Radio Station: KNDI 103.3 FM
John Paul: Andrew May
: That was Mind Gap Generation by the Screen
, with you as always I’m John Paul and we’ve got some great guests in studio today, Matt and Barbara from North To Port. Thanks for coming in!
Barbara: You’re welcome. Thanks for having us!
Matt: Thanks JP.
JP: You guys have been making the rounds for the last little bit. I caught your show at The Independent a couple months back, but this time you’re in town playing Room 6, right?
Matt: I think so. Wait, that’s right isn’t it?
Barbara: Yeah, that’s right Matt. You’ll have to excuse him JP. Matt’s not quite with us this morning.
JP: Late night?
Matt: Sorry about that – long flight actually. And I haven’t had my tea yet.
JP: Where are you coming from?
Matt: It’s an interesting story actually. We were in Dubai.
Matt: Yeah, for like 24 hours…?
Barbara: …24 hours.
Matt: Right…to play one show.
JP: One show, that’s crazy.
Barbara: It was nuts. We actually spent more time flying to and from Dubai than we did there.
JP: What the hell brought you there?
Matt: We were hired by a gentleman named Sheikh Khalifan to play for his daughter’s sweet 16 party. Apparently we’re this young lady’s favorite band, and well, it’s a long way but playing that one show will fund our tour for the rest of the year.
JP: No kidding…
Matt: And it seemed to make her pretty happy.
Barbara: It was a huge party too. There was like an entire zoo. Did you see me almost get knocked over by the giraffe?
Matt: No! Where the heck was I?
Barbara: You were over with the Sheikh, I think, trying to charm your way into his good graces. Maybe marry into the family? His eldest daughter is a fox!
Matt: Oh, that’s right. No. She was pretty hot though. I was actually terrified when I was talking to him.
JP: Is the Sheikh a stern man?
Matt: Kind of actually. He’s in charge of law enforcement for all of Dubai, and well there’s a little bit of a side story.
JP: Tell us.
Matt: I’m not actually sure this is something we can talk about on the air. Let’s see, how do I say this?
Barbara: Matt’s got a bit of a fear of flying.
Matt: I don’t like it at all.
Barbara: And the flight’s like 15 hours one way.
JP: That’s a long one.
Matt: Right, and well some people take mood alterers like Xanax to get them through, but unfortunately I’m allergic.
JP: Oh no, that’s a bad rap.
Barbara: It’s made things challenging.
Matt: Indeed. So I get pretty anxious before flying and in the past when I’ve had anxiety I’ve used a certain plant, that when combusted delivers a calming agent into the bloodstream, if you know what I mean.
JP: I think I do. The audience can’t see your air quotes though.
Matt: Right – those were for your eyes only. But combustion is not something you can do on the plane.
JP: I’ve heard the TSA doesn’t have much of a sense of humor about such things.
Barbara: No, but we give them a pass because they keep us safe from terror.
Matt: One 2 oz shampoo bottle at a time. But what they do allow are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
JP: How could they not?
Matt: Right?! So a good friend, a chemist by trade, taught me how to extract the agent (I’m using quotes again) by double boiling it in peanut oil.
JP: You have great friends.
Matt: I do. So, It takes the right ratio of course, and about 3 hours to work its magic. When it’s done, you strain it through a cheese cloth. And what’s left is green tinted peanut oil.
Matt: Then, it can be added to a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Voila, instant anti anxiety! And for a 15 hour flight, you need about three to get you through.
JP: Sounds like there are worse ways to spend a day. But aren’t there some pretty strict laws about such things in Dubai?
Matt: Yeah, thus my nerves when talking to the Sheikh. If you’re caught, it’s a minimum 4 year sentence.
JP: Whoa, they’re not messing around! Why take the risk?
Barbara: It’s worse than that actually.
Matt: Yeah. Your body is considered a vessel.
JP: A Vessel?
Barbara: A container.
Matt: Right, so if for some reason someone suspects something, they can have you tested, and if it’s your system, you’re going to jail.
JP: That seems risky.
Matt: Yeah, but honestly I handle myself pretty well and from an incentive standpoint, if law enforcement in Dubai got in the habit of busting musicians coming over to play, musicians would probably stop coming.
JP: I can see that.
Matt: Still it was unnerving being that close to Dubai’s top cop. I was not about to hit on his daughter!
Barbara: That was probably for the best. You getting imprisoned would make a worse band break up story than Guns and Roses.
Matt: Oh, they would not have survived Dubai!
JP: Axel was as animal.
Matt: But really it’s not that much better here. I know some states, like the great state of Cali look fondly on that flora, but the feds can still get you.
Barbara: Yeah, what is it about half of all people in federal prison are non violent drug offenders?
Matt: I think that’s right.
JP: It’s a good thing you’re not one of them. Stay free my man.
Matt: Even talking about it here is probably a risk, but I know listeners to THIS show in particular are hip to it.
JP: No doubt. So, the one question I have about that is what did you do about the return trip? Were you afraid you’d get searched, or did you just suck it up on the way back?
Matt: I actually hoped you wouldn’t ask me that.
JP: Why not? Too incriminating?
Matt: It’s just…
Barbara: Just tell him. We’re all friends here. It’s just you, me, JP, and about 100,000 listeners.
JP: 420,000 actually…
Matt: Alright. Well I knew the odds were in my favor on the way out there. The peanut butter hides any smell, so there wasn’t much to give me away.
Barbara: I didn’t notice anything.
Matt: Good. Someone would have to be suspicions about really a non-suspicious event. It’s a 15 hour flight. Plane food is garbage, so of course I would need to eat. Sandwiches are pretty benign. And even if someone was suspicious, it takes some hutzpah to rip open a man’s hoagie…
JP: Sandwiches are sacred.
Matt: Right! And If they did, they wouldn’t find anything out of the ordinary anyway. Some unassuming chunky peanut butter and grape jelly sharing a lover’s embrace.
Barbara” Oh my god…
JP: That’s my favorite too.
Matt: The only way I would get caught is if there happened to be a forensic lab hidden somewhere on the plane. Needless to say, I didn’t see one.
JP: Well you were in luck then it seems.
Matt: But the way back was tricky.
Barbara: He’d have to somehow smuggle in and hold over night an item that if found would have landed him in the slammer.
Matt: And, the kicker was I wanted to keep my virginity intact if you know what I mean.
JP: 10 4 on that.
Matt: So I mentioned earlier that you cook it down submerged in oil until the happy stuff gets leached out into the oil.
Matt: Well if you extract all traces of water, the oil becomes pretty thick. Years ago, a woman I was engaged to gave me a fountain pen to write my songs with, and to this day I still use it. It’s real old fashioned, the kind you need an ink well for. Well I mixed some dark food coloring in with the oil, and wrote a letter on a piece of edible paper.
JP: How does that…
Matt: Stay with me. Now these days, edible paper is so well constructed, it can be folded easily and stuffed into an envelope. And even if I had to use regular paper, you can eat that. It’s made of cellulose so eventually it will go right through, but the ink will get digested.
JP: (Get’s it) You sent the letter?
Matt: I sent the letter.
Barbara: To Dubai.
Matt: To Dubai.
JP: Who did you send it to?
Matt: I sent it to the daughter of the Sheikh.
JP: You what?
Matt: I did.
JP: How did that help you?!
BG: Oh listen to this, this man is insane!
Matt: The letter read: Happy Birthday. It’s a big one for everyone residing in your big house. Hand me this letter upon my arrival and I will sing sing you a special song. Can’t wait to meet you at your joint. Matt
JP: And she just…?
Matt: Handed it to me.
BG: She did. As soon as we arrived.
JP: That’s amazing. But did you need to tempt fate with all those entendres?
BG: Of course he did. Have you met him?
Matt: I figured it was the safest way to do it. In case we were found out I had the Police Tzar’s daughter as my accomplice.
JP: So you ate it?
Matt: I did. I ate the letter right before we left and had an uneventful flight.
JP: I can’t believe you did that.
BG: It’s always an adventure with this guy.
JP: Well I hope your stay in LA is less felonious.
BG: We do too!
JP: So you guys play tomorrow night at Room 6?
BG: That’s right – we’re playing with one of our favorite bands.
JP: Oh, who’s with you?
MC: They’re called the And He Mays. Do you know them?
JP: I do! That should be fun. Well I hope you guys have a great show. And don’t be strangers.
Matt: Thanks JP!
Barbara: Thanks JP!
JP: Now stay tuned for Courage by North To Port.
~Matt and Barbee
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