Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Jun 7th 2010 12:00PM by Laura Lanktree
This night it houses Broken Bells, the outfit led by James Mercer of the Shins and Danger Mouse (Brian Burton) who has enjoyed success with Gnarls Barkley and Gorillaz.
"Everybody's gonna be sitting down and it's gonna be insanely tense for me," Burton tells Spinner.
Despite being a multi-talented musician, Burton is not comfortable onstage. He's been spending most of the tour with his head down behind the drum kit and only moves stage front to hunch over a keyboard or strum a guitar while facing away from the crowd.
"I turn my back because I'm into it, and if I look at a bunch of people looking at me I'm not gonna be into it."
"When it's a good show, sometimes it can be fun and you even want keep playing," he admits. "I'm just not a performer. That's not how I ever thought of myself."
Mercer, on the other hand, seems to have accepted his 'indie icon' status, not that it was an easy task. "I enjoy it now, but it was a long road of getting used to it," says the calm and quiet frontman.
He and Burton both came into music the same way -- cutting tracks alone in their bedrooms. As Burton notes, they never saw themselves as entertainers, but rather as musicians, and only once they happened upon success was it time to leave their insular worlds and hit the stage.
"Going back even to the '80s, in order to get out there working [as a musician] and playing live, you had to be a certain personality type that really wanted to perform and be in front of people," Mercer remarks. "Now you can inadvertently become a performer, but it's simply because you want to write and record songs. And if they do well then people are like, 'OK, put a band together and play.'"
Judging by the crowd's reaction as the two take the stage later in the night, it's a good thing they decided to open their bedroom doors. Seconds into the first track everyone abandons the theatre's cozy seats and rushes the stage, arms in the air. Burton must be relieved.
"It's something that you can have a real short memory about. You forget [why you're there] every night, but then two songs in you realize, 'this is good, this is fun,' he says.
As the evening progresses his head stays down, his back turned, and even cries of 'I love you Danger Mouse' garner no reaction. But judging by the sounds coming from the stage, he's into it.