Bush Tetras Talk with Thurston Moore and Jim Jarmusch on the Talkhouse Podcast

A decades-in-the-making conversation between the New York City legends.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast, we’ve got a roundtable of old friends who are also, as it happens, all New York City legends: Cynthia Sley and Pat Place of Bush Tetras with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and director Jim Jarmusch.

Cynthia and Pat — vocalist and guitarist, respectively — started the “groove-centric” post-punk band Bush Tetras in 1979 with Laura Kennedy on bass and Dee Pop on drums. They broke up just a few years later, but over the decades they’ve reunited periodically, and are back in action now — though, sadly, without Kennedy, who died in 2011, and Dee Pop, who passed away last month after the recording of this conversation. But as Cynthia told the New York Times, “Bush Tetras is a force that cannot be stopped.” Their pioneering work lives on, archived in a new box set called Rhythm and Paranoia: The Best of Bush Tetras, which came out on Wharf Cat last week and includes three LPs and a booklet featuring essays by Moore, Jarmusch, members of The Clash and Gang of Four, and many others.

Thurston Moore was a founding member of Sonic Youth. Now based in London, he performs and records solo — his latest album is last year’s By The Fire. Jim Jarmusch is the director of films like Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law, Coffee and Cigarettes, and so many more. He’s also a musician, and currently performs with the avant-rock band SQÜRL.

As Cynthia says at the beginning of their conversation, they have about 40 years of friendship between the four them, but this is the first time all four of them have gotten to talk together. Their decades-in-the-making conversation covers a lot, including Pat’s influence on Thurston as a guitarist, Tier 3 and Mudd Club memories, and an era of New York when there were still chicken slaughterhouses on Prince Street. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Bush Tetras, Thurston Moore, and Jim Jarmusch for chatting. This episode was produced by Melissa Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Photo Credit: Thurston Moore, Anthony Tieuli; Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

Talkhouse curates musicians, actors, filmmakers, and others in their respective fields to speak one-on-one with their peers via the Talkhouse Podcast and Talkhouse Live events. The Talkhouse Podcast offers listeners a unique insight into the creative work of creators across all genres and generations. Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes.