The Walkmen :: The AD Interview, 2010

The Walkmen’s latest record, Lisbon, is another set of glossy black-and-white drama from the New York quintet.   Like You & Me before it, Lisbon paints its portraits of drawn-out relationships with wiry guitars and off-center drums.   Aquarium Drunkard caught up with vocalist Hamilton Leithauser a few days before Lisbon’s release.

Aquarium Drunkard: How are things going on the road, how are the new tracks working out?

Hamilton: We’ve only done two shows, but they’ve both been really fun.

AD: I guess at this point in the game, since the record comes out on Tuesday, everyone’s heard all the songs already.

Hamilton: People sorta know it. We opened last night for the National, so most people were there to see them. They seemed to know the old stuff a little better. But then we played our own show in Seattle the other night, and they knew all of them. It was like they’d been listening to it for a while.

AD: I noticed on the forum on your website, the lyrics were posted like two months ago.

Hamilton: Yeah, that’s pretty telling.

AD: You said in 2008 that you wanted to branch out with You and Me. What was the approach for Lisbon?

Hamilton: It’s sort of what you’re always trying to do. In all the steps, we’re trying to make something that you want to keep making. It’s only fun if it feels new and different to you. But it’s also a process. As soon as we finished You and Me we started writing Lisbon–before You and Me was even out. That’s the whole point of it, is to keep trying to do something, to keep it as different as you can.

AD: Did you close the door on You and Me and say, “Okay, now we’re going to start the new record,” or do you just keep writing?

Hamilton: It’s a tough moment when you finish. We’ve been writing new songs, actually. It’s just a process where you keep going, and at some point you say that you’ve got a record and you have to figure out which tracks to use. When you’ve done that, it’s like a landmark, but in your head you keep going and you’ve got this record you can refer back to and say, “Okay, I don’t want to sound like that anymore.”


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