Wonky-ass Pop with more imagination than a room full of Grammy Award winners – Deerhoof dropped another gem with this year’s Break Up Song. We managed to catch a moment with main man Greg Saunier for some fast and loose interview action – check it:
Bowlegs: Break Up Song – Is this Deerhoof’s Blood on the Tracks?
Greg: Are you kidding? This is Deerhoof’s Breakup Song. We’re trying to reinvent the genre for the good of mankind. Dylan tributes to follow at a later time.
Bowlegs: This is one of my favourite Deerhoof records – where are you ranking it right now?
Greg: Like, which is my favorite child? Breakup Song. And since it came out, this is the one people want to hear us play.
Bowlegs: There seems to be a balance of the experimental, and maybe more challenging, moments with the more melodic cuts (talking about Flower or Fete D’Adieu for example). Is this something you are consciously aware of?
Greg: I’m conscious of what I’m doing but I don’t divide music the way you do. I write songs to give you energy and make you dance and sing and feel strong. I keep working on the song till it works.
Bowlegs: I’ve always loved Deerhoof song titles – is Bad Kids to the Front about your disciplinary issues? If so what is The Trouble with Candyhands about?
Greg: Yes, both of those songs are addressed to bad boys and bad girls, from bad boys and bad girls.
Bowlegs: There’s a distinct Cuban flavour on this record – where did that come from? And some of those beats are seriously funky, Zero Seconds Pause is great!
Greg: Once when I had a breakup I felt a lot better when I listened to the mambos of Perez Prado And His Orchestra. So when we started Breakup Song I studied his music day and night. I’m glad you like the drum beats. A lot of them are in a new style because I was recording them through the built-in microphone on my laptop. I couldn’t play too loud because it would overload the mic.
Bowlegs: In terms of arrangement none of these songs sound the same – banding between guitars to manic electronics and back again. How do they take shape – where do you start?
Greg: There’s no pattern. Sometimes one of us records the whole song in a couple of hours and other times all of us chip in and it takes months. We’re a DIY band who records at home so there’s no break between early demos and finished songs on the record.
Bowlegs: Do you ever feel pressure to remain in a Deerhoof mould or is it as fun as it ever was?
Greg: The Deerhoof mould IS fun. I feel pressure to be fun.
Bowlegs: You told us not to expect any “Grammy baiting Sob Stories “ – where do you stand on music awards? Would you accept a Grammy if you were awarded one?
Greg: I’ll go if I can sit next to Rihanna.
Bowlegs: I love the track Flower – when you’ve got such a great groove going aren’t you ever tempted to keep it rolling? For a band who are so unique and original you have clearly agreed to stick to the pop format in terms of song length?
Greg: If you want to keep the groove rolling you listen to the whole record. We said to ourselves “no ballads this time.”
Bowlegs: What bands currently doing the rounds do you feel are offering something fresh and new? Do you pick out support bands on this basis?
Greg: Playing in a band is already fresh by definition. We pick support bands on how cute they are.
Bowlegs: Having recorded 11 albums together are you still as close – do you hang out much between recording? Am guessing your lives have all changed fairly dramatically since it all started?
Greg: Sure we hang out between recording. We go on tour. 24 hours a day in a minivan for weeks at a time. We’re better friends now than we ever were.
Bowlegs: What is the plan for the rest of 2012 – and can we expect another dose of Deerhoof soon? ‘
Greg: Comin’ to the UK!