Talk of the Town - Playing together and staying together December 09 2004

A Fir-Ju Well spaces out at home and away

Touring the house in which A Fir-Ju Well eats, sleeps and plays is anything but an episode of MTV's "Cribs." Peter and Nick Furgiuele and Matt McCalvin, three of the band's four members, shuffle around their dusky Candler Park digs in near silence, interrupted by comments on communal living in their house and all over the map.

Creative Loafing: So, with so many guys in the house, where does the magic actually happen?

We enter their practice room covered in red velvet curtains.

A Fir-Ju Well: This is where the real magic happens. We just practice whenever everyone is around. These curtains reduce the volume for the neighbors. Everyone just kinda plays whatever, any instrument.

I've heard the band keeps a wacky rotation of instruments.

I don't know if you consider an accordion wacky, but we've got that. Tambourines, kazoos, wind chimes, too.

What has it been like to live together?

It's great because we're all playing in the same band, and so the focus of the whole house is to play. It's really easy to practice. There aren't too many fights, not much drama. Except when we play Risk for money.

And what about other cities — do you ever feel at home when you're away?

Yeah, we've been all over and the fans are always good. Hey, did you see our front yard? The neighbors think it's right out of Home & Garden. They always come over and compliment it.

We reach the front yard to find tilled land and a small trench running across.

Actually, a plumber came over to do a job, finished about half of it and stopped, so now we've had a ditch in our front yard for the past three months. He left us with plumbing parts and a broken toilet.

We relax on the front porch, sitting on a hodgepodge of seats.

Where does all your furniture come from?

Mostly from thrift stores, but we find stuff from the sides of the roads, too. People don't really know how to recycle things. Just because it gets a little dusty, they throw it away.

How have you managed to get along so well while existing in such close quarters?

It all goes back to Eats.

Your second home?

Yeah, everything from the past three to four years revolves around Eats. A lot of musicians come there and hang out. It's real communal. That's why so many people work there for years.

A Fir-Ju Well plays at Eyedrum, Sat., Dec. 18. 9 p.m. $7. www.afirjuwell.com.