With last year’s Songs of Shame, a spiderweb of acidy back-country rock, Woods established themselves as one of the definitive Brooklyn DIY bands. Their follow-up, At Echo Lake, dropped earlier this week to critics singing praises for its tighter, edited psych-rock. Multi-instrumentalist/recording guru Jarvis Taveniere sat down to talk with us about the new record, being known as a live band versus a recording band, and this so-called Brooklyn scene that they may or may not be a part of. They play tonight, not with Real Estate, but as part of the Joshua Light Show residency at Abrons Arts Center. If you miss it, then you’ll have to wait until Northside to catch them next, and honestly, June 25 is still a long ways away.
The L Magazine: So I hate to bring up Pitchfork right off the bat but have you read the review they just wrote of the new album?
Jarvis Taveniere: Someone forwarded it to me; I read part of it. I think they talk about the Grateful Dead a lot?
The L: They do, it’s the first thing that comes up, actually. Do you think that comparison is accurate?
JT: Hmm, I guess it surprises me. I mean, we all love the Grateful Dead, and we love to channel that kind of energy, but I guess it surprises me that we’re doing it enough that someone would recognize it, even if it’s just that one person. Maybe they’re basing it more off our live show.
The L: Were they in your head as an influence while recording?
JT: No, not particularly. But like I said, it’s just something we all like.
The L: Do you think for a while they were a black sheep in the indie world, like no one would admit to liking them?
JT: Yeah, I’ve definitely noticed that. People still act that way. It’s weird. They’re just one band. But one great band. I mean, they have a lot of history, so it comes with a lot of baggage.
The L: Is Echo Lake a real place? I know there’s a reference to it on the last album as well.
JT: Yeah, it’s a lake in New Jersey. Jeremy grew up on the boarder of New York and New Jersey, so he used to go there with his family when he was younger. It’s not the nicest lake.
The L: I read in a previous interview where, I think it was Lucas, he mentioned each one of your albums is a snapshot of a particular time.
JT: I agree with that.
The L: What period of time were you trying to capture on this album?
JT: I think it’s more of a time in the band’s life. Specifically last summer. “Suffering Season” was definitely last summer. I feel like this is a happier album, and that they last one had a heavy, dark vibe.