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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  February 22, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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>> mason: welcome to theprogram. i'm ant a president of cbs news filling in for charlie rose. we begin this evening with a look at the economy, with henry blodget, joe nocera and catherine rampell. >> we have full employment in the country. the problem is the jobs don't pay well enough. you have to ask what sort of policies would improve the pay for low-wage service jobs. the most efficient way is to raise the minimum wage which certainly isn't on the table. infrastructure spending would be great if we had a trillion dollars suddenly reinvested in our infrastructure, but talk about that has gotten a lot quieter since the election phase. i would argue regulation is not what's slowing the economy. what's slowing the economy or not allowing us to have the growth rate we want is there isn't enough money going to the
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people, and that is wages. >> mason: we continue with the band lake street dive. >> we took the tortoise approach, and that's very grounding because you can trust yourself, and it's so easy when you start to get success to all of a sudden start to wonder what it is about what you're doing that they like so you can amplify that, but i think we were able to, you know, hold off, and we were able to keep those sort of insecurities at bay because we'd spent so long honing in on what we did together as a band. >> mason: economics and lake street dive, when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
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>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> mason: good evening. i'm abou anthony mason filling r charlie rose. donald trump's path to the white house was energized by a populous campaign message promising more and better-paying jobs to support middle class families across the country. he vowed to take action through a series of initiatives including lowering tax rates, rolling back financial regulations and amassing an infrastructure spending plan. president trump pulled back already from international trade he deems harmful for american
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interests. joining me is joe nocera a columnist at "bloomberg view," henry blodget c.e.o. and editor of "business insider" and catherine rampell, columnist from "the washington post." the president said i inherited a miss economically. did he? >> no, his predecessor inherited a mess. he inherited a recession and unemployment that was, i think, around 8%, and he gave to mr. trump an unemployment rate that was under 5%, as opposed to negative g.d.p. growth, he gave him g.d.p. as opposed to when obama came in. what he's implying is a lot of middle class jobs have been hollowed out, a lot of pain in the country which, i think, contributed to his election. i would say that his solutions will not my president only help
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but they will exacerbate the problems. >> mason: what do you think, henry? >> i think joe nailed it. i think the wave of discontent that carried trump to the election is what joe talked about which is middle class wages are down. we have full employment in the country. the problem is the jobs don't pay enough. you have to ask what sort of policies would improve the pay for low-wage service jobs, for example. the most efficient way to do that is to raise the minimum wage which isn't on the table. infrastructure would be great if we actually had a trillion dollars invested in infrastructure, but talk about that has gotten a lot quieter since the election phase. i would argue regulation is not slowing the economy. what's slowing the economy or not allowing us to have the growth rate we want is there isn't enough money going to the people, and that is wages so you have to work on the wages.
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>> and wages haven't moved much, catherine, have they? >> they're saying wages are on net for the last couple of decades. it's not an obama phenomenon. this long predates obama. i think median household incomes peaked around late '90s. so this has been an issue for a long time. this hollowing out of middle class jobs, greater wage gains going to the top 1%, and there are debates about why this is happening, right, is it because of technological change, tax policy, because of a lot of other things? i can emphatically say it's not because we haven't had enough trade wars, for example, or it's not because we have too much regulation that prevents us from dumping pollution into our lakes and streams. the kinds of things that -- or immigrants, for that matter. the kinds of things that have been scape quoted during the campaign and since then. >> mason: the presidents talked about the possibility of 3% or 4% growth. that's basically what he's put
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on the table he believes he can achieve. we haven't seen that kind of growth in over a decade, right? >> yes, at least. you know, 3%, 4% growth is pretty implausible. it would be pretty hard to get to. to go back to what i was saying before, you know, catherine mentioned immigration and she mentioned trade. wall street is actually pretty excited right now. the market's been going up because they're thinking about deregulation and they're thinking about lower taxes and maybe repatriating some of the cash that's overseas, but if you really start kicking out millions of immigrants and, at the same time, create border wars or tariff even with mexico, you will wreck the economy, period. you will wreck the economy. it's too interconnected. nafta alone -- forget about china -- the supply chains run
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through canada and down through mexico. basically, if you put up a trade barrier, all you're doing is increasing the price of a ford. >> at the same time, henry, you look at the surveys since trump has been elected, and the general mood among small businesses has soared and, from the stock market, there is a lot of optimism. as joe said, we're continuing to see it climb higher and higher. but ultimately if that doesn't turn into wage growth, demand will falter, remain weak going forward. as joe said, if you have a trade war, that's going to hurt the economy. if you deport millions of people, that really will hurt the economy because they are actually creating productivity as we go forward. a lot of these policies don't make sense for what is actually wrong for the economy. >> the animal spirits change, as they call it, the at least a positive step. >> it is very dangerous for the
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trump administration to be touting what's going on in the stock market. >> he wrote a very nice column saying, look, they are basing some of their projections on growth rates, 3% to 4%, which are hard to fathom how they get there. >> and if you get projectionings from the nonpartisan congressional budget office, from the fed, from private forecasters, they're much lower than the numbers forecasted by fiat from the white house. >> based on what he promised in the election, what do you think the president has to deliver? >> he has to deliver jobs. he has to deliver jobs. so that brings up another thing -- how do you deliver jobs? his idea for how to do it is to jawbone companies that are planning on closing a factory or laying off people to keep those people employed -- 400, 500,
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600. >> the argument is you have to do that one at a time which is not a very efficient way to hand that problem. >> and it's not going to stop the core problem of manufacturing. you can have plenty of manufacturing in the united states without that many workers because of technology, and that's exactly what's happening. he's also not looked at all -- not that he necessarily could do anything about this, but, you know, a private equity firm takes over a company, and they have cost-cutting measures, and they fire a thousand people and i don't hear him say anything about that. he needs to devise a way to create jobs that is broader and smarter than going to one company at a time via twitter. >> and some of the policies that have been discussed do make sense -- reducing corporate tax rate, leveling it, creating incentive for companies to bring back cash that they parked overseas to avoid taxes. if you also create incentives for them to invest in the united states, however you want to do it on a local basis, those make sense and will create jobs, but
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to joe's point, very hard to do if you're going one company at a time. >> it's also a strange conception of free market. trump's a republican president and supposed to be in favor of free markets. how free is the market when you're locating companies and telling them what to sell. when nordstrom drops a particularly product line he's interested in by his daughter. this jawboning doesn't even seem consistent with conservative principles along with the goals of creating more and better-paying jobs and incentivizing firms to invest here. why would they invest rear in the first place if at some point down the road they may want to go overseas or reallocate their resources if they're going to face bad p.r. when they do it. >> henry mentioned infrastructure spending which the president mentioned during the campaign but quieted down.
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the democrats tried it and the the republicans resisd when obama was in the white house. do you think there is going to be the will to get that done at some point? >> it depends what it looks like. the democrats proposed a plan based on direct spending, basically the government spends money, distributes it through states and localities and they figure out where to build bridges and whatever else. the trump plans, to the extent we know anything about it, is based on tax crerkts and it would be tax credits for revenue-generating projects that private firms built. at least, again, very few details, but what he said or what his team basically said during the campaign was that, okay, if you want to build a toll bridge, we'll give you a big tax credit to do that, but that doesn't likely inventivize repairs and maintenance at crumbling airports and roads which is the higher return in infrastructure investment. it also encourages a lot of investment that may not be in the public interest. so that's what he seems
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interested in. that's what it looks like his republican allies on the hill are interested in. whether democrats will actually country that is a big question. >> it's hard to tell at this point where his agenda is in the congress, in terms of how far advanced if it's advanced at all. it really hasn't advanced because for all of the furiy, he hasn't proposed anything concrete beyond kick out immigrants. so all these plans he talks about in theory -- obamacare, you know, all sorts of things. but taxes, you know, deregulation. but until there is something concrete, congress can't do anything, or at least congress can come up with their own plan but they have to sign off. but the trump administration has been too busy putting out daily
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fires, really -- >> creating fires. ( laughter ) >> creating fires then putting a hose on it, that's right. so i would say, basically, they're nowhere. is that too harsh? >> no, but i think congress is working behind the scenes on some sort of tax reform plan. we'll see what it is. they are certainly discussing obamacare, and i think they're realizing people actually like it a fair bit more than they thought, and they're looking for a way to fix it rather than doing anything wit, and there are discussions. >> obamacare is another thing to think about when you think about the economy because, yes, it absolutely affects individuals and affects their ability to spend on other things, but it also affects a really big portion of the economy, which is, you know, the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare companies, et cetera, et cetera, and they're all nervous about how this is going to play out.
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>> and the white house has shown indications that if the p.r. feedback on something is negative, they won't necessarily stick with it, even if it's coming from a republican congress. i mean -- >> well -- yes, trump likes to do and say things that are popular, at least for the audience to whom h he is speaking at that moment, which puts him if a difficult position. like he said a lot of correspondent doctor things about the affordable care act that no one will lose their insurance or everyone who likes their insurance will keep it, like not so smart promises obama made back in the day. it's very hard for him to keep these contradictory promises if herdsent want to upset the base that benefit from the affordable care act. there were a lot of trump voters
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who benefit from the insurance on the exchanges, the tax subsidies they're getting from those as well as medicaid. so those people are looking to their standard bearer to protect them and bring down the cost of insurance. he's also talked about the fact that insurance will get cheaper, healthcare will get cheaper, which is an impossible thing to promise. right now we have the lowest growth in health spending costs in, like, 60 years. i forget the number, but it's quite -- doesn't mean it's getting cheaper, but it's not growing as fast, and people are still very upset about it, so you can't reverse that trend. >> mason: henry, how long do you think the business community stays with trump? we had this mood swing going into the election where there was a brief sort of panic on wall street about all the uncertainty that was surrounding a possible trump administration. then when he took office, all of a sudden the mood changed completely because of the promise of tax reform and
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deregulation. if there is a sustained period of turmoil, what do you think the attitude on wall street will be? >> i think wall street will stay with him for as long as the stock market stays up. ultimately, if his tweeting and his broad sides at particular companies aren't taken that seriously, and wall street is starting to tune them out, you can see this in stock prices now, once we get used to that, i've theeverything will go alone with stocks setting new highs every day. he is saying everyone's excited about what i'm doing. i don't think wall street will care. over a year or two, if we have that long, if we don't see the policy changes actually come through, folks may say, hey, come on. >> mason: i want to talk about at the general state of the middle class because it occurred to me at times i don't think either party has been particularly honest with american workers about where things, are and you touched on
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this, joe, about the amount auto medication is cutting -- automation is cutting into jobs and job growth. do you think government really leveled with american workers on the state of the economy and in terms of jobs and what we can see going forward? >> i don't think they really leveled, but i think people have a better understanding of it than their government gives them credit for. obama tried a series of programs designed to get people into jobs that were -- that weren't old-fashioned manufacturing, that were maybe in the solar industry, and that didn't really work. it's all too piecemeal. here comes trump basically saying i'm going to make america great by bringing back all these manufacturing jobs, people know that's not true. and the core dilemma for government and business, for that matter is, how do you re-create middle class jobs? and the people who lost their
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jobs, you know, in auto factories or other spheres of life where people -- where factories have closed and people have lost their jobs, they don't know how to do it. they're waiting for somebody to show them how to find a way in the 21st century. so you've got two kind of jobs. you have low-paying service jobs and you have high-end, white-collar jobs, and this middle range is really what's missing. >> the key issue in the economy -- and if you step back, the hast 40 years, our tax policy and our business ethos in this country has really moved basically everything in the direction of shareholders and owners and the company's job is to create wealth for their owners. 50 years ago, it was not that way, and it doesn't have to be that way, and i think there actually is a better capitalism model which is, in fact, companies are designed to create value for all their stakeholders including people who work there.
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if you go back to why manufacturing jobs were good, it was because folks like henry ford and other decided to bay voluntarily workers a lot more than they had to and that was so they could buy the cars. unions provided this for a long time, but we had the union climatization. so we need to increase the ethos and encourage companies to pay workers more. that will accelerate the company because you have more spending power among people who actually spend all their wages. >> there are other tools that have a lot of bipartisan support like expanding the earned income tax credit which is like a rebate you yet. if you make below a certain amount of money, that comes from the government and it supplements your wages. that's popular on left and right. obama proposed it, paul ryan supported it. iit didn't go anywhere. it could be made available to more people including single
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able-bodied people. so there are tools that are available to mutt more money in the pockets of reel americans. i think promising to bring back either certain kinds of industries that have fallen by the wayside or to improve the pay in those industries, whether -- you were talking about manufacturing but coal mining is another great example where those jobs have disappeared largely because technological changes because fracking has made natural gas much cheaper. actually, president trump supported fracking but he also told coal miners their jobs are coming back, and those two statements are at odds. so telling these workers that your jobs are coming back and they're going to start paying a lot more money is not a particularly practical game plan, right, for helping these kinds of workers. what you need to be thinking about is improving the quality of the jobs where they exist and improving investments in human capital for the kinds of people
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who used to go into the jobs that are disappearing so they have other opportunities in high-paying white-collar jobs and other jobs that aren't necessarily high-skilled but require some post-secondary training, not necessarily a four-year degree, but, like, a two-year degree, an associates' degree and other kinds of credentials that are important in healthcare, for example. there are a lot of jobs in healthcare that require post-high school education but not necessarily a bachelor's. >> are we really talking about rebuilding the middle class or just sort of blocking its decline, if you will, any further? it seems to me so much of making america great again is going back to the middle class dream which seems to be slipping away from people and if not people at work now then at least the hope for their kids. and, you know, but so much of that dream was created in a post-world war ii environment
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when we essentially ruled the world, and that's clearly changed, and to a point that it's almost irreparable now. >> it was hopeful that the capital stock of all our competing countries was ce steroid after world war ii and we were the only ones who could manufacture -- >> mason: are we being realistic with ourselves in what we're aiming for here? >> yes, we are. we are talking about sharing more of this incredible wealth this country creates with the people who help create it, not just the owners of the companies, but the folks who work for them and create the value. >> mason: how do you compel that? >> a bunch of different ways. we could raise the minimum wage. it would be nice if we, in fact, persuade folks that it would be good if they could share more of the wealth with the people who created it. >> mason: create jobs.
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basically, when you're giving someone $2 more per hour that's making $12 per hour, they will spend that $2 and if they work at wal-mart, they probably will spend them at wal-mart. so that creates more growth and spending power in the economy. the jobs argument doesn't make sense. you have to apply it equally. 0 an have to payyours that doesn't work. >> we have bifurcation because there are a lot of firms in silicon valley whose entire business model is based on skirting requirements by hiring independent contractors. so there are a lot of other complications here. if you're only protecting regular w-2 employees, raising their wages, and i don't agree you can raise wages indefinitely without killing jobs. i think there is some tradeoff there. it's depending on where the patrick is. therpatrick -- depending on whee e gurus, who are experts, alan
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krueger has said -- >> $100 for everybody. but, in any case, you know, if you focus on providing more benefits for traditional employees, you still have this problem of these alternative work arrangements, some of which are relating to mis misclassifid workers. so a lot of ideas for how to improve the lives of workers particularly their legal relationship with their boss and the legal responsibilities their bosses have to them have changed. >> let me throw one more element in here. americans like to buy things as cheaply as possible and that really does play a role here. in europe, you will find countries where they are willing to make the tradeoff that, you know, pay more for something and, somereturn, this company gets to employ all its workers or doesn't have to lay anybody off or can even expand. you know, in the u.s., we don't think like that.
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if we can get something that's well-made and inexpensive from china at wal-mart, we will do it. even if there is an american product right next to it that costs a buck more. and the the fact that that's the american mentality is another reason that it's hard to say, you know, let's go back to the old days when we could pay people $18, $20 an hour. >> mason: but how do you change that psychology, joe? it's so entrenched at this point. if you buy something at wal-mart that's $3.67, and wal-mart helped bring the price down because they know that's what their customer wants, as you say, that's essentially taking money out of the pocket of an american worker somewhere. >> i don't think you are going to change that mentality. i really don't think you are. i think that, rather than think about how do we bring back jobs in the old-fashion industries, we really need to be thinking
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more about how do we create jobs that don't require a four-year college, as catherine said, and how do you create entire new industries? i mean, the solar industry actually is growing like crazy and it's become a pretty decent source of jobs at the moment. i don't know if they'll last forever, but it's one example of a new industry that can create jobs even as other industries are fading. >> it's starting to change. you see companies like apple that raise the wages of store workers. wal-mart has done the same thing. starbucks has done that. there are companies who are saying we are profitable enough. we're going to invest in our employees. we're going to train them. companies are putting together their own training programs. it's starting. we are seeing companies rewarded reputationally for that. >> mason: there is a belief there will be a sustained growth in the economy. we're still pulling out of the
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post-recession economy which is a bunker mentality of we have to be prepared for the worth. >> and you have to be able to say it's not just about maximizing current profit. it's about earning enough shareholders are getting their due but reinvesting the rest in the business. >> and there are benefits for this idea like an efficiency wage, there are benefits for paying workers more money -- less likely to leave, dealing with few turnover costs. arguably, one of the reasons wal-mart and others are raising pay is the labor market is getting tighter, fewer workers to go around. you don't have minimum wage increases forcing everybody else to hold on to their pay. how will you attract workers in a 4.8% employment environment? a strong economy is one way to help the workers. not all of the gains will go to the workers. a smaller share goes to labor as
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hold, of capital, as you discussed, but having a stronger economy in and of itself is good for workers both in terms of getting jobs and higher pay. >> last thought from each of you. we're only a month into the trump administration. four years from now, where do you think we'll be economically? joe? >> well, four years from now, i mean, i don't know, i'm kind of more worried about two months from now. i mean, i'm so fearful that, you know, not only some of his economic policies might be misguided but you worry he'll do something that's really irracquet that will -- erratic that will set the world on its ear that has nothing to do with the economy that will cause the stock market and the economy to tank. that's what i'm worried about. >> i have similar worries. even if he doesn't so something
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erratic that causes a geopolitical crisis, but i would say we'll have another recession in the next four years because we've had the longest consecutive record of job growth on record. i'm concerned about what tools we have available to hand that potential downturn which, again, not guaranteed but seems like it will come. you know, the fed has been somewhat handicapped by dodd-frank in terms of how it can address another financial crisis. we may have a major stimulus in the form of tax cuts and infrastructure today when we're at the peak -- potentially at the peak of an expansion. means less powder left in the keg when and if there is a recession. there will be some day. i don't know when. >> you think we're due? i'm saying i'm concerned about, pefn if you take the erratic trump element out of it, things can go awry because it's the business cycle and that's what happened and i'm worried
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about what tools will be available and what willingness there will be to use those tools to the extent they still exist if and when things go bad. >> i share joe and catherine's worries and would add one more which is, if we do have the recession, the discontent that caused swift political change will grow to a huge level. so nice to see the stock market going up, nice to see we're a month in and there haven't been too many horrible shocks, surprises. we're still here. hopefully, we'll continue day by day and things will keep getting better. >> journalists, voices of doom. hopefully not! ( laughter ) >> mason: thanks for being with us. we'll be back with the band lake street dive. >> mason: good evening, i'm anthony mason filling in for charlie rose. lake street dive is here. the soul pop band consists of
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lead singer rachel price, guitarist and trumpeter mike olsen, bassest bridget carney and drummer mike calabrese. "time" writes they serve a pop with a timeless feel heavy overtones of classic r&b and jazz. their latest album side pony finds the band reinventing themselvethemselves once again,h disco and rock and roll influences. here's lake street dive performing "rent to love in our studio. ♪ when we were having a good time ♪ ♪ i got a little sentimental
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♪ the rental of your love ♪ was all that you gave up ♪ but i wanted it all ♪ i wanted it all ♪ ooh, ooh, ooh ♪ ♪ when we were doing the slow climb ♪ ♪ the peak was a foregone conclusion ♪ ♪ to lose it broke my heart ♪ i only got one part
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♪ but i wanted it all ♪ i wanted it all ♪ when we were given a new chance ♪ i got a little over zealous ♪ ♪ jealous of your old girl ♪ i wanted to be your whole world ♪ ♪ i wanted it all ♪ i wanted it all ♪ i wanted it all ♪ i wanted it all >> mason: and i am pleased to
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we can withum lake street dive to the table for the first time. welcome you all. >> thank you so much. >> mason: so great to see you. let's talk about how you all came together because you have been together for a while, but things took off about five years ago, i'd say? >> that's right. >> mason: but your roots go back to the new england conservatory where you all connected back in 2004. >> sounds about right, 2004. yeah, it's going to be 13 years that we're a band coming up in the spring, and we met at school. these two, the mikes, were already friends. they connected pretty quickly. it was love at first sight, i feel like. at least mike felt that way. >> mason: were you looking to form a band? >> i was.
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>> mason: what kind of band did you want to form? >> a jazz band, i suppose. i wanted to write songs with lyrics and be inventive and experimental within the jazz structure because of the unique instrumentation. just had the bass and the trumpet and the melodic instrument of the voice. so it was akin to an ensemble that had no piano or guitar player, it had pas -- it had ba, drums and horns. it's melodic instruments. that's also very heady and wonderful and lovely. ( laughter ) we sent went from esoteric sort
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of just, like, just trash to, like, realizing that we didn't mind songs that sounded good. >> mason: how did you get from point a to point b? >> there was kind of a turning point that i remember. we were in a chrysler town and country, minivan on one of our first tours in the middle of the night driving through iowa. wasn't much going on. but it was back in the day where you burn c.d.s, the play lists. and we were just trying to pass the time. on our laptops, we were passing around and blindly people would put songs in different orders and not know what the person before put. and then we'd slide a cd in, burn it and put it in the c.d. player. >> mason: the old fashion way. yeah. and we would listen to it. on more than one occasion, someone put the same song on the
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play list. it wasn't jazz. we weren't listening to jazz together. it's paul simon and the beatles tracks and, you know, maybe even a santana. i have no idea what we listened to, but we were, like, maybe we should do this stuff if it excites us so much. >> mason: you had this very interesting turning point when you ended up on the street in brighton, massachusetts, and was it for fun you recorded "i want you back" the jackson 5 song? >> yeah, we made an e.p. which was mostly cover songs, and we had a friend making videos of us playing songs live to just promote that. yeah, so, i mean, we were just trying it. that wasn't really, like, a grand plan. we didn't even do "i want you back." we didn't choose it that afternoon. i think we did, like, several takes of rich girl and, like, maybe a couple of clear pace and, like, at the very end --
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it's so, like, as the story goes. he's, like, do one version of i want you back and we were, like, okay. >> mason: so you put this on youtube, and what happened? >> well, nothing remarkable at first, and then maybe five months later it just, like -- i don't know if there was like a thread, a kevin bang tweet, who knows what started -- a kevin bacon tweet. i still wonder. but, yeah, it went viral. ♪ when i had you to myself ♪ i wanted you around ♪ those pretty faces always stand out in a crowd ♪
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but someone picked you from the bunch ♪ ♪ one glance was all it took ♪ now it's much too late for me ♪ ♪ to take a second look ♪ oh, baby, give me one more chance ♪ ♪ won't you please let me back in your heart ♪ ♪ oh, darlin', i was blind to let you go ♪ ♪ now that i've seen you in his arms ♪ ♪ well, tryin' to live without your love ♪ ♪ is one long sleepless night ♪ oh, let me show you boy ♪ that i know wrong from right ♪ and every street i walk on ♪ i leave tear stains on the ground ♪ ♪ following the boy i didn't
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even want around ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh, oh, baby ♪ give me one more chance ♪ won't you please let me back in your heart ♪ ♪ oh, darlin', i was blind to let you go ♪ ♪ now that i've seen you in his arms ♪ >> mason: isn't it funny how you can work so hard for so long and all of a sudden it's one little thing like that that just changes everything? >> yeah. >> mason: and it kind of did change everything, didn't it? >> it did. it's something about the entertainment industry is there is no recipe for guaranteed success, you just have to kind of keep, like, making music you
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believe in and putting stuff out there and, like, after a while, if you're doing a good job, that hopefully one thing will hit. so that ended up being the thing for us. you know, it's also something you can't replicate. we continue to do that same thing, try to make music with integrity and creativity, and then, you know, sometimes people hear about it, sometimes they don't. keep doing it. >> then t bone approached you to appear at a concert here in new york, centered inside a film of llewyn davis and some of the film from that. he put you in the ensemble together. what did that do? >> kind of will ed to side pony in a roundabout way. >> i have to a super fun night.
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we were, like, gee, whiz, we just talked to elvis costello. ( laughter ) i think what we didn't realize when we were doing it because we had so many distractions is that there were all kinds of, you know, bigwigs in the audience that we weren't aware of at the time that there were, like, press and media folks and record label types and things like this. and, you know, thank goodness we didn't know, you know, because, i mean, elvis costello was quite enough, thank you. but then to realize there were all these things that would come from it later, like writeups and, you know, getting in with none such. >> mason: your label. yeah, exactly. it would have gone from overwhelming to, i don't know, like, jump out of skin kind of terror. >> what do you think when something like that starts happening and people start calling to ask you to be on
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show, what do you think at that point? >> i don't know. take ol'cution lessons -- take elocution lessons and hope for the best, hope you don't sound stupid. you do them is what you do. you just start doing it. >> mason: you know how hard it is to work to get an opportunity and sometimes the opportunity comes from a place you least expect it. so when you get that moment, you know, what is it you think? >> i think, when we've talked about it, we would always get nervous at first, but then we would realize that, you know, we would look back over our history together and, like you said, it was about four or five years ago where this stuff really started to happen for us, and then we said to ourselves, we're scared, but we have been doing this for way longer, and we know how we work together, we know our dynamic, we know how we make music, and this is just going to
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be an extension of this. it's kind of like we were asked to do this so, obviously, something about what we have been doing is deserving of that. so we trust ourselves. and we kind of had -- you know, that took quite a while to get comfortable with that trust, but that's how you, i think, have to start doing it. it's kind of a jump and a trust fall with your best friend and then see what happens. ♪ baby i'm just living my life ♪ because i rock a side pony ♪ i rock a side pony ♪ i rock a side pony ♪ i rock a side pony >> the first time we talked a couple of years ago, you said you were kind of glad you waited
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a little while before you found success because you felt like you were ready-er for it. >> that's like what mike was saying. we got to this point where we were, like, well, everybody was asking us the same question, what's it like to be this new band that's, like, breaking with all the hype. we're, like, we're not a new band, we've actually just been doing this and we welcome you to it now. >> it's, like, we really took the tortoise approach, and that's very grounding because you can trust yourself, and it's so easy when you start to get success to all of a sudden start to wonder what it is about what you're doing that they like so you can turn it up, you can amplify that. >> mason: yeah. but i think we were able to, you know, hold off and keep those insecurities at bay because we've spent so long sort
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of honing in on what we did together as a band. >> mason: right. well, i mean, it takes a while for a band usually to sort of figure out who it is, what it is, what it's all about, find a sound that's you. did you feel confident in what that was when you were there, finally? >> i think we're constantly still searching for that. i mean, we know certain things we do well together, and we try, to like, use those to their greatest advantage, but, also, like, the beatles being our model for almost everything, yeah, you look at their records that they put out, very -- in quick succession, and they're all so different from each other, and yet they maintain this identity tas core that's the beatles. i think that's something we're always striving to do with each new record, continue to experiment and, like, reach out for places that we haven't been
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before. >> mason: things change. all of a sudden, you have your label, bigger audiences and everything's on the line and there is the whole idea of growth, both artistically and commercially, and, so, there are a whole new set of precious that come understand -- pressures that come once that happens. >> i feel like we have a lot of confidence in each other. nobody's the leader of the band. nobody has to pull anybody up to them. no one has to pull any extra weight. i think that's a very comfortable thing because, like, for me being the front person, it's actually a really comfortable and great spot because i actually don't feel like -- i mean, i don't really actually feel that way. i feel like i'm just one piece of the puzzle and i know my three bandmates have a lot of confidence in what i do, and i have a lot of confidence in what
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the three of them do -- artistically, the way they write songs, the way they play, everyone's individual strengths. i think that's really very helpful because one's individual insecurities doesn't overtake you. you're, like, well, we're in this together. if i fail, we all fail. if i succeed, we all succeed. no one's going anywhere. we will make this work. ♪ ♪ ♪ mason: aid you have an understanding from the beginning you were equal or was that just the wait came together? >> both, i guess. it was the wait came together
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and it was always kind of the understanding. >> we didn't say it explicitly to one another, but that's, i think, where any successes we ever had came from, and, so, if it works, you know, don't try to fix it, i guess, you know. >> mason: i mean, if you look around, you will find it's the undoing of a lot overbands that there isn't that kind of balance. >> yeah, it's definitely something that was there from the beginning and then, also, like, as things grew, we've every step of the way confirmed to one another that that's the way it's going to work, and that's because we're in it for the long game. it's just, like, those inequalities kind of, like, sow seeds of discontent, inevitably, so it works better for everyone if we maintain that equality and, you know, continue to sort of aggressively be democratic about everything.
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>> you talked about how, you know, once people start to find you, wondering what it is think like about you or see in you. but then there becomes the challenge of sort of challenging yourself and not sort of pleasing the audience. you with your new album side pony kind of changed your sound up a bit, and what were you sort of pushing? what were you pushing for with that? >> we were pushing for a change. we were pushing for experiment experiment -- experimentation. we weren't pushing for necessarily the specific changes or growth that was on this record. like we weren't, like, disco. it was just, like, whoopsie, disco. >> whoopsie disco. the original title of the record whoopsie disco. ( laughter ) >> a nice ring to it. >> mason: the next album. yeah. >> mason: is that something you want to -- i mean, i think
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every artist wants to keep growing. you want to challenge yourself, yeah? >> again, the beatles. yeah. well, i think we're always challenging ourselves and we're with also just, like, following the muse, you know, whatever you're listening to and whatever is inspiring to you at the time, you know, sometimes you go ton a trip and you hear, like, a type of music you never heard before and maybe that will, like, find its way into your music or whatever is going on in your personal life, whatever is going on in the world, you know, those things, whatever is making you really feel something in your heart, like that's going to be the best thing to put into your music. >> mason: favorite moment of the last five years of all this craziness? >> you couldn't have just given this question -- >> mason: no, come on.
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the pinch-me moment. i know you've all had one. >> oh -- yeah, we got to meet president obama and vice president joe biden in the oval office. that was, like, a show-stopper. i was, like, okay. >> yes. >> mason: rachel, mike, mike and bridget, thank you. we leave you with another song now from lake street dive. here is when you were mine. ♪ ♪ when you were mine ♪ i gave you all my money
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♪ time after time ♪ you don me wrong ♪ettes just like a train ♪ you let all my friends come over and eat ♪ ♪ and you were so strange ♪ you didn't have the decency to change the sheets ♪ ♪ oh, girl, when you were mine ♪ i used to let you wear all my clothes ♪ ♪ you were so fine, maybe that's the reason that it hurt me so ♪ ♪ i know that you're going with another guy ♪ ♪ i don't care ♪ 'cause i love you, baby, that's no lie ♪ ♪ i love you more than i did when you were mine ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ when you were mine ♪ you were kinda sorta my best
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friend ♪ ♪ i was so blind ♪ i let you fool around ♪ i never cared ♪ i never was the kind to make a fuss ♪ ♪ when he was there ♪ sleeping in between the two of us ♪ ♪ i know that you're going with another guy ♪ ♪ i don't care ♪ 'cause i love you baby ♪ that's no lie ♪ i love you pore than i did when you were mine ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ when you were mine ♪ you were all i ever wanted to do ♪ ♪ now i spend my time ♪ following him whenever he's with you ♪ ♪ i know that you're going with another guy ♪ ♪ i don't care 'cause i love you, baby, that's no lie ♪ ♪ i love you more than i did when you were mine ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ when you were mine ♪ i love you, baby ♪ yeah, oh, oh ♪ i love you baby ♪ yeah, i love you more than i did when you were mine ♪ ♪ i love you more than i did when you were mine ♪
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>> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and >> you're watching pbs.
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the following kqed production was produced in high definition. and their buns are something i have yet to find anywhere else. >> i'm not inviting you to my house for dinner. >> breaded and fried and gooey and lovely. >> in the words of arnold schwarzenegger, i'll be back. >> they knew i had to ward off some


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