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T.I. Exclusive: We Get Down with Thao

San Francisco transplant Thao Nguyen and her band, The Get Down Stay Down, bring to the SF music scene fun, energy, and pure unadulterated joy. With their latest album coming out next week, Know Better Learn Faster, Thao and the band is poised to play the Treasure Island Music Festival on Sunday afternoon. Thao took some time to talk to 7x7 about the upcoming album and her love of making music.

7x7: When we spoke earlier this year, you were getting ready to headline Noise Pop. Now you're about to play Treasure Island. How have things changed for you and the band over the last 10 months?

Thao: In the last ten months we have recorded a new album, taken pictures for it, I have sat down with the recordings to relearn the songs for tour, Willis made stage monsters for our live show (they are friendly looking monsters painted on wooden cutouts), Adam got new bright blue pants, and I've fielded numerous calls from my mom asking what I have done to guard against swine flu.

7x7: What can we expect from the new album? More freestyling?

Thao: I WISH. I am saving that for our Best Of album. This record is much more emotionally intense–there is more shouting, and clapping and stomping, and a little whimpering.

7x7: Have you found a new group member yet or are you still on the hunt?

Thao: We gave up the hunt and replaced it with gratitude for our friend Doug Jenkins of The Portland Cello Project who will be our 4th auxilliary member for this tour.

7x7: To risk sounding overly fan-like, your performances are incredibly energetic. I mean it seems like you really love to perform. Has it always been that way?

Thao: Hey, thanks. I have always felt more comfortable on stage than off, i think it is a sickness. Also what is there not to like about getting the crazy eye and screaming and shaking your shit and not being held accountable.

7x7: What's next for you and the band?

Thao: We are currently scurrying to get it together as our release tour for the new record starts in two days. We will be all around the US and Canada for the next 6 weeks. I am most looking forward to the shows in SF, not just because I live here. Also I have to do my laundry very soon.