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Baker's Dozen

Mitchellin Man: Destroyer's Favourite Albums
Merek Cooper , August 12th, 2015 10:32

Before he releases his new album Poison Season later this month, Destroyer's Dan Bejar places a call to Merek Cooper to talk to him about saxophones, heroin and going through a seven-year Joni Mitchell phase


Joni Mitchell - Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter has a song called 'Paprika Plains' that's 16 minutes long. It's a real epic orchestral jazz poem. Again, while making Poison Season - not that we came anywhere close to that - but that song was something that constantly rolled through my mind.

So is Poison Season your 70s experiential record?

I don't think so. A bunch of it is basically just the Destroyer touring band from 2012 playing a bunch of songs live in the studio and then there's a handful of songs which are intimate ballads wrapped in strings.

Let's talk about the saxophone issue on Kaputt. You caught a lot of flack in some quarters for using the instrument so liberally and you're using it again on Poison Season. Is the saxophone an instrument that's allowed to be on a record these days?

I don't know. I don't remember an era, aside from the 90s and the 00s, where the saxophone wasn't allowed on a record. For me, I'm really into 70s records, for instance David Bowie or T. Rex, stuff like that, and all the early glam rock stuff all had saxophone on it. Lou Reed had saxophone, the Rolling Stones had saxophone, everyone had saxophone, and if everyone gets it then I get to have it too.

It seemed to me that saxophone became emblematic of a very specific mid-80s television music and I just don't know how that happened. I just like the saxophone. I listen to jazz music and there's saxophone in jazz music and it's cool. Wayne Shorter is cool, maybe that's not popular to say, but he is, and he played on Don Juan's Reckless Daughter and Mingus and his playing is good. I guess I don't think about instruments as signifiers. I just like the sound of certain things and I want a piece of it. I just want to be surrounded by things I like. I'm kind of like an emperor that way.