Calling from her apartment in Brooklyn, DIRTY PROJECTORS guitarist and vocalist AMBER COFFMAN gave us hope that the band will be returning to New Zealand sometime soon to tour their new album 'Swing Lo Magellan'...
"...we really like to leave things open for interpretation. It never feels quite right to talk about meanings really specifically."
COUP DE MAIN: How did you cull down and pick a twelve-song tracklisting from all of the seventy new songs and beats that David Longstreth wrote while working on the new album?
DIRTY PROJECTORS - AMBER COFFMAN: It’s really, pretty hard. There’s a bunch of songs that didn’t make it, that for us were kind of like... we never would’ve dreamed that they wouldn’t have made, it you know? It’s a lot of e-mails back and forth, about this song or that song or "why this one?", or "why not this one?" and that kind of stuff. It’s important that an album has a flow to it as well. I think that maybe a lot of the songs that ended up on the album were some of the most recent ones that Dave had written, so maybe he was more excited about those when we decided which ones should go on the record. I think it got to the point where there were so many songs, and so many skeletons of songs, that it was like we had to narrow it down to which ones we were really going to finish and make finished products from right now, because there was a time issue and things like that. But it’s also a flow and a vibe issue, so yeah it was tough! There are a lot of songs that people aren’t going to hear yet, that I’m also really excited about, but I’m happy with what we chose, I think it's cool.
CDM: Which song on the new album do you most relate to, or perhaps empathise with?
AMBER: Oh god, that’s hard. <laughs> I don’t know if I can really pick just one, you know? I mean 'Swing Lo Magellan' I love, I love that song. I love the mood and the way it feels, and the lyrics, and just kind of the complexity of it. But it’s so hard to pick a favourite.
CDM: What do you feel are the main points of difference between the 'Swing Lo Magellan' album and your 2009 album, 'Bitte Orca'?
AMBER: I think that this album is a bit freer, and darker of course, and deeper. It’s more sort-of open, like open and honest. Even though it’s darker and stuff, I feel that it’s more open.
CDM: What was the recording process like for the 'Swing Lo Magellan' album?
AMBER: Dave spent a few months in upstate New York, in the woods really, writing these songs and making demos for them - instead of coming back with scores and sharing them periodically - and then we slowly started going up there. We built a studio in a house up there, in the woods, and we all spent a couple of days up there putting our parts down. It took a really long time!
CDM: With songs, do you feel that they should be left open to interpretation, or do you like to decipher meanings behind them?
AMBER: No, we really like to leave things open for interpretation. It never feels quite right to talk about meanings really specifically.
CDM: With this being your sixth album for Dirty Projectors, which new song do you feel best represents where the band is currently at?
AMBER: Maybe 'Unto Caesar'? I dunno. I mean that’s kind of a hard question, I’m not exactly sure what that means. But if I had to answer that question without really thinking too much about it then I guess, maybe. But I’m not really sure how to answer that. <laughs>
CDM: What are your favourite Dirty Projectors lyrics of all-time?
AMBER: Of all-time? Ohhhh! Hmmm... I couldn’t say, that’s too hard sorry!
CDM: Is Angel still on hiatus from the band? What’s the situation with her currently?
AMBER: I think she’s kind of doing her own thing; living in California working on songs. This has always been a band that has shifted members and things like that. It was only about six years ago, five-and-a-half years ago, that some of the same members even started sticking around, and before that it was a new band each album. That’s not going happen again, but it’s a very sort of malleable thing that we have going on, so whenever there’s somebody who needs to move on, take a break or whatever, it’s all good.
CDM: Could you ever see yourself releasing a solo album?
AMBER: I could, yeah, one of these days. <laughs> As soon as I can figure out what that would be exactly, at the moment I’m not really sure.
CDM: Lastly, can fans of Dirty Projectors hope that you will return to New Zealand again sometime soon?
AMBER: I would think so, yeah. <laughs> We had a really good time last time we were there.
CDM: Hopefully on this album you’ll be touring again here?
AMBER: Yeah! I would think so, probably in Fall or something like that, our Fall that is.
DIRTY PROJECTORS' new album 'Swing Lo Magellan' is out now - featuring the single 'Gun Has No Trigger'. Click HERE to purchase via iTunes.
Watch the 'Gun Has No Trigger' music video below...