Folk-rock outfit The Dodos underwent a few changes when recording its third LP, Time To Die, for Frenchkiss Records, enlisting Keaton Snyder on vibraphone and working with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses). Since then and in preparation for their fourth full-length, the band has returned to being a duo (consisting of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber), returned to producer John Askew, who worked on their first two records, and snagged New Pornographers queen Neko Case to appear on half of their record. With less than a week left until the heavily anticipated, No Color, hits streets, we had a chance to talk to frontman Meric Long again about the changes, the upcoming international tour, and some of his recent influences.
Just wanted to thank you for taking the time and doing this with us.
No, if this is for Consequence of Sound, I appreciate it, and I like your guys’ website, so…
I actually saw you guys in Toronto when you opened for Beirut. It was an awesome show.
Oh, awesome. Yeah, that show actually I remember was pretty good. It was like right when we started playing with Keaton on vibraphone.
What was it like to tour with Zach Condon?
We did it that night and the next night in Montreal. It was cool, man. I had never seen those guys live, and they played trumpet, which was really cool.
Are there any bands out there that you’ve been wanting to tour with?
Well, we’re trying to decide who will be our support for our June tour, and there’s a list of bands that I’ve been listening to on Myspace, and my head is like flooding with bands right now (laughs).
Cool! Have you guys gotten close to deciding who?
Well, we had some people we wanted to tour with, but we’ve been having bad luck. We wanted to tour with our buddies Wye Oak, but they’re busy. For us it’s just about finding people that we’re friends with and they’re cool dudes.
Of course. What was it like touring with New Pornographers? Is that when you and Neko Case decided to collaborate? How did that all come about?
Yeah, she came out and sang a few songs a couple times through the tour, and we were super nervous to ask her to do anything. It was funny because she’s actually like a huge supporter of our band, and it didn’t really occur to me. We didn’t really know why, and I couldn’t believe it, so it was just like a funny dynamic. She was really happy when I came up to her, and I was so nervous about asking her. But finally, at the end of the tour, we played Lollapalooza, and she came out to sing on like three songs, and after the set she was like what are you doing this summer, and I said we’re recording and asked her what she was doing. She’s like, “Nothing,” so I asked do you want to come and record, and she said, “Oh, totally.” So, it just sort of happened where I didn’t know if it was going to happen or not, but if it does, I’m like sweet.
It’s funny because there’s been a lot of hoopla about her appearing on No Color, but the first two cuts we’ve heard (“Black Night” and “Don’t Stop”) she doesn’t even appear on. Is that you guys keeping us in suspense, or is that just how it panned out?
(laughs) It wasn’t intentional. I mean, people were definitely making a big deal that she was going to be singing on our record, but it wasn’t our intention to be like, “Oh, hey, we have Neko Case on this record,” and use that as a big marketing ploy. It’s a pretty mellow appearance.
It’s cool because she tweeted how “Don’t Stop” is her favorite cut off the album, and she’s not even on it. I think that just kind of shows what a big fan she is of you guys.
Totally, it was really sweet of her to do that. She sings on about five songs, and there’s songs when she kind of takes over. Her voice is so huge, but all of the songs she blends in really well with our sound.