Telekinesis is headlining the Crocodile this Saturday evening; it'll be one of Seattle's first chances to hear songs from their newest album, 12 Desperate Straight Lines (which was again produced by close collaborator Chris Walla). I recently chatted with Michael Benjamin Lerner about the album; here's part of what he had to say about his brand of glossy pop music:
When we were making this record, Chris Walla and I looked at each other and were like, "We're making a '90s rock record. What the fuck are we doing? Why are we making a '90s rock record?" But we were doing it because it felt like the right thing to do. It's not the "in" thing to do, but this new record is totally, exactly how I wanted it to be. I wouldn't change anything about this new record. I feel really, really happy with what Chris and I did.
It doesn't matter if people review it positively or fairly, I just hope people listen to it and enjoy it. I think everyone can relate to whatever I'm talking about, probably. Everyone's broken up with someone. Writing a breakup record is not new territory for anybody. It has been done a lot. But the reason it's been done a lot is because it happens to everybody, and it happens to people who write music. I just really didn't know any other way to do it. I'm just doing what I know how to do.
When I first started writing the record, I was like, "Ok, I need to write OK Computer. I have to do that. I gotta make the coolest record EVER." You know? And everything I did sounded shitty. Like I would try and write these baroque, giant songs, and it was like, that's not me! Maybe it will be at some point. Radiohead is the perfect example of a band that started out somewhere and ended in a completely different area. Which is really cool. But Radiohead is also a band of five people that are working towards a pretty amazing thing. And for Telekinesis, at this point, it's just one lonely little guy in a dark rehearsal room writing songs.
Telekinesis, of course, isn't just one lonely little guy on stage--Lerner's band now includes bassist Jason Narducy and guitarist Cody Votolato, and Lerner told me that he hopes the next record will involve more collaborative songwriting--"I'm kind of over writing songs by myself."
Check out tomorrow's new issue of SW for more Telekinesis.