Harry adds, “We like to mix it up.”
Justified or not, the similarity to the Interpol sound is bound to come up again; the Golden Republic’s full length was produced by Interpol producer Peter Katis. I asked the band members what they thought Katis’ biggest contribution to the disc was.
Harry began “A lot of it was stuff that we came up with, he kind of glued it together in a way …” Ben elaborated “He brought an element of maturity to our songs that I think wasn’t there when we got to the studio, and he has a really good ear for little parts and little hooks that you would almost kind of breeze over. He’s like ‘this is a great thing, and this is a great thing, we need to bring that up.’ He made us think more about what we were doing with our songs, and kind of made us grow up a lot as a band, which I think that’s the greatest accomplishment that we had from our time in the studio, we just grew up a whole hell of a lot.”
I asked Grimes what there is to love about contemporary rock. “Well, there has been a return to art and the underground, sort of subculture music lately. In Kansas City, the only radio stations we had for a long time were top 40, and then just recently we’ve had a couple of radio stations that have started to actually play some pretty interesting stuff and I even heard Steve Earle on the radio recently... People are starting to rediscover the joy of artful music, stuff that requires a little bit of thought.”
We talked too about the band’s local music scene in Kansas City. Grimes made no effort to sugar coat his dislike of the country’s cultural capitals. “I think that the coasts are so clogged with ego and motivation and…”
Harry volunteers “pretentiousness?”
Ben agrees: “…pretentiousness – people who are so caught up in building a name for themselves, and it’s like you can only be in that environment for so long where it just seems like you forget what you’re really doing and why you’re really doing it. I don’t know, I just think that it’s hard to create art when you have to spend so much time convincing other people what an artist you are.