Friday, February 22, 2008

Mini-Interview: Afternoons

Local indie pop act Irving have been one of the more stalwart groups in the LA music scene since their first album came out back in 2002, so it was little surprise when the members' new project band Afternoons debuted to packed houses in town.

We caught up with singer/guitarist Brian Canning over IM recently to discuss: 1) what the hell they've been doing, 2) what the hell they're doing now, and 3) what the hell they're doing next.

RFSL (4:06:04 PM): Hey, Brian!
Afternoon (4:07:50 PM): Hey, Joe. How’s it going?
RFSL (4:08:06 PM): Going pretty well. Gorgeous day out.
RFSL (4:08:28 PM): Listening to a new Mezzanine Owls track.
RFSL (4:08:31 PM): Can't complain.
Afternoon (4:09:52 PM): What do Mezzanine Owls sound like? That’s a really good band name. And yeah this weather is ridiculous.
RFSL (4:11:00 PM): They're kind of echoey and pretty pop.
RFSL (4:11:26 PM): Have gotten really fun live lately.
RFSL (4:12:03 PM): So where to start... How did Afternoons come together? (Has Irving morphed into it?)
Afternoon (4:24:56 PM): Afternoons started as a recording project, it gave us an opportunity to record Irving songs that didn't make the Irving albums. Then we started to write songs thinking "Oh this would be a good Afternoons song, and then we just started writing more Afternoons songs then Irving songs.
Afternoon (4:25:46 PM): We were simultaneously recording the Irving and Afternoons album and we just decided to move forward with the Afternoons, so yea we still have an Irving album half-recorded that we will get to one day but for now we are just focusing on Afternoons.
RFSL (4:26:42 PM): How do you decide what constitutes an Afternoons' song and what constitutes an Irving song?
Afternoon (4:27:51 PM): Afternoons’ songs are the really good ones and the Irving songs are kind of gay. Steven writes most of the Irving songs. I just stick with the Afternoons songs
RFSL (4:28:01 PM): Ha, ha.
Afternoon (4:29:44 PM): Steven loves gay songs. He's always calling me up, "Brian, you got here this new song I just wrote." And I'll say, "Is it gay?" And he'll say, "Yeah, it's really gay" And I'll say, "Par for the course, Steven. Par for the course…"
RFSL (4:30:34 PM): Irving was the first band you all had been in, right?
Afternoon (4:31:23 PM): Yeah, it was. Brent was in a funk band in college, I swear to god they were called “Nougat.”
Afternoon (4:31:43 PM): I love college band names. I've come up with a bunch.
RFSL (4:31:56 PM): I tried to convince Le Switch to use the name "Darth Chocolate" when the had to change from The Switch.
Afternoon (4:32:30 PM): What about Testicular Dancer?
RFSL (4:32:53 PM): Wow.
RFSL (4:33:00 PM): I've clearly been outpunned.
Afternoon (4:33:49 PM): On tour, Steven won’t let anyone listen to music so we usually just sit around coming up with bad band names. I’m gonna do a coffee table book.
RFSL (4:34:14 PM): You can make fake posters for them and everything.
RFSL (4:34:18 PM): So you guys have recorded an EP or an album as Afternoons?
RFSL (4:34:33 PM): An album.
RFSL (4:34:47 PM): When did you work on that? Who did you record with?
Afternoon (4:37:01 PM): We recorded with Tom Biller, who is now our base player. He is amazing to work with.
Afternoon (4:38:04 PM): He is really clumsy, though. Sometimes I just watch him walk around his studio in amazement. Just tripping over shit left and right. I’ve never met a man so clumsy. It’s kind of cute how clumsy he is.
Afternoon (4:39:07 PM): We recorded the bulk of it last October or was it November... I am slightly dyslexic and am horrible with spelling and dates. I don't know anyone’s birthday besides my brother.
RFSL (4:40:03 PM): (I only know my dad's birthday, which is in January and I have to call my brothers every year to find out exactly when it is.)
RFSL (4:40:21 PM): Cool. And you've played, what, six or seven shows out together so far?
Afternoon (4:41:57 PM): We've played four shows. Two pre-Aaron and Sam and two post-Aaron and Sam.
RFSL (4:42:32 PM): So you're looking to tour soon? Talking to labels?
Afternoon (4:44:30 PM): Yeah. Really, really want to tour soon and put the album out soon as well.
RFSL (4:45:36 PM): Cool. I take it that you all have stayed on good terms with [former Irving member] Alex Church since you opened for Sea Wolf at the Natural History Museum.
Afternoon (4:49:30 PM): He’s dead to me.
Afternoon (4:50:18 PM): Okay, we love him. Steven and I moved to LA and Alex was the first friend we met. We’ve been through a lot together and have spent a lot of time together. He is a really great guy and we support him and he supports us.
RFSL (4:51:27 PM): You know I remember when I moved here, I'd hear women talk about who their favorite member of Irving was.
Afternoon (4:52:07 PM): That’s funny.
RFSL (4:52:18 PM): And then when I saw the first Afternoons show, it wasn’t hard to notice that the audience was predominantly comprised of really attractive women.
RFSL (4:52:57 PM): I guess the question from that would be...
RFSL (4:53:30 PM): (Damn, I can't think of a good zinger here.)
Afternoon (4:53:46 PM): And you call yourself a blog, dude...
RFSL (4:53:51 PM): Okay. So, what's it like being indie rock dreamboats?
RFSL (4:53:56 PM): Zing!
Afternoon (4:55:24 PM): I never really thought of us as dreamboats. Believe me, I'm no dream boat. I’m like a small little canoe.
RFSL (4:56:07 PM): Alright. I'll let you off the hook on that one. So, what's next for you all? Any shows coming soon? A residency?
Afternoon (4:57:45 PM): We play a show with The Delta Spirit on March 5th at The Echo. And yeah, I do believe a residency is in us.
RFSL (4:58:03 PM): Cool. Last question: What are you listening to these days?
Afternoon (5:02:26 PM): My neighbor is learning to play the bass, so mostly that, honestly. It’s brutal.
Afternoon (5:02:56 PM): But let me see here what have I been listening to? Um, I listen to Jams Shveda on the classical station mostly. And I listened to In Rainbows a couple of days ago and really like it.
RFSL (5:03:24 PM): Alright. That’s all I’ve got.
RFSL (5:03:41 PM): Thanks for all your time, Brian. Really appreciate it.
Afternoon (5:04:14 PM): No problem. Thank you. Take care and see you soon.

Afternoons play next at The Echo on Wednesday, March 5th with The Duke Spirit.

DOWNLOAD: Graffiti Artist MP3


Blogger JAX said...

hahaha Awesome interview man!

11:31 AM  

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