Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 4:30PM by Lonny Knapp
Luckily for their fans in Toronto, NXNE was an enticing enough opportunity to draw the band out in the open.
"We write music and play live when it sounds like fun to do it. We only do things out of genuine enthusiasm, and people who like our band appreciate that," Harrington tells Spinner.
In September the band will emerge from the mist to release their fifth studio album, 'Root for Ruin.' They set out to capture the sound of five guys sweating it out in a rehearsal space, and found inspiration for their newest batch of tunes in the stripped-down recordings of the 1990s.
"The '90s were not groovy, and there's nothing 'dance-y' about this record," he explains. "Not that we recorded it in an anachronistic way, but the songs aren't a product of the digital tools that are available now, and as a result there is a tightness and direct intensity. The songs are palatable, but there is none of that disco sensibility."
Unlike 2007's 'Let's Stay Friends,' which featured guest turns by the likes of Emily Haines (Metric), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, Black Heart Procession) and Eleanor Friedberger (Fiery Furnaces), these recording sessions were a members-only affair.
"When we were recording 'Let's Stay Friends' we had this idea to expand and diffuse the band, and we constantly had friends dropping in," he says. "On this one there are no guests at all. It's all us. "
Considered among the godfathers of indie rock, Les Savy Fav are by no means prolific. The Brooklyn-based art-punks have been tearing up the stage for 15 years, but in the last decade have released only two albums. The band's leisurely approach to recording and touring allows its members to follow outside interests -- when not taking his clothes off on stage, Tim Harrington stars in a whacky web series entitled 'Beardo' for Pitchfork.com, while bassist and co-founder Syd Butler releases music for the likes of the Hold Steady, Local Natives and Tangiers on his successful Frenchkiss Records imprint. But rather than hindering the band, Les Savy Fav's low output has created an aura of mystique.
The group's genuine lack of interest in commercial success might even be the key to its longevity -- while many bands of their vintage have caved under the pressure of high expectations and relentless obligations, after 15 years Les Savy Fav is all about having fun.
"If we put out this record and everyone despises it and only five people come see us play, we have nothing to lose. We'll play to nobody, so to us five people sounds good," Harrington says. "It has always revolved around the social aspect of being a band, rather than the scale of the operation. We knew from the start that being in a band was never going to yield anything but some sweet parties."