Archive for January, 2009

Deerhunter photos

January 27, 2009

Chelsea’s Cafe Baton Rouge, La.


Right Away, Great Captain! – The Eventually Home

January 25, 2009


It seems hard these days to tell who is being truthful in their lyrics, and who is stretching the truth to be ironically poetic. The late Elliott Smith is one of the last greats I can think of, and Kevin Devine has consistently gotten better over his continuous career. There is Dallas Green and Conor Oberst, but that’s all that comes to mind as a small number of great storytellers.

While Andy Hull has more to worry about with his main project Manchester Orchestra, his life seems better reflected, and more poetic, with his side project Right Away, Great Captain!.

The first record, a “less than children’s story,” is a bundle of songs describing a voyage by Hull’s character, the Captain (duh), out at sea. Rationally, that sea can be seen as Hull’s consistent touring life since dropping out of high school to pursue music full time.

The Eventually Home is the return. Written between the time of what Hull describes as “300 days” of touring and before his new marriage, The Eventually Home is dark. Long story short, it is the thoughts that teeter back and forth from the Captain and his Wife. The Captain’s intention is to come home, bitter from his voyage, to end his wife’s life.

Again, like the last record, Hull switches things up musically. There are harmonic vocal choruses (“Devil Dressed in Blue”), folk rockers (“What a Pity”/”Oh No, I Tried”), and a full band roll tide (“I am a Vampire”) before the album’s close.

“Once Like You” also contains “the hardest lyrics” Hull has had to write. It is haunting, and sends a chill down the listeners throat when the Captain repeats “yeah” several times after proclaiming those said lyrics.

The album is a step up, and a bit shorter than its predecessor. Hull has stepped out behind an opaque glass to something a bit more transparent. “Cutting Off the Blood to Ten” and “Father Brian Finn” are somewhat forgettable, but the heart of the album isn’t lost in them.

The Eventually Home is very dark in tone, and at times, uncomfortable in word. With that being said, it is an honest documentation made by an artist that seems to be few and far between these days, and one that is possibly coming into his own.

Andy Hull Interview (Manchester Orchestra/Right Away, Great Captain!)

January 25, 2009


Both bands Hull fronts mature, and get smarter

It was only supposed to be one Right Away, Great Captain! song. That was all I was supposed to hear.

Andy Hull is too thrilled about the upcoming release of the next volume of chapters in his side project to just showcase just one song though, but decided to show more than half the album while sitting in the tour van behind the Playstation Stage at this year’s Voodoo Music Fest.

Hull just got done playing with his main project, Manchester Orchestra. The set consisted of four tracks from the band’s debut full length I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, which gained momentum within the past year and some months it has been released, though the set was weighted with new music on the band¹s upcoming follow-up.

The band are set to release Mean Everything to Nothing, early next year.

Hull is excited, but keeps asking what this reporter thought of the new set, and the songs playing through the van’s speakers.

“With the last Manchester record,” he says, pausing to tug on his full beard, “Was a record we made and didn’t expect anything. We did the exactsame thing on this one. We just got better, older and smarter.”

Mean Everything to Nothing, and Hull’s new RAGC record, The Eventually Home, were both written revolving around loss, love, yearning, Hull’s new marriage and consistent touring.

The Eventually Home was written right after coming home from a consistent touring schedule. “If you want to talk dark,” and then he clicks play on his iPhone and “Once Like You,” starts to play. Hull says it contains the hardest line he has ever had to write. and the song begins to unwind a dark sea cloud over the van.

“I am the one that talks to walls, instead of him. And after it’s done and buried, I will haunt our children, until they believe there¹s no God to stop my plan,” is the lyric. He wrote it on the porch outside the studio he recorded The Eventually Home at, and wrote the lyrics in ten minutes.

“It is very much from the perspective of this guy who comes back to this women whom he feels anger from, and also from a guy, who is not scared, but can feel life changing,” he says.

Hull then starts to step out of the character, and into his own. “At that point forward, I could feel the Earth moving. Marriage. Life. Responsibility. These are things that, once I was able to grasp onto how I did that, to the best that I could do, I was able to channel it through song.”

After showcasing his new record, Hull then asks to turn off the recorder, to showcase a new Manchester Orchestra track.

“I tried to tell people,” he says, ranting about the comments some fans and the record label made. “They said, ‘It sounds like Weezer,’ and I told them months ago that the new songs were going to sound like Weezer. We weren’t lying. We’re very aware that it sounds like Nirvana, and we’re very aware it sounds like The Pixies. They’re our favorite bands in the world.”

Mean Everything to Nothing is cut into two parts, says Hull. The first part is the angst, while the second part of the record is the answers. Hull says the only breaks in the record are between “I Can Feel a Hot One” and the song just before it, which cut the record in two.

“I Can Feel a Hot One” is the first track on the band’s new EP/DVD, Let My Pride Be What’s Left Behind. The second track, “I Was a Lid,” will not see itself on the upcoming full length.

“I Was a Lid” is a dark departure in tone from the band’s previous work. Hull says “Lid” is the least heavy new song though. His friend John, sitting behind us in the van, says the new record is down right “nasty.”

After listening to an audio glimpse of Mean Everything to Nothing, “nasty” is about the right adjective. At times it seems like the band fight harmonies and raw overdrive, and while in overdrive, Hull fights the rest of the band vocally, and then the Cobain vocal comparisons blossom out to just fall back into harmony.

The song structures are even less predictable than the departure from verse/chorus that the band’s debut took on.

As for the dark undertone, Hull admits the first half of the record is pretty heavy, but he would say its contributed more to the tuning of the guitars, and lyrically thinks it’s smarter.

“I have a better magnifying glass to look at my life and the world,” he says. “That’s it. I just aged. The new record is still filled with teenage angst. It’s not sensitive, but it’s incredibly embarrassing lyrically. It’s incredibly vulnerable, but the more vulnerable the lyrics are, it is almost my whole human side of me felt more honest, but I was trying to cover it up at the same time.”

There are other Manchester Orchestra songs that have been a third person view, but with this record – and the new RAGC record – Hull says it is more personal this time around.

Juggling both projects, Hull says they are equally as important to him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have as much time to devote to his side project as he would like. Lyrically, some songs could have wound up on either record.

Hull doesn’t know what to expect when the tracks find themselves off the stage, and outside of the van and his circle of friends and family. But he is, for sure, in talking and in body language, stoked to present each album to the world.