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Sex Advice From Mates of State
The adorable indie-pop husband-and-wife team on makeout music and love at first sight.
By Carly Pifer
Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel are a married couple; they are also the indie-pop band Mates of State. Their new album, Mountaintops, comes out this week from Barsuk Records.
Your music is very dance-able. Do good dancers make better lovers?
K: Yes. You're on a certain wavelength when you're on beat, you know?
I do know all about that.
K: I have a thing for drummers, so rhythm is a turn-on. It just seems like they have a slightly wilder edge, because they don't need the ego trip of being the guitar player or the frontman or whatever. There's usually some sort of wild curiosity to them too, along with the fact that obviously they can carry a beat. Jason's a drummer, and he also sings and writes.
Have you guys ever had sex to your own music?
J: That would be kind of weird.
K: We've had sex right before we played, and after.
Okay, which song of yours would you suggest for other people to make out to?
J: I don't know if our songs are really sexy. I would say something like "Fraud in the '80s." Something a little bit faster with a consistent beat.
Does the adrenaline rush onstage get you in the mood?
K: No, it's only been a couple times. Honestly I've always wondered how guys can have sex whenever, wherever and be happy with it. At least in my experience, there's no number that's too much for them. But I always think, isn't there supposed to be a little sexual tension to play a really good show? Can it be depleted? I think people might perform better if there's a little bit of need and lust.
If not your own, what's the best music to set the mood for sex?
K: You can always go with something old like soul music. Or that whole adrenaline rush you get from rock and roll. Even though we don't really have guitars in our band, I still think rock-and-roll and guitars are more bad-ass.
J: I like Marvin Gaye.
Keeping it classic.
J: Yeah, you can't beat Marvin.
My girlfriend travels a lot for business, and I think I have a jealousy issue. She's never given me a reason not to trust her, so how can I relax while she's gone?
J: If she is cheating on you, ditch her immediately and go find someone else. There's no room for that.
You don't believe in second chances?
J: It depends on the length of the relationship. I wouldn't stay.
Have you ever cheated?
Obviously not on your wife, but in less serious relationships?
J: Yeah, in high school I cheated. Just like kissing other girls. I don't think my girlfriend ever found out.
So just keep it a secret. Good call. Okay: I'm in my late twenties, and it feels like all of my friends are getting married. I haven't even been in a serious relationship since I graduated college! I feel an immense pressure to start looking for someone, but I'm not sure marriage is all it's cracked up to be. Should I be worried?
J: Don't worry about getting married. You don't have to get married. I don't think your life will be necessarily better if you do get married. Ask the fifty-five percent of people who end up getting divorced. If you're in your twenties, just have fun. Also, usually if you're looking super-hard for somebody, you're really judgmental, and missing out on things that might develop as they go. So quit worrying about the long-term.
How are the two of you beating the odds?
J: That's a good question, because I think we spend an unusual and probably, arguably, insane amount of time together. That's how it's always been. From the day we met we pretty much moved in together. We've spent every day together for the last fourteen years.