By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
DR: Well, we’ve played those kind of spaces before when we opened for Feist. And a long time ago we played with this band Efterklang from Denmark, and that was all churches and sit-down theaters. When we’ve played theaters before, we end up playing a lot of songs that we don’t want to play in clubs because they’re too somber, or too textural, or quiet. So generally, when we have this kind of set-up, it means that we can actually play more delicate stuff. I mean, our sets usually work the same way: Songs bleed into each other, they flow in and out of moods and dynamics. Really, the only difference with this is that we would be able to keep it a lot more mellow at times, because people are sitting in seats and [laughs] are forced to pay attention.
DR: So, I don't know. We've had a few months since we've been off. We've been off for about four or five months now. We haven't really been rehearsing too much, I've been recording a lot. The two songs that I did at Disney were new songs from a side project record that I'm working on right now. LAW: I know you grew up in L.A. When did you move away?
DR: I went to NYU for college, so I moved away when I was 18. I haven’t lived [in Los Angeles] for a while, and I don’t feel a great affinity for most parts of L.A. anymore, except for the parts that I associate with my childhood, which are very particular.
LAW: You don’t feel like you were influenced by the L.A. sound? I spoke with Stephin Merritt yesterday, and he says that the West Coast sound isn’t about vibe, it’s about the low humidity.
DR: That’s absurd, but, sure.LAW: He said xylophones sound different.
DR: That might be true.LAW: How did you end up in Grizzly Bear? Did you have to try out? Ed [Droste] did Horn of Plenty almost as a solo album, right?
DR: Ed did Horn of Plenty as a solo album, but the drummer of Grizzly Bear, Chris Bear, helped him produce it and finish it and add some textures.. Chris Bear and Chris Taylor I've known since we were at music camp. LAW: What kind of music camp?
DR: I don't like to tell people this, but when we were very young we were jazz nerds. When I was young and twelve, thirteen, fourteen in high school, I wasn't really listening to rock music. I just kind of liked modern classical music, and John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman, and stuff like that, and that's kind of how the three of us met. And I met Chris Taylor in college, and he ended up, when we were 18 we lived in the same building, and he happened to be friends with Chris Bear who I met when I was a teenager at this camp. So we've been doing stuff together since we were really young, never particularly successfully between the three of us. I mean, we had recordings that we did in college, weird projects that we had, trying to make, starting to venture slightly into more rock type of music, even if when it was a little bit foreign to me. So I've known them for a long time, but that's how I ended up in Grizzly Bear. After I finished college, I wasn't really doing much of anything, but I was sitting around at home and making recordings. I mean a lot of the songs on Yellow House, about half of the things that ended up on Yellow House were things that I did, kind of just weird demos that I did, at home when I was unemployed after school. Chris Taylor heard a bunch of them and asked me to be in the band, and I went on tour with them and the songs ended up on the record.LAW: Is guitar your primary instrument?
DR: Sort of everything. But, yeah, that's always been the primary thing. And sometimes I get annoyed. I don't like being the guitar player, personally, there. It sort of bugs me for some reason. But its fine, that's fair enough, I can be that.LAW: Okay, I won't refer to you as a guitar player.
DR: Don't ever call me that!LAW: I'll never call you a guitarist.
D: Okay cool.LAW: So is Grizzly Bear working on a new full length?
DR: Not quite yet. I mean, we're working towards that. Ed is sort of having some time off, as it were. But we had really intense Europe touring the last couple years -- actually two years, I guess, of touring, since Yellow House came out, which is a lot of time on the road. So he needed a few months to do something else and be away. And I've been working, just continuing to record. I have a problem being a workaholic right now, so it's hard or me to stop.LAW: For a creative person, I don't necessarily think that's a problem.
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