Issue #60 - Father John Misty
Apr 07, 2017
Under the Radar is excited to announce the full details of our Spring 2017 Issue, which is out now digitally via Under the Radar's app and the magazine app Readly. The print version is about to ship out to subscribers and stores and will be on all newsstands soon (as well as available soon digitally via the magazine apps Zinio and Readly). The issue features Father John Misty on the cover.
The issue also features interviews with alt-J, Beach Fossils, Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales, The Drums, Elbow, Fazerdaze, Joe Goddard, Goldfrapp, Grandaddy, Marika Hackman, Nick Hakim, Jay Som, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Laucan, Sondre Lerche, Little Cub, Little Dragon, London Grammar, Demetri Martin, Mew, Mount Eerie, The New Pornographers, Kelly Lee Owens, Perfume Genius, POND, Real Estate, Slowdive, and Temples.
Father John Misty
In our in-depth 5,000-word cover story article, writer Matt Fink talks to Father John Misty (aka Josh Tillman) about his acclaimed third album, Pure Comedy. If 2012's Fear Fun, Tillman's debut as Father John Misty, was asking "Who am I?" and 2015's I Love You, Honeybear was asking "What is love?" Tillman's third release is posing an even more difficult question: "What does this all mean?" That's the question that Pure Comedy puzzles over for 74 minutes, taking in the whole human drama, from our crawling out of the womb with half-formed brains to our eventual devolution into a societal-wide technology-aided stupor. The article tackles the themes of the album, Tillman's childhood attending a Christian school and his complicated relationship with both religion and his parents, his recent Saturday Night Live performance, his now-infamous meltdown at Philadelphia's 2016 XPoNential Music Festival, his reaction to Trump winning the election and his lack of faith in political institutions, and much, much more. Koury Angelo photographed Father John Misty for the cover exclusively for Under the Radar in Los Angeles
"That's kind of the defining struggle of my life-dealing with the despair and depression. And I'm starting to rethink that maybe depression and despair is a sane reaction to this world. Maybe I've been right all along." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"This is my Christian album. I'm not even kidding. There is a case to be made that this record is in some way a secular gospel." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"The question of 'What does it all mean?' is infinite, but the concept of God is about six inches in from there." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"Every Friday at this school that I went to, the leader of this weird Pentecostal Messianic Jewish movement's wife would come in when I was in the eighth grade to try and get the demons out of me. And it never worked." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"Eighth grade is around the time that I realized that everyone around me was insane, and it made me pretty fucking cynical." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"When you look at Jehovah's Witnesses exiling their children, could you or I ever do that? Could you look your kid in the face and say, 'You don't believe in Sky Man, so you have to get out of my life?' That's deranged. Something similar did happen to me, but it was less formal." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"When [Trump] got nominated, that fucked with me. Because all of a sudden I had this horrible realization that these currents-these economic, philosophical, political currents-have all been leading here all along-from the dissolution of unions to the fucking Internet and everything in between." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"We're looking for answers in these increasingly absurd sciences and shit. But the answer is not going to be in quasars, guys! The answer is taking care of each other." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
The front-of-book Detection section features interviews with various musicians. Iconic British bands The Jesus and Mary Chain and Slowdive both discuss their first albums in over two decades.Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales talk about their collaborative concept album about the iconic old Hollywood hotel, Chateau Marmont. The Drums' Jonny Pierce takes part in our new regular Protest section, protesting against retail chains that support anti-gay legislation. Our Self-Portrait section returns with Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano sending us a self-portrait photo and providing a list of personal things her fans may not know about her. Joe Goddard of Hot Chip discusses his new solo album. We talk to actor/comedian/writer/director Demetri Martin about his new film Dean, which he wrote, directed, and stars in. We also interview the following artists about their new albums: alt-J, Beach Fossils, Elbow, Goldfrapp, Sondre Lerche, London Grammar, The New Pornographers, POND, Real Estate, and Temples.
"I'm glad my parents pushed me hard to do [music lessons], because I definitely wouldn't be where I am today, and I look forward to inflicting it on my children as well one day." - Gus Unger-Hamilton of alt-J
"I want something that will be living when I'm not in my physical form anymore. That's my obsession-leaving your mark, leaving yourself behind to other people." - Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils
"You kind of want your life to be like a movie, don't you? You want it to have a storyline, you want it to have plenty of sex and action." - Jarvis Cocker
"I'm trying to do this thing called 'intentional living.' Basically it's a recognition that every dollar you put out into the world-whether that's for a cup of coffee or you need some new underwear or a toothbrush-is going toward something." - Jonny Pierce of The Drums
"When we were working on the album nobody knew [my wife] Rachael was pregnant. But if you listen to the lyrics, it's obvious that I'm approaching fatherhood." - Guy Garvey of Elbow
"You don't need to replace things with the latest technology, the original idea is often strongest, in it's truest, rawest form." - Joe Goddard
"I'm obsessed with swimming in lakes and rivers and I often fantasize about being in water." - Alison Goldfrapp of Goldfrapp
"Our previous record almost broke us as human beings. It destroyed the band, and it was almost like having a nervous breakdown in the recording studio." - Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain
"If they need to lose themselves in the music and in the more unbridled enthusiastic, groovy catchy stuff, that's there. If they need understanding and empathy in turbulent times, that's there. It's all there in the lyrics." - Sondre Lerche
"I'm allergic to alcohol. My face turns bright red from basically any alcohol. Sometimes I order a whiskey and sip on it extremely slow. Those days I don't have to use any blush!" - Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon
"Everybody has light and dark in them. Mine comes out through songwriting, which frees me up to have a lot of fun outside of that." - Hannah Reid of London Grammar
"I think I just like stories where people are giving real performances, that it's not all irony or ironically distant, but that there's some sincerity and earnestness and heart." - Demetri Martin
"The album was already in the can before we realized, 'holy shit, the worst has happened.' And it's actually worse than we expected it to be. The scary part is that Trump could crash the economy." - Carl Newman of The New Pornographers
"The album isn't making any suppositions or trying to resolve any huge issues. It's just an observation from exactly who we are: confused, scared, white boys." - Nick Allbrook of POND
"Obviously, it's not experimental music; it's pop music. But I think for us it was experimental, just in trying to get new sounds and getting it to feel loose and free." - Martin Courtney of Real Estate
"We were never a fast band at recording particularly, except for the first record when we lied to [our label] Creation and told them we had a full record when we didn't, but we knocked out Just For a Day anyway." - Rachel Goswell of Slowdive
"One of the biggest compliments [Noel Gallagher] could give us was saying that he spent 20 years in Oasis trying to get to a sound like Sun Structures, and failing." - James Bagshaw of Temples
Our main features section includes interviews with: Grandaddy, Mount Eerie, and Perfume Genius. Jason Lytle of Grandaddy reflects on returning with the band's first album in over a decade. We talk to Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie about his devastating new album, A Crow Looked at Me, which is about the death of his wife, visual artist and musician Geneviève Castrée.
"If I was just doing it for the wrong reasons and it turned out to be this crappy record that people are scratching their heads over, that, in my mind, would have been my worst nightmare." - Jason Lytle of Grandaddy
"[Death is] not a thing that can be translated into transcendent, beautiful creativity, poetry, or art. But then I tried to put it in that world with this record, I guess." - Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie
"Even just in my daily life, I often realize that I've been lying to myself for a long time." - Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius
PLEASED TO MEET YOU
"Before finishing the record, I'd never really been outside of Auckland." - Amelia Murray of Fazerdaze
"The industry likes to have their female artists as safe characters. They're not out to challenge, they just want us to write pretty songs. It's quite narrow." - Marika Hackman
"Some of those songs were so fuckin' fun to record, man. Sometimes I would just be jumping around the room in my boxers with my girl in the bed, listening to them." - Nick Hakim
"I realized that being kind goes a really long way and being prompt and assertive with yourself in multiple areas of your life-mentally, physically, ethically, and financially." - Melina Duterte of Jay Som
"London can be a very lonely place. You're surrounded by millions of people who don't talk to each other." - Laurence Galpin of Laucan
"We like writing songs that are a bit more honest and true to life-we do fuck up and we do make mistakes." - Adrian Acolaste of Little Cub
"Bands from Australia have an interesting perspective because culturally we have been influenced by U.K. and America but being so far removed also means our own identity forms in quite a unique way." - Hannah Joy of Middle Kids
"There's just so many layers to myself and the underlying anxiety which I felt in the last few years living in London. I think it's not talked about enough about how anxious and scary the world still is." - Kelly Lee Owens
For our regular last page feature, The End, we ask a different artist the same set of questions about endings and death. Mew frontman Jonas Bjerre is this issue's participant.
"Crying is a bit scary when you're a grown person; because you are so close to yourself, to the real you, when you do. But it brings you back to an essential part of yourself that you really don't want to lose." - Jonas Bjerre of Mew
Over 60 albums, films, and comic books are reviewed in the issue, including reviews of releases by:
The Big Moon
Big Walnuts Yonder
British Sea Power
The Bug vs. Earth
Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2
Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales
Father John Misty
Guided By Voices
The Jesus and Mary Chain
The Mountain Goats
The New Pornographers
Tara Jane O'Neil
Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel
Each issue comes with a digital sampler that is a free download and includes up to 33 MP3s. This issue's digital sampler includes tracks by, among others:
Father John Misty
The Mountain Goat
The New Pornographers
Kelly Lee Owens
The digital version of the issue (available via iTunes, Zinio, Readly, Readbug, and Kindle and for iPads, iPhones, Macs, and PCs) also features extra interviews not found in the print magazine. We talk to British Sea Power and Priests about their new albums. There is a bonus The End interview with Peter Silberman of The Antlers. And then there are bonus Q&A interviews with Jarvis Cocker and Father John Misty, containing portions of their interviews not found in the print magazine.
"We never really tried to define a sound; others do that for us. Like pigeons we try to stay free to munch on any crumbs of beauty we find in this strange world." - Neil Hamilton Wilkinson of British Sea Power
"[The album] seemed to be encapsulated within this story of a guy who got married to the greatest sex symbol in America, and then couldn't get it on." - Jarvis Cocker
"Given the choice, I think I'd prefer to die in space." - Peter Silberman of The Antlers
"No one has an idea for what the future is supposed to look like. The only people are these fucking insane people in Silicon Valley who say, 'We're going to live on a lifeboat on Mars.' But doesn't that mean that we have to destroy the world first? That's a shitty future." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"I'm sorry-if your parents told you that there was no God and you believed them and called yourself an atheist, then you are in the family religion." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
"I got baptized four times in my childhood, like, 'Maybe it will work this time.' And people being like, 'Well, you must be doing it wrong.' And that really fucks with you." - Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty
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