Our pal David from local writing blog The Great Runaway Truth sat down with Pujol at Bonnaroo last week, and we are excited to publish that interview for all our fans. Check out his blog at that link up there.
I caught up with Daniel Pujol hours before his Bonnaroo performance. The garage rock phenom and DIY pioneer was nice enough to answer a few questions about recording and performing in Nashville. In proper Bonnaroo fashion of drinking and heat walking, the list of life bending questions I had originally prepared for Daniel were swallowed and currently live in the bowels of the farm somewhere. Following is the remaining conversation we had.
David: The United States of Being was two years in the making. Why not release it sooner?
Pujol: I wasn’t working on the album for two years, but it took two years to bring all the pieces together for it to be released. I wanted to make a 12 song with Jeremy Ferguson (Battle Tapes Recording). Jeremy was the first person I met in town who said he would record me. I could have released my songs earlier on a lap top and I have done that before but that wasn’t something I wanted to do for this album.
D: You were playing some of the songs on the album before the album was ever released. Was it difficult to have that sort of patience?
P: On “Psychic Pain” there is a specific counterpoint between the bass and the guitar. If its not recorded right, it’s not a victory for me. You can make a record that’s just songs or you can make an album. I love doing seven inches and releasing them. That is what I did to be able to record the kind of record I wanted to make. I had 12 songs that I wanted to be together. I didn’t want to waste them. These 12 songs make sense in this order.
D: How is it playing with Daniel (bass) and Stewart (drums)?
P: I like playing with Daniel and Stewart a lot. We are now able to emulate that interpersonal consistency in the past I could only emulate or elude to. The sound of people working together and getting along, you can hear their personality coming through.
D: What is the contrast between playing at a house show in Nashville where everyone is right in front of your face versus when you go on the road and play somewhere like a bar where you don’t know how many people will be there and that crowd energy may not be there? Does it affect your performance?
P: Its about playing well. Me and Stewart were in marching band together. And Daniel and I have worked together on recordings and shared a similar touring circuit. We all just want to play everything right every night. We can’t make anyone like it but we can play the best we can every night to interact with the people in a way that’s appropriate, and not be like ‘hey I’m on a stage or I’m going to show a fucking light on you. I need a volunteer from the audience.'(laughing) We are kinda “marching band” about it, where you are suppose to play as good as you can every night. If you don’t, you fix it, and do it better the next night.
D: What do you get more satisfaction out of, playing in a basement or playing on a stage?
P: Depends. There are different things I like about either of them. Now I am feeling pretty locked in with the band. They are equally fun. I used to not care about monitors that are on the stage as much, but now its great when i’m vibing into what someone else is playing. It’s fun. You can hear them locking together instead of everyone firing off at the same time.
D: You are a political science major, so you have an interest in social and political ideas that come through in songs like “DIY2K”and “Made of Money”. Is this intentional or is it something that happens in the writing process naturally?
P: Its kinda the way I make sense of stuff. If you think and feel a lot of stuff, it’s easier to put it out where you can look at it and separate it from yourself and pick at it. Songs are the way I do that
D: When you attend a show, do you get in the pit?
P: I’ll get close even if it’s for maybe a minute and then i’ll get into it and think its great until maybe I get kicked in the head or something. Then I’ll go out and get hypnotized by it again.
D: What is the next step for Pujol as the band and the person?
P: Touring. I want to explore.