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- Posted on Jun 15th 2011 11:45PM by Gregory Adams
Courtesy of Crocodiles
Though still supporting last year's sophomore set 'Sleep Forever,' a daring collection that refined their often romantic soundscapes, Crocodiles are already planning their next platter. To be recorded in the fall, the LP will also be the first to feature the pair's live band -- bassist Marco Gonzalez, drummer Anna Schulte and keyboardist Robin Eisenberg. Caught on his cell phone while shooting hoops at home, six-stringer Rowell dished to Spinner on the group's new tunes, sports and what the outfit does once they're settled in their hotel room post-show.
How are you doing?
I'm doing well. We're on a bit of a break, so I've been playing a lot of basketball. I've played soccer and basketball most of my life, up until Crocodiles started, or even during the Plot because we toured a lot. I haven't followed basketball in a long time, but I do follow English football. Just a few weeks ago I was thinking I really need to play [basketball].
Do you get to do that with Brandon? How sporty is he?
He and I play soccer on the road. We always have a soccer ball around.
Considering the release schedule of your last few records, it looks like you're on pace to put out an album a year. Where are you at with new material?
We don't have anything set for release yet, but we are recording our new album in September. We won't have an album out this year, but maybe by the beginning of next year.
You've been touring with a full band. Will they be involved in the recording?
It'll be the whole band this time. It's still Brandon and I writing all the songs. We got to this point where [the band] is comprised of friends. We're pretty much a family. We're playing really well, so we just thought, "Why don't we just do this next record with them?" It'll be cool to capture this kind of energy and tightness on record. We've been writing quite a bit, maybe 15-16 songs. It's definitely going to be different. As far as the songs, they're a lot more fun.
There's going to be more of them and they're going to be shorter.
How has this batch of songs been coming along? Anything different this time around?
Brandon and I met each other when we were 16-17 and we started writing songs straight away. At the time, we weren't attached to any scene; we were just two kids writing songs. We've rediscovered the freedom and fun that we had, writing songs with a doo wop structure, or girl group instrumentation or anything. We're feeling a lot of freedom writing songs, not necessarily that we hadn't in the past. But, you know, we had the first record and it did very well for us -- we got a lot of praise and criticism over it -- and the second record had a really great producer [James Ford], but there was a lot of pressure. With this one, it's going to be the most refined and honest depiction of us. I'm listening to the things that we're doing right now and I'm really happy.
Considering you've worked with Brandon on a number of bands and projects for over a decade, how has your relationship evolved since you met?
I think we're closer, stronger and even more supportive now than we've ever been. Like I said about feeling comfortable and having more freedom, we're just relishing the fact that we have each other to bounce ideas off of and create stuff. There's never any tension or friction. You spend your late teens and all of your twenties together -- there isn't a single thing that we haven't seen or done together. We spend almost the entire year together, mainly on the road. We're best friends. When we get together, we really enjoy just talking about music and getting ideas out. There's going to be a lot of fun experimentalism with the record. It's going to be almost like an early Roxy Music record, like how they had one foot in the future and one foot in the past.
Do you have time for anything other than Crocodiles right now? You've written prose in the past, is there any time to concentrate on that these days?
Brandon, our bass player Marco and I released a book of poetry ['Machine Gun Brothers'] that was available on a tour with the Fresh and Onlys. We haven't sold it online yet. Brandon and I, we've gotten really tapped into our literary sides; just writing poetry and doing a lot of reading and writing together. If we were doing anything besides basketball [laughs], it'd probably be that. We're reading books every week, swapping books, writing stories. On tour, the three of us share a hotel room every night and more often than not we're excited to get back to the hotel so we can read each other stories and poems that we've written. It's been a good year.
Crocodiles play the Silver Dollar Room on Thursday, June 16 @ 12AM & Friday, June 17 @ 12AM & Saturday, June 18 @ 1AM.