Chatting Up the ‘Lady: An Interview with Adam Schatz of Landlady, Man Man


With all the admiration that’s constantly being heaped on some other music cities, we sometimes feel that being music-loving Seattleites is a city-centric version of Stephen Colbert’s “Who’s Not Honoring Me Now” segment. Are we really not worthy of admiration anymore? Clearly we all think we’re still great but it’s always nice to hear people from other places say nice things too.

Songs like Landlady’s “Washington State is Important” offset our fictitious complex. It’s not exactly about music or Seattle but it’s a good song with a positive message about our home state, so we’ll chalk it up as a win for the KEXP crowd. With the good vibes flowing, we set out to chat with Brooklyn’s Adam Schatz [LandladyMan Man, Vampire Weekend (guest musician), many more] and caught up with him last week at the start of the tour in Illinois.

On the tour, Adam gets the rare honor of playing back-to-back sets, first as the frontman with Landlady, then after a short stage change, as part of the Man Man collective. As Adam told us from the road last week, it’s “double the sound checks, double the shows and of course, double the fun.”

On that topic, Adam’s advice to Seattleites weighing Friday night options “it’s really about the level of fun you feel like having. If you don’t feel like having a tremendous quantity of fun, then go to some other show.”

From Man Man, after first seeing them as a teenager in 2006 to now playing with them he learned “the intensity of giving absolutely all of yourself into a show. There’s no doubt in the mind of the audience of every ounce of every performer on the stage is just coming at them… it just becomes a very inclusive experience. If you’re new to that experience, you can’t help but be happy to be a part of it. It’s kind of why we do it. To make people happy. It’s really a very, very simple equation on paper.”

Maybe simple, but the joy you’ll feel in the crowd will be delightfully complex. Adam talked about how playing “Washington State is Important” in the state that inspired may be a little surreal. The song was inspired by a conversation Adam had with the owner of America’s Family Diner while stopping in Woodland, WA.

On introducing the song to the man who inspired it, Adam said “I can’t imagine it not making him uncomfortable. That’s a weird thing to tell someone. ‘Hey, I wrote a song about you and it’s from your point of view.. and I’m a stranger.’  In my mind the worst case scenario would be we actually eat there, they put the CD on and listen to it while and while they’re eating look at us with upset faces.”

Back in Seattle, the only upset face you’ll be wearing this Friday is if you miss the show. Head to the Croc to experience the joy that can only come from seeing one of the most energetic, ingenious art rock bands around. See you there!

8/15 (Friday) Man Man, Landlady @ The Crocodile | Doors at 8pm | $18 adv

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