GrandLife: What brought you guys to town?
Nathan Willett: We’re in town playing a festival, Catalpa I think it was called.
Matt Maust: I don’t know how to pronounce it, Cat – Alpa? Cutalpa?
NW: We’re in the middle of recording, so it was really nice to get out of the studio
GL: It sounded like a seriously fun festival, (The Black Keys headlined, along with some other big names) so while you’re here, can you tell us about your New York?
NW: My brother lives in Brooklyn, he cuts hair out there – I hadn’t seen him or his girlfriend for a while, got to see him for a few days wich was great.
MM: A lot of our friends have ended up moving out here in the last few years, so it’s great whenever we get the chance to visit them.
GL: While you’re in town visiting friends/family, do you have any places that you love to hit up? Food or museum wise?
MM: I love to hop around restaurants, that’s my favorite thing. The more you can try the better.
NW: This place we went to last night was reaaaly good, Bread in Nolita. We also hit up the MoMa – that was rad.
GL: What’d you guys dig at MoMa?
NW: The Boetti Exhibit is really great, highly recommended.
GL: You’ve used a lot of literature as inspiration it seems, especially David Foster Wallace (They’d written a poem dedicated to the late author following his death, and have listed him as a huge influence on “Loyalty to Loyalty”, their second album)
NW: Man I’ve loved everything that guy has written, yeah he was a huge influence. Infinite Jest especially.
MM: A Supposedly Fun thing I’ll never do again was my book for a while, all the way through making that album actually.
GL: And what about Bukowski?
NW: Big fan of Bukowski as well, He’s from San Pedro where our studio is, so maybe that’s why I seem to incorporate him a lot.
GL: What’s influencing the next album?
NW: I don’t really know, to be honest. I think I used to try to draw direct correlation between thoughts and ideas to final products, but I think that so many things go into the creation of an album, that when you’re in the middle of it it’s tough to accurately assess a theme that unifies the idea.
GL: Has it been a challenge adapting to a new guitarist?
NW: It’s actually been a really great experience with Dann [Galluci] joining the band, he’s producing, engineering, and mixing the record. For so many reasons it’s a positive experience, doing it in our own space alone is such a new feeling that we love. A lot of new things are going into this one – it’s definitely the record that we feel the most ownership over, and Dan has been a good addition to that energy.
GL: Ownership, how so?
NW: He’s our age, he speaks our language, so it’s much more direct communication.
GL: So we understand the album will be out on Downtown Records, how’s your relationship with them, and the recording industry on the whole?
NW: really great man, they’ve always been good to us.
GL: Within the industry model, and as creators of content, how do you guys feel about the deterioration of radio and the rise of music sharing, be it illegal or legal?
NW: At this point, so much of our revenue comes from touring, and in many ways I think we were born into this world. I think that if we had been a band a few years earlier our reaction would be radically different. It’s more like a problem that you kind of have to accept than something to be really angry about. The sooner you accept that you’re not gonna make any money from your records, the better.
GL: Speaking of records, what’s the timeline looking like on this next album, and do you have a name yet?
NW: No name yet, but we should be done by the end of August.
GL: Now is that like a “Yeah yeah, the album’s gonna be done in a month” but really six months?
NW: Haha! Nah, we’re pretty on top of it – a month means a month.
And with that, we shook hands before they rode off to catch a flight back to the West coast – but we did have the knowledge that they would be returning soon (Matt has a gallery exhibition coming up in a couple weeks in Chelsea, we suggest you check it out)