Most of Rocks Off's recent conversation with Spoon frontman Britt Daniel made it into last week's print edition, but we managed to keep him on the phone a bit longer...
Rocks Off: I saw you had been in L.A. working with Jon Brion [who produced breakout single "The Underdog," from 2007's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga]. Did anything come from working with him? Britt Daniel: We did some experimenting, trying to come up with songs in weird ways. We worked on some demos. We were kind of more hashing out ideas than doing actual recording. But it was good. RO: What makes you decide if something is a Spoon song or something you might keep for one of your solo projects? BD (chuckles): Well... maybe if - I don't know. Say it's something that I demoed, and the way I thought it was demoed was the way that it should be. There's a song that was going to be a Spoon song, and I made a recording of it that was intended to be a placeholder track until Jim [drummer/Spoon co-founder Eno] came along. But it was just so good, I didn't want to change it after that. So that's not going to be a Spoon song. It's really a matter of that - if I feel like it just needs what I can bring to it. If it needs more, or we're going to collaborate, then it's a Spoon song.RO: When you've gone for a while without playing shows, is there anything you do to get back in a live state of mind?
BD: I don't know. I'm always eager to get back in that live state of mind. I willingly succumb. We'll rehearse, but to me the hard part is getting into the writing state of mind. The playing state of mind is immediate and fun. We always have a good time doing it - it's not a cerebral exercise, you know?RO: Is writing difficult for you?
BD: Yeah. I mean, I know it'll happen if I work hard enough, but it's not easy. RO: Do you enjoy playing big festivals? [Spoon plays Jazzfest in New Orleans for the first time this weekend.] BD: Yeah, sure. There are certain things about them. It's definitely an event. You get to see a lot of bands you wouldn't normally get to see and maybe hang out with some bands you wouldn't ever get to hang out with. That's probably the cool thing for me, but as far as a performance goes, the smaller the place the better, probably. RO: I saw where you told Texas Monthly you're a fan of that old TV show Buffalo Bill. What brought that about? BD: I think Dabney Coleman is a genius. I just love him. I may be the only person who does. I was looking on the Web for a Dabney Coleman fan page, and there is none. I was thinking maybe I should start one.RO: I did like him in 9 to 5. What else was he in?
BD: He was in so many things in the '80s. He was inWarGames
, he was inTootsie
,On Golden Pond
. Then he was in that TV showSlap Maxwell
and thenDrexel's Class
. I didn't even really likeDrexel's Class
, butBuffalo Bill
was kind of amazing. Remember that?RO: That was the one at a TV station, right?
BD: Yeah. It was kind of a predecessor forLarry Sanders
.RO: One more thing: Today is the 15th anniversary of the day Kurt Cobain's body was found. Were you into Nirvana at all?
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BD: Yeah, I was. I remember that day.RO: Anything jump out about it to you?
BD: I think it might have been the first big news story that I heard about online. I was working then at Origin, that [Austin-based] video-game company, and I remember reading about it and feeling like that's really a bizarre way to find out.
With Black Nasty, 8 p.m. tonight at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483 or www.warehouselive.com.