Für mich war das Album “Alligator” von The National die Entdeckung des Jahres 2005. Unglaublich dichte, atmosphärische Songs mit einem Gänsehautfaktor außerhalb jeglicher Skala. Vor Kurzem entdeckte ich die schon etwas ältere EP “Cherry Tree” durch Zufall und war gleich wieder infiziert. Und dann schaute ich mir den bisherigen Veröffentlichungsrhythmus der New Yorker an und dachte mir, das es doch eigentlich Zeit für einen neuen Longplayer wäre. Und ich liege mit dieser Vermutung völlig richtig, wie mir Schlagzeuger Bryan Devendorf in einem kurzen Interview bestätigt.
nicorola: Can you please introduce yourself?
Bryan: hello, nico. this is bryan, the drummer for the band. many thanks fo your interest.
nicorola: When did you start making music?
Bryan: my mother enrolled me in the suzuki method for violin when i was four years old. later, in eighth grade, i started playing drums. scott (my brother) and i had our first “jams” christmas 1988 or so. after that, i played with the twins (aaron & bryce) when i was in high school. over the years we’ve done various things together and apart.
nicorola: When was the band formed? Did you know each other before?
Bryan: I can’t remember exactly. Either summer 1999 or 2000. We’d known each other for many years before that though. it was an unusual time because we’d go out and see these incredible bands who were playing really good shows and we’d yet to play live and also we were no good. a bedroom project. it was very fun though to try and try.
nicorola: How did you get your first record deal?
Bryan: our “deal” with brassland wasn’t so much a deal as two of the band members are principals. brassland is still alive and kicking. that’s a good thing. we got lucky with beggars. how we got the deal, i have no idea. they took a chance on us. we were lucky.
nicorola: What are the musical influences of the band members?
Bryan: everyone’s always changing his mind. Right now we’re into simple things. I’ve been listening to Brian Eno and a lot of talk radio. Usually I listen to what’s on at bars and you’d be surpised at the variety.
nicorola: If I compare “Alligator” to “Sad Songs….” there is much more complexity in songwriting. Was there something that changed your approach between these two albums?
Bryan: I think it was performing more shows that might have altered the approach to alligator after sad songs. .
nicorola: How do you write your songs, what is your process?
Bryan: The songs come together in different ways. usually, aaron will write a set of chords to which matt writes lyrics then we all arrange things around that.
nicorola: As far as I know, Matt is writing the lyrics. Where did he get his ideas from? Is there any interaction with the others while writing a text?
Bryan: Yes, matt writes all the lyrics (though he has help from his muse who stars in several songs on alligator; she is also his subject in many songs including, “karen.”) he’s like a magpie. if that’s the bird thatretrieves shiny things from the world to horde in its nest. he doesn’t really write interactively. it comes to him better that way i think.
nicorola: You are actually touring throughout the US. Do you like beeing on stage?
Bryan: If it’s a yes/no, then maybe.
nicorola: Last year you were touring in Europe. Did you remember the concert in Berlin (Magnet)? What was your impression of Berlin?
Bryan: yes i remember that place. i sensed a camaraderie among the staff and patrons. we were treated very well. we’ve been in berlin a few times but not enough to know the city. i know it more from the history channel shows and literary depictions like Gravity’s Rainbow.
nicorola: Are there any plans touring in Germany again?
Bryan: If we ever finish this record we’re working on, I imagine we will tour germany again.
nicorola: Your last release (at least in Germany) was the “Lit-Up”-single/EP. Are you working on a new album? How is it going?
Bryan: yes, we are working on that right now. today as a matter fact. it’s going pretty well so far. lots of ins and outs. things like that. we’re trying.
nicorola: Thank you for the interview.
Webseite der Band: www.americanmary.com
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