Our Band of Week, Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene is a busy man. In fact when we caught up with him as he was sitting in the airport getting ready to take off! Lucky for us, he was nice enough to answer a few of our questions about the internet, the new record, and what’s up next for Washed Out.
Planet Notion: You mentioned when you first came out, you felt the blogs had jumped on you really quickly, and perhaps there was too much hype. Do you still feel that way now that you’ve ‘been in the game’ a bit longer?
Ernest Greene: Umm, that’s a tough one. There’s probably been a series of hyping and then over-hyping a couple of times.. I try not to think about it too much.
PN: So would you say you’re getting used to it?
EG: I’m learning to live with it. I guess at first I’d read reviews and be really active online with Twitter and stuff, but I think now it’s just a bit easier just to ignore it all.
PN: You’ve mentioned that you’re quite active online, but you’ve put out a lot of your material on cassettes. Do you feel music going digital is a good thing or a bad thing?
EG: I think it’s a great thing, especially because a lot of my own material is sample based. It was like this obscure kind of music that I doubt I would have found just going around searching for it in record stores. I think there’s just so much music to discover online which is really amazing, but then again nothing takes the place of an artefact.
PN: You’ve previously mentioned that when ‘Life of Leisure’ came out, you felt that there hadn’t been a record that completely embodies your sound. Do you feel that ‘Within and Without’ has?
EG: It’s more of an embodiment of where I am at the moment. I mean my tastes change, I go through cycles of different stuff that I listen to, and I think that the record is just like a snapshot, a sound for where I was at at the time.
PN: You were a little hesitant to tour at first, worried that it would be too much like a DJ set. How did you finally decide to do your live shows in the end?
EG: Well, I started out playing by myself which was quite different – like with the styles and kind of music I would do – it was more loop-based material. I guess I was a lot more experimental, psychedelic-sounding. But then I started playing with a band about six months ago. It’s much more like a rock show [with the band] and I think it’s more fun for an audience. It’s certainly more fun for me!
PN: So with the album itself, did you have a lot of tracks to choose from, and how long did it take you to compile it?
EG: Well, I actually started writing it around this time last year, and it took me about six months to get everything together, deciding what tracks I wanted. At the end of that period I recorded for about ten days at a studio here in Atlanta. I do have more of a “Washed Out” sound now, so I definitely try to work within those parameters. There was some material that I wrote over this past year that I think is really good but it just doesn’t fit.
PN: And what about the album artwork?
EG: I found the image in a photography magazine, and it was just striking in my eyes for a number of different reasons. I mean, a lot of my previous artwork was very colourful, it had a vintage look to it, and I guess I just wanted something that mirrored the change that I made in my music. Everything’s so much cleaner on this record. But as far the content of the image, I was just drawn to the intimacy of the moment, and I think as far as I can tell, most people’s interpretation of it is more of this provocative, sexual thing but that wasn’t the idea it all.
PN: The last track on the album – A Dedication – is it actually dedicated to anyone in particular?
EG: Yeah- it’s kind of for my wife, and to all my friends and family. I felt like I was pretty difficult to deal with over the six months of working on the record. So the song is really about how it’s over now, and I’m going to be back to normal.
PN: So what are your plans for the future with “Washed Out”?
EG: Well we have these festivals, and then we get back to the US to do a tour with Cut Copy, and then maybe, hopefully a little time off. And then we have another set of live shows – they’re being planned at the moment for December. And maybe some more UK dates.
PN: Finally, how do you want people to feel when they listen to this album?
EG: I guess I hope that the listeners are open-minded. It’s not music that’s meant to be over-analysed, you’re just sort of, supposed to get lost in it. The hope is that if I feel something, the listeners will as well.
Need more? Of course you do! You can look at Washed Out’s facebook.