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: I don't think it is a problem. But yeah, we should be starting, so once what I'm doing is finished I guess we'll be starting on something new, probably this summer, I hope.LAW: Tell me about this other project.
DR: It's something I've been doing actually since before Grizzly Bear. It's this weird -- it was kind of a joke to begin with ... but I had this band called Department of Eagles when I was younger. We've been sort of trying to put another record together for a really long time and we finally have the chance to do it. And Chris is recording it, and it's sort of this nice melding of the worlds of Grizzly Bear and just my own separate area. It's a space for me to do slightly stranger things and slightly poppier things and work with a different songwriter that works very differently than anyone in Grizzly Bear. So that's potentially what we're doing, but I don't know where that's going, and I don't know exactly when that will be out or if it's even -- I don't even know. But I think its going to be good. And its a nice segue into the next Grizzly Bear record for me.
LAW: With Yellow House, did you have thematic conversations before you started writing and recording How did that work? Or was it more that you'd written some song and Ed had written some songs?
DR: Yellow House was kind of like that. Yellow House is a hodgepodge of things that Ed had done by himself, some of them years old and some of them recent, and then things that I had done on my own, that ended up on it just because we needed material, and then a few songs that we had fleshed out on the road -- like "Knife" pretty much everyone did together. We're sort of talking about how [to work] with different arrangers or work with people that can maybe help us flesh things out even larger, maybe work on the choral parts.LAW: Like Van Dyke Parks maybe?
DR: [Laughs]. I don't think he'd want do it, but I mean ... sure. I don't think it would be someone like that, it wouldn't be him for sure, but someone along those lines, probably younger. That would be amazing for me. The thing is, I don't really know any young equivalent of him. I wish there was some equivalent of Van Dyke Parks, or Andrew Loog Oldham ... [But] there's no equivalent of that anymore thats a bit younger. They're all aging and don't care anymore.LAW: Yeah, that's true. Beck uses his father, David Campbell.
DR: That's true. Well, that would be good. I like what he did. I guess that's because studio production has taken the place of that sort of personality. Arrangement doesn't really -- there aren't really producers that arrange anymore, you know, there's no one like George Martin anymore that “produces records and string arrangements.” No one does that anymore. Record companies don't handle those sort of studio techniques or protocols anymore. It's totally different. I would like it if we found somebody like that, because I try to do that myself but I can only get so far because i just don't have any training really. But you know, it's all exciting. basically trying to do two records in one year.
LAW: Is this a full time gig for you now? Do you have to work a day job?DR: It is now.LAW: Wow, congratulations, that's a big step.
DR: Yeah, it's been great. Ever since last February -- basically a year now. Its been amazing. It's weird, because when we get back from tour, all of a sudden you're just home and there's nothing to do, and I guess that's why you're working again because I don't ever want to feel like I'm unemployed and sitting around. It's terrifying. So I immediately just start recording again, because I don't -LAW: Yeah, that darkness starts to creep in.
DR: Yeah, it's pretty amazing. I'm just trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
LAW: Its an interesting time to be trying to make a mark in the music world, because the speed of information has really changed things. It's helped a lot of bands, but its also damaged a lot of really promising bands that end up being kind of 'flavor of the month.' It's like people develop this crush on a band, bloggers do, or whoever, and obsesses about them for three or four months. You can't turn on your computer without reading about them. It happened to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Deerhunter. Then there's this huge backlash, and then the crush is over and they move on to their next crush. I wonder if you guys think about that, worry about that, and how you combat that.
DR: I mean, yeah, I do -- we worry about that a certain degree.
LAW: It doesn't have anything to do with the music either, that's the thing.
DR: No, well, it doesn't. I mean, it's too bad, because the problem with blog hype is that it sort of makes everyone -- well it's not just blog hype. It's not really anything new, but I think blog hype is the newest version of this -- just making pop bands more disposable. I mean, pop bands have always been disposable to a certain degree. Almost any pop band only has a shelf life of a couple years. That's just the way it is, I've always thought. I feel like that was always true in the 50's and 60's until people like the Beatles came along and sort of changed the way people think about it.