I just discovered the “Drinks With:” series from americansongwriter.com today while searching for Julian Casablancas interviews for TheStrokesNews.com.
The interview with Casablancas was stupendous, as too were the interviews with Arctic Monkeys and Phoenix, a French band who has exploded in the States since debuting on Saturday Night Live in 2009.
So, for this ‘my favorite things’ segment, I’m simply going to post a link right here to the interview and then an excerpt to demonstrate why I enjoy it so much.
I saw an acoustic performance that you all did recently where you played with two acoustic guitars and a keyboard. I believe that you mentioned that particular setup being the way you all write songs, properly as a band. Is that true for the most part? Do you typically write songs with a more stripped down instrumentation and then take it into a studio, to fill out the rest?
CM: Yeah. We use very cheap keyboards and acoustic guitars and tape recorders—a Dictaphone. We record for hours and hours.
TM: It is always with cheap instruments—very, very cheap, like 20 dollars—or something rare and expensive. No in-between (smiles). I guess it helps us, you know, with the keyboards. If you try something different and it breaks—it doesn’t matter because it’s not valuable. So you have this freedom to use them the wrong way.
LB: When they are really cheap, they breathe, you know? They have this hum. You know the children’s samplers? We use them a lot. They almost sound like a very expensive Mellotron. We also have very good synthesizers, and they breathe too.
DD: We like everything that alters or filters your original idea. That’s why we work with very cheap equipment. We also work with cheap recorders when we compose. [Even though] it’s not supposed to sound like this on the record, it kind of fantasizes everything. So when you listen back to it, it gives you a very new vision of what you did.
This post was written by Eric Van Dril. For more of his writing, visit his Twitter.