This week’s feature/interview with His Name Is Alive is up (read it here). Warn Defever talks about how he copes playing in stinkholes (like O’Leaver’s), his 4AD experience, his style, and NOMO, an afro-beat band whose recordings he’s produced and who is touring with His Name Is Alive. Here’s the story’s lead:
“Sometimes you just wake up and say, ‘What are we doing playing in a sports bar?'”It’s a good question coming from a band that has played in such regal locations as a 500-year-old Buddhist temple in Osaka, a 19th century synagogue on the lower east side of New York City and countless historic venues throughout the United States, Europe and the world.
One can only wonder what Warn Defever, the mastermind behind His Name Is Alive, will think of the beer-stenched confines of O’Leaver’s Pub. Weeks into the band’s first headlining U.S. tour in 10 years, he’s already devised his own, personal ritual for exorcising demons from less-than-hallowed performance spaces.
“Some bars have a vibe that comes from people drinking there for years. Just the smell of the place, it’s not the most spiritual of environments,” Defever said via cell on the road somewhere between San Francisco and Seattle. “We used to play a song at the beginning of our set to cleanse the room of evil spirits and get everyone on the right page. Then last night I realized — where did those bad spirits go? They went to the next bar down the street.” (continued)
As I said Monday, this could wind up being one of the best shows of the year, depending on the vibe at O’Leaver’s tomorrow night. Will anyone show up? Most people around here never heard of His Name Is Alive except for avid vans of the band and followers of 4AD, a label whose heyday was in the mid-’90s, sporting a roster that included Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, Red House Painters, Pixies, Throwing Muses, Cocteau Twins, Air Miami, Lush, and on and on. Defever said his band puts on an interactive show. He’s not kidding when he says show up wearing a costume. “We involve people,” he said. “We pass stuff into the audience, we hand out awards. It’s a very collaborative process. Last night in San Francisco one lady gave Andy her costume and she’s been wearing it all day. She’s a devil.” Then there’s NOMO, the 10-piece ensemble which by itself will overwhelm O’Leaver’s tight confines. You can check out a couple of their songs on their website (they apparently don’t have a myspace account). A few members of NOMO will join Defever and vocalist Andy FM to make up His Name Is Alive. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have for $7.
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