Everyone's favorite psychedelic funhouse soundtrackers Yeasayer have hit the road once again, despite not having a new album to tour on since last year's superb Odd Blood. They're due at Pomona's Glass House on May 22. We took a minute to speak with the band's Ira Wolf Tuton on how they deal with constant blogosphere scrutiny and what's in store for the tour and down the line.
OC Weekly: Will you be playing new material on this tour?
Ira Wolf Tuton: Definitely. It's been really important to us to have a new
show for this time around the highway. We have some new songs that we're
bringing to the set and have worked to revamp the visual component into
something that both the folks and we can be excited about. We have to
keep it moving forward always in as many ways as possible.
You finished 2010 as the “most blogged artist,” according to Hype
Machine. Has it been nice to tour this year on a year-old album without
that same pressure?
The only pressure I've ever felt in this band is the pressure
that I put on myself and the pressure that we put on each other to keep
working, and to keep working towards something new. But we need to bring
it no matter what people write about us or how much the blogosphere
seems to care. We have a house full of people every night; that keeps us
going, and that's what I care about.
Are you working on new material while on the road?
Yeah. Playing new material to a live crowd is a really
valuable way to re-conceptualize your approach. This tour also comes
right in the middle of working on a new record, so there are songs and
material in the wings that we keep talking about, keep working on. But
as with any tour, the live show is the most important. That's the focus.
You released two tracks on End Blood for record store day that
you said didn't fit onto Odd Blood, both of which are quite good. What
made those tracks too different from the rest of the album to include?
They just didn't fit. Even though the form may be dead, or
dying, I still love the art of the album and of thoughtful tracking.
That's how I fell in love with music as a longer form of experience. So
just because you have it doesn't mean you need to pack it in. It can
really mess with the flow of the whole. But at the same time, those two
songs came from the same conceptual space as our last record. End Blood
was our cleanse from the last recordings. Now we can move on.
Have the performances been very different in the more recent dates than last year's tour?
They have to be–for us probably more than anyone.
What's next in the Yeasayer world? Are you slating time to work on a new album?
Nope–that's it. Fun while it lasted. Oh wait, yeah–music, albums, weather–comin'.