March 18th, 2011 11:07 am | by MICHAEL MANNHEIMER Music | Posted In: Irrelevant Interviews

Five Questions with Destroyer's Dan Bejar


Dan Bejar is an incredible songwriter. Though he's quick to say that he's bored with instruments or that he recorded most of the vocals for his new album while he was fixing a sandwich, there's no denying that Bejar's sharp, twisting songs require a lot of effort. On email, however, Bejar is quick and to the point—which led me to combine my love for his lyrics and write about the "Destroyer drinking game" instead of the usual narrative-based music feature. While gearing up for a tour with his 8-piece Destroyer Orchestra in support of 2011's best record, Kaputt, he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and talk about what he's not reading.

1) WW: How much of Kaputt is based on the idea of fucking around? I've read that it took a while to record and was kind of constructed piece-by-piece, but the record as a whole is really cohesive and organized.
Bejar: That's good. I think the "fucking around" idea was probably an expression I tossed off when faced  looking back at three dudes huddled around a computer for a year and a half with beer and wine. In no way does this bely the fact that we knew what we were doing, even if not at the time that we were doing it. Also, the mixing process in no way had a "fucking around" aura.  It was way more do and die... The cohesiveness of the record shocks me to this very day...

2) Music critics seem to be really attached to the line, "I write poetry for myself." What forms of art, besides music, inspire your lyrics?
Film, words in poetry and plays, sometimes novels though rarely...What people sing and play...That's it...In that order...

3) Kaputt is probably the most "pop" thing you've ever done, but Archer on the Beach and the "Bay of Pigs" b-side are very free-form set pieces. Was there a huge difference in writing that stuff?
Yes. I also knew that it was not going to be submitted to the Kaputt ringer...I plan to do more stuff along those lines, even if the Kaputt sound drifts into the sunset... hat being said, in the actual writing process there is seldom any difference between things...Almost always just the sound of me walking around...

4) What's your favorite song you've written for the New Pornographers?
Daughters of Sorrow, by far...Except we fucked it all up, and I couldn't sing it or play it right...One of my least favorite recordings, but definitely one of my favorite songs, if not my favorite...Myriad Harbour's also cool... And Chump Change, though that one also got loused to no end...

5) What are you reading right now?
Nothing. I started a Robert Walser book whose title escapes me. That was a while back. Will try and finish the Marias Your Face Tomorrow trilogy on this tour, will probably fail...Need recommendations...Jacob Wren's last book was good, probably the last one I actually finished...

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