ACL Fest Saturday Interviews
After the gold rush
Fleet Foxes12:30pm, AMD stage
"I feel like if you go into something expecting success, you're setting yourself up to fail," offered Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold before a packed show at Mohawk in June. "Getting all the attention now that the record is out is very strange."
While Pecknold admits being a bit overwhelmed by the response to Fleet Foxes' eponymous LP, released earlier this summer on Sub Pop, the album has been rightly heralded as one of the year's finest debuts. Drifting through the delicate harmonies of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and the contemplative Southern odes of early My Morning Jacket, the Seattle quintet illuminates its folk melodies with a gossamer pop glow. The subsequent extensive tour, however, including a sold-out run through the UK, has pushed a feverish pace that runs antithetical to the group's idyllic sound.
"I really just wish there were two of me, wish I had a clone," Pecknold laments. "You don't pick up a guitar and fall in love with music so you can tour 10 months out of the year. It's funny to me that the more so-called 'professional' your music career becomes, the less and less you're actually writing new music. I enjoy touring, but I do really wish that we could be working on the next record like right now."
The band has eased the brunt of life on the road with the addition of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman on bass in April, providing a fourth layer of harmony to Fleet Foxes' wall of sound. Tillman's own third solo album, Vacilando Territory Blues, a dreamy, lo-fi collection of pastoral pop, will be released in January on Austin's Western Vinyl imprint.
"They found their stride long before I joined [Fleet Foxes]," demurs Tillman on his role. "But it's served to accentuate my insignificance as newsworthy outside of the Fleet Fox context."