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Published: 2011/07/27
by Ron Hart

Vetiver’s Errant Charm

Photo by Alissa Anderson

How did you come to meet Chris Robinson? You guys did a lot of stuff together a couple of years ago. Are you still in touch with one another? Any future plans to collaborate again?

I met Chris I believe in NYC, at a night he was DJing with Michael Klausman. He came to an instore appearance of ours at Other Music and later to our show at Tonic, and I remember first really hanging out with him at Frankies Spuntino in Manhattan. I’ve seen a few shows on his current tour and DJ’d at one they played at New Parish in Oakland. I’ll be at their upcoming Henry Miller Library show Memorial Day weekend spinning records as well. Chris is a great musician, friend and storyteller and I’m always happy to see him.

Were/are you a fan of the Black Crowes? If so, do you have a favorite album of theirs? Which one and why?

I wasn’t someone who followed their albums. I mostly knew them from videos and singles, which I always dug. Really I was just blown away by their live shows, especially those we were fortunate enough to open for. Night after night, they just killed it, on a level I’ve rarely seen, and it was a real honor to be able to travel with them and their family and crew.

What is your favorite aspect of recording on the Sub Pop label?

They have a great staff of people and a great roster of artists.

Do you have an all-time favorite Sub Pop album?

No, not really. There’s too much! I was fond of Nirvana’s Bleach and Rein Sanction’s Broc’s Cabin growing up, as well as anything by Mudhoney. The Walkabouts’ Rag & Bone, the Beachwood Sparks and All-Night Radio albums, Lilys’ “Baby’s A Dealer” B-side, and their reissues of The Wipers & Dead Moon material are huge. Currently loving Kelley Stoltz, Fruit Bats, Fleet Foxes, Papercuts, Beach House, Happy Birthday and Jaill.

Your press release makes mention of Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage. Is that an album I should own? What would you consider your favorite Fleetwood Mac album to be?

Mirage is a great record to drive to, particularly the first side. The first side is flawless, in my estimation. I don’t have a favorite Fleetwood Mac album. I love songs on every one. Tusk might be my sentimental favorite. They’re one of the best bands ever, a group that’s evolved and changed with time in such interesting ways. Apparently there’s a remastered and expanded version of Mirage coming out this year, so maybe wait and check that one out.

What have you been listening to lately?

Lately? A lot of Sam Cooke and David Blue, the new Kurt Vile album, Ted Lucas, The Blue Nile, the new Cass McCombs and Grouper albums.

At the end of the day, what format do you prefer in terms of the way you make music: acoustic or electric?

I don’t have a preference. They both have their uses, their purposes and ways you can use them interchangeably to interesting effect. Whatever works.

I understand you recorded some of the album in Hoboken. What did you enjoy most about your experience in that fine NJ city?

Getting sandwiches everyday from Fiore’s! It was windy and autumnal when we were there, and it felt calm and cool outside. I didn’t venture out that much, except to pick up the sandwiches.

What is your favorite place to play in NYC?

The Carriage House in the back of Frankie’s Spuntino in Brooklyn. Good food, drink and great people.

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