NewVillager were kind enough to to take a timeout during their tour to answer our questions over e-mail. We love these guys, and they’re part of our upcoming “InnerTube” playlist/CD available at Pulp Lab this summer. Be sure to make it to their Lighthouse festival this summer in Brooklyn or to one of the many stops on their tour.
They’ll be at Mercury Lounge, NYC on May 18th, and 285 Kent in Williamsburg, BK on May 20th. For those on the West Coast, you can see them at The Wiltern on June 23rd in LA, and The Belly Up Tavern on June 24th in Solano Beach, CA. Other dates and locations include The Rialto Theater on June 25th in Tucson, and Jake’s on June 28th in Lubbock, TX.
How long have you lived in Brooklyn and how do you feel living there impacts your creative work?
NewVillager has been in Brooklyn for a year. Brooklyn is the Lighthouse location for us. Before this was Hayward (Cocoon), Forestville (Forest) Port Townsend (ShotBigHorixon) and Path (San Francisco). Now, we’re seeing both sides of the situation.
We have a strong interest in concept art and fashion, your “LightHouse” video follows this aesthetic. Do you see yourselves branching out into fashion design in the future?
We are already working with costume design in our videos but it’s unclear where costumes end and fashion begins. We’d love to work with any and all creative people – shoemakers, bookbinders, carpenters, foot stompers. We’re trying to express the mythology in as many ways as possible.
There’s a tribal theme occurring in the independent culture trendsphere. Do you see the NewVillager mythology as a “tipi” (easily transported, and the center of social, ceremonial, and artistic life)?
The tribal thinking is maybe a necessary counterpart to the global thinking that has dominated culture in the last century. Increasingly, people are traveling, goods are traveling and the world situation is getting tricky-sour because of it. Tribalism is a more local kind of thinking. The mythology is not tribal – mythologies exist in almost all societies, big and small – but our mythos is a way of trying to understand life through a single lens, and maybe that has something in common with tribe-mentality – unity of thinking? And yet, when does tribe mentality become gang mentality become nationalism? Slippery stuff.
Who are some artists that inspire your musical and visual artistic endeavors and how do you draw inspiration from these people?
Michael Jackson, The Beatles - the ability to create mythology through sound +image.
Robert Smithson, Joseph Beuys - the interest in capturing transformation.
Buckminster Fuller, Christopher Alexander - the scope and applicability of thinking.
There’s mention of working by the forest, sea, and city (on 2syllable) to finish your latest album. I assume the Bay is SF, City is NY, where’s the forest?
Forestville, CA, where we completed our first single, lived among the redwoods, and endured poison oak.
LightHouse was recorded ten times? Did you blend all the recordings together in the finished product?
It’s a little bit of that method, but there’s also a tremendous amount of material and musical approaches that weren’t used in the final recording. Cramming everything into a single song can be a dangerous method.
What summer event are you most looking forward to?
Our Lighthouse festival to be held at a silo and outdoor yard in Carroll Gardens on the album release.
What should we expect from your print art works?
Evidence, expressions and documentation of the NewVillager mythology.
Are there any other artists we should be on the lookout for that share a similar artistic philosophy as you?
The musician, Natalie Weiss.
The director, Ben Dickinson.
The artist, Judge Dylan.
After Brooklyn, where do you see yourselves headed?
To the Overpass.
Anything you’d like to add that our readers at www.pulplab.com should know?
One thing I know: you got to keep one foot in the shadow.