: I read somewhere that you can impersonate accents is this true?
JD: Well, I try...
R13: How about, the next question we ask, you answer in a fake accent of your choice?
JD: I was just in Australia, so maybe I still have a bit of that left in me. And if I mess up that one, I'll switch to another one.
R13: So do you have a particular approach to writing your songs?
JD: ...Um... (In plausible Australian accent) No.
R13: (Laughs) That sounded... slightly British.
JD: (In plausible but still amusing attempt at a cockney accent) Well, I s'pose I should speak in 'is one then. I'm not sure what region it's s'posed to be from, but I reckon I've 'eard it many times.
R13: That's London.
JD: (Back to his normal voice) Yeah, well I'm sophisticated that way.

R13: Your blogs that you put onto MySpace, are always really funny- do you ever think you missed your calling as a comedian?
JD: Well, people say this to me sometimes, and my honest answer is that I don't know, maybe I have. (Laughing) I don't know, I mean I talk a lot between my songs, and people always laugh. And then when I go back on MySpace I see a message like 'I was at your show mate, it was funny.' And I'm like, 'Hmm ok, well I played about seven songs...'
R13: (Laughs) Like 'Are you laughing with me, or at me?'
JD: Yeah. But that is something that I think about, I think there's probably a way that I could put that into my tunes a little bit better. I think at this point, that's what my story has become.

R13: You're building a reputation as the King of the MySpace Comments. You're always commenting on people's pages -how do you constantly come up with all these comments and advice?
JD: I don't know. I go to their page... When people write me, I take it as a big compliment that they're getting in touch with me at all, you know what I mean? So I feel like, just because they're the one who got in touch first doesn't mean that I'm in some special place where I'm like, (puts on snobby voice) 'Yeah, yeah- naturally.'
R13: (Laughs)
JD: You know what I mean? I just think, 'Wow that's really cool, you wrote me, now I'll write you!' I don't always manage to get back to all of them- sometimes I accidentally like... delete them or something. (Laughs) I always feel like that father who threw that baby off the balcony. I'm glad people like them though.
R13: It's great, it really brings something extra.
JD: Yeah... Well honestly, I hate MySpace band messages- I can't stand when people write stuff like, 'Hey, love your stuff, check me out!'
R13: (Bursts out laughing) There are so many people who do that!
JD: I hope you understand I'm a grown person, and I'm not retarded in any way, and so I know that you're not truly writing me, and just because you tucked a compliment into your spam-
R13: (Still laughing)
JD: -it doesn't mean that I'm gonna be mesmerised. I dunno... I just think, if you're gonna be on there, talking to people, presenting yourself to people and interacting with each other, then you should really do it, or not do it at all.

R13: Definitely. Well we have to wrap up- we've got a special last question. In the film 'The Princess Bride', Inigo Montoya had his thing going on with his line about avenging his father. If you were to memorise a lifelong-grudge-related death threat, what would it be?
JD: (Laughs) Oh man... A lifelong-grudge-related death threat...
R13: And you can't steal Inigo's, that's cheating.
JD: You want me to make one up?
R13: Yeah, you're a creative guy!
JD: Who is the grudge against?
R13: Just think about that kid at school that you hated. He's now fat and balding, and pretty unfortunate.
JD: So this is the kid at school who pushed me, and I'm meeting him now after however long it's been...
R13: And he killed your father too, like with Inigo.
JD: He killed my father?
R13: So there's extra hate there.
JD: All right, all right then... I'd be like: (serious voice)
'You. Micky Del Pino. You, who have pushed me in the schoolyard, and also (not that it's important) you who also killed my father. It's been a long time coming, this meeting, between you and I. Had I the will, I would punch you in your unfortunate face. I would take your non-existent hair, and rip it out. But I do not possess this. I will release you to your shrieking wife, and your children, who are destined to drink from the stone cold cup of failure, that was the bane of your family before you. Go in peace.'