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- Posted on Jun 17th 2008 5:00PM by Julia Simon
"I'm a better, tighter guitar player because of Handsome Furs," Boeckner tells Spinner of the band he helms with his wife. "The drum machines we use are merciless. If you f--- it up, you're screwed because they have no feeling."
Additionally, his international tour with that band inspired many of the lyrics on 'Zoomer,' especially those alluding to structural deterioration ('Language City,' 'Grey Estates'). "I was traveling through Russia on tour and a lot of the places we passed were completely destroyed," he says. "They're paving the way for this capitalist superstate, and I was obsessed with that. I wrote 'Grey Estates' on a train there, which was originally a short story about an all-night drug party where it's suddenly 8am and there's a lot of coke left. That's when everyone talks about themselves in circles, building a language city."
Unlike the band's debut, on which Boeckner and Krug wrote their own tunes independently, this round found the songwriting super-duo collaborating along the way with their mates. The album's sound was born from late night, BBQ-fueled free-form jam sessions where they just let riffs rip, later recording them in a church owned by the Arcade Fire two hours outside of Montreal. 'Animal in Your Care' best exemplifies the band's new team-oriented ethic.
"That's my favorite song on the album because it was a purely collaborative effort," Boeckner says. "Spencer wrote the first party, Hadji [Bakara] the end, and we all did the middle. And we've worked with each other so much at this point that when we sit down and write, the result is a blend of our respective styles."
It's their epic, flourishing-above-the-din style that saves the band from the dreaded sophomore jinx, which, Boeckner admits, plagued his thoughts initially. "Ultimately we tried to not imagine what the audience would want to hear from the second album," Boeckner says. "When you start to pander to an imaginary audience that exists only in your brain, people smell that from a mile away."