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ML: Well, they pay the big bucks (laughs).
LK: It’s a totally different environment from clubs. It’s like, “Whatever it takes to bring the people in! We’ll get you a hotel, and here’s a bunch of food!” It’s more like a loose party.
The L: I’ve heard you say that you’re not sure if Europeans really get you. Are you nervous about playing over there with new material?
ML: I think it depends on the country. Like, France. France is great. Germany… I don’t know (laughs).
LK: I think maybe this will be a test to see if people in Europe like us and want to come see us. We played there for Visiter—I think they were curious to see what we were about, but now will they come back? I think it’s going to go well—I’m excited. It’s really round two, where in America, it’s round five.
The L: There has to be some inherent problems playing new material live before an album comes out or is even leaked.
ML: Yeah, it’s a stupid idea (laughs). Well, for us, we’re excited about the material and we need to practice so by the time the record does come out and we’re touring, it’s up to par to where we want it to be. But after Sasquatch, the first time we played the new stuff, I kinda gave us credit for doing it, but it was also kind of a stupid idea. After playing and then walking around and seeing all the bands—like, I saw Nine Inch Nails, and he was playing a bunch of new material, and I was like, “C’mon, play the hits!” I understand why people like familiarity.
The L: Did you feel disconnected from the crowd in these first two shows? Or is that just your perception of what people are thinking?
LK: At Sasquatch there were a few moments—there were some technical difficulties that made us sort of doubt everything. But I definitely felt like there were some pretty awesome moments where things connected. And definitely more so at Studio B on Sunday.
ML: Still, while we were playing it, I felt like we were presenting something, and people are like, “Hmm, I don’t know if I like this.” And I think it went over well, considering, but it wasn’t like some of our older shows where people know the songs and got excited, visually excited.
The L: Knowing how much you’ve toured this past year and talking about Pitchfork hype, I’m curious what your thoughts are on Wavves’ meltdown. He came out with an apology saying that he just didn’t expect all of this touring and success to be so hard, and I know you guys have just been through that.
LK: From what I read, there was the atmosphere of a sound check that sorta never ended. And that is a vibe onstage, where people are there, not far away from you, and they’re like, “C’mon! Play!” and you’re like, “I can’t start.” And if that drags on for 20 minutes, you feel like you’re in a prison. It’s not like there’s a curtain where you can be like, “The show is beginning now.” And you can’t be like, “Well, there’s feedback problems.”
ML: Dude, I cannot count the number of shows—especially at festivals—where we start, totally thinking it sounds like shit, just praying that the sound guy up there has it covered. Based on what we’re experiencing onstage, it’s totally not ready to go. But you know what? It’s better that we start now than let the chaos happen.
LK: My heart goes out to that guy. I know how that stuff might fuck with your brain. I know there’s a lot of people who just hated him from the beginning, just because it was like, “4-track recording, I can do better than that,” and so he was already a target for a lot of people. I think he’s ok—but my heart totally goes out to him. I could’ve gone insane when I first started this too.