Roughly one year after the release of Alive in High Five, their second album on Learning Curve Records, Private Dancer are (most likely) calling it a day. The classic rock-schooled, enthusiastic five piece shares members with STNNNG, Vampire Hands, Marijuana Deathsquads, Leisure Birds, the Chambermaids, Total Fucking Blood, Robust Worlds, and the recently formed Polica, and there's little doubt that other projects will spring up. Singer/guitarist Alex Achen is contemplating an international move, and the rest of the band are involved in several other projects.
With the end in sight, Gimme Noise caught up with Achen and guitarist Nate Nelson to cover what may be the band's final moments.[jump]
Gimme Noise: When did you start Private Dancer? Is the band now similar to how you originally envisioned it?
Nate: I started writing songs for it in 2007. I thought we would be softer/quieter and more straightforward than my other bands. 1 out of 2 ain't bad.
What's the biggest misnomer about the band?
Nate: That maybe we are a joke band like Ween or something. I just want to write a good pop song. Not trying to be too arty or too punk or fit into any kind of scene and I feel like we've been successful by those standards. No bands want us in their scene!
Your press has often focused on Private Dancer being the members' "fun band," while other projects might be more complicated in nature. Do you take that as a slight?
Nate: Maybe. I try not to let anything bother me though. I know that I give this band as much of myself as I do in any of the bands I'm in. I would venture to say all the rest of the guys feel the same way.
Why is Alex moving? Is it a long term thing?
Alex: If I do go to China, it will be right after the new year. But, to be honest, I'm having second thoughts all over the place. Perhaps it's just being broke that is making me think this way right now, but who knows? Regardless, I do think this will be Private Dancer's last show for a long time. We are all really busy dudes musically and, personally, I want to be less attached to bands so as to have more freedom.
That being said, we are all friends and enjoy playing together so I could see us having another show someday down the line.
When you booked Saturday's show, did you know it might be your last? Did you cherry-pick the other bands for a big finale?
Nate: I knew that Alex was talking about moving in October or November and Ben is going to be gone all of October with Marijuana Deathsquads, so I had a feeling there was potential for the last one. Saying it's your last show makes it easier to get bands to say "yes" to playing with you at least!
When a band runs its course, does another one step up right away, or will you have an abundance of free time for a period?
Nate: With how many projects we are all in, I doubt we'll have much more free time than we already have. One extra free night a week I suppose. Practicing with Private Dancer has always felt more like hanging in a clubhouse than actual work though. I used to do more improv/drone stuff and I really miss doing it so I'd like to try to make time for that. We'll see!
Private Dancer play at the Hexagon Bar Saturday September 10. Also playing are Birthday Suits, Child Bite (Detroit), Tender Meat, and Finger Pressure. 21+. Free. 9 p.m.
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