Monday, May 14, 2007
Composed largely in the shack-wacky confines of Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Only Children's second LP "Keeper of Youth" is a record that questions the value of rock and roll as much as it tenuously embraces it.
Singer/songwriter Josh Berwanger (formerly of The Anniversary) moved back to Lawrence last November to cut the record at Black Lodge Studios and raise his newborn son with wife and band mate Heidi-Lynne Gluck. Without a record label or booking agent, the group struggled through a debt-inducing tour and a crisis of purpose.
Fortunately, that lasted about a week, and Berwanger picked himself up by his proverbial bootstraps and made a barn-burner of a record ignited by his own emotional crossroads. The singer and two guard of the Chico's Bail Bonds rec center basketball team visited our podcast studios to discuss Winnipeggery, music-making and the fine art of making art to preserve one's sanity and sense of self.
Composed largely in the shack-wacky confines of Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Only Children's second LP "Keeper of Youth" is a record that questions the value of rock-n-roll as much as it tenuously embraces it. Singer/songwriter Josh Berwanger (formerly of The Anniversary) moved back to Lawrence last November to cut the record ...
No-fi excerpts from the podcast
lawrence.com: This record was sort of a long time coming, right?
Yeah, the first one came out in 2004. I kind of took a long break from music :
Were you feeling defeated or something? I've heard stories about a tour that was really bad.
Well, it was an awful tour. Everyone was just kind of like, we don't want to do this anymore. And then I moved to Canada and didn't stop making music but just kind of took a break from it.
Did you get married between records?
I got married and had a baby ... I just wanted to concentrate on experiencing that. I think that's the good thing about songwriting-you can take a break from it and it's always there whenever you want to go back to it.
So what were you doing up in Canada all that time?
Not too much. Shoveling snow. Paying a lot of money for beer : I drank import beer-Budweiser. I learned how to farm a little bit because my mother- and father-in-law own a humongous farm : I couldn't find a job because I didn't have a work permit, but I kind of worked under the table as a landscaper and got made fun of by the huge dudes.
So what are you writing about on this record? What are the innermost secrets lyrically?
- Friday, May 18, 2007, 10 p.m.
- Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Mass., Lawrence
- 18+ / $5 - $7
On and off, it's a record for the underdog : I took so much time off I just didn't even know what to do any more. I toured for so long and I thought I had all these people who I was friends with in bands, and I just didn't know anyone anymore. Until our label SideCho wanted to sign us I was like, well, I guess I'm just going to put this out by myself, and I guess 15 people will hear it, and I guess I'll just be a band that plays locally.
I think there might have been one time where I was like, I'm done doing this - and then a week later I was writing a song.
Was there any sense of satisfaction collaborating with some old friends (a.k.a. Ryan Pope and Matt Pryor, formerly of the Get Up Kids)?
Oh yeah. I played once on a Get Up Kids song, but this was more fun. You always talk about it like, yeah, let's do something, man, you gotta play on my record and nothing ever happens. So it actually happened this time.
I was kind of trying to do something where I had each Get Up Kid play on one song and erase my tracks slowly, but have them in at different times and then release a new Get Up Kids song. That didn't work out, but that would have been pretty hilarious.