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- Posted on Oct 20th 2009 3:00PM by Ken Micallef
"You know that expression 'Everyone's ignoring the elephant in the room?'" Matthew Friedberger asks Spinner. "It was the same with Emmet, the pig. The pig literally ran the timing of the session. He'd get up in the morning and have something to eat, go outside and then settle down by 10AM. That's when we would start the session."
Confused? What happened was the Furnaces recorded at producer Jason Lowenstein's Brooklyn, N.Y. studio, where Emmet, a large black pig, lives in a cage. "Around 4PM Emmet would get upset," Matthew continues. "He could be held off until 5 but then we had to stop the session. So the session was all done on pig time, swine time."
Eleanor also had an Emmet experience that was literally too close for comfort. "I kept a bag of almonds with me in case he tried to attack me," she recalls. "Emmet did bump my shin twice with this snout. He really got me. It hurt. He wanted to let me know he was in charge. You think he's slow but if he wants to get you. he's fast."
"He was humongous and threatening looking," Matthew adds. "Emmet would start yelling and bumping into things and running at us. He doesn't really attack because he is a nice pig, but he is very grumpy. He's a big pig -- he looks like a wild boar. And he's very smart -- as smart as a person, frankly. "
Whether interacting with Matthew, Eleanor, Jason or other mammals, Emmet was in control. Either way, you can bet Fiery Furnaces will be prepared next time.
"The best days were when Jason was dog-sitting," Eleanor says. "Then we'd have Emmet and this beautiful yellow Labrador. They interacted for this dog and pig show. The dog was a little scared but she was free to roam around and taunt Emmet while he was in his cage. When Emmet got out he hit the dog with her snout. I guess that showed her."
'I'm Going Away' is available now, and the group's North American fall tour kicks off Nov. 4 in Hoboken, N.J.