Culture Vulture sat down to interview Merkley??? and Micah Byrnes, both notorious for their wild shenanigans in the San Francisco music scene, and both will be hosting the Disbehave party tonight at Mighty… CV: You are both quite the characters. And also quite authentic. What makes your wheels spin and inspires your uniqueness?
Merkley: Not sure, I have never been anybody else so it all feels quite natural to me. I have a little anxiety about meeting new people out of the blue so it could be that I make myself stand out to make others do the introducing. I’m also just compelled to put things together I haven’t really seen before. If one wants something to exist, one should just make it exist. No?
Micah: My main motivation is to make sure that me and everyone around me are always having fun!
CV: San Francisco. What’s your opinion on the city these days?
Micah: Everyone is so concerned about the city changing, but I feel like aside from rent prices rising, everything is still just as fun and funky as its always been.
Merkley: Don’t believe the hype. San Francisco is as weird and wonderful as it ever has been. I’d argue it’s even weirder. We have more geniuses here per square block then perhaps any place on the planet. I like how the politics are finally starting to seem to balance out a smidge. I feel a Libertarian influence coming in with these smart technology people. It has been dominated by the radical left for too long which many say has led to the problems about which people complain.
I’m a radical individualist so libertarianism suits me pretty well.
Having said that, San Francisco is only one of thousands of beautiful places on earth. Sometimes I think I have been here too long and I get a little jealous of those claiming to be “pushed out”.
Sometimes the best things come with a little nudge.
CV: Merkley, your suit collection is unreal! Really impressive. How did you acquire such a collection?
Merkley: I had a nice lady in Hoi an Vietnam make them for me. I like custom tailoring and Hoi An is a town built on that trade. You can do it too.
CV: What about you Micah? Your costume collection could rival Merkley’s suit collection? Where did you get all this stuff?
Micah: I am always collecting stuff, I look all over the place for unique finds. I have to constantly be collecting stuff because I am always lending pieces out that people borrow and then they love them so much they steal them.
CV: And Merkley, you are an artist of many talents, from photography (he did the flyer image for this party) to video to music and more. What is your focus these days? Will we be seeing any public shows in the near future?
Merkley: I have been writing and recording a bunch of pathetic, dopey old sad country songs that sound like they might have fallen out of Bjork’s butt. Been trying to find a way to share them that doesn’t interrupt my napping schedule. I’m really lazy, so I don’t plan many public events. Lifting things sucks.
CV: What about you Micah? What have you been up to recently?
Micah: Mainly Monarch and our new catering business. We want to get more into servicing music festivals. Its looking like we will be doing bars at Northern Nights and Sunset, so I am really excited about that.
CV: Merkley, your Facebook rants and ponderings are practically poetry. Both comedic and offensive, inquisitive and perplexing, you often create quite a stir. Is this part of your art? Perhaps evolving into a book down the line?
Merkley: I have been accused of “stirring the pot” or being provocative just for the sake of it, but it’s really not true. Being a radical individualist means you don’t fit into any political mold, especially the typical left or right. My “rants” are really just me trying to have conversations wherein people might learn to think for themselves rather than just conforming to the left vs. right way of thinking. I also strive to help others realize that disagreement does not require bitterness or anger. Disagreement is healthy and good for intellectual growth.
CV: Lastly, obviously you both like to press the envelop and throw out some shocking zingers from time to time. What is your ultimate fantasy when it comes to Disbehaving? How could you really drop some jaws?
Micah: I want to go throw the first party in space!
Merkley: Lately it seems to be popular to lock people out of conversations on the grounds that they aren’t part of this or that group, i.e. white people can’t talk about non-white issues, males can’t talk about female issues, potatoes can’t talk about donuts etc.. I think i’d like to maybe get a boob job and make a photo of me sucking a giant black ding dong with all sorts of things jammed into my butthole. I think I could produce that and use it as sort of a license to speak on just about anything.
Not that I need a license.
Each person is unique. Nobody is the same as everyone else in a given group. I reject the idea of people as just numbers or redundant cogs in a machine. I just wish people could see that and embrace it.
I talk too much.
CV: There you have it folks, come party with these wild cats and get ready to DISBEHAVE!