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Grizzly Bear On New Album & Beards
The Quietus , February 10th, 2009 14:54

PLUS: Growing up, and dominating Britain like the Kaiser Chiefs. Sort of.

One of the most anticipated releases from the USA this year is, in The Quietus' mind, the new album from New York based quartet Grizzly Bear. Knowing that one ought not fix a baby's name before it is born, we assumed that yesterday's news that Grizzly Bear had already got round to naming their third record Veckatimest indicated that it has finally been put to bed. High time, then, to drop singer Ed Droste an email to find out the latest news from the 'Bear camp:

So Ed, how's the album going?

"FINISHED. We just finished yesterday mastering it. It's such a giant relief but also scary because you think to yourself 'Oh God I have no more time to change anything or give that take another go'. Eventually, as you learn you just have to move on. We were there and we are glad we got there! PHEW!"

Phew indeed! You weren't tempted to grow a beard and head to a log cabin in the woods to write it were you? We hear that's all the rage these days.

"Hah. No, definitely not. I think it's more exciting in Europe to romanticize that kind of thing then here, but regardless, I have patchy facial hair and would look God-awful with a beard. Five day scruff is as long as I go and then it start to itch and I make a mad dash for some shaving cream. It is funny how much people seem to love beards in music though isn't it? I can't see anyone in our band ever growing one so I guess we'll never get to tap into the lucrative "authentico-beard" movement."

New Grizzly Bear - 'While You Wait For The Others'

I'm intrigued because there was such a difference in sound between the first record and Yellow House. Aside from the bits and pieces from live sessions I've no idea what it might sound like, and its rare that you get those creative jumps these days. How would you say the Grizzly Bear sound has evolved?

"We've grown up. We've learned how to write and record better together. How to write better. The whole thing was a more mature, albeit slow experience. Part of what I think comes with growing up is owning up to your traits both good and bad. As you can see from looking at Horn of Plenty, to Yellow House, there was a drastic shift in audibility of the vocals, which has yet again taken as even clearer turn, which I think personally speaking is reflective of me just learning 'Ok, this is my voice, it sounds good when I sing like this, no need to hide it anymore, it is what it is'. Naturally I'm just speaking about my experience, but I think everyone's musicianship and songwriting and just abilities have flourished and people have learned to accept the areas in which they see themselves as weaker."

How did you come up with the title, Veckatimest?

"It's the name of a very very small uninhabited island off of cape cod that we had the chance to wander around once and was near where we spent some time recording and we were taken with the old native american name and thought it just fit. Sometimes there is no other option and you just know , oh yeah it has to be that title, whether people hate it or not , it has to be that name. It also looks wonderful with the art!"

Veckatimest is an East Coast US island, is it somewhere very special to you as a band?

"It just conjures up lovely memories of spending time in that region, not specifically there. That's an area of the States we've been fortunate enough to putter around in, record and explore. There's a lot of lovely natural areas around there, little lagoons and bays. It's charming if you get the chances to see it, especially in Fall.

What are your plans for England?

"To become the next Kaiser Chiefs and DOMINATE IT!!!!! Haha, no just kidding. To come back and tour it proper, give it another go. I'm excited to come back, it's been entirely too long and we always have a lovely time in the UK, and I get to visit my cousins in Scotland (Isle of Skye!! woo!)

New Grizzly Bear: 'Two Weeks' live on Letterman

And finally, we know you got on very well with Radiohead when you supported them last year. Yet did you make it onto the list of bands for the Thom Yorke Grammy Poster?

"From first glance no it appears we didn't, but maybe we would of if Jonny was the face on the poster??? ;)"

Veckatimest is released in May via Warp Records

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