Last year, Dirty Projectors shed its identity. Bandleader Dave Longstreth is best known for obtuse guitar licks, somersaulting vocal lines, and puzzle-piece arrangements, but his 2017 solo release brooded a breakup document indebted to hip-hop and electronic production techniques. No tour behind it, but he’s reformed the group as a sixpiece in advance of a new album out in July.
Austin Chronicle: On the few shows following the last album you weren’t playing guitar. Will it be back?
Dave Longstreth: I love the guitar, we have a thing, but when I was making the self-titled record, the guitar ideas would gradually fall out of the sessions. I couldn’t figure out how to play guitar in that music. The inadvertent moratorium on guitar does not stand on the new songs.
AC: What inspired you to shift away from rock music to new production styles?
DL: The danger for rock music and all of its varied bastard children is that it becomes a historical practice that’s more or less obliged to use older tools. The music on the self-titled record uses whatever’s there to make the point and to get to the emotional meat.
AC: That album is a year old now. Have your feelings about it changed?
DL: The funny thing about being a songwriter is that you’ve gotta use your feelings. And that makes you vulnerable, because your feelings are your feelings. I’m proud of that record musically and I grew a lot in making it. It’s not an easy listen, but for me it was necessary to do.
AC: Was it a conscious choice not to tour the last album?
DL: Definitely. I thought it would be too devastating to tour that album. That was never in the cards for that one.
AC: It seems unusual, because I associate Dirty Projectors as road warriors.
DL: That’s totally right on, but like Willie Nelson said, phases and stages.
Tue., May 15, 6:30pm