October 10, 2007

Of Montreal's Bryan Poole Talks Tour, New Album

We sat down with Of Montreal guitarist Bryan Poole to talk about their 2008 album Skeletal Lamping and what kinds of theatrics and/or shenanigans we Baltimorons can expect from their upcoming 10/14 show at Ram's Head Live.

BT: We can't wait to get some pyschedelic indie pop up in this bitch on Sunday. How's the tour been so far?

BP: Great - we're in Buffalo tonight..started touring back in January, so we've done the entire US and Canada once over already, went to Europe a few times, played some festivals, and then now we're starting to do the US again.

Each tour you bring a new type of theatrical production element into the mix - so without giving any big secrets away what can we expect to see on Sunday?

Well, definitely a higher stage production than probably most shows you'll see. I mean, I won't say it's the Flaming Lips because they're the tops, but we're definitely trying our bit. We have a new stage we've built, very Gary Numanesque, and it's pretty freaking awesome (slowly for emphasis). Kevin's brother Dave is gonna be with us too, and he adds more of a theatrical element to the show.

He wasn't the guy in the full-body white leotard eating bananas at the Irving Plaza show was he?

Probably (laughs). Yes.

That guy was awesome. So do you get to pick your own props/costumes?

Yeah, there's no hard set rule, just be kinda freaky. We're influenced by Sly Stone, Prince, Funkadelic, Sun Ra - for me Sun Ra just blows my mind, what they were doing, because I really believed they were from Saturn. It's kinda glammy.

What would you like to see the Bmore folks wear to the show for a total freakout?

They could do whatever they want, we'd like to make it a party but it doesn't need to be like Halloween. If you feel like dressing up, do it. If you want to wear some glitter, that's OK. If you wanna wear overalls, that's fine too. It's cool to participate and we want the crowd to be into it.

I have a friend coming dressed as Mr. Belvedere.

All right.

We heard Feminine Effects performed on Monday on Minnesota Public Radio and it was a different type of throwback influence than you might expect from the band - instead of 60s pop it's more solitary 70s and piano based...does this reflect the tone of your next album (Skeletal Lamping)?

On the whole, no, but there are some songs ike that. Kevin has a couple of different personas that he can tap into, the main one being Georgie Fruit. Georgie writes all the funky songs. For the songs like Feminine Effects he has another character called Lisp Crispy, and that's probably more of like a Joni Mitchell type of character, a little more subdued and reflective. I love that song and he has a couple more like that.

How close is it to being finished - we heard early 2008 and then October 2008?

Yeah, right now it's tentatively scheduled for October.

The new Radiohead album drops on digital download today. What are your thoughts on bands making music available directly to fans for an open rate?

If we could do it, we'd love to. They're not really an exception, but to be able to just put it up there and say pay whatever, it will be interesting to see if people pay for it. If you're a fourteen year old kid you're just going to download it, you know? And there are going to be fans who order the box set, but that's more few and far between. I'm sure they'll get random amounts of money as well. But yeah, to cut out all the middlemen is a great liberator. We've talked about it before, maybe having online exclusives that we're in control of or have for free on our Web sites and stuff, just not the official record. Because Kevin does have a problem with writing too many songs, and sometimes it's hard figuring out where they should go.

My favorite thing about it was just seeing the real time connection among fans everywhere as we all got it once. Reminds me of being in middle school when everyone goes to the record store at midnight to buy Use Your Illusion.

Yeah, exactly. I haven't downloaded it yet, but our video guy Nick is a monster fan so I'm surprised I haven't heard it blasting already.

Have you ever been visited in a dream by David Bowie?

Yeah! We're fans of Flight of the Conchords and we just saw the David Bowie episode. Plus we had just watched Labryinth on the last tour. Dan, our sound man, it's his favorite movie of all time and he knows all the songs. It's kind of fraggle rockish.

Do you dig Dan Deacon or any other Bmore artists?

Yeah we saw him in Minneapolis, he was great...really amazing how we was able to set up on the floor and captivate the crowd. Had everyone parting like the red sea at one point to form this huge circle and the whole room was packed with people...his stuff is all over the place. No separation between the band and the stage - in dramatic terms you might call it breaking down the fourth wall or something.

Thanks for making time with us while you're on tour. See you Sunday.

A quick look at Of Montreal over the last few years:

2004 - Spike The Senses (from Satanic Panic in the Attic)
2005 - So Begins Our Alabee (from Sunlandic Twins)
2006 - Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider (Daytrotter session from upcoming Hissing Fauna)
2007 - Suffer For Fashion (from Hissing Fauna, You The Destroyer?)
2008? - Feminine Effects (new song, live on MPR 10/3/07)

Stream their most recent album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Detroyer? here and then buy it here. Buy tickets for the Sunday 10/14 show at Ram's Head Live here.

If you still don't understand why this band is awesome, you need more awesome lessons.


Dr. Johnny Fever said...

I can't wait for awesome Sunday and Mr. Belvedere

Z said...

I was going to wear glitter and overalls, but now that everyone else is going to...f it.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I may go dressed as a Fraggle.