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Interview:
Walkmen Turned On By New Music
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

The Walkmen put out two albums in 2006 — and contributed a track to the “Spider-Man 3” soundtrack last year.

But all that has been relegated to the past as the New York quintet pushes to finish its fifth album in time for a May release.

“We’re really pumped up about it,” reports frontman Hamilton Leithauser, who co-founded the group in 2000 with three former members of the rock band Jonathan Fire*Eater. Recording in New Jersey, New York and Mississippi, Leithauser, 29, says The Walkmen took a decidedly different and somewhat more intense approach than on its most recent efforts — “A Hundred Miles Off” and a track-by-track remake of Harry Nilsson’s 1974 album “Pussy Cats.”

“ ‘A Hundred Miles Off’ has a lazy, casual feel to it. We didn’t overthink anything,” Leithauser explains. “This one is very different, ’cause we really, really worked on everything for hours and day and weeks, and if there was stuff we still didn’t love after that, we just cut it.

“We really learned to do a lot of editing, which I think is a new move to maturity. I think it’s a step in the right direction for us.”

Leithauser is confident The Walkmen will complete the as-yet untitled album before the end of the month. But the group is looking forward to a short tour, during which it will give fans a taste of new material such as “Around and Around,” “Blue Route” and “I Lost You,” the latter of which he calls the new project’s “breakthrough song.”

“If it were up to us, we’d play them all, but I think people would get pretty bored if you just hammer them with new songs,” Leithauser notes. “For us, it feels like we’ve been playing these songs for a long time, but people don’t hear them until you’ve already been playing them for even longer. They only get older and older to us, so we really want to play them now and not wait.”



The Walkmen and White Rabbits perform Thursday (Jan. 17) at the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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