By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
4) A Treble Checking That Says We Might Win
"It's been an eighteen-month odyssey," MacDonnell says of the tour that has followed the release of The Meadowlands. Because this tour has been arranged around work and personal obligations, the band has nicknamed it the "Weekends Only" tour. "Of course, we'd rather be doing this full-time," MacDonnell adds, "but, you know, it's kind of where real life and fantasy collide."
At times, though, that collision has been all too real. Near the end of their work on The Meadowlands, within just two months, each member of the Wrens lost a parent. Says MacDonell: "We kind of stepped back and looked at each other and said, 'You know what, we all just got through the hardest thing on the planet. And everything else, who gives a fuck about?' Of course, we want people to like the music, but we're not going to live and die by it. And when we play a show, we literally approach every show like it could be the last one. You just never know. So whether five people are there or a thousand people are there, we play the same show, energy-wise."
Still, MacDonnell seems at peace with the Wrens' future, which in the short term includes preliminary work on a new LP. "If it were all to end now, I think we'd all be completely satisfied and just excited that we got to the point where we are," he says. "We figure anything positive that happens from here on out is like icing on the cake."
5) I'm Back! I'm Back!
A final caveat: If you want to see the Wrens play live, do not be late. MacDonnell, for example, has to catch a six o' clock flight the morning after the Wrens' St. Louis show. "I'm the coach for [my four-year-old-son's] indoor soccer team, so I've got to be back for the team," he says, laughing. "Again, real life colliding with fantasy."