It’s become something of a habit to tell you that the mere 400-word limit that The Reader places on feature stories wasn’t enough and that I had to commandeer my column to have enough room to get all the important meaning out of an interview. That wasn’t the case with Spoon’s Britt Daniel this time around (read it here). Britt clearly wasn’t in the mood for an interview. I got a sense that I caught him at a bad time, or that he’d just woken up. I can understand that. I don’t know how musicians, especially popular ones, stand being interviewed over and over and over. In the case of Conor Oberst, he simply doesn’t do interviews anymore, at least not with small publications (I should point out that I didn’t request an interview with Conor this time around. There wasn’t anything new to talk about. I gleaned his no-interviews policy from The Omaha World-Herald‘s precoverage of Friday’s show — Niz was forced to interview Conor’s publicist). Daniel could have refused as well, but he was willing to take 10 minutes to at least chat with me.
Interestingly, most of the time was spent with me updating him on the Saddle Creek’s Slowdown project, which he was “eager to see while in town.” I told him he’d be staring at an overgrown weed field with a railroad track running through it as the project hasn’t broken ground yet (and time is ticking away). The other stuff that didn’t make it into the story includes how Omaha has sort of slipped off Daniel’s radar screen. “A lot of people who made Omaha special have left,” he said. But he couldn’t really think of anyone else other than Conor, who now lives in New York. “Nansel’s still there,” Daniel said, referring to Creel label head Robb Nansel, “and some Saddle Creek people are still there. The Faint still are still there, but some of my best friends left.” The rest of the interview was somewhat forced. Britt talked about how digital downloads will never replace record stores and how he’s never really pursued top-40 status. He also had no idea what kind of venue The Orpheum is, figuring it was just a large hall. Not a stellar interview, but that can’t all be.
Anyway… Tonight is Tristeza with Bella Lea at O’Leaver’s. Tristeza has gone from being one of the hottest acts in the indie sphere back in 2000 (and here’s my 2000 interview with the band) to just another touring indie instrumental act. I remember them talking about breaking up way back then, but they never did (though I think some of the personnel did change). It should be a rather soothing show. $6, 9:30 p.m.
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