Janus: Interview with Bassist Alan Quitman

Photo by Bill WhitmireAbout to start their tour and barely a month away from releasing a new album, Janus bassist Alan Quitman took some time to answer a few questions for Flocked.  This Chicago-based metal band has an upcoming tour planned with Chevelle and Middle Class Rut which kicks off in Grand Rapids at the Orbit Room on February 24; their second album Nox Aeris is set to release on March 27, 2012.

Janus is singer David Scotney, guitarist Mike Tyranski, Alan Quitman on bass guitar and Johnny Salazar on drums.


Who are some of your favorite visual, literary or performance artists?
Not sure if this counts, but I’ve been getting into stand-up comedy. Especially ones that contain social commentary. Seems way harder than being in a band. It’s just one person up there with a mic. No other members to rely on. I found the HBO special “Talking Funny” with Chris Rock, Louis CK, Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Gervais amazing. I’ve watched that at least 20 times.

Do you have any technical/formal training to do what you do?
No. None whatsoever.  Just poorly self taught.

When was the day you realized that this was what you needed to be doing with your life?
I think I wanted this long before I picked up a guitar, but be careful what you wish for.

What projects are you currently working on?
I have a ton of half-done, non-metal stuff that I’ll probably never finish. I’m very interested in doing a tour diary, but I fear the honesty will cause problems.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years, as a band or as an individual? 
Really hard to say.  I’m not much of a planner so I don’t think about it much.  I’m sure it will be very underwhelming.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?  Post-show?
I worry before every show that I’m going to walk out on stage and something isn’t going to work. After the show I like to go over the ways we sucked. They’re rather unpleasant rituals.

What is your best memory prior to being on the national circuit/signed?  How have things changed for you?
I loved the freedom to experiment in a live show in previous bands especially one in particular. Just in the moment. Or that no style, timing, etc. was off limits. This is a lot more militant in that regard. I think I’ve regressed as a player because of it. I’m not challenging myself, but I still love it.

How has the digital age affected you band?  Do you still see much with physical album sales?
I really don’t pay attention to that stuff. I don’t know what we’ve sold, but I’m sure it’s not impressive. Hopefully some of that has to do with age we are in and that we were new to the scene. Maybe this time around will be better.

Is there something you have wanted to do on a tour but have not yet had the chance to?
Definitely stage dive. The rest of the band tells me not to because I’m too big.  Maybe in Grand Rapids.

What do you do to pass the time on tour?  Is there anything you would like to see or do while in Grand Rapids?
Lots of scrabble, New York Times crosswords, Family Guy, audiobooks and sleeping. Reading makes me nauseous in a moving vehicle. I never see anything in the town I’m in, which is something I want to do different this time around.

If you could only have one video game/DVD to play while on the road, what would it be?  Why?
Don’t really do video games anymore even though I kind of miss it, so I’d probably have to bring a Family Guy season DVD. We already pretty much live with that anyway and it’s provided countless laughs.

What was the last movie you saw in a theater?
Geez. I think Bridesmaids. I’m more of a documentary type of guy.

Which film do you think should have had a sequel, but didn’t?
This probably doesn’t count, but I’d like to see a Paradise Lost 4. Where the real murderer, most likely Terry Hobbs, confesses and gets convicted. It’s a sequel the world needs.

What now deceased celebrity or other person of note do you miss the most?  Why?
Ron Santo. He was a true Cubs fan like myself and portrayed what that’s like every day in the booth. I loved his optimism, which is something I totally lack. Although he was a pro-baseball player he got dealt a shitty hand with the loss of his legs due to diabetes and handled it the best way possible. It was very admirable. It’s a shame he got inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. He deserved it. He wanted it bad, but he’s dead and has no idea. No visit to Cooperstown for me.

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?  Why?
A shark. I love to prey.

If you were a cocktail, what kind of cocktail would you be?  Why?
Um…Crown and Coke. Only because that’s my favorite.

Are there any questions you are sick of being asked? 
Although this is different I would say pretty much all of them only for the fact that they are usually the same. The answers don’t seem interesting. I know I have to keep in mind that an answer in Chicago hasn’t been heard in San Antonio.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of the interview process?
Least favorite is trying to be as honest as possible without seeming like a dick. I think my reality is different than people assume. I would never complain, but it may come off that way.

Favorite is when you get random and bizarre questions.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Free Mumia!


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Upcoming Tour Schedule:

02/17/12 Homer Glen, IL Cool River
02/24/12 Grand Rapids, MI The Orbit Room
02/25/12 Fort Wayne, IN Piere’s Entertainment Center
02/26/12 Niagara Falls, NY Rapids Theatre
02/28/12 Portland, ME State Theatre
02/29/12 New York, NY Irving Plaza
03/02/12 Providence, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
03/03/12 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
03/05/12 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live!
03/06/12 Norfolk, VA The NorVa
03/08/12 Knoxville, TN The Valarium
03/09/12 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works
03/10/12 Indianapolis, IN Egyptian Room @ Murat Centre
03/11/12 Springfield, MO Gillioz Theatre
03/13/12 Wichita, KS The Cotillion
03/14/12 Omaha, NE Sokol Auditorium
03/16/12 Oklahoma City, OK Diamond Ballroom
03/17/12 Rolla, MO Rolla Band Shell
03/28/12 Chicago, IL Cubby Bear
03/29/12 Sauget, IL Pops Nightclub
03/30/12 Tremont, IL Twisted Spoke Saloon
03/31/12 Flint, MI The Machine Shop
04/28/12 Mesa, AZ Mesa Riverview Park