Thursday, October 8, 2009

Interview with Telekinesis's Michael Lerner

There's probably not an album I've gushed over more this year than the self-titled debut from Telekinesis. Every song on this album is a power pop masterpiece. And despite these simple lyrics about love, you can tell a lot of time and thought went into making this a perfect album.

Michael Lerner, the one man force behind Telekinesis, is on tour in Europe with Shimmy Shake favorites and label mates The Rosebuds and fellow Pacific Northwesterners The Thermals. He took a little time out to do Five Questions with us.

Shimmy Shake: First off, how's the Europe trip going? The Rosebuds and The
Thermals, that sounds like a blast.

Michael Lerner: It's amazing! I absolutely love Europe. It's so different from touring in America. The scenery changes so dramatically in a very short amount of time, you are dealing with constant language changes, and the food is incredible (even for a vegetarian!). I am having a wonderful time, and pinch myself everyday that rock and roll music is the reason I get to travel around in Europe for a month. It's pretty much the best. And The Rosebuds and The Thermals are the real deal. SO good, and so excited to play shows with them.

SS: Your album was an instant like on my part, and almost everyone I know loves it. What are some of your favorite songs from the album?

ML: Thanks very much! I appreciate that. For me, my favorite song is Foreign Room. It was the last one I wrote before we made the record, and I like how I didn't over think it. I also really like the fact that lots of people are grabbing onto Coast Of Carolina (download from Merge Records). That song started out as a way to kill time before meeting a friend in my practice space. Sometimes interesting things can happen when you are least expecting it to.

SS: I saw you at XX Merge. Introduced by Ben Gibbard, playing with Ivan
and Matt Caws. How'd that whole thing come together? Any highlights from that weekend?

ML: It was so fun, XX Merge. The story is insane, actually. The band that I usually play with in Seattle was unable to come to the show for a number of reasons, one of which was our guitar player fell off of his bicycle and broke his hip, and the other was David and Jonie (who are married) had some health issues to take care of. All of this happened within about a week to three days before we were due to fly to North Carolina for this show. So, I scrambled, and called my friend Matthew from Nada Surf (who was on tour in Japan at the time!), and he agreed to fly from Japan to North Carolina the day before the show, and learn all the tunes, and play guitar. Ivan came about because of the Merge connection. I just got his number off some people, called him, and he was totally up for it. Matthew and Ivan did such an incredible job. We rehearsed for one hour before we played, and totally nailed it, considering all that was against us. I had a really incredible time there!

SS: What are you listening to now? What has been some of your favorite music so far this year? What are some essential 'listen-to's" while on tour?

ML: Currently, there is this band from England called Wild Beasts. They put out a new record that I really really love. The Clientele (who are also on Merge) have a new record coming out called "Bonfires On The Heath" and it is pretty much my soundtrack to this tour in Europe. It's almost like they wrote that record just for me, it fits so perfectly into my life currently. Also, I recently got into The Vaselines, and I love that quite a lot. Warsaw (pre Joy Division) is incredible. And I'm way way way into late 60's French pop right now, specifically things like France Gall and Jacques Dutronc.

SS: How are you going to top 2009? What's on tap for 2010?

ML: Eek! I don't know. It's been so amazing so far, and surpassed every expectation I ever had. Hopefully Telekinesis will have a new record out in 2010!

Thanks to Michael for taking some time out for this interview. And extra thanks to Lindsey and Christina from Merge Records for setting this up!

Get Telekinesis's eponymous debut album

Buy from Merge Records

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1 comment:

Zak Champagne said...

VERY well done DP! Nice pickup and great interview.

Definitely a top ten record from 09!