Ahead of their appearance at Supersweet’s Dodos Day Fest (May 18), BK chatted with Meric Long, frontman of Californian indie duo The Dodos, about the simplicity of life on the road and mixing the old with the new.

First off, how does it feel to be loved so much in a far-off place like Thailand?
We really had no idea that we have any fans in these parts, and I won’t really believe it till I see actual humanoids at the show. But it’s awesome if it’s true—the internet is crazy!

In Bangkok, you’ll play two sets on the one day—one acoustic and one electric. Does this pose a challenge to you?
It actually makes total sense, considering that we went from more acoustic to more electric, and it makes it easy for us, we have an excuse to play old stuff. Sometimes it’s difficult to design a set that mixes the old with the new, this way it’s like having one of those plates with the little compartments that separates all the food for you, no cross contamination.

You’ve being quoted before as saying Dodos are first and foremost a live band; do you still stand by that? What should fans of your recorded work expect?
I don’t know why I said that. Seems like an obvious statement, but I suppose it was probably early on when being in the studio was more of a mystery to us. Capturing what you do live is something that takes a lot of work and even luck I’d say, it either happens or it doesn’t. I feel like we’ve moved away from trying to recreate what happens live to just focusing on making a good record. It’s a total different experience and that’s a good thing, otherwise there wouldn’t be any surprises.

What’s the best thing about being on the road?
Life gets really simple when you’re touring, and it can feel like a vacation from your brain. Everyday is decided for you, and all you have to do is take care of your health, try and find some moment in the day for yourself, and perhaps eat something good. It doesn’t sustain itself forever because at some point you start to miss the things that really matter, but it’s a healthy way to be for a while.

Any weird touring experiences?
I remember doing a live session for some TV thing in the UK at like 6am in the morning and we were in this tiny box of a room, sweating profusely and playing toy versions of our instruments to be broadcast to thousands of people in the hope of promoting our band.

It’s been a couple of years since your last album, No Color. How’s the new material coming along?
We’ve taken a lot of time to regather ourselves before trying to write again, and it feels really good to be working on new stuff. We’ll have a new record out this summer and we’re working on another one to come out afterwards. I wouldn’t say there are any great leaps, but we tried a different approach this time and it certainly feels different. I really wanted to work on my songwriting before trying to do another record and hopefully it will show.

Your 2008 album Visiter gained you a lot of exposure, and your last two weren’t quite so well received. Do you feel less or more pressure when writing and recording now?
There will always be the pressure we put on ourselves regardless of how a record is received. I used to think it had more to do with what the expectations are, but after having experienced it from both ends I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter. There are a few people who I really, really care what they think—that’s enough pressure already!

On your last album you worked with Neko Case; how was that? Who else would you like to collaborate with?
It was rad. She is rad, and we were very lucky. I want to do a record with Trent Reznor.

We read an interview with you prior to No Color coming out and you seemed rather apprehensive about how it would shape your future career; are you in a good space now?
We were dotting a lot of I’s and crossing a lot of T’s with that record. It left us with a great question mark that I feel we’ve been able to answer at least for the moment, and though my apprehension is still there we’ve had enough time away from music to form our own ideas about what we’re doing and it feels right.



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