INTERVIEW: Band of Horses talk their Gold-medal fans and the death of the internet
by Sam Sutherland
September 20, 2012
The rise of Band of Horses has been as natural as it has been deserved. Beginning with 2006’s Everything All the Time on venerable indie Sub Pop, the band has moved steadily from an underground curiosity into a major label rock institution, succeeding in holding onto the gritty charm of their earliest recordings while making the dangerous leap into a much bigger music industry pond. With Mirage Rock, their latest for Columbia Records (released September 17), the band, led by Ben Bridwell, has succeeded in further developing their mix of loose, catchy rock ‘n’ roll, vacillating between anthemic to downtrodden in an effortless fashion. Aided by legendary producer Glyn Johns (The Who, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and a million more), the band sounds as in-tune with themselves and their own strengths as they ever have.
We sat down with Bridwell and bassist Bill Reynolds in Toronto’s Dakota Tavern to talk excitedly about the band’s future and to do Glyn Johns impressions.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mary Whipple, coxswain for the U.S. women’s rowing team, revealed herself as a major Band of Horses fan during her team’s triumphant victory at the recent London Games. The band took to Twitter to congratulate her, offering “congrats to @9thseat Mary Whipple, US rowing gold medal winner and @bandofhorses fan!!” Apparently fellow Olympian, American cyclist Taylor Phinney, is also a fan.
The Death of the Internet
Naturally, all this discussion of Twitter and televised sports led to a conversation about the role of technology in the world of Band of Horses. Turns out they are a little behind the curve. Then, we ponder the death of the internet.
The Gospel According to Glyn Johns
Unavoidably, we eventually settle into Glyn Johns stories, starting with the nuances of mixing directly to tape and moving onto the specifics of his production style and his method of making bands comfortable when his own legend looms so large.
More Glyn Johns
We just can’t stop. Talking bros and classic rock legends, plus the diner near the studio the band worked out of that seemed to only have Glyn Johns songs on the radio.
Writing on the Road
The first Band of Horses records were written in their practice space in a garage. But now with familial obligations and an endless touring cycle, the band’s writing style has had to adapt, from quiet spaces to the blandness of hotel rooms. “We’ll never have another ‘The Funeral’ again,” joked Ben Bridwell, “Because we only write in hotel rooms now.”