The Artist:Fresh off of a reunion tour with seminal 90s post-rock band, Slint, David Pajo is set to release a magnetic and marred solo album this spring. Part of an impressive roster of bands like Tortoise and Zwan, you may also recognize him as M, Papa M or Aerial M — however, you’ve never quite known him like this.
The Sound:While the songs here feature an interplay of battered and beautiful, the record’s fullness is achieved from Pajo’s solitary, late night sessions singing into a computer. The result is a record steeped in restless mystery and absolved pain, evocative of that familiar yet long lost warmth that still exists somewhere, out there in the darkness.
The L Magazine:In light of the fact your upcoming release is in your last name, how would you describe this record?
David Pajo:Maybe, um, psychedelic filthy loner-lament? When I think about the record, it wasn’t intended to be a record. They were songs I made for myself, but then it started to sound like an album. Eventually I was convinced to release it by some friends. At first, I sent the songs to my label to let them know that I was working, and they hand picked songs they liked. So we pieced through it. They were just ideas really.
The L:What is different about this album in contrast to previous solo records you’ve done?
DP:I think it’s melodically different. I was trying different approaches to writing songs. Lyrically, the album is really a confessional. So, I thought I’d put it out under my own name, and it would be a real solo record. But this is the only time. I don’t think I want to do that again.
The L:What are some things you were thinking about when you recorded this album?
DP:Well… yeah, I guess these songs were written when I was at the lowest point I’d ever been. That’s why I didn’t intend to release them. I was keeping to myself a lot at the time… well… I won’t get into that. There were maybe two people that I was sharing this stuff with though, and that’s it. Once I had enough songs that I wasn’t totally ashamed of, I sent them to Drag City.
The L:To what extent is there a specific sound you have in mind when recording a song? How willing are you to stray from it?
DP:That’s the thing, especially on this record. I didn’t have a vision for the songs or anything. I’d have a melody and just let the song dictate how it went. I don’t know if they’re even listenable until the song has run its course, and then I have to decide if it’s good or not. I was listening to a lot of Everly Brothers at the time, so that probably influenced the songs a lot, since I did a lot more with harmonies and double tracking. It’s what I wanted to hear at the time.
The L:What are your plans after this record hits the streets?
DP:Well, I don’t want to tour for the record, but I might do a couple one-off, low-key shows in New York. I’ve already started working on a new record that sounds completely different, and I want to tour for both records later on this year. The songs I have so far for the second album are aggressive all the way through. I’m going to record it with a proper band. Two guys who were on the Slint reunion tour. We wanted an obtuse, aggressive band. When the two records are side-by-side, the bands will be unrecognizable. I could open up for myself, ya know? The second one might be titled under Pajo, or be treated completely different. I don’t want it to be treated like a democracy. Like, I’m the dude. We’re shooting for a November release date, but if not then, then later in January. •