Fun Fun Fun Fest Preview
Carl Newman details why the New Pronographers aren't a collective
The New Pornographers
7:35pm, Stage 1
"I don't know who the first band was that decided to call themselves a collective, but I'd really like to punch them. It's such a stupid thing to call yourself," bristles Carl Newman, principal songwriter of the New Pornographers. "What the hell is a collective? Does anybody actually know what a collective is? I've heard of collectives that grow their own food and live on communes, but how does that translate into a rock & roll band? Does that mean we help out with the chores or take turns washing the dishes or something?"
Newman's frustration with the tags applied to the New Pornographers' loose lineup has become increasingly contentious, especially as the members' solo careers (including Neko Case, Dan Bejar's Destroyer, and Newman's own) have gained force since the group's 2000 debut, Mass Romantic. With Newman moving from Vancouver to New York for the Pornographers' fourth release, Challengers, his band's diaspora is more pronounced than ever. This fall's tour marks the first with the full recording lineup in more than two years.
"It's just the nature of our band that we're spread out all over, to the point that I'm amazed we can ever all get together," Newman admits. "It's always been a strange process. Sometimes there's a group of five of us working on a song in a practice space, and sometimes we're just scattered all over, overdubbing and flying into different towns to do it.
"From the beginning, it's always been about trying to arrange this band around people's lives, because everybody is of the mind that it's great to be in this band, but I'm not going to give up everything in my life for it," offers Newman. "That might be a very un-rock & roll attitude to have, but it's good to have a life."