Low-key singer/songwriter with Tapes ’n Tapes, the hottest suburbanite Minneapolis indie rock crew since the Hold Steady, who debut the snazzy tunes from their new Walk It Off (XL) disc, with White Denim opening, at the Opera House Monday (April 14). $17.50. 416-466-0313.
Was your approach to the new record a reaction to what you did wrong on the Loon sessions?
The major difference this time was recording in a much larger room, which lent itself to playing all the songs together as a band. That’s probably why the performances we got down sound more exciting, or at least more like we do onstage every night. We’re also just a lot more confident in the studio after playing together for two solid years since The Loon.
Of all the producers who would’ve done your album for cheap, why Dave Fridmann?
Dave has done a lot of records we’ve all liked, by everyone from the Flaming Lips to Low and Sleater-Kinney, so we have enormous respect for the work he’s done. But the key thing for me is that each artist he’s worked with has maintained their own sound – they didn’t become some Fridmannesque version of themselves in the recording process.
What did you guys do for kicks with Fridmann at his recording hideaway in upstate New York?
We spent a lot of time in the studio over the two weeks, but we’d take a break to watch the Buffalo Bills lose their football games on TV.
Your song George Michael has a strummy Faith-like guitar part. Do you harbour some strange fascination with Wham!?
That was a provisional title that stuck. I was thinking it would probably make for more entertaining interviews if I made up some crazy story like how each member of our group was secretly obsessed with George Michael as a kid but we didn’t find out about this unlikely connection until years after we’d formed the band. And when we did, we had to pay tribute to him in song. Thus far, George Michael hasn’t asked us to open for him, sadly. But then again, his lawyers haven’t filed a defamation suit against us either.
Any plans to get decked out in fabulous matching stage wear for the current tour?
We always joke about doing stuff like that, but we’re all too laid-back to do it. If we actually did come out one night in platforms, spandex pants and big hair like Motley Crüe, I’m sure people would absolutely freak.