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Saturday, June 15, 2024
Bonnaroo

Previewing Bonnaroo with Father John Misty and DIIV

The Daily Cardinal recently participated in a conference call with Josh Tillman, who is currently playing under the name Father John Misty, and Cole Smith of the band DIIV, on their upcoming performances at Bonnaroo 2013.

Tillman went first—immediately establishing his nonchalant and often absolutely hilarious personality. He released Fear Fun, which received lots of positive reviews, under the name Father John Misty in 2012 and apparently the next installment from this odd moniker is not only in the works, but almost complete.

“I’m about 80 percent done with 80 percent of the songs,” Tillman said. “So I’d say, I’m about 160 percent done.”

And the next album from Father John Misty is certainly one worthy of anticipation. Fear Fun brought some of the catchiness of Fleet Foxes—the band Tillman played drums for before becoming Father John Misty—but went above and beyond in terms of raw creativity and musical innovation. Any hardcore followers of Father John Misty are probably hoping for him to let out some of his new material at Bonnaroo. For Tillman, however, festivals provide more than just an opportunity to play for fans, since attendees often come from such a diverse music background.

“I think the one thing I do enjoy about … playing festivals is that you still have an opportunity to kind of confuse and baffle people… When you just play a show by yourself, people are kind of—they’ve entered a social contract with you; they’ve watched a few YouTube clips; they know what you do and whatever. But at a festival there [are] all kinds of people who have like no interest in seeing you,” Tillman said. “They have no idea who you are and they might just watch it on a whim or something. And I think some of the … sincerity that is like kind of part of what’s you know, exciting about a festival slot.”

Cole Smith of DIIV took a bit more of a straightforward approach to the interview and spoke about his state of mind when writing their 2012 album Oshin and how their music, which is not necessarily festival-oriented, will transition to a big outdoor stage at Bonnaroo.

I felt compelled to ask Smith about his anti-SXSW statements from earlier in the year and what made Bonnaroo a better musical environment, which, as I expected, warranted a fiery response.

“You know, we had experiences of just, you show up, there’s no soundcheck, no line track. You get on stage and you have 20 minutes to play and then like, you know, you can’t … hang like your banner behind you,” Smith said. “You can’t like have your projections on stage because there’s a fucking corporate logo behind you.”

This is an interesting, but needed, criticism of not just SXSW, but a music industry that, in general, sacrifices its soul for revenue. And this is what Smith ultimately felt sets Bonnaroo apart from SXSW: that it’s truly a festival that puts the music itself ahead of commercialism.

“My real criticism about was like not just that,” Smith said. “The music is like what’s ultimately sacrificed but my other criticism was … there’s so much money changing hands there but like none of it ends up in the pockets of the artists.”

Both Tillman and Smith will bring their passions for music to Bonnaroo 2013, which runs June 13-16.

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