Eleven years after the dissolution of R.E.M., their former songwriter-guitarist Peter Buck seems to be extra in demand than ever. Apart from busying himself with forthcoming albums for supergroups Filthy Buddies, The Baseball Challenge and The No Ones, he has simply launched All The Children Are Tremendous Bummed Out, his second collaboration with ex-Auteurs chief Luke Haines.
The pair conspire to make an typically spectacular racket, that includes a few of the most ferocious guitar work of Buck’s profession, wonky synths and Haines’s deeply surreal, comic-sinister wordplay. Common contributors Scott McCaughey and Linda Pitmon are on board too, as is famous Patti Smith guitarist Lenny Kaye.
Was there all the time a plan to make a second album with Luke?
Oh yeah. The primary one was really easy. We simply did it over the web. We had been going to be in England in April 2020 for a tour, we had a couple of new songs, and the plan was to make a band file. However like everybody else on the earth, issues didn’t go fairly based on plan. So we ended up doing it identical to the final one [2020’s Beat Poetry For Survivalists], recording in our varied basements and attics. It’s attention-grabbing working with Luke, as a result of it’s not a gaggle that’s actually performed collectively. It’s a case of piling stuff on and seeing the place it goes.
Is it true that the Luke collaboration started while you purchased certainly one of his work of Lou Reed a couple of years again?
Yeah, he did it for his New York In The ’70s file . I wish to have artwork by folks that I do know and like. I wrote to him, and he prompt I ship over a few tracks. We made the entire first file with out ever assembly. It wasn’t until I used to be over there touring with Filthy Buddies that we truly sat down and had a drink collectively. So previous to our first tour, I’d spent one hour with him.
Working with Luke is basically attention-grabbing, as a result of I by no means know what he’s going to do with a bit of music I ship him. His melodic sense is basically unusual, in a great way. I feel this file is rather a lot higher than the primary one. It’s a very highly effective file, partly as a result of we realised there are not any guidelines in any way. Lyrically, it looks like Luke’s sending messages from the entrance, the place every little thing’s falling aside and all that’s left are B-level celebrities and this nostalgic path that’s not likely nostalgic.
How did you arrive on the title?
I used to be speaking to my neighbour, who’s a health care provider, earlier than the vaccine was out there: “Are you okay? How’s it going?” And he mentioned: “I’m tremendous. I’ve been working with infectious ailments all my life, however it’s justthat all the youngsters are tremendous bummed out. Not simply mine, each child.” So it simply labored its method in there. I prompt the title to Luke and he cherished it.
In addition to Luke, you appear to be dipping out and in of so many various bands in the meanwhile: Filthy Buddies, The No Ones, The Baseball Challenge, The Minus 5. Do you favor this extra low-key profession to the one you had with R.E.M.?
Yeah. I’m actually grateful that I received to expertise the heights that R.E.M. reached, however when it was over I didn’t have loads of curiosity in pursuing that sort of largeness once more. I don’t assume it will be out there to me anyway. However there are actually ways in which I might have prolonged that reputation – get a gaggle with another person well-known, get a publicist, all that crap.
I see these different bands, they’re older guys and so they’re attempting to maintain up. However all I actually need to do is write songs, play them and file them.
When had been you happiest throughout your time in R.E.M.?
The eighties, I feel. However when it received actually massive, I don’t know if anybody actually enjoys that. When the non-musical stuff grew to become so intense, it took away a few of the pleasure for me. It’s simply the stuff the place you type of get up and go: “God, I don’t actually need to have my image taken at the moment. And I don’t actually need to faux to be an actor in some video the place I can’t act.”
I cherished enjoying Glastonbury and enjoying in entrance of numerous individuals and promoting a number of thousands and thousands of data, however it was by no means the rationale I did it. And once we received to the purpose the place we determined that it was the top, it felt like an awesome shared expertise. I wouldn’t change it, however I’m not gonna return to it.
So all of it ended on the proper time?
I feel so. The final two data had been actually robust. However I simply felt like regardless of how good our final file was, it wasn’t actually our time any extra. And that’s truthful, I perceive that. And we had been fortunate. The final tour we did, we had been nonetheless enjoying to very large quantities of individuals. We went to South America, which was like being The Beatles. So everybody felt like, yeah, this can be a actually good stopping level.
I’m guessing it was fairly liberating so that you can get away from all that expectation, so you would collaborate with whoever and do issues at your individual tempo?
I’m actually fortunate that my cellphone rings and I get to have the ability to work with individuals. However I solely do issues if there’s an opportunity I’m going to be taught one thing or it’s going to be enjoyable, ideally each. I simply spent a month in Brazil with a bunch of folks that I’ve by no means actually performed with a lot. It was type of a barely totally different musical language, and I picked up some clues on that.
I labored with a man named Nando Reis, who’s actually widespread down there and who I’ve already recorded with. It was super-fun. I’m on the level the place I don’t desire a file firm telling me the best way to make data. I need to give a file firm a file, and say: “Right here it’s. Do you prefer it?” And if not, that’s cool and we’ll stroll away. That applies to every little thing I do now.
Is it too early to ask if there’s more likely to be a 3rd album from you and Luke?
Oh, we’re positively going to work on one other one. One of many issues I’m recording at the moment is one thing for the following file. We have now exhibits booked in February, not less than. Ideally, once we get round to touring, we’ll have already got a couple of new songs. Who is aware of? Perhaps we’ll simply proceed working collectively remotely, as a result of it’s additionally actually low cost.
All The Children Are Tremendous Bummed is out now by way of Cherry Purple Information.
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