Volume 92, Issue 83
Wednesday, March 5, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Sebadoh changes recipe
Photo by Charles Peterson
By Shawn Despres
The kings of lo-fi pop music are back. Having added a new drummer, Sebadoh are embarking on a seven week North American tour in support of their eighth album, The Sebadoh.
Newest band member Russ Pollard joined after the completion of the Harmacy tour, replacing drummer Bob Fay.
"I met [guitarist Jason Lowenstein] at a club in Cincinnati when my old band was opening for Sebadoh," Pollard says. "We talked about hooking up and playing some stuff together when he got off the tour."
Even with the personnel change on this album, Sebadoh decided to spend more time together and actually do things as a band. The result has been regarded as the group's best work to date.
"We made some compromises," Pollard explains. "Jason and I wanted to record this album ourselves. Lou [Barlow, vocalist] had moved to Los Angeles about six months prior to us starting the recording. He said he had found a place there within walking distance which would be perfect to record the album.
"So we compromised and said if we go out there and record, Lou had to come here to practice."
Focus is something which has eluded the band in the past, as their two principle songwriters live a couple of thousand miles apart.
"When we went into the studio, Jason had some songs which were finished and Lou had some songs that were sort of finished. With Harmacy they went in having done everything on their own. They just showed up and did the recording, which caused it to sound like it was done by two different bands."
The band just finished a whirlwind British press tour, which left them little time for performing. "They totally swamped us. We only played a handful of shows I would have rather played more shows and done less talking."
However, the hectic schedule didn't stop the band from making one memorable moment. "At one show we played a different version of the song 'Flame.' At the end of the song Lou stopped and started to do a solo on his f/x pedal. It ended up making this huge horrible noise," Pollard relates. "You could see all of the stagehands and the stage manager running around not knowing what to do. All of the kids who didn't know who we were just stared at us with this 'What the hell is this?' expression."
As for the near future, the band is heading back over to Europe. They also just completed a video for "Flame." In sticking with the indie do-it-yourself attitude, the band did the video themselves.
"It is a no-budget video," Pollard says. "We used one of the digital cameras Lou has and just shot some footage in Europe. We took a bunch of 20 second shots from this old man's pub and this crazy airport in Norway, which looks like a total gateway to the future and edited them together.
"We want to try and do all of our videos this way," he laughs.
Once an indie band, always an indie band.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999