In the promotional photograph that accompanies A.A. Bondy’s Enderness, the songwriter’s first album in almost eight years, the image of a mushroom cloud explosion is reflected in Bondy’s aviator shades.
Typically, an artist has to blow issues up. And while Enderness is a determined departure from his previous work, shifting away from minimalist people to electronics and synths, it stays wholly recognizable as his. From opener “Diamond Skull” and its hollow and claustrophobic incantation of a litany of cultural detritus to “Fentanyl Freddy” and its depiction of the all-too-increasingly familiar sight of habit, Endernessis a document that finds Bondy’s lyrical focus as fascinating as ever, whilst he virtually utterly abandons the guitar for the first time in his profession.
“You realize, I read this story about Kurt Cobain and the way when he lived in Aberdeen, he obtained this punk magazine with an image of the Intercourse Pistols on it,” Bondy says. We’re speaking on the telephone and have detoured into a dialogue concerning the variations in how we course of music within the web age. “And he had no method to know what they appeared like. However he picked up his guitar and tried to put in writing music like what he thought they appeared like they might sound like. That’s unimaginable to me.”
Today, Bondy isn’t considering explaining much. He doesn’t need to speak about promotional promoting points, dish about what he’s been as much as because the last album, or clarify the document’s shift into warmblooded synth-pop. It begs the question: Can someone put out an album and actually simply let individuals hopefully come and have interaction with it as it’s in 2019? No need for extra insight? The irony of us doing an interview about just that is, I suppose, too obvious.
Enderness by A.A. Bondy
Aquarium Drunkard: You set out your first three solo data about each two years for the first little span, but now it’s been seven, virtually eight years since your last report. What’ve you been as much as?
A.A. Bondy: I don’t know. I imply, I do know. [Laughs] I dunno. Walking round?
AD: In the last interview we did, about Believers, you stated “individuals get a method and typically that’s their type perpetually. That’s just what they do. I’ve never been that method. I get uninterested in what I do, and I’ve to seek out something else. And the change, even when it’s simple or delicate, is admittedly exhausting to implement due to the inertia.” This report is basically totally different. Was that was a part of it? Was part of it simply you trying to find where you have been going together with your work?
A.A. Bondy: I mean, I feel that’s it. There was just a convergence of things that occurred towards the top of touring that entire document. Like dropping cash, and exhibits being canceled due to individuals having shingles on their face. [Laughs] Just numerous weird shit. I used to be in a relationship with someone, they usually moved all my stuff out whereas I was on tour. So I felt utterly unmoored or one thing. I obtained again from Europe, obtained in my van, and drove back throughout America. And that was the fifth time I’d pushed throughout the country in about an eight month interval. Just landed on my pal’s couch, and I’d simply began browsing earlier than that, so I type of threw myself into that.
So I’d decide up my guitar, and it simply really wasn’t giving something again to me anymore. So I fell into this crew of individuals on the market just surfing and eating medicine. Doing medicine in a social approach [laughs] as an alternative of in an anti-social means which is most of what I’d finished prior to that. It type of opened up a sure space was closed off. You understand, somebody would sweatily dance over to the pc and placed on a track, and also you’d never know the place it was coming from. Somebody would play “Coronary heart of the Sunrise” by Sure, or some obscure Prince music. And it was all about getting individuals off. And you might feel the temperature of the room change if somebody picked one thing fascinating. I needed to make music that was a bit extra…I imply, I don’t assume I achieved uplifting music with this document, but there are undoubtedly elements that aren’t so forsaken because the older stuff. I slowly taught myself learn how to use different gear. I sent my acoustic guitar to my father, my different guitars are ashes. I type of escaped a home hearth—principally escaped that with just my pc. Does that reply your query? [Laughs]
AD: This was one of many California wildfires final yr, right?
A.A. Bondy: Yeah, there are a variety of wildfires. There was the Camp hearth which was the worst one, and then there was the Woolsey hearth, which is the one that acquired Neil Young, Rick Rubin’s home…and mine.
AD: So how a lot notice did you get before you needed to evacuate?
A.A. Bondy: Nicely, it’s a type of belongings you develop into kind of inured to that type of thing. A handful of occasions yearly, you’re used to the sky being full of smoke. It’d been that means since I lived there. So, my landlady was all tripped out that morning as a result of she’d pushed from a bit extra inland from where I lived, and there was hearth on each side of the street. So she got here in all bug-eyed and freaking out, imploring me to collect my issues. And I used to be identical to, we’re effective. [Laughs] It was smokey and scorching and dry and that stuff. However I laid down with my telephone and started getting all these alerts and all the things. So I principally obtained out with my notebooks and my cats and my pc.
AD: You had simply completed the document right earlier than the hearth?
A.A. Bondy: Yeah, it was a very bizarre week. On Monday of that week, this goose—I lived on a lake—and this goose would come back every year. People who’d lived there longer than me stated it had been coming again for 10 years or so. On Monday, I discovered that hen lifeless within the street. I really favored that hen. Then two days after that, I went and purchased a turntable so I might take heed to the check urgent of the vinyl of the album and that night time, this guy went in and shot up this bar and killed a bunch of youngsters on what was country night time or one thing like that. Then the subsequent night time was the hearth. It was a fucked up week.
AD: I hear guitars on opener “Diamond Cranium” and “Lost Hills” close to the top however between these two songs, I actually don’t hear them in any respect, so it looks like you actually have been specializing in different sounds. It appears principally synthesizer/keyboard driven.
A.A. Bondy: Yeah, it was simply whatever was lighting me up. It’s weird. This is the best way I feel about rock music and conventional track varieties basically now. It seems like we’re getting into a time the place these types can’t maintain power in a approach they once did. It’s clear that they will’t. It’s clear that rock and roll does not maintain any of the facility that it once did, as a vessel that you could put heat into. It doesn’t imply someone can’t come along and do one thing fascinating with electric guitars, and that’s in all probability occurring on a regular basis, and I’m positive lots of it has to do with me enjoying guitar for years and years. A pal of mine had this really lovely previous 1930s Gibson acoustic and he let me borrow it. In all probability one of the nicest devices I’ve ever played, nevertheless it felt like getting out an antique automotive. You see those guys on Sundays, driving their antique automobiles. [Laughs]
AD: You talked about belongings you have been listening to that made you consider issues in a different way. Have been there any specific artists or kinds of music you have been listening to once you have been placing this album together?
A.A. Bondy: Yeah, there were some albums and things that I used to be listening to making an attempt to determine what they have been doing in the studio and get a really feel for what was happening. I feel I tried to start out determining my synthesizer then. I keep in mind like Jacques Greene, that “One other Woman” woman track that has that Ciara sample in it. Then there are those Brian Eno data that he did with Harold Budd, however The Pearl particularly. And you already know Art Laboe on the radio in Los Angeles? You’d simply hear these really cool like not-quite hits like Associates of Distinction’s “Moving into Circles” and stuff like that. All those issues have been just really attending to me. I wasn’t so parochial when it comes to what I was listening to, but that had been occurring for years. I don’t know if I can really articulate what I used to be after. I used to be speaking to my good friend and we’ve both been listening to a number of Nirvana. It‘s so surprising to me to look again at someone that younger have that a lot of a way of who they’re and what they’re doing. I feel like a lot of what I’ve been doing for most of my life has been imitating types to a point. I assume everybody feels that option to some extent.
AD: But even Cobain talked about that right, feeling like he was copying.
A.A. Bondy: Yeah, absolutely, however I feel he was actually conscious that he was synthesizing something completely new. And it still stands aside in how lovely and shining it is. None of his friends have actually approached him when it comes to that sort of luster or whatever. I’ve made data where I felt good about what I was doing, nevertheless it’s bizarre.
AD: You stated in a previous interview that it will take you awhile to process a report after you’re accomplished with it, but when you’re achieved with that, that you simply’re achieved with it. That there are chunks of your again catalogue that you simply just don’t play anymore. So with the instrumentation you’re utilizing on the brand new album, how are you approaching those older songs stay, or are you?
A.A. Bondy: Properly, I solely am as a result of I really feel like if individuals came and I didn’t, they’d be disillusioned. So I have to figure out which of them I can tolerate probably the most out of it. I don’t like that. It’s so bizarre. It’s a thing that type of solely exists in music. You don’t see that in painting or movie or whatever. I’ve a biased opinion about it, relating to see someone enjoying stay, I need to see what excites them. If I can inform that it excites them, even when I’m not into it, I can actually respect that.
AD: Do you have got considerations concerning the newer report alienating older listeners of yours? I can see lots of people who beloved American Hearts discovering this report troublesome.
A.A. Bondy: I feel that’s simply something that happens. There’s one thing about those older data—there are people who show up at my exhibits, and that is exhausting for me to take on and understand, but there appears to be some actually intense emotional shit happening with individuals with some of these songs. And I feel once you change by some means that there’s a possible for individuals to really feel such as you’ve undermined or demeaned no matter you probably did earlier than that made them feel good or a sure approach. Involved about it? No. But I’m concerned individuals will present up to the exhibits expecting some sort of transaction that doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t need to let anyone down really, however that stated, that approach of doing issues isn’t obtainable to me anymore.
I don’t know that I ever would’ve worked on anything if I hadn’t worked on this. I used to be speaking with a good friend of mine about this very thing. It’s like that scene in Scarface where he exhibits up with the convertible Cadillac with the leopard seats and he’s so pleased with it, and Michelle Pfieffer is at the prime of the steps and says “I’m not getting in that factor. It seems like a pinata threw up.” You actually feel like you did one thing, and everyone seems to be like “Oh, fuck this.” It’s not like I did one thing actually unintelligible or harsh or troublesome or something. It’s extra like, “the place’s the banjo?” [Laughs]
You recognize, I’m simply now coming to grips with the band I was in 20 years ago. To some extent, I can typically hear part of a track and never need to pull my abdomen by means of my mouth and throw it at somebody. It’s so embarrassing. So it is sensible to need to escape being a Kurt Cobain impersonator, however you then get to some extent where—I keep in mind reading this author Pleasure Williams—she talks about as soon as you determine the way to produce an effect as a author, it’s a must to discard it, every time. And there in all probability are individuals who work like that.
AD: That feels like a type of Brian Eno Oblique Methods playing cards or one thing.
A.A. Bondy: I informed a pal of mine years in the past that I assumed individuals should use Oblique Methods in bed. As a result of you could have things like “depart the room, shut the door.” “Honor thy mistake as a hidden intention.” [Laughs] words/j neas
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