Parquet Courts: ‘This is going to be a new direction for the band’

Andrew Savage and Austin Brown of Parquet Courts join Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1 today to discuss their brand-new album “Sympathy For Life”. During the chat they tell Matt how members of the band played each others’ instruments on the record, even utilising the sound of an air-conditioning unit, reflect on working with producer Rodaidh McDonald and more.

Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage Tells Apple Music About Working With Rodaidh McDonald On Their New Album…

I knew before we started creating it, that it was going to be different because that’s really the motto of the band. This is going to be a new direction for the band because it was a completely new way of working, a way of working that Rodaidh McDonald really encouraged. We did our first session with him, and then we liked it so much, we went and did another at Outlier Inn Studio in upstate New York where we recorded “Sunbathing Animal”. And I think once we were there and these jams were being edited into proper songs. That’s when I realised what a special method of operating that we stumbled into.

Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown Tells Apple Music About Embracing Spontaneity On Their New Album…

That sort of spontaneity was really inspiring because we would be playing 40 minutes until the tape ran out and listen to it back in the control room and just pick out moments like, “Oh, that was really exciting when you did this or when you did that that was really cool.” And I switched what I was doing and everyone’s playing different instruments than they normally would, because it didn’t feel like the stakes were that high. And you can just re-record over the tape pretty much as many times as you want.

Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown Tells Apple Music About The Recording Process On Their New Album…

Austin Brown: We did so many of these things. It’s hard to remember what all was happening. But at one point I know that Max was playing an electronic vibraphone that was controlling my synthesizer and I was controlling Andrew’s guitar through this mixer, and then I’m sure Sean had some sort of wah pedal hooked up to… I don’t know, he had this midi device that allowed the air conditioner to control some sort of… I have no idea. It seemed really complicated.

Matt Wilkinson: Wait. So the air conditioning is on the record as an instrument?

Austin: You have to talk to Sean about that. It was a lot of stuff plugged in and I really couldn’t wrap my head around it. By the time we left, I just was really psyched about the material we had.

Parquet Courts’ Andrew Savage Tells Apple Music About Using Psychedelics While Recording the Album…

Matt Wilkinson: Andrew, there’s a very interesting, and I have to say quite funny story, if I may say so, about you weightlifting on acid in Italy and writing some of these songs, is that true?

Andrew Savage: Well, there’s nothing particularly funny about physical fitness, Matt. I mean, everybody should try to take care of themselves and I discovered that LSD can be a bit of a performance enhancing drug sometimes. And I built a sojourn out of this concept and it ended up being the thing that triggered me getting in the head space for this record. Austin mentioned this new way of improvised song building that we were doing, but some of the songs were largely written ahead of time. And a lot of that process began when I was doing this trippy lifting thing.

Parquet Courts’ Austin Brown Tells Apple Music About His Affinity For The Club Scene…

I feel like the club world and parties just have so much more to offer for me in a sense of community that it offers and this healthy experience that everyone shares and less of the rock music world that we’ve spent so much of our past 10 years in.

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