The Clean, The Heavy Eights, The Bats, and smoking hash with Alex Chilton.
Robert Scott and David Kilgour are perhaps best known as two-thirds of the influential New Zealand band The Clean. With David's brother Hamish (who currently lives in New York City), the trio released a handful of EPs of shambling, psychedelic, and otherwise unclassifiable pop songs in the early '80s. These records were some of the first to come out of the nascent Dunedin-based New Zealand music scene, centered around the Flying Nun label, and remain among the best to come out of that movement. The band reformed in the late '80s and, since then, have put out another focused, playful, and beautiful record every few years. A compilation of work spanning their entire output, the four-LP Anthology, was recently released by Merge Records.
David's long and equally rich solo career continues with End Times Undone, his new record with longtime band the Heavy Eights. The album, out August 5th on Merge Records, is David and the Heavy Eights's first since 2011's Left by Soft, and is a further exploration of his overlapping interests in compressed pop song-forms and lush, expansive guitar music.
Robert's group The Bats have also been active since the early '80s and have produced a number of astonishingly great pop albums over the years, several of which were recently reissued in the US by Captured Tracks as part of that label's series of Flying Nun Records releases. He also has a solo album, The Green House, out shortly on Flying Nun.
Both David and Robert are also prolific painters whose work frequently doubles as album art. I emailed them a bunch of questions about painting, their solo work, history, and The Clean. The two old friends then sat down and talked them over on tape. Revelations abound.[ Read More ]