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The Making of
Metals
2011

“Metals is the opposite of the insularity of The Reminder. It's like the walls had all been blown out and we're in a world of mics catching every bit of air. It’s a live record made in a wooden room, pretty stark. My hope was to not have a wasted word, or note.”

The Making of Metals
2011

“Metals is the opposite of the insularity of The Reminder. It's like the walls had all been blown out and we're in a world of mics catching every bit of air. It’s a live record made in a wooden room, pretty stark. My hope was to not have a wasted word, or note.”

The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals

“With Metals the songs came to me pretty clearly because I was experiencing grief for the first time in my life. As I’m sure you know, at some point the world shifts because all of a sudden there’s this massive factor called death that you hadn’t met previously, so there was that. Death is truly just a word until you meet it. And at the same time, I was kind of mourning a dream I had never even dreamt that had usurped my reality, having this thing happen to my career that I hadn’t ever even aimed at. It just shifted things and I had to reconfigure how I wanted to inhabit it; that took a while.”

The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals

“I got a coach house, like a tiny garage, almost like a garden shed behind my apartment and I made that space a rarefied air – no internet, I didn’t bring my phone in there. I left my house and I left my day behind and I’d go in there and close the door and it was kind of—I really stacked the energy in terms of it not being a space for anything else.

I didn’t invite anyone in. I felt like my grandpa, he used to have a workshop in the basement that was just his to make and do whatever he wanted in. I made a potent space and then everything was pretty much clear as to what and even why to write. It all happened in a pretty short period of time. Then it was just a matter of who I wanted there when we started recording, extending invitations to my musical brotherhood and hoping that they would want to be there. That was Mocky and Chilly Gonzales, as well as Brian LeBarton and Dean Stone.”

The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
Big Sur

“I had made both records before Metals in France but I didn’t have such a foot in France anymore. I had driven through Big Sur a couple of times, just long enough to think, I have this feeling of wanting to push off to the edge, to be at the edge of the continent, the edge of a vast ocean, on the other side of which is pretty much a mystery to me.

We were trying to pretend a genre called “Modern Ancient” existed – like ‘jazz’ or ‘rock’ – and imagined how would we adhere to that. We had a moratorium on tambourines and shakers because of “Mushaboom,” and “1234” where everything is claps and tambos and shakers and celebration. The new songs in no way called upon old instrumentation. They really were a completely different group of personalities. I liked them arriving in such an unfamiliar form for me, declaring ‘I need a euphonium!’

It was such a fine line between playing by rote and playing to this raw, bony thing that Metals became, and that’s all due to the depth of the players, and Gonzo and Mocky as my co-producers. The band arrangements really expanded the demos of me sitting alone in that garden shed. The songs were pretty much there. The lyrics were there, the melodies were there, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the input of those guys. And the unsung contribution to that sound, in the end, is also in large part the engineering and in retrospect, actually the co-production of Robbie Lackritz. He built us a recording studio in that raw wooden space up in Big Sur and captured those performances in a way that made Metals what it is.”

The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals
The Making of Metals