Vetiver :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Much has been made surrounding the origins of the 'freak-folk' movement, for which Vetiver - the songwriting vessel of Bay-Area native Andy Cabic - has often been accredited. And while certainly an important snapshot in time, to look upon Cabic's body of work solely through that narrow lens serves the listener a disservice. On Complete Strangers, his sixth studio album since 2004, it's obvious Cabic has grown immensely attuned to his own capabilities. These, like so many Vetiver songs, have a long-lasting fortitude to them - they are old friends, the comforts of home and sound better with age.

Speaking with Cabic is much akin to his music. His voice is mellow, inviting, imbued with a righteous confidence. Ahead of his first release for new label-home Easy Sound, we caught up with Cabic while preparing for the onset of the first full-band Vetiver tour in a couple of years.

Aquarium Drunkard: The last tour found you playing solo alongside old friend Devendra Banhart. Tell me about that string of shows.

Andy Cabic: Those were all around northern California. A lot of places I hadn't been before, let alone played before...some really nice venues. It was promoted and arranged by Folk Yeah who do a lot of shows in cool spots around Northern California. They were small intimate shows, short drives. It was an idea that we had a few years ago to book some short tours in places that are really beautiful that we'd want to spend some time in and not be hurried along with a show every night at some breakneck pace. Spots we could really enjoy being on tour.

In 2012 we did this for the first time in Japan and then we did it just this last fall in California. We're about to go to Spain in May to do it once again. It's great…we just kind of get on stage together and are there the whole time just playing songs of both of ours, back and forth. One of Devendra's and then a Vetiver Tune.

AD: Having known Devendra for so long, does being around/playing with him bring out anything in you creatively or otherwise?

Andy Cabic: Yeah...I don't get to perform my songs in that style of arrangement very often. I'm happiest when I have a stage full of friends playing off each other. To just do songs with two guitars isn't something I do often and the songs that sound best that way tend to be old ones. So here I am on stage playing with Devendra playing the songs we used to do a decade ago and it does bring me back. There's a fragile sturdiness to doing songs that way. I don't get to tap into that often. He's super fun to travel with...a goofball who doesn’t take things too seriously. We got to see a lot of friends. It was familiar.

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