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Amazing Baby

Tater Tots

Nov 01, 2008 Year End 2008 - Best of 2008
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Life was looking grim for Will Roan last winter. “A year ago, I was working making raincoats and just trying to be able to pay rent and being really scared because my band was breaking up. It’s a really strange place to be in now—recording a full-length record. Bizarre,” says the singer for Brooklyn’s Amazing Baby.

Fresh from eating 40 buffalo wings with the rest of the band—a Thursday night, pre-practice ritual—Roan expresses amazement at the preliminary success of his new band. “It was intense,” he says. “I’ve been making music for a long time, but this band started out of me and Simon’s old bands breaking up and just wanting to have a reason to keep on playing music and just trying to start something new.”

Simon O’Connor (guitar) and Roan were the original core of the band and still share the songwriting duties, but while the rest of the lineup has coalesced—to include Don Devore (bass), Rob ‘Doc’ Laakso (guitar), and Matt Abeysekera (drums)—Roan says that Amazing Baby is definitely not a duo supported by some other guys. “Right now we have a really good group of people that, I think, are going to be in the band for as long as they want to be.”

The band is recording new tracks in their rehearsal space and trying to remain independent for as long as it makes sense. “We’ve had interest from labels so far, but we haven’t settled on anything. We’re doing it on our own; trying to keep everything as much our own for as long as possible,” Roan explains. “It gives the best opportunity for the music to get heard and to not completely compromise yourself and pretty much ruin the project from the get-go.”

The band’s debut album will be the followup to their Infinite Fucking Cross EP, which garnered some positive media attention and fan interest. Though only four songs long, the EP wastes no time in displaying the band’s wide range of influences. “The Narwhal” is a mystical acoustic number replete with layered guitars, semi-chanted vocals, and hand drums. It sits next to “Pump Yr Breaks,” a psych-pop mega-jam with an infectious chorus that could have been belted out by a Pulp-era Jarvis Cocker.

When asked how a full-length will make sense out of the disparate batch of songs from the EP, Roan says that with what they’ve added, “you can kind of connect the dots a little more clearly. It’s definitely less like oldie psychedelic, more like, I dunno… there’s a lot of Brian Eno influences. A lot of Sonic Boom/Spacemen 3 sort of stuff, but also T. Rex-y sort of stuff. I feel like the music we’ve been recording now gives credence to the scatteredness of the EP.”

Expect to see the album released in the first half of 2009. For now, Roan explains, “we haven’t really looked at anything other than making as much music as


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