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He mentions other reasons why only these two made the cut, but for the most part, it's because both of those albums were collaborations, Martsch splitting the songwriting and singing chores with other musicians he respected. He can't include his own records because he's too modest to do so and too much of a perfectionist to admit that they're any good. Martsch still sees himself as a normal guy, Karena's husband and Ben's father, maybe even the high-school kid in the crowd at Boise's only real rock club, definitely not the kind of musician on whom writers heap praise, who fans line up to see, and who other musicians aim to emulate.

"That's what really turned me on to music, was people making music, regular people," Martsch says. "You didn't have to be a good musician. You didn't have to have a record label. You did it yourself. That totally appealed to me, and that's the only reason I ever started making music. I saw from other people that you could. It's flattering to me that people think of us that way.

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Zac Crain

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