Kurt Vile Talks About His Music and Tour!

Kurt Vile was relaxing at his Philadelphia-area home in early February, playing with his daughters and thinking about hitting the road in 2019 with his band The Violators.

That journey, which began a couple weeks later, will take Kurt Vile and Violators across the United States in February and March, to Australia and New Zealand in April and to Europe in May and June.

Regardless of where fans see the show, Vile feels they’ll be catching a veteran band at its best.

“The band has come together, this record clinched it,” Vile said. “Our sound man is killing it. Our crew is killing it. We’ve fully come into our own. It’s been a journey with lot of peaks and valleys, but we’re there, man.”

This record is “Bottle It In,” Vile’s 78-minute-long eighth album, on which he takes his spacey, psychedelic folk rock on three 10-minute plus rambles

“I think this got a little more loose, adventurous,” Vile said of “Bottle It In.”  “I wasn’t as worried about pop. It has pop frameworks. Sometimes it’s a 10-minute song. They all have a pop sensibility. I didn’t think they’d be that long. But when I’m in the studio, I’m exercising some spiritual demons, spiritual jazz, getting into some hypnotic zone with it. And they came out 10 minutes long.”

So how do those long songs work live?

“Bottle It In’, I’m trying to get done for this tour,” Vile said of the title track. “It’s deceptively simple so it’s hard. ‘Backassward’ and “Skinny Mini” come off great live.”

Kurt Vile, who’s one of the great guitarists of his generation, counts Pavement, Neil Young, Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, John Fahey and J. Mascis among his biggest influences.

But his sound isn’t exactly like any of those. Nor is it easy to describe.

“I don’t know man. I’d call it some form of spacey folk-rock,” Vile said. “I’s a more my own Kurt Vile kind of space rock, not War on Drugs.”

The War on Drugs is the indie band in which Vile got his start 15 years ago — or more precisely, when he first gained notice. He’d been passing out CD-Rs of his music at Philadelphia clubs before joining Adam Graduciel’s band.

In 2008, Vile compiled some of  the CD-R songs into “Constant Hitmaker,” his debut album and left The War on Drugs to pursue his solo work, making a breakthrough with his 2011 breakthrough, “Smoke Ring for My Halo.”

“Bottle It In,” one of 2018’s most acclaimed indie rock releases, was recorded in multiple studios while Vile and his band were on the road — the same technique he used to make 2017’s “Lotta Sea Lice,” his collaboration with Courtney Barnett.

“I met her on my “Waiting on a Rainy Day” tour, she opened for us in Melbourne,” Vile said.  “She was sweet and shy and so was I. She gave me her record and I really liked it… I wanted to do just a song with her. It evolved.

“I went to Australia for two Australian summers in a row,” he said. “The first time was with the band, we recorded two songs and it was ‘this is too good to put out on a 7 inch and get lost.’ The next summer I came by myself and the record fell together. We really hit it off. It was an organic experience. Then on tour we got even closer. It’s an amazing friendship. I can’t wait to see her again.”

Vile’s 2019 show will cover his whole solo career, including his collaboration with Barnett, and may even include some of his earliest compositions

“I play them solo a lot, really for my kids,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll bring them out on tour, maybe in an acoustic thing. We definitely cover all the Matador records.” (Matador Records has been Vile’s label since his 2010 EP, “Square Shells.”

While Vile was preparing for the tour, he was thinking even farther ahead, doing a little planning for his next album, which, he said, he’d like to record in his house rather than in studios scattered around the country.

“In the studio, I want to feel like I’m at home,” he said. “I want to start recording more at home. We can do it here and I really want to try it. I think it could be very good.

So what is likely to come out of those home recordings? .

“Maybe something less formal and weirder, synth undertones with American folk music, a little more pure,” Kurt Vile said. “I think that’s where it’s going. It will be interesting to find out.” Here are other great articles you might enjoy. https://theplanetweekly.com/category/music/

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