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an end of 2009 interview w/ Peter Silberman of The Antlers

Antlers Hospice

After a decade in which private lives basically became public domain– think confessional emo, YouTube, reality TV, and social networking updates– you would think that we’d have become inured to the private pain of semi-autobiographical songwriting. But as the debut album by Peter Silberman‘s former solo project (it’s now a trio) proves, with the right blend of earnest, whispery vocals, delicate, gauzy melodies, and strangely smothering scratchy effects, a desperately delivered concept album about personal loss still has the power to emotionally destroy listeners. Hospice, as its name implies, is not an easy album to take– the haunting songs’ plainspoken prose tells of mental illness, abortion, cancer, and death– but couched in soaring anthems and swathed in layers of ambient noise, its heartbreaking stories are easy to love. —Rebecca Raber,

Peter Silberman of The Antlers answered our end-of-year questionnaire…

You released a record in 2009. How’d that go?

Better than I could have EVER expected. My head is spinning every day.

What was your most memorable musical moment of 2009?

There’s been so many of them this year. My go-to moment of insanity is getting the call to fill in for Cymbals opening for The Walkmen & Beach House at our first meeting with Frenchkiss. This call happened mere hours before the show. That felt like the beginning of everything changing. The Bowery show the other night might be tied with that memory.

What about non-musical moment?

Any moment spent with my childhood dog.

Favorite place to play in NYC?

Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Beautiful places.

Best new NYC-area band?

Sharon Van Etten & Holly Miranda. I love them both to death.

What’s the best and worst thing about being in a band in NYC in 2009?

New York is the best place to come home from when you return from tour. But when things arent working out musically, its hell here.

What were your favorite albums of 2009?

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport, Sharon Van Etten – Because I Was In Love, Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca, many others Im forgetting.

Favorite Singles/Songs?

Anything from the Moderat record.

What was the best show you saw in 2009?

Low in Madison, WI. They did some serious damage to me that night.

Favorite Michael Jackson song?

The part of the Black or White video where Macaulay Culkin raps over somebody elses voice.

What is the proper way to incorporate “Meh” into your band name?

TmehHmehEmeh AmehNmehTmehLmehEmehRmehSmeh. That way looks pretty cool.

Shitgaze, Glo-fi or Dark Wave?


Plans/predictions for 2010?

Ive given up trying to predict anything. We’re going to start recording after the new year, and going to finish some remixes. Then, we’re going to resume touring forever.

The Antlers have a show coming up at BAM and a tour with the Editors.

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