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  • Break It Down: The New Year

    Wed, 22 Oct 2008 11:16:44

    Break It Down: The New Year - The indie vets discuss influences, selling bodily fluids and much more

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    Formed in the wake of Bedhead's disintegration in 1999, The New Year has always been a nebulous collective. Their musical story lies largely in postal records forming the paths of musical ideas traded on tapes. These song outlines would eventually come to fruition when the band temporarily convened to craft an album or string together a tour. These full band meetings are rare, but this year the stars aligned and The New Year reformed to record their eponymous third album and tour the US. Jumping on the chance opportunity to catch the materialized group, we shot a few questions their way to learn a bit more about their influences, disfiguring science experiments and selling bodily fluids.

    What have you been listening to lately?

    Bottomless Pit, Shannon Wright, Roxy Music, Stnnng. Of all the things Chris Brokaw has played in the van over the last few days, I think the most compelling have been Azita and Taake, although I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I actually liked either of them. We just played several shows with the Portland band A Weather, who were a pleasure to listen to every night.

    Where’s your favorite place to chill?

    My house.

    What’s the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?

    For me the drama has never gone beyond sleeping in a club on a pool table. Former bandmates have sold their blood and semen and subjected themselves to disfiguring scientific experiments and student dentistry.

    Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics.

    I like it when Steve Albini croaks out the title of the Shellac song "Didn’t we deserve a look at you the way you really are?"

    What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?

    My 1973 Telecaster Custom.

    If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?

    Accelerate the pace of its demise as an "industry."

    What never goes out of style?

    Everything goes out of style. One day this will even be true of Vampire Weekend.

    What’s the theme song to your life?

    I don’t have a theme song.

    What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?

    This list could go on. First things that come to mind—Werner Herzog’s "Lessons of Darkness," Andy Goldsworthy, Wallace Stevens, Nicholson Baker, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, W. H. Auden, Eric Hobsbawm. Not many athletes come to mind, although Andre Agassi’s comeback in the 1999 French open nearly brought me to tears. So did Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 World Series, although my admiration evaporated as I watched him publicly endorse the incumbent Bush a few days later.

    What's your favorite way to stay in shape?

    Swimming, although it’s an uncommon experience, and I have to settle for walking.

    What non-musician would you most like to meet?

    If I could inject him with truth serum, Dick Cheney.

    What's your biggest guilty pleasure?


    MySpace or Facebook?


    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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    Tags: The New Year, Bedhead

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