Monday, September 15, 2008

Fleet Foxes Q & A

My interview with Fleet Foxes' Casey Wescott appears in this week's WE.

Fleet Foxes Q & A

By Andrea Warner

They look a lot like any other indie band coming out of Seattle: five guys (mostly bearded), dressed in various states of button-downs and jeans, with a penchant for posing regally or vulnerably—legs crossed, folded to their sides, or tucked up to their chests. But it's not the look that has music critics drooling and legions of fans buying up their self-titled debut, released this past June. Fleet Foxes is all about sound: a finely crafted and layered amalgamation of guitars, keyboards, percussion, and vocal harmonies. The sound of the sixties with a distinctly modern infusion of present-day indie pop sensibility.

WE caught up with Fleet Foxes keyboardist Casey Wescott on the phone from his Seattle home, taking a mini-break before launching back out onto the road for the band's fall tour.

Is the band's approach to songwriting a collaborative effort?
Because we all make music in different bands, the focus is using [front-man's] Robin's basic material. Like he'll have a melody or a chord progression or lyrics, even a full song. it sort of runs the map on how we approach songs and the sorts of collaboration that occur on each song. To me it's more interesting developing Robin's ideas based on my interpretation--working with his base and adding to it.

Are you already working towards your next album?
Oh yeah, absolutely. It's hard to execute your ideas as a full band though sometimes, just because we don't have much time to practice. We work really fast though. We just need to get a few more chunks of time.

Are you working on a different sound for the next album, or an expansion on what you've done with this one?
I can say confidently that I don't know what the record's going to sound like. It's always sort of weird. It's very bizarre to me how somebody would know what the record is going to sound like before they have done it. You know what I'm saying? Even if you're just trying to execute a musical idea that you have in your mind, like, there's still so much that can happen. I would never want to put constraints on that, and so in doing so you relinquish control of what it's going to sound like.

Was it overwhelming to be signed to a label that had helped define so many different sounds and the Seattle music scene?
Oh gosh...I'm not really the type of person who gets signed to a label and looks around and thinks 'Oh, look at all my peers.' It doesn't feel like that at all. You don't feel like a peer to {Mudhoney's] Mark Arm, you know? Their roster over the years has been really rad, but I will say that growing up in Seattle, as a kid I knew people who had records with them and was exposed to them. So I had a bit of a taste of the characters. But, really, it's just all been overwhelming.

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