Q+A: Grizzly Bear

June 08, 2007

Grizzly Bear begin their tour with the enchanting Feist tonight in Massachusetts, so this seems as good a time as any to put up our interview from a couple weeks ago at Sasquatch with the Grizz's Chris Taylor wherein he talks about said tour, future touring, new music and cool stuff like that. Check that and the full Feist-supporting dates after the jump.

Are you going on tour again soon?

Yeah, we’ve been kind of touring, we did a United States tour ourselves after the TV tour--by ourselves with the Dirty Projectors and the Paper Cuts supporting us. That was really fun, that was a really fun tour. The whole thing was mostly sold out. That felt really good. I think consequently because of that type of tour maybe we got to do a lot of these type of festivals now. We are continuing the natural progression of things, we’re going on tour supporting Feist in a couple weeks around the US, and then another festival, Roskilde out in Denmark and then Barcelona ATP which is this weekend coming up, we’re doing that and then we’re fucking done. There is some little spot stuff in New York but we need to work on our record. We’ve just been touring straight forever, since before Yellow House came out, supporting the Horn of Plenty release which was a really modest small, small tour.

So after this are you working on a new album or an EP?

Actually yeah, an EP and then an album. The EP is going to include some random b-sideish tracks that we are kind of releasing as part of compilations and things like that. So things we’ve done after Yellow House and some live renditions of some of the songs from the album which are really different from the album itself, its gonna be like 6 songs and include two or three of our videos, that should be out in maybe September, and then the album we are just working on now until its fucking done, and we don’t know when that’s going to be.

Have you guys been writing while on tour then?

Yeah, in our own ways. Dan writes a lot on the guitar, I am kind of more—I produce and record so I am kind of writing--overall the shape of the pile of whatever we’re making, whatever it’s going to be. I am just kind of outlining how we’re going to go about the whole thing. But it’s coming together in a pre-production sort of way.

Can you think of anything you have been listening to that is influencing the sound of it?

I know things that are really turning me on lately. I’ve been listening to so much Prince. Like 1999, I’ve just been—oh man—heavily digesting that record. Some newer stuff is really amazing like Beach House and Deerhunter, some really amazing bands. I just finished recording and producing the Dirty Projectors record. That also is amazing, they are a very inspiring band to me—to all of us I think. There is some newer stuff that is excitingly inspiring, its not often that a lot of new stuff is—it feels really deep. That is fun. Justin Timberlake, this band called Moby Grape I have been getting into lately, this live Neil Young solo record that was just released—Live at Massey Hall. All over the place.

Do you record in New York? Where are you recording?

My stuff is all mobile, so we’re going to be recording in a number of places. Tentative plans are that there is a house out in Colorado that I think we’re going to use for a month. There is a place up in Cape Cod which is where all the photos and stuff were taken for Yellow House, and a lot of the music for Yellow House was worked out, I think we’re going to do some more work there again. I’m thinking about moving to Paris for a little bit to kind of get some different locational levels, I think. I think that is the main theme I have been feeling, just kind of changing routine is where I am at in my life right now. To change routine to make something as good as it can be. Like a personal sort of goal and turn that into an album goal, I think it will turn out better that way.

Where did you record Yellow House?

Up in Boston at Ed [Droste]’s house that he grew up at. His mom left town for a month and so we had the house and recorded there for a month and then came back to Brooklyn and did a lot of the overdub and tying everything together. Everything was a wreck when we left, but a lot of shit was tracked and we had to make sense of it, it was still real unfocused and—but it was fruitful, just unfocused and we got a lot of shit down. I think that is the idea—the best thing in doing a good album—it’s good to flush for awhile and just get really heavy into just like putting every idea you have and just going crazy like that—you can with Protools—you can just go nuts. And then you gotta take a break from it for awhile and then work on it more and kind of focus things and cut out the fat and get the vision a little more focused. The more time to a certain degree that you can—you know when it is starting to feel over-labored, when it’s starting to feel like “I’m done, this is as good as it’s going to get.” But yeah, so multiple places I guess.

I asked that because I was thinking about the song “Colorado”, that really felt like Colorado to me when I heard it. I just didn’t think it would be possible to record a song like that in the city.

Actually most all of that was recorded in the city at my house. That was all in my living room. Yeah, I dunno… I think we are very into creating an atmosphere and that is kind of a big part of my job in the band, just making things have atmosphere. If it doesn’t have an atmosphere it just feels cold and sterile and just like a song…it doesn’t really—it’s not very penetrating. I’m glad that came across. It’s one of our favorite songs. It’s one of the last things we did. I think that’s why we put it last. It was when we finally all figured out how to work together, and make something just from the ground up come together really naturally. It felt like an accomplishment on an interpersonal level of the band like, “wow cool we do get along,” because we fight a lot. We used to fight a whole lot more, now we don’t fight so much. But Yellow House was just tons of fighting. I think every band goes through that. There has gotta be that tension but we love each other a lot.

Calvin Theater (supporting FEIST) Northampton, Massachusetts

Berklee Performance Center (supporting FEIST) Boston, Massachusetts

9:30 Club (supporting FEIST) Washington DC, Washington DC

Carolina Theater (supporting FEIST) Greensboro, North Carolina

Variety Playhouse (supporting FEIST) atlanta, Georgia

The Vic Theater (Supporting FEIST) Chicago, Illinois

Pantages Theater (supporting FEIST) Minneapolis, Minnesota

Boulder Theater (supporting FEIST) Boulder, Colorado

Moore Theater (supporting FEIST) Seattle, Washington

TBA (supporting FEIST) Portland, Oregon

The Fillmore (supporting FEIST) San Francisco, California

The Fillmore (supporting FEIST) San Francisco, California

The Wiltern (supporting FEIST) Los Angeles, California

Posted: June 08, 2007
Q+A: Grizzly Bear