Weekend are comprised of an interesting collection of ‘athletes’; a (near) professional cyclist, football enthusiast and goat farmer. Their debut album Sports, definitely doesn’t reflect this (well maybe the goat farmer); walls of fuzzy guitars stand brilliantly while delicate melodic lines ocassionally spill through to create MBV-esque, The Jesus and Mary Chain-like sounds. Not really your typical jock aesthetic, but who’s to judge. We exchanged some of those flamboyant things people call emails with vocalist Shaun Durkan and learnt far too much about Weekend’s self-professed prizefighter-on-oxycontin spirit.
PlanetNotion: How did you meet and decide to make music together?
Shaun Durkan: I’ve known Kevin since we were 10 years old – we were playing punk basslines in the back of the school band while the other students stumbled through renditions of Ode to Joy. We kept in touch for a long time while he moved around CA, both simultaneously starting and stopping different music projects. Kevin and I both moved back to San Francisco to attend the San Francisco Art Institute and that’s where we met Abe.
PN: How would you describe your music?
SD: At it’s core, it’s still punk music. But I like to think it’s the emphasis atmosphere and mood that sets it apart from typical punk. It’s rhythmically and sonically aggressive, but melodically and lyrically really vulnerable and melancholy. It’s like a prizefighter on oxycontin.
PN: Who are you listening to / watching / obsessed with at the moment?
SD: We’ve all been listening to our friends Terry Malts a lot lately. They’re a great band from San Francisco comprised of members of Magic Bullets. Sounds like Black Tambourine meets Black Flag. Really great pop hooks housed in fuzz and murk.
PN: Is there anyone out there you’d really like to work with?
SD: We’ve been really fortunate so far with the people we’ve worked with. We can’t really imagine being on any other label than Slumberland so that is really a dream come true for us. I’d like to write and record some songs with Mark Kozelek some day. But I also hear he’s terribly fussy to work with.
PN: What’s next after the record drops?
SD: Well the record comes out the day of our San Francisco date with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, so we’ll obviously be finishing that tour out. Then hopping on a tour with our friends Young Prisms across the US. We’ll be finishing with some east coast dates late November and then taking a bit of a break. We’re slated to head back to the studio in February to record an EP for Slumberland, then much more touring. Making it out to Europe as soon as possible is a huge priority for us too.
PN: How do you toe the line between complete noise assault and
maintaining some sort of melody?
SD: It’s not something we do consciously. Sometimes it works better than other times. I’d like to think the new material will see more of a division between the two sides. We’re very interested in the format of the LP – and being able to use all that space in really different and surprising ways. I think Sports is a good start to the experiment, but I’m really excited to see where we take it.
PN: What are your sports of choice?
SD: I played soccer my whole childhood and collegiate rugby and nearly made a career out of cycling before our band started. Kevin played football as a young tyke and Abe was a goat farmer. That’s a sport right?
- Interview by Maria Long