Seattle Weekly: You guys are originally from St. Paul, Minn. What are the key differences between St. Paul and Minneapolis?
Paul Sprangers (guitar/vocals): It’s an intangible difference. People in Minneapolis don’t go to St. Paul, for the most part. [St. Paul] is older and not quite as trendy. Downtown is pretty much a ghost town. There’s really no street-level commerce at all. It’s kind of bizarre. The few music bars definitely have more of a local feel.
Do you feel like St. Paul has stamped your music at all?
Not at all. We have never been a local band, really. We’ve been doing national tours ourselves. We’ve always been more of a rootless band. I went to school in New York, and I’ve been living there for the past two years. I’ve been back and forth a lot between St. Paul and New York.
Does that make rehearsal difficult?
Now it’s getting a little annoying. It was definitely good when I first left—we’d practice for a week or two before we would go on tour, and it gave us some time away from each other. For a while, I lived with the other guys in the band in this artists’ co-op loft, and we worked together at a lot of temp jobs. We practiced at night together and toured together, and it got to be way too much. Now, we kind of have breathing room. Plus, we come back to the music with new ideas. Every time we go on tour, we’re changing our songs.
How many iterations does a song like “Tubin’,” which has a lot of different parts, go through as a result of that?
Quite a few. That’s one of the songs we’ve been playing for three or four years; it’s probably changed the most. That [song is] still kind of open and can keep changing. Right now, it’s definitely different from how it is on the record. It’s a way for us not to kill ourselves playing it. We really believe that a record is just one document—it by no means is the end of [the evolution of] a song.
There are two guitarists and two drummers in the band. Have you guys been working on your stage choreography?
No. Adam [Harness], the second drummer, has been doing a lot more dancing onstage as of late. Maybe we should.
Hockey Night play the Crocodile Cafe with Love Hotel and Matthew Shaw at 9 p.m. Wed., Aug. 10. $6.