Touring is the Name of the Game - Lower Dens' Face Time Interview
Posted: 05/31/2012 01:35 pm
About the Band:
It’s no secret to anyone likely to be reading this that touring, more than ever in today’s music business, is the name of the game. In a world of, as they say, “decreased revenue streams”, being out there playing live for weeks, months on end is pure and simple, how the bills are paid. Indie bands know that. And indie bands who catch blog buzz, as Baltimore’s Lower Dens did in 2010 with their debut Twin-Hand Movement, tend to get offer after offer to stay out on the road. But Lower Dens learned the hard way that pushing it too far can push members out of the band. In the spring of 2011, Will Adams, guitarist and a key creative member, split, saying he’d had enough of the relentless pace of the road. Singer-songwriter Jana Hunter, knowing that an ambitious new album was looming, gradually and fortunately managed to persuade Adams to return.
That’s a good thing, because as you’ll hear in this week’s Face Time, Lower Dens set about making one of the most compelling records of the year in their second release Nootropics. It’s a more synth-oriented effort, with a lot to say about technology and humanity and the way that in the 21st century the implications that one has for the other. Hunter explains how three standout songs, “Alphabet”, “Brains” and “Propagation” serve as a thesis for the record. That latter song is a lush, swooping ode to our need to procreate, and Adams and bassist Geoff Graham talk about the eerie new video for it. Shot in the woods of upstate New York, it’s got the band engaged in some sort of ritual, wearing glowing beekeeper-meets-hazmat suits, and even licking tree bark.
Finally, a cardinal rule for any emerging band, you’d think, ought to be that all members live in the same town. Lower Dens apparently don’t think so. While Adams lives in New York, Hunter just returned to her native Texas, keyboardist Carter Tanton and dummer Nate Nelson call the band’s erstwhile homebase of Baltimore home, and Graham will soon relocate to….Berlin. Go figure. We’re confident they’ll make it work. Nootropics is a hypnotic record. I urge you to check it out, and more immediately, to check out this week’s Face Time conversation, with the excellent Lower Dens.
More episodes can be found here: www.noisevox.org/content/face-time.