Fun Fest Interviews: Shearwater

FFFFest2009_shearwaterI’m excited that our Fun Fest interviews kick off this week with the great Austin band Shearwater.  We had the opportunity to send some questions via email to leading man and long time Austin resident Jonathan Meiburg.  We discuss the band’s move to a big label, how the new album is going, and a few other hot topics.  Follow the jump for full interview.


ATH: So when and why did the decision come about to leave Okkervil and go out on your own with Shearwater?


JM: Playing in one full-time touring band is hard enough; two is impossible.


ATH: When do you think your fascination with birds came about?


JM: The Falklands, October-November 1997.


ATH: Will the new album have a “bird” name?


JM: No.


ATH: What direction do you see yourself going in on the new album?  Or do you know the answer to that yet?


JM: Actually we’ve just finished it; I think it’ll be out early next year.  It’s all about islands, and it’s much wilder and more elaborate than the last record.  A lot more big drums from Thor.


ATH: The new album will be recorded at Austin’s own Public Hi Fi with Jim Eno.  Why did you make that decision and what has it been like working with Eno?


JM: We worked at PHF for some tracking and mixing, but not with Jim; our co-producer/engineer was John Congleton.   It’s a great place, though; that console’s awesome, and Public’s  assistant engineer, Brad Bell, is top-notch.


ATH: On the subject… Which local band grabs your ear?  Maybe some well known ones and ones we don’t know about yet.


JM: I went to see Grand Champeen the other night and they were great – they’ve been playing together since they were in high school, and it shows.  The Early Music Ensemble at UT is also spectacular.  And Foot Patrol!


ATH: Rook found you guys on major label Matador.  What has it been like making the jump from a smaller label to a major one?  Do they make the riders happen?


JM: Matador’s not a major, thank goodness. And they have an almost pathological resistance to telling you what to do, artistically.  They didn’t hear a note of the new record until we turned it in.


ATH: What are some of your favorite things about Austin?


JM: Hornsby Bend.  Hai Ky.  The Nature Center.  KOOP.  And the practice rooms at the UT music school.


ATH: Halloween is upon us… What are you going to be?


JM: I think a zombie snorkeler.  A refugee from a post-apocalyptic Caribbean vacation.


Be sure to send us a picture of that costume Jonathan… Sounds awesome.  Thanks again for making the time to speak with us.

Photo credit to Nicholas Kahn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *