BAND OF HORSES

GQ (Australia) - - SOURCE -

RE­TURN­ING TO TOUR NEW AL­BUM WE TALK TO FRONT­MAN BEN BRIDWELL ABOUT YODA, RICK RU­BIN, FATHERHOOD AND FEM­I­NISM. NOT IN THAT OR­DER.

GQ: It’s been said you’ve been pretty quiet lately, given the four years since the last al­bum. Still, don’t you now have enough kids be­tween you to launch a re­al­ity TV show? Ben Bridwell:

Yeah, my wife and I have a nice round to­tal of four [daugh­ters]. Creighton [Bar­rett], our drum­mer, had two ba­bies, and our gui­tar player [Tyler Ram­sey] had his first. We also did an acous­tic record [ Acous­tic at the Ryman] and then I did a side project [ Sing Into My Mouth] with Sam Beam from Iron & Wine, and the new record. Yeah, ‘quiet’ isn’t a word I’d use.

GQ: You’ve pre­vi­ously sought cre­ative soli­tude when writ­ing, whereas with this al­bum you stayed home. What prompted that de­ci­sion? BB:

It’s been well noted that, yes, I used to go squir­rel away in cab­ins and ba­si­cally run from my re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to hone my cre­ativ­ity. But this time, it was for lack of want­ing to bring up the topic. Hon­estly, we were trav­el­ling around quite a bit [over the last few years] so I wasn’t about to be like, ‘Hey, what’s up, wife? Is it cool if I dip out to some damn house and just rage in­side my mind for a while?’ I just didn’t think that was go­ing to be well re­ceived [laughs]. So I stayed home and wrote when I could.

GQ: How did a house­hold filled with women in­flu­ence the mu­sic that was cre­ated? BB:

So much. There was a sense of ur­gency in­volved, be­cause time is fleet­ing… and our house­hold is crazy. And now there are four of them, I’m one of them, you know; I’m an hon­orary fe­male [laughs]. And that re­ally af­fected the ma­te­rial – I’m try­ing to be more present, try­ing to not be afraid of tough feel­ings and the roller­coaster of this emo­tional life we’re all liv­ing.

GQ: Uber-pro­ducer and man of great beard, Rick Ru­bin, is also in­volved – what’d he bring to the al­bum? BB:

It’s a pretty daunt­ing prospect to play your garbage demos to some­one with Rick’s ear but, luck­ily, he has such a great feel for sen­ti­ment. The way he talks about mu­sic is in shapes and colours and pat­terns, so it’s re­ally hard for me to put it into words what he did, but it was cru­cial for get­ting this thing done right.

GQ: He sounds like a fairy god­fa­ther. BB:

He is, yeah, he’s like Yoda and a brand-new baby. It’s hard to tell ex­actly what he is, but what­ever it is, he’s fan­tas­tic – and very in­spir­ing. Band of Horses play Splendour in the Grass July 22; Mel­bourne July 24; Syd­ney July 25. Why Are You OK is out now; band­ofhorses.com

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