By Christian Schaeffer
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For some reason, recently I've been thinking about it a little bit. Just this morning I was thinking about [2002's] Aldhils Arboretum and wondering where it came from, because I'm in a completely different space then I was back then, mentally and emotionally. I couldn't even imagine writing any of those songs anymore. It's almost like they were written by somebody else. We never play any songs that were recorded before [2004's] Satanic Panic [in the Attic], just because it seems so foreign, in a way.
I would assume you've become a lot more popular in the past five years, but I wonder if the makeup of your audience has changed as your career has transformed.
Back in the day, we were so unpopular, it's hard to say what kind of fan we had, because we had so few. [Laughs]
6161 Delmar Blvd.
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Region: Delmar/ The Loop
How did the vocal collaborations with Janelle Monae and Solange Knowles come about for this record?
Janelle and Solange and I have just become good friends over the last year or so and started collaborating with each other. I've worked with them on their projects, so it just sort of made sense to have them involved on False Priest as well. The whole thing came about organically, just hanging out and realizing that we had a lot in common. It's always great to collaborate with someone you really respect, and I think both of them are great vocalists and performers, so it was a great honor, in a way, to have them on the record.
You've always been, nominally, an indie-rock band. It's a dumb phrase anyway, but the past couple records have moved so far away from that. But since you're so used to making Of Montreal records by yourself, what was it like sharing the mic with somebody else? Was it a hard thing to learn to sing with somebody else?
Not really. The three of us have been doing a lot of live performing over this year, so we already had that worked out. It's easy for me to work with them because they're so gifted, and I don't have to give them direction. It's just exciting to hear my song come out of their mouths.
Janelle will be opening the St. Louis show, and she's obviously been on the rise as well. Is it tough picking opening bands that could potentially blow you out of the water?
She has a very theatrical side of her performances as well, so what we're trying to do is to create a really complex evening of art and entertainment, where the lines between the two performances are sort of blurred. We're viewing this tour as if we're curating an evening at these venues, so right from when doors open, we're going to have performance art and some spontaneous musical performances within both bands; there will be a lot of cross-pollination between both groups. And in between Janelle's performance and our performance there will be some other art events. Basically, we'll be controlling the environment from the very beginning, so you'll never walk into AC/DC or anything. keywords: janelle monae, of montreal, interview, kevin barnes, the pageant, false priest