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Interview:
Manchester Orchestra charted different course on latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Manchester Orchestra bassist Jonathan Corley says "Simple Math," the Atlanta modern rock quintet's third album, is "absolutely different" and "a lot more dense than anything we've put out before." And he credits some of that to music that he and his bandmates were listening to as they were working on its songs.

"One record that comes to mind is Neil Young's 'On the Beach,' " notes Corley, 23. "That may not translate immediately into the sound of this record, but that's certainly something that influenced the way the record was shaped.

"I know a lot of us were listening to a few different records. It's going to be different for each member. For me it was Talking Heads' 'Remain In Light' -- I listened to a lot of that last summer, and Dismemberment Plan's 'Emergency &.' Other guys listened to other things. There was just a lot of influence that made ('Simple Math') what it is."

Among the new sonic elements on the set, which debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Alternative Albums chart in May -- is orchestrations, which include a full string section and a vocal choir adding a more lush kind of density to some of the tracks.

"I was blown away at how much that can add to a song, as well as the whole arrangement of it," Corley says. "Our producer Dan Hannon worked with a guy out of Boston (Ben Talmi), who really stepped it up with the arrangements. We'd never done a full orchestra before, just some strings that were layered or stacked.

"And the conductor (Eddie Horst), it was actually the last project he worked on. He passed away a few weeks after the string session was recorded, which is bittersweet but it also make sit even more special to listen to."

Manchester Orchestra, White Denim and the Dear Hunter perform Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Clutch Cargos, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance, $19 at the door. Call 248-333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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