Megafaun :: The AD Interview

Hearing Megafaun on record is one thing; seeing them live is another. Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund whip up some of the most intriguing music nightly on stage that you could ask for in a live performance. They'll be playing plenty at SXSW including Thursday at AD and MOKB's   Vaya Con Tacos! party.   The boys in the band sat down with Aquarium Drunkard last month to talk about their newly finished LP (due later this year on Home Tapes), the wide variety of bands they've toured with and how going to jazz camp as a teen made it a little harder to relate to other musicians in the "indie" world.

Aquarium Drunkard: You just finished up your new LP. Who did you work with and how did the process go?

Phil Cook: Well, we didn't know what we were doing at all on the first one. The first record contains the first thing we tried to do, which I can hear when I listen to it, all the way up to the last thing we did, which I can tell we knew what we were doing more. It was nice to start this record at that further point since we were recording it ourselves. And it already sounds more sonically sophisticated to us, in its onset. We started from a better place.

Brad Cook: But we did it ourselves.

PC: We recorded everything ourselves. This time we borrowed nicer microphones to do vocals and drums. So we upgraded, maybe, two notches with the gear we had...

BC: ..and special guests.

PC: Oh, and special guests. Joe, would you like to talk about our special guests?

Joe Westerlund: We asked a lot of friends to make appearances on the record and we have a violinist that is a friend of ours, that we stay with every time we're in Boston, that is in a band that, during our formative years, in high school, when we started feeling as serious about music as you can at that age, was in this band from Minneapolis that we were idolizing and trying to play with. So that's come full circle. She's on the record..

AD: What was the band?

JW: Bobby Llama. You may have heard of them. My brother is on the record, he's a percussionist. We have a number of vocalists. Krissy Smith who is in Tender Fruit from here. Heather McEntire of Bellafea, Ivan from the Rosebuds. Kyle who was in our high school band..

PC: Who hasn't played trombone in over 5 years! And we asked him to play. So he took it out, warmed up..[laughs] the first time he's touched it in 5 years and, literally, 5 to 10 minutes later he was recording. [laughs] We had such a ball doing it.

BC: He thought we were joking, but we weren't. And it's a very serious contribution to the record. And then we also had a ton of Durham people. Both of these guys' [Phil and Joe] wives and fiancés and the guys from Trekkie records and Midtown Dickens, like all these Durham cats sang on one song. This album we definitely invited more voices in.

PC: And voices that are representative of the community we are ever growing more and more a part of the longer we live here. We moved here in 2005. Our first record, all the people who are on the record now, we didn't know those people when we got done with the first record. But since then, through touring and meeting people and connecting, now it feels like we're a part of this community and we can ask people to do things and they can ask us to do things and it feels like this shared community thing. So that's reflected in the new album.

AD: Chris Stamey actually mixed the new album, correct?

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