Sleeping in the Aviary interview 2: On burritos and touring
Photo by Christopher Heubach
It's been a big year for Sleeping in the Aviary. The Minneapolis band released their fourth album, You and Me, Ghost, which landed on City Pages' Best of 2011 albums, toured constantly, and are back to writing for a new record. In the meantime, the band will be re-releasing their fan-favorite Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel on vinyl. The hooks, sweet melodies and opulence are all there: lovely, but deep, dark yet light.
Gimme Noise spoke with lead singer Elliott Kozel before the re-release show at the Turf Club on Thursday evening.
Gimme Noise: Quite a bit has happened since the release of your last album, including having You and Me, Ghost land on some "Best of" lists. How do you feel about this? Is it an ego boost?
Elliott Kozel: It's nice to get a little recognition in town, but we don't think about it much. we are constantly hard at working to make the next album even "more better."
The last we talked, I asked about the financial trials of touring since the band tours constantly. Did the band tour the beginning of this year? How did that go?
Yes, we did. It was difficult. Our food stamps ran out and a lot of times we didn't make enough money to eat; there were a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We had fun in Detroit, though. We played with a popular band called The Dodos in Ann Arbor, because Phil once went skinny dipping with them and let them sleep on his floor before they were rich and famous. Nobody broke any limbs this time.
What's the reasoning behind the re-release of this album, and why on vinyl?
When the album came out, it was only released in compact disc format. It was the only album of ours not to be released on vinyl, so our record label (Science of Sound) took it upon themselves to right this wrong and fill up the hole in our discography. A lot of our fans regard it was our best album, so we are excited to give them a much better way to listen to it.
Did you go back an listen to any tracks when the label approached you about doing a re-release?
Yes, I listened to some of it. About half of it, I can't stand and half of it I think is alright. We did a release show in Madison where Science of Sound is based and played the whole album in its entirety. It felt very strange, like going to some sort of horrible time machine where you have to meet yourself from five years ago.
What's the working relationship like with Science of Sound?
They are very nice to us. Ricky, who runs the recording studio from his basement, lets us come down there and sleep at his house for days and days and record our music free of charge. He also will sometimes buy us burritos from Madison's famous "Burrito Drive," aka Taco Street. They have one there that contains tater tots. He also lets us come down there and rent out his studio to record and produce bands and lets me bring a bunch of greasy hipsters he has never met into his home so we can make the jams. In the last year or so, Kyle and I have done records for Buffalo Moon, Teenage Moods, Orange Iguanas, and Hot Freaks down there at his studio. Terrin runs more of the business side of things and has been very generous in helping to book shows, getting the merch, and supporting us when we are out on the road.
The band does not take itself seriously at all. Why is that? Does it ever affect the business side of music?
Really? Where do you get that impression? We take the music part pretty seriously. We spent over half of 2011 in a shitty minivan playing shows all over the country. No home to speak of; our home was the tour van. Now that van has sadly gone to the "Great Garage in the Sky." We have put out a record almost every year for five years. This is a reflection of our serious dedication to music, no?
The business side, I admit, is a bit more difficult to take seriously. None of us in the band are any good at it. We all prefer spending most of our time working on the actual music part. If anyone would like to put on a suit and be our manager and go around shouting at people about our guarantee and sending ferocious emails, please contact us. We are like the Ninja Turtles without a Splinter.
What is the band up to now? Are you writing new music?
We are working on a new album that we are gonna record in September down at Science of Sound in Madison.
We also have a lot of solo project releases coming up. Phil's country band, InBOIL, is releasing a new record August 16 at Hell's Kitchen. Kyle is releasing his new Rupert Angeleyes album on cassette August 3 at the Hexagon, and I am releasing an album of my noise-R&B-pop project called Tickle Torture on September 1st at the Kitty Cat Klub. Also, Kyle and I play in a band called Teenage Moods and the record we played on and produced with them called Grow will be released August 31 at the Hexagon.
What can we expect at the vinyl release show?
A Ricky Martin cover.
Sleeping in the Aviary will release Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel on vinyl at the Turf Club with France Camp, Hot Freaks, and Amp Joy on Thursday, July 26, 2012.
21+, $5, 9:30 pm
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