The End: Vundabar | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The End: Vundabar

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Apr 17, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

To end out the week, we ask Brandon Hagen and Drew McDonald of Boston duo Vundabar some questions about endings and death.

Vundabar released a new album, Either Light, last month via Gawk. Either Light is the follow-up to 2018’s Smell Smoke and finds the band working with a producer for the first time, Patrick Hyland (Mitski).

Hagen had this to say about Either Light in a previous press release: “The album is about the transitional lightness that follows a period of heaviness. After years of being caught up in a dark period marked by sickness, strife and worry, and using it as the context in which I saw myself, I suddenly found I’d outgrown that story. With that came a feeling of lightness that was opposite the feeling which preceded it.”

Read on as Hagen and McDonald talk about how and when they’d like to die, what songs they’d like played on their deathbeds and at their funerals, their concepts of hell, and their ideal last words.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

Drew McDonald: Mauled to death by Chihuahua at 68. The Chihuahua eats even my soul and part of me lives on through the Chihuahua until the Chihuahua dies at age 12.

Brandon Hagen: Bit in the jugular by a rogue goose while enjoying swan boat ride in the Boston Public Gardens. Video goes viral on TikTok and thusly my death immortalizes my life. Age 70.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

Drew: “Rose Marie” by Slim Whitman.

Brandon: “7th Element” by Vitas.

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

Drew: “New England” performed by Jonathan Richman.

Brandon: “All of Me” performed by Tony Clifton.

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

Drew: Harold and Maude. I have a hard time remembering endings to movies but the imagery of that sweet hearse sedan flying off the cliff and Harold playing the banjo all carefree and content sticks with me. To me the movie as a whole is a beautiful ode to embracing life and death as it comes, and both Harold and Maude’s endings punctuate it perfectly.

Brandon: Bad with favorites but I really enjoyed the ending to The Irishman, leaving that door halfway open and whatnot. I feel like the ending dealt with someone unready to accept the consequences of their decisions and the life they lived, in that case part of that consequence being death, which feels very human to me.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

Brandon: “One Fine Morning” on Bill Callahan’s Apocalypse.

Drew: “Love and Other Crimes” on the titular album by Lee Hazlewood.

Whose passing has most affected you?

Brandon: Musically it was tough having Bowie and Leonard Cohen pass. It was nice to know they were out there somewhere rippin’ and rompin’, carrying some of the weight for the rest of us.

Drew: My drum teacher Dick DiCenso was a huge inspiration for me—I had put off getting in touch with him for a while once I went of to college, and some time later I went back to the drum shop in my home town for a surprise drop-in and I got the news. It was shocking and I still think of him often. His drum shop DiCenso’s lives on and I take his lessons with me every time I sit down to play.

If you were on death row, what would you like your last meal to be?

Drew: Fried scallops with a side of chowdah and a chocolate milkshake

Brandon: Pulled pork sandwich and a Bitburger beer.

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

Brandon: You’ve finished your meal but now you have to sit around and listen to the devil eat his soft foods very loudly for all eternity.

Drew: You are driving and looking for parking and every time you think you found a spot a hydrant materializes and you must continue the search and your spirit will forever search for a decent spot!

If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?

Drew: It seems like the porpoise has a pretty graceful life and I’d like to give it a try.

Brandon: A tree, it’d be nice to step outside of the animal food chain for a little while.

What would you like your last words to be?

Drew: See ya when I see ya!

Brandon: “Yeah I’ll take three sweet and sour rice, three veggie dumplings and I swear to friggin god if you guys burn those sweet little dumps again I’m gunna have a friggin heart atta-”

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April 20th 2020

Thanks a lot for article