We get it. Fleet Foxes aren't just another local indie band anymore. They are FLEET FOXES! So when we tried to get a few words in with frontman Robin Pecknold, we weren't surprised that his handlers didn't make him available to discuss the group's sophomore record, Helplessness Blues, released on Tuesday, or the pair of sold-out shows they play this week at the Moore.
Illustration by Tom Dougherty
Lucky for us, Pecknold tweets like Alex Trebek speaks: in answers. So we took our questions and matched them with the most appropriate responses from Pecknold's Twitter feed, @FleetFoxes.
Here's what we learned:
SW: Hey, Robin. Thanks for making time for us today. How are things going?
Pecknold: Been doing interviews constantly for two months. Interview stamina low. Just a warning to any subsequent interviews.
Oh, gotcha. Here's one I'll bet you haven't heard before: Who has the best beard in rock and how does yours compare?
"Who's the best beard in rock and how does yours compare" is an embarrassing question to ask another human being.
My bad. It's just that I was just listening to Mumford & Sons and it made me wonder.
And I know you made millions on Blur vs. Oasis but don't try and get me to insult Mumford & Sons! God.
If Fleet Foxes are the Oasis of your analogy, then which Gallagher brother are you?
Not playing that game buddy.
What game? Robin? Robin? Did you just put me on hold?
I did, sorry. Ken Griffey Jr. called.
Oh, cool. What have you got planned for this tour?
I have thought before about setting up a mini-curated record store of cool old and new stuff at shows, like recommended vinyl LPs.
With extra Fleet Foxes schwag, like beer cozies?
T-shirts and posters are good because they can be creative. Anything else is just the band reduced to a logo. Naomi Klein would be bummed.
What about tote bags?
Tote bags are out of the question because I've used the word as hate speech.
You sound very particular. Do you have a problem delegating?
I'm such a control freak I'm even making our own advertisements for websites. Chill out buddy.
You recently reaffirmed your support for illegal file-sharing. Why are you OK with people taking music without paying for it?
Why is it news that I'm OK with file-sharing? To not be is to waste energy on something you can't do anything about.
Well, you signed a contract with a label, Sub Pop, that gives you money for your music and tries to sell copies of your records to recoup their investment and make more money to invest in other bands.
Eh, who cares.
Why sign with a label if you think people should download music for free?
Fuck a fucking duck.
Have you downloaded Panda Bear's latest, Tomboy?
Not listening to Tomboy till it's on vinyl. I'm that guy now.
But I thought you were all about file-sharing?
I have never ONCE gotten goosebumps listening to a song on laptop speakers. It's pure information. Fuck computers.
What does give you goosebumps?
Trying to figure out a text-messaging punctuation mark that's less excited than an exclamation point but less serious than a period.
The narrative you've been spinning for this record is that it was a torturous affair that cost you your relationship with your girlfriend. Do you ever remind yourself that you make pop records, and don't work as a coal miner?
Like sometimes things are so completely the thing they are that it borders on self-parody.
What else are you up to today?
Flying to England today to do some press-y stuff. Flight and time change means we miss Record Store Day. Get me the Beach Boys thing?
Yeah, sure. Looking forward to your interview with NME?
Being interviewed by the NME is like being interrogated for a crime you didn't commit. Every question is a setup.
Why do you say that?
They take three words out of a two-hour-long interview.
Whoa? Two-hour interviews? I won't take up that much of your time. In fact, I think I'm done. Thanks again for making the time, Robin.
That was fast! Thanks a ton!