It’s no shock that an album coming from Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Wolf Parade/ Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner (joined by New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown on drums) would be brimming with slick, propulsive guitar-rock. It is somewhat shocking, though, that as Divine Fits, the signature sounds of its leading frontmen have unfolded into new territories, always complementing and never compromising.
To gear up for the band’s October 21 show at Webster Hall in support of A Thing Called Divine Fits, we naturally asked Daniel and Boeckner to indulge us in a round of “The Newlywed Game.” They played along, answering a series of questions about the other, then providing their own responses against which to measure their counterpart’s. In-depth psychoanalysis ensued. Our findings? Daniel + Boeckner = Rock ‘n’ Roll ♥. Or something.
Photo Pamela Littky
Dan Answering for Britt
What is Britt’s favorite song from the record to play live?
Dan: I think he likes all of them. Can I say that? I don’t think he has a favorite one to play live. I know I don’t.
Britt: My favorite song to play live is probably “Shivers.” It has a build, and I like songs that build. And Dan goes nuts at the end.
If Britt wasn’t in a band, what would he do for a living?
Dan: A spy. I could see him being some sort of covert operative.
Britt: I’d probably be getting work anywhere that I could. I mean, my last steady job was a copyeditor, and I really liked that. It was for an online company that taught courses. They’d put dozens of courses up online that students would take, and somebody had to edit the text. For some reason all those grammar rules really stuck with me, so I was pretty good at it.
What is Britt’s worst habit?
Dan: He doesn’t have any. I lived with him for the first four or five months after I moved to L.A. It was just the two of us, and I can’t think of anything. [The L: His apartment wasn’t even messy or anything like that?] God, no, not at all. That’s his worst habit—not having any.
Britt: My worst habit? Wow, these are tough questions. I mean, if I’m at a party, and there’s a big bowl of guacamole there with a bunch of chips, I will just sit there and eat the entire bowl of guacamole. You can’t keep me away from it. I try not to double dip if I’m, you know, at a public trough.
Photo Pamela Littky
If Britt couldn’t ever live in Austin again, where would he live?
Dan: He’d live in L.A. That’s an easy one.
Britt: Portland. Or, no, maybe I’d live in New York. I’d live in New York. We’ve just gone through my four absolute favorite cities. [The L: If you did live in New York, do you think you’d live in Manhattan or Brooklyn?] I like both. I do like the speed of Manhattan, but I like that in Brooklyn you could maybe get a place with enough space to have a music room or something, and that would be a big inspiration.
What actor would play Britt in a movie about his life?
Dan: Hmm. I don’t know. I’m sorry; I’m going to have to pass on that one.
Britt: I think Aziz Ansari would do a good job. [The L: For the younger version of you and the older you?] Yeah, why not? Give him some makeup to look older.
Who is Britt’s musical idol?
Dan: I’d say The Beatles. He’s a huge fan of The Beatles.
Britt: That changes. But I think Dan might think I was going to say Mick Jagger, so I’ll say that. He’s a big one right this moment. [The L: He said The Beatles, but Mick Jagger is pretty much the closest you can get.] Yeah. John Lennon, Prince, Mick Jagger, Robert Smith... they’re all biggies.
What is Britt’s favorite Wolf Parade or Handsome Furs record?
Dan: Sound Kapital, the last one. We just did an interview where we asked each other questions about our other work, so I’m pretty confident about that.
Britt: Sound Kapital. I think it’s the just the best collection of songs. He’s got some really great singing on it. It’s an album of hits. “Serve the People,” I really love—I mean, I love a lot of those songs—but “Serve the People” is sort of a sleeper track I think.
Photo Marina Chavez
What is Dan’s favorite song from the record to play live?
Britt: He’s going to say “My Love Is Real” because he doesn’t have to play an instrument. [He] gets to just hold a microphone and go off into the crowd.
Dan: [The L: You already answered this one when responding about Britt, so what’s your favorite of the cover songs you’ve been playing live?] Of the covers we play? I guess I like “Doom Town” by the Wipers a lot. It has that real punk energy that’s fun to play.
If Dan wasn’t in a band, what would he do for a living?
Britt: Well, I know he was working as a telemarketer at one of his last jobs before going fulltime into music, [but] I think he’d be a cook. He takes a lot of pride in his cooking. He does a lot of fancy stuff, and I never know what he’s doing. He’s a lot more in depth about it than I am.
Dan: A drug dealer in Eastern Europe. Or, no. I wouldn’t be a drug dealer in Eastern Europe; I’d be a show promoter there.
What is Dan’s worst habit?
Britt: I’m supposed to guess what he says, right? He might’ve said smoking... How many answers have I gotten right? Or are you not supposed to tell me that yet?
Dan: The incessant smoking.
Dan mentioned that you’re both based in L.A. now, but if he didn’t live there or in Montreal, where would he live?
Britt: Hmm. New York?
Dan: Bucharest. [The L: Would you ever consider New York?] I’d be afraid my love affair with New York would eventually wear away, which makes me not want to live there. Every time I visit there, it’s like Christmas. I wouldn’t want it to lose its luster, you know?
What actor would play Dan in a movie about his life?
Britt: Wow, that is a tough one. Hmm… [The L: You know, you’re allowed a pass.] I’m going to have to pass on that one.
Dan: It depends. If there is a time machine that I could use to erase all those shitty National Treasure movies, then I’d go with Nicolas Cage. [The L: Time machine accounted for.] Then I’ll go with Nicolas Cage. He really has done some incredible acting through the years—I’d even include Face/Off in there. For every good movie, though, there’s three National Treasures or some shit. It’s sort of a real bummer.
Who is Dan’s musical idol?
Britt: Joe Strummer.
Dan: Joe Strummer of The Clash.
What is Dan’s favorite Spoon record?
Britt: Soft Effects.
Dan: The Soft Effects EP and then the last record, Transference. I’ll be really into different albums at different times though. They’ve never put out a bad song—every record is full of hits. I started listening to Spoon in high school, along with The Fall, another one of my all-time favorite bands. I must’ve been 15 or 16. I played in some ratty hardcore punk band and read this ‘zine based in Oregon that would always talk about Spoon, so I went and mail-ordered Telephono and the “Not Turning Off” 7-inch from Matador. I didn’t tell the ratty skate punks. I didn’t think they’d appreciate them. It was a secret a love. They’re one of the only bands that have never let me down.