What sort of dedicated tipplers venture out on one of the coldest nights in New York City in recent years for a stiff drink? Retro-rockers the Walkmen, that's who. The quintet are currently preparing to tour in support of ''Bows & Arrows,'' their lushly chaotic sophomore release, but three fifths of the band took time out to brave the subzero temperatures and meet us at the Art Bar in Greenwich Village to discuss the finer points of peewee football...and pet portrai-ture?
Amateur Football Players!
PETER BAUER (bass), Beck's When I was a kid I used to play Pop Warner football, and on a day like this when it was rainy and cold, the coach told all the kids to put their hands down their pants to stay warm.
HAMILTON LEITHAUSER (vocals, guitar), Beck's We used to do that too!
PETER I have a feeling that football had a lot to do with us [discovering masturbation].
WAITRESS What can I get you?
WALTER MARTIN (keyboards) A boilermaker.
WAITRESS I don't believe I know what that is.
WALTER I'll just have a Beck's and a shot of bourbon. I'm going to pour the shot into my beer. The first time I ever had one of these was last Saturday, and it was great.
HAMILTON, Maker's Mark and ginger ale That's so gross, man.
WALTER It's not gross.
HAMILTON It is gross.
WALTER It's, like, everything you want.
PETER, Beck's and Maker's Mark I've had that before. It's disgusting.
HAMILTON I invented a drink. The Gin Hamilton. Gin and warm soda water. Tepid. It sounds good. ''Gin Hamilton.'' It sounds really authentic. The name was made up first and then the drink followed. It's a hell of a drink.
Amateur Rock Critics!
WALTER, Beck's I think Justin Timberlake is pretty cool.
HAMILTON, Maker's Mark and ginger ale I thought he was pretty cool, but then I realized that he was fucking Justin Timberlake. I let it slide for a while, but he's just a cheeseball, you know?
PETER, Beck's I don't like his personality when he's on talk shows. You think that somebody that famous would be a little more interesting, but he's just a dipshit.
HAMILTON He's like Sandra Bullock -- they just slipped through the cracks.
WALTER, Beck's Mention the Cloisters [museum], which has a medieval collection from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I work up there in the visitors' service office. The gang up there will be tickled.
HAMILTON, Maker's Mark and ginger ale, Beck's Who gives a flying fuck? I work at the Metropolitan, he works at the Cloisters. They have a Ren Fair.
WALTER They call it the Medieval Fair.
HAMILTON It's a Ren Fair! There's, like, warlocks and shit!
PETER, Amstel Light I hocked my bass to buy presents this past Christmas. I bought a book for my dad and I took the rest to pay, like, 25 overdue bills.