Opening Up With Band Of Horses

With Splendour in the Grass knocking on our door and some massive acts coming over, we’re about to reach peak Splendour-sideshow goodness. One of the major deals that is joining the Splendy sideshow train is Band Of Horses, indie rock goodness from Southern USA that will melt your ears and heart at the same time. Naturally, we were keen to have a chat to see what’s been happening


Vulture Magazine: Are you nervous or excited about this album release?
Band Of Horses: Both. A powerful sense of cautious optimism, but also terror; pure terror that you get when your personal life is about to be shredded apart.


VM: Tell us about the lead-up to this day. How has the experience of this fifth album been?
BOH: It’s been pretty damn good actually. There’s some interesting promotional opportunities that have allowed us to get the word out without completely crushing our spirit or our creative sides for the sake of commercial ability, and that’s kinda nice. I think 10 years in now we kinda know what we’re comfortable with and we have more creative ideas of how we want to do a launch like this, and a deeper sense of gratitude to still be around after a decade.


VM: You sound pretty down to earth. Tell us about the writing process of this album. You’ve said that normally in the past you would try and escape the house and go somewhere to write, but this time you chose to stay at home and live family life at the same time. How was that?
BOH: There was really no other option. I’ve got four kids and my wife. Once the kids go to sleep, I’ve gotta make sure I”m still putting in time with my wife and you can’t spend all your time by yourself, as much as I’d like to during the creative process.
There’s a sense of urgency for sure, but when things were working I wasn’t going to sleep. If it’s working and no one’s calling me, I’ll deal with the consequences tomorrow. So that was a bit dicey at times, but the process became more exciting because every minute counted.


VM: So that’s the personal effect it had on you. Do you feel that environment found it’s way through to your music and the songs you would write?
BOH: Yeah absolutely man. I think everything goes into the soup. How it crept in there? I hear it throughout the whole thing. All these things are balanced in tandem, when it’s a light song that has some humour attached to it with sincere undercurrents running through it, it’s a part of everything.


VM: What did the band think of the different approach to songwriting this time? Did they notice a difference in the songs themselves?
BOH: It was definitely a different process with this one, and my most trusted resource was Jason Lytle who produced the album. I’m sure we were on our own island a couple of times, so I’m sure that was unnerving for the band here and there, but I try to keep an open dialogue and I think I’ve afforded myself the luxury of making a self-centric album as the last two were more collaborative. I think they got that and they were like “as long as you’re happy and want to promote the album and aren’t going to be a stick in the mud about it, then hell, do whatever you’ve gotta do.”


VM: Dream result right there. Can we talk a little about the ‘Casual Party’ video. It’s a pretty whack concept. What’s the message?
BOH: Man, it’s funny. The director was Ben Fee. I was lucky, the first one I read was his. I don’t even think I read the whole thing I just thought this is perfect and hilarious, let’s go there and do that. In the song, it’s a bit of a suburban despair or something, someone kicking and screaming against those doldrums of adult life. I thought it was really interesting that he had us tied down to these things – whether it be another character, a weight bench, a chair – but he wanted us to have this happy face on. I think, he got the song even more than I did. As much as I might be complaining about this empty, idle chatter at a social engagement, there’s still this undercurrent of being very happy that you have the chance to be invited or. There’s the balance of fighting against adulthood and coming to terms.

VM: That’s deep man. You guys are coming to Australia soon. Are you excited?
BOH: Absolutely. Australian audiences are fun as hell. I think as southerners in America we share the love for a good piss-up, so I’m very much looking forward to it.


Band Of Horses fifth studio album Why Are You Ok is out now. Best get your mits on them ASAP.

You can also see them live at their SITG sideshows. See dates below.

Sun 24 July The Forum Theatre, Melbourne VIC
Mon 25 July Sydney Opera House, Sydney NSW
David Andreas


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