When The Dears were in town in 2009, we had the distinct, yet somewhat bizarre, experience of being serenaded by frontman Murray Lightburn from a distance of 12 inches away. The then group of seven kicked of their set with a mobile Lightburn venturing into the darkened crowd with a candle in one hand, mic in the other.
Jump two years to the present and Lightburn will be returning to Seattle having soldiered through the dark days of 2008, notably having shed all five at-that-time new members of the band. (Founding members Lightburn and wife Natalia Yanchak are now joined by four others, mostly familiar faces who have played with the band previously.)
To get to this point, the band’s faced quite a few trials and tribulations but by the sound of their latest Degeneration Street, Lightburn and Co. seem to be back on solid ground. (Stream the full album below.)
In advance of their headlining gig at Neumos with Eulogies, we were able to catch up with the band who collectively answered our questions en route to their first show of the tour in Victoria.
We’ve been reading you’ve been saying this album is the most collaborative to date. How did that move to a more democratic process come about and how did it end up working in the studio?
There were a great many fights — actual fist-fights that sometimes resulted in hospitalizations. That’s how passionate we are. The democratic process within art-making is overrated. That said, when you feel that you can truly trust someone, that’s all that really matters. The studio was a blur; everyone knew what they had to do and went about doing it. Anyone in the band who was on the otherside of the glass would say something when they felt strongly about something. And then someone else would say that they were thinking the same thing.
We’ve been interested in the progress of the documentary you had started in 2008. What’s the status of that project?
For now, “the Gospel According To The Dears” is on “hiatus.” It was therapeutic.
In terms of your influences, do you all find that you’re influenced by different artists than you were when you first starting out?
We were always more inspired and influenced by circumstances that were close to us rather other artists. If there has been any change, it’s the fact that we influence each other.
Anything planned for any free time you’ll have while in Seattle?
Looking at our schedule, we have no free time. Looking forward to our session on KEXP…#shout out
3/7 @ The Crocodile :: The Dears :: Eulogies :: The Tender Box :: 8 PM :: $12