Robyn Hitchcock :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

A conversation with Robyn Hitchcock can at times feel a lot his lyrics; just when things seem grounded, the skies open up and we're off in the clouds for a whimsical journey. A very affable fellow, there’s great humor spiced through his words, often moving quickly between the visceral and surreal. Following a conversation this past month in San Francisco, we caught up with Hitchcock to chat about his career, living in Nashville, and his excellent new self-titled album.

Aquarium Drunkard: At the show last month you mentioned how happy you are with the new record. What aspects pleased you with this one?

Robyn Hitchcock: Just everything worked at once. It was just a series of really good coincidences. I got a very good crop of songs. Brendan Benson, we'd been talking for a year or two about doing something. It turned out something meant producing a record.

AD: What all did he bring to the table as far as his production?

Robyn Hitchcock: He brought a few things. He brought, or helped bring, some of the musicians that I recorded with. The bass is Jon Estes  and the drummer Jon Radford. And his studio. It was quite a collaborative venture. He'd look at the songs and make suggestions, sometimes for the structure. He'd suggest chord changes which I then wouldn't know, he's another musician and songwriter. He's my partner so he kind of stood up to me. Especially as you get older you can kind of call all the shots, and if you do that you never really surprise yourself. But I wasn't passive either, I wasn't the passenger. It wasn't like 'okay Brendan, bend me and shape me any way you want'. It was much more. Me and the guys would sort of work out moving parts, and the structure. The structures are pretty much mine, but a lot of the sort of mechanics of it were worked out. In regards to bass and drums, it was all looked at. It wasn't like, 'okay Robyn's got the chords, we'll just back along.' Which is how it sometimes goes, because I like getting new musicians when they're fresh and haven't too much time to live with the song. But these people lived with the songs almost instantly. They're really kind of tuned up. The record sounds like we've been playing together for years, but actually a lot of the players had only just heard the songs that evening.

Robyn Hitchcock :: Mad Shelley’s Letterbox

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