Roadrunner Records - Slipknot's hard-hitting, aggressive metal anthems are getting…
- Posted on Apr 10th 2009 4:30PM by Adam Horne
You collaborated with Nicole Atkins, Mates of State and Jon Wurster of Superchunk on the new album. How did you find those experiences?
It was very easy and comfortable. They are all friends of mine and they all have very good musical instincts that I trust. It felt a little like cheating -- like bringing in a ringer. It's very important to me that I be friends with the people I work with.
Which of the new songs do you most favor?
'The Heartbreak Rides' wins as my favorite. I like the way it builds and I like the way the counter melodies come. I like the way the flutes, ebows and organ work together. It's a very short story about my fascination with I-5 when I was younger -- the mythology of hitting the road.
Do current events, like the election of President Obama or the recession, affect your songwriting or the way you perceive your role as a songwriter?
When I look at what is happening with the economy, I have to remind myself how lucky I am -- what a privilege it is to be able to make my living as a musician. That theme has snuck into my songs for the last few years, a certain "There, but for the grace of God, go I" feeling. Having Obama in office definitely makes things more hopeful, knowing that he is actually trying to make things better. I think there has always been a thread of hope fighting the hopelessness in my songs. The voices in my songs have always been slightly poor, directionless and displaced, so there is no reason why that would change right now. Things are as frightening as ever.
What inspires you to write?
I am always driven to write. It is the will to be better. Sometimes it is a lot of hard work, but it's my job. I've said it a million times: It's my job. I want to be good at my job. There is a lot of amazing music out there to inspire a person right now. For me, the creative process has a snowball effect. It is hard to get going sometimes but when you do get going, you get a lot of momentum. That is my favorite part of making music -- when the songs really start to come together. When you start thinking, "I may have something here."
Describe an A.C. Newman tour versus a New Pornographers tour.
The solo tour is a group of people that I put together, and they don't necessarily know each other. The tour is a process of people getting to know each other, and that makes it a little more fun. It's fun touring with the New Pornographers as well, but we already know each others jokes by heart. The solo tour is also a little more grassroots than the NP tours. I play clubs instead of theaters, and club shows are always a lot of fun. Possibly because there are more drunk people. It's an apples and oranges thing.
Whose musical career would you wish to emulate?
Anyone who has had a long career is the person to emulate. In the world of indie rock, I look at Flaming Lips and Yo La Tengo as models for artists who want to have a long career. They have been doing it for twenty-some years, and they are as good as they have ever been. That is inspirational.