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Recording at the Bottom of the Marianas Trench: An Interview with Luke Temple of Here We Go Magic

We caught them for a minute while they're touring and picking up famous hitchhiking cult film directors.
May 21, 2012, 8:00pm

Brooklyn-based indie noise makers Here We Go Magic are great. They sound like David Byrne, Jonny Greenwood, and Lætitia Sadier took uppers and downers together and then went to go see a band and that band had the name “Here We Go Magic."

Anyway, they just released their new record, A Different Ship, and it totally lives up to the hype and deserves the buzz. The record is dreamy yet personal; patient yet persistent; awesome yet killer; basically, it’s fucking awesome. Speaking of Jonny Greenwood, A Different Ship was produced by Nigel Godrich, also known as most peoples’ favorite record producer. He did all those Radiohead and Beck records that made, and continue to make, everybody shit themselves.

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HWGM is on tour now. I caught up with lead singer and song-smith Luke Temple for a minute via mutual smartphoning while the band is driving around playing shows and picking up famous hitchhiking cult film directors.

SM: At the record release show at the Knitting Factory here in Williamsburg in April, you guys mentioned being “away” for a long time. Did you all grow beards and long, dirty fingernails?

LT: Over the course of a year, we had our ups and downs for sure. I did have a beard at one point, but I am meticulous with my nails.

The songs on the A Different Ship have a beautiful kind of slow-building patience to them. Are these arcs products of the recording process or the songwriting itself? Both?

Both. Both me and Nigel were going for space and slow subtle builds. He just tends to work that way and it was a new interest for me.

How did you guys hook up with him?

He happened to see us at Glastonbury festival. I guess he liked what he saw.

There are all these lush, soupy, droney, synthy things going on in Ship. What new tools did you guys use on this record? Mostly analog, mostly digital, or both?

All the synths we used were analog and we recorded to tape. Nigel, I think, likes to keep a certain amount of mystery when it comes to his studio.

Did you guys record this record in an underwater castle?

Yes, at the bottom of the Marianas Trench.

Peter (the drummer) is like 12 fucking feet tall. Does he have trouble fitting into hotel beds? Vans, planes, sneakers?

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Yes. Lots of scars on his head…

Follow Sam McDougle on Twitter: @smickdougle.

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