We head to mainland Europe to play some acoustic sessions and talk to press in the lead up to the release of ‘Ocean By Ocean’. First stop Netherlands.
Our hours in Amsterdam are spent interviewing and performing in an old Shell laboratory-turned-creative-space not far from Paradiso Noord – the venue we are coming back to play in our series of intimate shows in April/May. The architecture is mid-century modern style and could’ve been lifted right out of Palm Springs in California, coincidentally the location of our recent photoshoot with Nedda Afsari.
A chance to debut my Gibson J45 that I recently bought from Butch Vig (producer of Nirvanas ‘Nevermind’, drummer of Garbage, etc.) when we were over in LA a couple of weeks ago. History in an instrument is important to me and it feels good to begin adding to the notes that have come out of it. We’ve been enjoying recording and playing acoustic and alternate versions of the songs on the album. Today we play a few versions of the new single ‘Big Ideas’, alongside ‘Pull Yourself Together’ and ‘Let’s Disappear’.
Before the day is done we are on the next plane to Berlin and arrive with just enough time to go out into the night for some beers with some old friends. It’s dark and candlelit and full of smoke and the kind of atmosphere that is only found in Berlin. Colourful and quirky and sinister all at the same time.
Michelberger is a Bohemian hotel that seems to have hosted every band that comes through this city. It’s artsy and literary and we spend the day giving more interviews and acoustic sessions to German press.
I commented to our local friend about ‘The Big Lebowski’ that was playing silently on the hallway TV screens along the endless corridors. He said that its been on repeat for years. Along with slow and trippy surf music on the speakers it makes for a haunting walk back to the hotel room.
A few hours later the two of us are having drinks in Paris. It was supposed to be one but we ended up in a dive bar featuring six or seven guys with guitars standing in a corner playing together completely intoxicated. Anyone not with a guitar was standing pretty much on top of whoever was playing. We chose to spectate…
After more interviews and sessions we have the chance to go vinyl shopping at Balades Sonores. My purchase: ‘Dark was the Night’ – a compilation of interesting collaborations produced by the Dessner brothers. Nate’s choice: ‘Number 1 Record’ by BigStar.
It’s a short trip to Paris but we will be back here for a show at Point Ephémère on May 8.