Alex Chilton of Big Star, who has died at the age of 59 in New Orleans, La. after…
- Posted on Nov 6th 2010 1:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
For their latest, 'Blood/Candy,' the duo returned to a more conventional -- for them, anyway -- way of writing. Auer and Stringfellow worked separately on songs, and in the week leading up to their 10-day recording stint in Barcelona earlier this year, they got together and adapted the material for a four-piece band.
"It's a different kind of collaboration," Stringfellow tells Spinner. "We still have to brainstorm how to turn those ideas into a complete, realized piece of music with everybody playing and what kind of direction it can take from that point. It's not as different as you think, in a weird way. Someone has to lead the charge, even when we're writing together."
"The last time, [on 'Every Kind of Light'], there was this strange something we'd never done, which is we'd jam out and record these pieces of music and then later try to figure out what words go with the music," he adds. "We'd never done anything like that before. This time words and music came together, but still, we rely on each other for many things, and making that a reality. In some cases, there were sort of incomplete parts in those demos, or whatever you to call it, that we needed to work through."
Auer agrees that the Posies remain very much a collaborative band, even if he lives in Seattle and Stringfellow makes his home in Paris. The musicians first got together in the late '80s, and although they've had their troubles -- the group split up for a spell in the late '90s -- they've decided their songwriting chemistry is worth preserving.
"Our relationship is a collaboration," Auer says. "We've been together so long. We collaborate on many different levels: business, music, personal. We've been there and not been there for each other a lot through the years. So many things have happened to us, and we've gone through so many things as a result of this relationship that it's almost the ultimate collaboration right there."
Although the duo mostly wrote separately, Auer says 'Blood/Candy' is a more cohesive album than its predecessor. It also finds the power poppers and longtime Big Star members making some of the most experimental music of their career, coloring their usual hooky guitar tunes with synth flourishes and other "buzzes and electronic bells and whistles," as Auer puts it in the press notes.
"'Every Kind of Light,' to me, I kind of feel like it's a grab bag, looking in hindsight," Auer says. "I think I was the one, if I take credit for it, I was pretty adamant we don't make a record like that again. We don't go into a studio and go in and do it because we have to. I wanted it to feel less rushed and more necessary. I thought we deserved more, I guess. The last time, it was all the time we had. It was either don't' make a record or make a record. It seemed like a better choice to make a record. I'm still really fond of parts of it, but I don't think as a record it hold up like the new one. This new one feels like a solid piece of work, and something with a thread running through it."