Manchester Orchestra

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With their brand new record '€˜Simple Math'€™ dropping just under a month ago, this band currently finds themselves in a headlining run across the US with Cage The Elephant and have no plans of stopping supporting the record any time soon! At the time of my interview with Tim which took place just a few days after their performance of '€˜Virgin'€™ on Letterman the band hadn'€™t yet announced that they would be opening for Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance this summer and there is sure to be more coming from the band!

As one of the only true current rock and roll bands in this writer'€™s eyes, I was definitely interested in the opportunity to have time to talk to the drummer of the band who had a large hand in the making of the third record along side the front man Andy Hull who for this record says it was a concept record! An amazing story teller and one who seems to be incredibly honest they are a rare thing in music today and I'€™m very grateful for the opportunity to get a little bit of insight into this incredible band.

Your new record just dropped a little while ago but how do you think it'€™s maybe been going over so far with the fans and everything with this tour you'€™re on?
It'€™s been going really good. Like you said, it just came out and already at the shows kids are singing along with the new songs like they know all the lyrics and stuff already. So it'€™s pretty cool to have that reaction at the shows. People seem to really be embracing the new songs and like them. They'€™re going over well live so that makes us happy.

Perfect and then I know Andy does a lot of the writing for the records but how does that process come about like once you'€™re in the studio like recording and writing? Was it more collective putting the music to it? How did it go about?
You know there'€™s some songs that were written as like most of the lyrics and melodies and stuff already I guess and there were other songs that kind of just formed in rehearsal spaces while we were working on this material and it was a really sort of organic nice process. There'€™s a lot of other bands where one guy sort of writes everything and brings that to the band or something like that. Andy definitely writes all the songs and lyrics but we definitely got to have a lot of influence on their own parts. Everybody got to just write the best parts that they could for this record and it was a really painless record to make in a lot of ways because it just works really well.

Perfect and then how do you think it maybe kind of compares or contrasts sonically to the last record?
Yeah a lot of people ask this all the time. I think the differences are really with the last couple records. Manchester had to go from almost like loud and aggressive art. I feel ,like with '€˜Simple Math'€™ we were able to kind of like bang out a little bit more of dynamics in the record for all parts. They'€™d come down and engage a lot more in the songs. It'€™s just a lot more dynamic and I think we'€™re really proud of it.

Awesome, that'€™s good! Then maybe for you personally, what would you say is the most familiar sounding song on this record for fans and then the most unfamiliar?
That'€™s kind of like one thing that we'€™ve been talking about. We put out '€˜Simple Math'€™ as the title track but pretty soon almost immediately right behind it we released that song '€˜April Fools'€™ and I think '€˜April Fools'€™ is just more rock-ish. Really more of a rock song and seems a little bit heavier and stuff. People who like Manchester'€™s last record can easily gravitate towards that song but I think '€˜Simple Math'€™ is a step for the band where it'€™s something that we haven'€™t done before but I think people really are open to it now and they like that. They like the song or are responsive to it so it'€™s nice because I think those few songs are kind of almost polar opposites. Like '€˜Simple Math'€™ and '€˜April Fools'€™ but they both fit really well under the Manchester umbrella. So I think kids will like all of it hopefully.

Then this is a bit wider and a bit different but maybe if you were to take any track off this new record '€™Simple Math'€™ to make a video for like maybe a personal favorite, what song would you choose and why?
What song I would choose. I mean have you listened to the record?
I have!
I mean so you kind of know that this one is a lot different then the one before and that'€™s one thing I love about it but it does make it hard to have a favorite because I like different songs for different reasons. There'€™s some songs where I love them because I get to do cool parts or things that I'€™m proud of. Melodies and stuff but for me I really like this one track on the album I think it'€™s number seven. It'€™s called '€˜Leave it Alone'€™. It'€™s a song that came sort of at the end of the writing process and it just kind of sort of wrote itself. Andy had the idea for it and he just started working out parts and it was written really fast and very easily. It became a really nice song, really pretty and it'€™s also got some really good music in it so that'€™s kind of a personal favorite of mine but I really like a lot of the songs on this record for different reasons. Hopefully other people will hear that. What'€™s your favorite song?
I like that one but I also really like '€˜Simple Math'€™ and then '€˜Virgin'€™.
Yeah, those are sweet. Did you see Letterman?
I did not but I heard about it!
Yeah we played '€˜Virgin'€™ on Letterman and it was pretty cool. Yeah a lot of people like that song. Just the heaviest on our record. It'€™s pretty heavy but yeah I guess for me I would say '€˜Leave It Alone'€™ is my personal favorite!

What would you say, being in this steadily growing and incredibly successful band, was like this is real life and this is something that really going to be big moment?
It'€™s weird because I'€™ve known these guys for a really long time. I knew Andy before they put out '€˜Like A Virgin (Losing A Child)'€™ and it'€™s pretty crazy to see the development that they'€™ve had since then and since I joined the band. So I don'€™t know! I guess I can only really talk for this third personally but I have sort of seen them progress through all of the albums and it'€™s been really interesting to watch. I don'€™t know if I could really answer that question.
Yeah maybe not but that'€™s perfectly okay!

And this is a little bit lighter but obviously you are on the tour right now with Cage The Elephant. Maybe being part of a band that does steadily tour, what would you say are the three things that you must have while on the road to survive?
Three things I'€™ve got to have on the road? A clean bathroom every day. I got to have a toothbrush and be able to wake up and have like a bottle of water in front of me and be able to brush my teeth. Or I'€™m miserable for the day and I got to have friends come see me so I don'€™t go crazy. So what else? My cell phone I don'€™t know there'€™s a lot of different things but that'€™s a good question.
With good answers!
Yeah! Well, thank you!

Perfect! Then what was the first CD or cassette you bought as a kid and the first concert you went to?
Well the first like rock show I ever went to was like a small local band that really no one'€™s ever heard of but it was actually a huge influence on Manchester and it was a band called Two Thirty Eight. They broke up years ago and the first CD that I like ever bought I think was Green Day'€™s '€™Dookie'€™ so that'€™s going back a little ways. I'€™m kind of getting old.

Then do you think those influenced you a lot? I know you said the local band really influenced Manchester Orchestra but do you think those first experiences have influenced the style of what you'€™re doing today and you personally?
Yeah I definitely do! I think you sort of, especially as a musician, you try to take all the influences that you have and pick out what you like best and sort of interject that into your own style and your own creativity. I think that'€™s one thing that our band is really good at. At sort of being influenced by great music but still making sure that we have our own sound and our own style. Our own way of doing things in our songs. Well we definitely, there'€™s a lot of bands that influence us and that we sort of draw inspiration from for sure. That anywhere close?
Yeah that was good! I love it.
I need a positive reinforcement you know.
You need some positive reinforcement? Well there you go!
Yeah I need some feedback.

Then to end it off, obviously this tour still goes on for a little while but what'€™s coming up with in these next few months? Are you going to still be touring? Maybe overseas?
You know I'€™m not really sure. When this tour gets over like half way thru June then I know that we'€™re going to take some time off when we get back but I'€™m sure that we'€™ll be back on the road pretty soon. I know that there'€™s talks of some international stuff or we'€™re definitely going to end up going back to England and probably later this year maybe going to Australia and things like that. So, we'€™ll see. Everything'€™s still being planned out but definitely Manchester will be touring a lot of this year.

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