Since starting their tour in March, The Dodos have made several appearances at festivals throughout the country, including Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco, NXNE in Toronto, and, most recently, MidPoint Music Festival in Cincinnati. On their way to Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC, percussionist Logan Kroeber took a few moments to check in with Smile Politely and talk about Pygmalion, the band's new live lineup, and some musical gems hidden away on the internets.
Smile Politely: How often do you get to see other bands at the festivals you play? Will you get to check anyone out at these upcoming festivals?
Logan Kroeber: There are a lot of acts at (Hopscotch) and we're playing early, so we would have more time than usual to see some bands but I might forgo seeing a bunch of awesome music to hang out with my cousin in Durham (NC). Usually, though, we don't find out who else is playing a festival until that morning.
SP: Does that mean you haven't had a chance to check out the lineup for Pygmalion?
LK: No. Who else is playing this year?
After giving Kroeber the scoop on various acts playing before their late-night set at the Channing-Murray Foundation on Friday, he admits that he's "kind of excited" about getting to spend some time in our fair city.
LK: My cousin went to school up there and I don't know why that fact alone should make me excited to go to Champaign, but it does.
They've been on the road since March with stops in Fargo, North Dakota; Vancouver, BC; Barcelona, Spain; Munich, Germany, and all points in between. When asked if constant touring had been hectic or stressful, Kroeber responded, "A little bit, but I would say it's been some of the best tours as far as enjoyment."
SP: For everyone involved?
LK: I think for everybody--for me, definitely--but I think others would agree that it's been a great tour.
SP: Are there any venues, any shows that stand out from this past tour?
LK: We just played Birmingham two nights ago and there's this great venue there called the Bottletree . . . it's not a super classy theatre or anything--it's more homespun but the people who work there do it with a lot of love. Austin was surprising, too. There were lots of people. It was good to see, especially during regular (non SXSW) Austin-time. It was less hectic.
SP: Last summer you toured with The New Pornographers and developed a great working relationship with Neko Case. Do you see more collaboration on the horizon with any of the artists you've been working with this past year?
LK: We did a European tour and now we're doing this tour with The Luyas. Strong musical relationships are forming so I wouldn't be surprised if you see some more collaboration in the future.
SP: Are you guys thinking about a new album?
LK: We've been messing around with the idea of working with The Luyas since they're from Montreal. The Canadian government grants all kinds of money to artists--Canadian artists--to tour, to make records, you know, to make art. It was kind of a joke at first but, you know, it is something that we could potentially try. . .
SP: You and Meric have a new addition on stage these days. I'll miss watching Keaton Snyder slide a bow across a vibraphone during your set, but the new guitar adds a lot of depth to your live shows.
LK: It's (referring to Snyder's bowing) an awesome sound but the process and the look of the action is quite different, our new guy in the band Chris (Reimer, previously from the band Women), plays electric guitar and he is able to make all kinds of crazy, amazing sounds that come very close to that . . . I love it. You forget how versatile the electric guitar is as an instrument. It can do quite a lot. It can fill in a lot of spaces-high and low. There are a lot of songs where Chris is kinda playing bass line or stuff where he's doing more high-end shredding.
SP: Do you ever see yourselves adding more instruments to the lineup? Perhaps a string quartet?
LK: We have had the opportunity to play with a 30-piece orchestra back in San Francisco with the people who did the strings on the record. We did special performances (of Dodo's tracks) with them on the horns, a small vocal choir, strings, and percussion.
SP: That sounds amazing; will the rest of the world get to hear that at some point?
SP: Well, thanks a lot for your time, Logan, and enjoy your time in Champaign!
The Dodos play at 12:30am late Friday night at The Channing-Murray Foundation in Urbana.