Main Mountain Goat John Darnielle talks to Andrew P Street about…
…not touring the album they’ve not long released!
Well, actually we’re touring the record we’re making now. This is not the last tour [for All Eternals Deck], this is the next tour. You know people stopped playing new songs once it became a fact of life that when you play a new song it’s instantly available to everybody at the end of the night? I did that too, but there are two ways of looking at it: you can be happy that people want to listen to your music or you can be bummed that you don’t get to do what the big bands of the seventies got to do, which is test out material before they recorded it. You could go out and play it, check out a bunch of different ways, maybe play them it waltz time or whatever and hang out with the songs and let them breathe a little. We’ve decided to go ahead and play what's new and exciting to us and so we’re working now on a whole bunch of new songs.
…his enduring fondness for this country!
You often remember shows in Australia because you wake up at three am and see the sun rise over a city you haven’t seen before which is pretty cool. And I’ll never forget the first dawn in Western Australia, we were outside of Margaret River somewhere and there was a huge dawn chorus of insects and I was like this is so exciting.
…what he’s reading in 2012!
Eighty percent of what I read is in translation now, I’m just really enjoy reading stuff from other literary scenes. I started doing that four or five years ago and its become a big passion of mine. And if you think about it every great moment in literary history comes on the heels of some great translation: translation is how literature moves forward. Its like when Chaucer reads the translation of Dante and then he things “oh this is a great idea. I think I’ll invent English poetry!” And Shakespeare read translations of all the great poets. And the fact that the translation is a collaborative exercise is okay. You still get a great book if you have a decent translator.
…the next album being something of a throwback to classics like Tallahassee!
Yeah, for the first time in a long time it takes place in the same geographic area – in and around Snohomish, Washington which is a place that Victor Hugo used to write about. I hate to say what the records about because when you describe what its about you tend to reduce it, but it is about mental illness. It’s not like I’m going to be standing infront of a podium lecturing. But its about people who suffer drom various forms of mental illness and who form a community of sorts. I mean I wouldn’t call it a linear story line quite like that but it’s about being sick. [laughs] It sounds dark but it’s not dark in the sense of sitting in a corner staring at the walls. I mean, it’s dark but it’s colourful.
The Mountain Goats also play The Corner Hotel, Thu 10 May.