Wolf Parade discuss influences for their new album ‘Thin Mind’
Last month, Wolf Parade released their very solid fifth album Thin Mind on Sub Pop (order yours), and we reached out to the band to ask them about their influences for this album. They mentioned some music, including Devojka (of Dan Boeckner's other band Operators), avant-garde composer Suzanne Ciani, and the Numero Group compilation You're Not From Here, but their influences mostly came from outside of music, like from books, a podcast, politics, and weather. It's a unique, interesting list, and the band provided insight on each pick. Check out their list below.
Wolf Parade are currently on tour with Jo Passed supporting the new album, and that tour is about to hit NYC on Monday (2/24) at Brooklyn Steel. Tickets for that show are still available. All remaining dates are listed below.
Like they did in Chicago, Wolf Parade (who endorsed Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign) will have the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) tabling at their Brooklyn show.
WOLF PARADE'S INFLUENCES FOR THIN MIND
Marcel Schwob - The King In The Golden Mask
1890s proto surrealist/cosmic horror. Weird recursive fables(?) of Jannisaries, plague refugees, decrepit royalty told in a psychedelic fever dream style. The whole book seems to be a psychic reflection of the cataclysm that would arrive 20 years later and bury the landscape Schowb describes in so much detail here.
Laird Barron - Assorted short stories/Old Leech Cycle
Barron is my favorite contemporary horror writer and has managed to pin down the exact vibe of Pacific Northwest creepiness. Swift To Chase is a masterpiece.
Kotkin - Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism As Civilization
An exhaustive overview of the rise of Magnitogorsk and the workers who dragged the USSR out of medieval agrarianism and into the present. Compiled from letters, party minutes, newspapers and personal testimony. Shows how Magnitogorsk was used as a kind of lab to prototype a new form of living. Reads like science fiction.
Neoliberalism in Action!
We made the record on Vancouver Island, where I grew up and lived until my early 20s. The Island is a former resource extraction based economy that’s undergoing massive apocalyptic transformations due to the same neoliberal policies that are making Vancouver, San Fransisco and NYC unlivable for most people. Rent is absurdly high and homelessness is spiking. Nanaimo (the second biggest city on the Island) got its own tent city. The island is now governed by what I can only describe as a “Boomer-ocracy”, essentially rich boomers who bought in in the 70s when everything was cheap and are now in the process of dismantling all the systems that allowed them to have comfortable lives when they were young. Forest Green is about this.
There’s a special kind of rain on the Island. It drizzles down out of clouds that seem to hang mere feet over your head. It has kind of an imperceptible numbing effect on the mind. It never stops. Except in the summer when it does stop and the whole place becomes a tinderbox.
Heavy snow is a relatively new thing on Vancouver Island and people haven’t really quite figured out how to deal with it...which means everything shuts down. We got snowed out of the studio for about a week. I ended up taking long walks down the empty streets to the harbor and wrote most of the lyrics during this time.
Any time I spend 2-3 months obsessively focused on one project (especially if it’s in an isolated environment) my psyche starts to fray and things get weird, mentally speaking. Devojka provided critical emotional, material and creative support and I don’t think I’d have been able to do the kind of writing I did for this album if she wasn’t part of my life. From being there to bounce music ideas around with to sending inspiration (occasionally in the form of hours of old Tito era Yugo movies) to reeling me back in from the weeds...I’m extremely lucky to have her to rely on.
Suzanne Ciani - albums and practices
Ciani has become the biggest influence on my writing in the last few years. Her holistic approach to composition and allowing random elements to take over rigid structure has been a huge inspiration for me in terms of unlearning old habits. When we were making Thin Mind, I a had a small, cheap modular set up and cassette machine at a desk in the basement suite I was renting. When I’d come home from rehearsals, I’d always take 30-60 minutes to build a patch and just let it interact with itself. No real “goal” in this beyond just clearing out my mind and maybe letting a few good melodies reveal themselves.
E1 has slowly, methodically created a new form of smart dumb guy comedy. Psychedelic. Start with the Biden(s) episode but know that the true uncut stuff is the Terra Haute plotline.
Numero Group - You’re Not From Around Here
A perfect compilation
Wolf Parade -- 2020 Tour Dates
Feb. 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer **
Feb. 22 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club **
Feb. 23 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club **
Feb. 24 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel **
Mar. 02 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg
Mar. 03 – Hamburg, DE – Knust
Mar. 04 – Berlin, DE – Gretchen
Mar. 06 – Cologne, DE – Club Volta
Mar. 07 – Zurich, CH – Bogen F
Mar. 08 – Luxembourg, LX – Rotondes
Mar. 09 – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
Mar. 10 – Brussels, BE – Orangerie @ Botanique
Mar. 11 – London, UK – The Dome
Mar. 13 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Mar. 14 – Manchester, UK – YES (Pink Room)
Mar. 15 – Dublin, IE – The Button Factory
Jul. 08 - Bank, Hungary - Bankito Fesztival
** w/ Jo Passed