ATH: You’ve got a new album coming out, Actor-Caster. How will this album compare with the work/sound of Con Law? Did you try any new tricks this time around?
Grant: This album is a little more cohesive than Con Law. The songs hang together a little better. I thought that the diversity of that record was one of its strong points, but we wanted to make this new record more of a unit than a collection of different influences. Not too many new tricks. I think we’ve gotten better and more confident at producing our demos. The demos we came in with for Actor-Caster were very close to what ended up on the record. A lot of the actual tracks from the demos made it onto the final record, so I think that reflects the fact that we’re getting closer to honing in on exactly what we want at an earlier stage in the writing process. As a result of that, I can hear that the performances are stronger and more confident, the vocals are stronger and better performances. We didn’t really worry about whether or not we could even make a record, which was something that we struggled with on the first one.
ATH: As a band that hails from New Orleans, how does the city’s music history influence your music, or do you tend to work against that history, choosing to create your own sound entirely?
Grant: It’s not a direct influence nor is it an anti-influence that we actively try to work against. That is not to say that we don’t appreciate traditional New Orleans music. Very much the opposite, Ted and I have spent a lot of our time in New Orleans going to see bands and musicians play traditional New Orleans music, especially in our high school years. Specifically The Meters, Art Neville, Irma Thomas, Rebirth Brass Band. We are huge fans of the city and the kind of music that New Orleans is famous for, we just don’t try to play it.
ATH: At this point in your career, where are you guys hoping to go, either musically, or popularity wise, etc.? Let it be known, we’re thinking you should be huge.
Grant: Thank you. We also think that we should be huge. I just read online that LCD Soundsystem instantly sold out their final show at Madison Square Garden. We will feel like justice has been done when we can instantly sell out the Louisiana Superdome instantly, which holds about 80,000. We would also like to be the first band to play a concert from the top of Mount Everest which we would broadcast over the web for all to see. We are currently talking to some folks at WFMU in New York about sponsoring that concert for us.
ATH: What are you looking forward to about your trip to Austin for SXSW? Are there any bands you’re looking forward to seeing? Sites or restaurants you have to hit up?
Grant: We’re playing a Force Field party on Wednesday 3/16 that I heard Lower Dens will be on also, we are admirers of their stuff so I hope that rumor is true. The Park The Van showcase at Mi Casa Cantina on 3/18 is going to be insane. We’re playing with Floating Action, The Spinto Band, Giant Cloud, Brass Bed and Empress Hotel. And that place is not a big venue so I know it’s going to be packed and it’s going to be so fun.
We really love Austin, we were there in August recording the Trust EP and we just fell in love with it. I can’t wait to get back. I will go straight back to Maria’s Taco Xpress on S. Lamar, Home Slice Pizza on S. Congress, we love Club De Ville and I can’t wait to go hang out there again. I’m getting really excited thinking about it!
ATH: You guys are a band who has this huge sound on record. In the live setting, do you think that you’re album transfers the way you want it to? Are there things you wish you had on hand to boost the sound, or things you wish you could leave out?
Grant: We have been tinkering with the formula of our live show for a couple of years now and I feel like we finally got something that I think is translating the songs really well to the live setting. At this point we’re playing the songs very faithfully to the recorded versions. We added a fifth member to the lineup so that we can fit in more of the parts and we’ve also added a couple of trumpets for all the shows we’ve done this year so far and we intend to keep that going for the foreseeable future. It might get hard for all the SXSW events we are playing, but we are trying really hard to set that up the horns for SXSW right now. Our old drummer Tess has started her own band called Au Ras Au Ras and we replaced her with our friend Juston Stens who has a style of drumming that is much closer to the records that we’ve made. Including horns, we’ve had seven and eight people onstage at a time for all of these shows, so I feel like we’re getting to where we are finally able to really put a really full huge sound together for the live shows, which is fun.
ATH: You’re in Austin, you meet a random guy on the street, and you’re trying to convince him to make it out to your show. What do you say? How do you pull it off?
Grant: “Do you want to continue to live in the darkness of not having seen this Generationals show? Come with us into the back yard of Sidebar, we will change your fucking life right now.”
Thanks ATH! You guys are radical.
ATH: No, thank you, Grant.
Generationals will be playing at Mi Casa Cantina on 3/18 @ 1 AM