"ANYONE WHO CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE SHOW CAN WATCH A LIVE STREAM OF THE GRANDE HALLE DE LA VILLETTE, PARIS PERFORMANCE ON PITCHFORK THIS FRIDAY AT 6:35PM (PARIS TIME)”.
Warpaint - ‘Hi’ Live at Hollywood Forever Cemetery (23rd October 2013)
Beautiful version of “No Way Out” - Warpaint at El Rey, LA (08.12.13)
Warpaint @ Index Festival, Dallas (10.19.13)
Fans had been lining the barrier of the Goose Island stage long before Warpaint made it onto the stage, and the dream pop quadruplet did end up drawing quite a crowd by the start of their set. Weather and stage placement aided the performance, though it was to the band’s credit that they, in turn, were the perfect accompaniment to the calm and cool evening. But their real power comes from the alluring pull of their soft melodies contrasted with complex drumming. Their crowd had various levels of engagement, from true fanatics who mouthed every word, to newcomers who liked what they heard and nodded politely. The highly anticipated rendition of the 2010 hit “Undertow,” went smoothly, and was preceded by other songs from their only release, The Fool. Other notable aspects included an inspired light show and running commentary from the band. “Wave your glowsticks like you just don’t care.” The crowd gladly complied.
Photos by Andy Harman
Warpaint Setlist. The Wiltern, Los Angeles. 10.22.13
- Interview with Warpaint in next week's NME. On sale Wednesday, October 30th.
Jagwar Ma guitarist Jono Ma will appear on the new Warpaint album, according to Stella Mozgawa.
In an interview with The Fly, the drummer with the California outfit revealed how fellow Sydney native Ma had been visiting LA when he wound up working on a track that singer/guitarist Emily Kokal had written a few years previous.
“There’s [a track on the record] called ‘Biggie’ that is my favourite. Emily [Kokal], myself and Jono worked on that song initially. It was a really spastic electronic song that was about seven times faster than it is right now. It was an instrumental and an idea that Emily had had for a long time.
“Jono was visiting me in LA and we were hanging out in my basement making music. Emily came by and had this idea she’d had for a few years. We found the perfect sound and got really excited about it, then left it on the shelf for a little while. Then it came out when we were in pre-production with Flood [producer on the new album]. He basically flipped the whole thing on its head — he added lyrics and made us slow it down to about 20% of the original speed.
“It’s just one of those things – watching it from the inception to the way that it is now, I just feel really proud of it. I remember when we first recorded it with him and we had the instrumental version I went home and listened to it 4 million times. I just texted everyone saying that I thought we’d done something I didn’t know we were even capable of doing.”
Mozgawa goes on to add that working on the follow-up to 2010 debut ‘The Fool’ felt like a “struggle” at times, but that she was glad the band knew when to stop obsessing over things and get the record finished.
“I think that it was hard to say goodbye to [the songs],” she said. “That was the hardest aspect of making the record — knowing that something’s finished and knowing that something has its own momentum. Not picking at it like a wound, because otherwise it just continually bleeds. You could go through that process forever and ever. Why not just let it heal?”
Warpaint’s new album is due in January next year.
When asked about the title for the record, Emily Kokal teases, “The title is … not quite yet, I think we know what it is but I’m not quite sure so … I won’t say that yet.” However, when it comes to the release date as well as how the new material is going to be debuted, things are bit more definite, “The release date, I think, is January 20th,” says Kokal. “And a single, and some other stuff is going to be trickling out between next month and the end of the year,” she says.
To further sweeten the pot, the ladies of Warpaint enlisted none other than Flood aka Mark Ellis to produce the new record. With credits to his name as big as U2’s Zooropa, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ The First Born Is Dead, Depeche Mode’s Violator, Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral, The Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness, and several PJ Harvey records, one cannot stress the potential of the new Warpaint album being nothing short of a masterpiece.
“He’s made amazing albums while preserving the integrity of the band and the sound,” explains Kokal, “he’s not somebody who puts his very specific way of doing things on an album and we’d heard that. Just based on PJ Harvey’s last two albums and the fact that she’s evolved so much through her career and he’s been along the ride with her; if we were going to work with anybody, we wanted to work with somebody who had those kinds of values.”
In addition to employing Flood to produce, the new record marks another milestone in Warpaint’s career thus far, the new record will be the first that all four members of the band work on from start to finish. With previous records, especially when it came to the drums, most songs, except those with Shannon Sossamon, were recorded by drummers playing or re-interpreting a previous drummer’s material. The new record will be the first with same drummer present during the writing of the songs is also present on the recordings.
“When Stella joined the band, she joined the band thirty days before we made The Fool,” explains Kokal, “and so as much as Stella had joined the band we were ‘a band,’ we had never really written with her.” In an effort to make sure that the newest member of the band was fully included in the writing process, all four girls secluded themselves in a dome house that they converted into a demo room in Joshua Tree for several weeks to write. “The goal was just to go for three or four weeks and just write, jam out and feel what comes,” says Kokal. She continues, “we had some ideas we were working on and we just wanted to get away from everything and be together.”
The inclusion of Mozgawa was important as it’s become clear that her presence in what made the band whole, Kokal explains, “We’ve really learned to play together so much from being on tour, we became a band, more-so, after The Fool came out than before. We wanted to take advantage of all that time we’d spent together playing those songs, doing the little bits of writing we had done, and becoming a cohesive unit.”
Outside of the good fortune of being able to write together, without a final product to listen to, it’s hard to speculate as to what type of evolution the new Warpaint album will capture. However, Emily stresses that one of the big differences will be a specific attention to the subtle sounds and instrumentation in their recordings that add up to make a tune even more lush and expansive, “We all listen to a lot of hip hop, R&B, electronic music, ambient music, and all of these kinds of subtleties of sound and soundscapes. So one thing that did happen, was that naturally, there were a lot more synthesizers and drum machine type instruments brought into the scenario and we kind of got away from the two guitars, bass and drums vibe and we have a lot more dimension to the instruments being played and the sonics that are happening.”
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