US - California - Full Moon 32 - 05/30/99
Scott says (by e-mail)
The twilight singers
Terror Twilight is the name of the new album from the
that needs no introduction, Pavement. Even on the first listen it sounds
different - a lot more accessible than the previous ones to be precise -
has all the
elements you've loved on the old records as well. But actually the
is just playing tricks on us. By putting all the pop songs on the first
of the album and all of the weirder songs on the second, you just
impression that the album is a lot poppier. At least that's how
Stephen Malkmus explains it in the press release. Pavement will
Europe several times to promote the album, in mid-May for a few
club dates, in the summer to do a round of festivals (including
prestigeous Reading weekender) and then again in the fall for a
club tour. So, without further ado, here's a quick e-mail interview
Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) I did a couple of weeks ago.
Carsten: How do you feel about your status in the -
I call it that - "indierock" community?
Scott: I don't think that word really applies to us. We've
thought of ourselves as a "rock band". But, there is a sense of
community to "rock bands" our size around the world.
Carsten: There seems to be a huge buzz about
Twilight even months before it will be released. obviously that
help to shift records, but do you generally like it when expectations
skyrocket like that?
Scott: It's both positive and negative. The huge buzz is
our control. At least someone cares.
Carsten: Looking back on past experiences: do
commercial success makes it more difficult to live up to everybody's
expectations? Or how do you manage to stay focused on your own
vision despite those 'evil' outside influences?
Scott: We've never been forced to do anything we haven't
wanted ourselves. There really isn't that many evil influences
Our vision has always been focused on putting out cool
Carsten: Is being influencial an influence as
Scott: It's hard to see yourself as influencial. Our
come from cooler things.
Carsten: What exactly are your expectations for
album? Do they differ from the past?
Scott: No real expectations. They do differ from the past
because I probably had more of them.
Carsten: Do you expect the record to be received
to your previous ones?
Scott: It should be. It's a great record even with no spiral
Carsten: Do you see this album as a deciding
where you go from here as a band? Probably more so than the
Scott: No. We're getting older anyway. We are into
things than before. If we do let it decide, then the only change will
slowing things down a bit. Take more time between albums
Carsten: Do you care about what is written about
Scott: Sure! We all have egos.
Carsten: What was on your mind when you had
the album? Did you know that you had a hit record on your hands,
everybody seem to tell you now?
Scott: We had an inkling! We love the record.
Carsten: Did you ever regret that you never signed
major deal? Do you think that's an option for the future? Also,
story behind the different first singles to be released in the states
over here in
Scott: No! it can be an option for the future. Domino
Carrot Rope because it has a cricket reference, and we
those English love their cricket.
Carsten: Terror... is probably the first Pavement
really liked from start to finish. On all the others there were songs
were just to 'edgy' to me. So is the whole album really a bit more
(and did you do that on purpose?), or is it just a trick cause the
songs all come first?
Scott: I tried hard to make the record more cohesive start
finish. It's a goal of mine for each record. sometimes it works,
Carsten: Apparently you haven't been that happy
Brighten the Corners (1997) in retrospect. Did you actually
down and discuss what to do different on this album, or did
changes just come about naturally?
Scott: Stephen wasn't happy with Brighten...
the performances weren't up to his standards. But, he says that
every previous record. We do try to do something different for each
Carsten: Also, how much of an impact did Nigel
(Godrich, who has produced Radiohead's OK Computer
Beck's Mutations - editor's note) have as the producer?
what ways was working with him different than working with for
Bryce (Goggin - editor's note)?
Scott: Nigel was very skilled at crafting new and different
sounds from our music. He also liked Sushi. Bryce did some cool
too. But, they were from completely different backgrounds. Bryce
Carsten: You recorded the album both in New York
London. Did the surroundings have a major influence on the
(or even on the songs, if they weren't written before you started
Scott: I think the London influence comes out more. It's
dark and people love to suffer.
Carsten: Is there a musical line you wouldn't
Scott: Touring with Dave Matthews.
Carsten: Do you ever listen to your own records?
have any special favourites in your own back catalog?
Scott: Not really that much. We probably listen to our
more than anyone initially. My favorite is the first single.
Carsten: You're gonna do a long tour this year I
even though in the past you didn't always seem to be that happy
about playing live that much. Is working in the studio more
important to you than performing on stage?
Scott: We are actually doing about half of the touring we
usually do. The studio work is worth more in the long run. But we
Carsten: What can we expect from your upcoming
shows? Any visual extras?
Scott: Lots of little birds with lights screaming through the
Carsten: How do you put together a set for a live
(and does it vary from night to night)? Do you find it easier or more
difficult to select songs now that you have your fifth (or sixth) album
Scott: Mostly new songs. Some oldies for fun. It varies
night. It's not that difficult to play any Pavement song.
Carsten: What do you see in the furture for
where do you want to be in say, five years from now?
Scott: The future? Who knows? In the indierock hall of
Carsten: Will Pavement be the Rolling Stones of
can you imagine doing something other than music at this
Scott: There's always the Beatles!
Copyright © 1999 Carsten Wohlfeld