Universal - Volbeat's Michael Poulsen discusses the impact guitarist/producer Rob…
- Posted on Jun 23rd 2010 3:00PM by Mike Ayers
"The only explanation is to be consumed in the morning, medicinally, to stoke the fires before going out to work in rough weather," Thile tells Spinner. "They describe it as a bracing beverage, and a bracer is something very specific in the cocktail world. They typically have some egg and some citrus in addition to the spirit component."
The Punch Brothers don't necessarily come off as strong boozers. On their 2008 debut 'Punch,' the five-piece pushed the boundaries of modern bluegrass, with a record that was born out of a 45-minute, four-part suite entitled 'The Blind Leading the Blind.' In other words, this wasn't anything written under the influence.
But on 'Antifogmatic,' the band continues to experiment with what it means to play "bluegrass." Their sound is still dominated by Thile's mandolin and Noam "Pickles" Pikelny's banjo interplay, but the songs continue to drift away from Nickel Creek's traditional Appalachian influences, blurring the lines between orchestral pop and folk music.
"The record chronicles the shaking and rattling of Christmas presents to figure out what's in them," Thile says of 'Antifogmatic.' "I think that the various antifogmatics that we indulge in over the course of the record, that's what's happening. A layer's being peeled back. You're getting into the inner workings of people. The alcohol is a symbol of that loosening, of that art."
Thile's also blunt about alcohol's known abilities to create rather loose lip situations and says that effect also translates into the characters on 'Antifogmatic.' "There are a lot of characters that are acting out possible scenarios that I imagine me or friends or love interests going through," he says. "Very little of it is strictly biographical. I love to tell stories. You write what you know, of course, but you also embellish what you know, shamelessly."
"I don't think alcohol reveals something that's not there," he adds. "It's just a pretty simple way of getting at things."
In celebrating the album's release, a select run of the first printing includes a curated cocktail guide from Thile's buddies who tend bar at New York's Milk and Honey. "I asked them to design an antifogmatic for us. The cocktail is two ounces of rye, ¾ ounce lemon juice, ¾ ounce honey syrup (with the honey 3: 1 over water), a whole egg, a couple dashes of extra bitter and you top it with champagne. It's unbelievably tasty."
'Antifogmatic' is out now on Nonesuch.