Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dear England…

God it’s weird being back in London. Seeing the sights and sounds, the hum of Heathrow, all the shops near Koko, all the places we first saw when we were first a wide-eyed band in love with a country. I wanted us to be the Smiths or something like it. The American Smiths? Is that a contradiction? The Cure without the makeup. Another contradiction. The Clash with some folk songs. That’s probably closer.

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Everybody just means it so much here. The magazines bitch and scream and proclaim someone a savior at the very moment they profess their disgust at how spectacularly one failed at saving anything—or that there was nothing left to save. And you’re American, besides. Which is to say: simple, arrogant, rough, ready, quantifiably cliché.

So we’d stumble through the streets after the show, up to our necks in beer and whiskey—chasing this ghost or that of who we wanted to be. Some of you became close friends. Some, even closer. And we learned you were just a country and we were only people—and this massive daydream was only as real as the feelings we had skipping drunkenly through the cold alleyways trying to meet the bus before it left in the morning.

In case you’re wondering, we fought with our label then demanded they sell us our European rights back, which they did, at considerable expense, which we were happy to pay out of pocket for. This was a year ago, before we made Such Hot Blood. And now we have this record and this time and we don’t even know what will become of the 70 shows we played in the UK before even putting out our first record, of those lost ideas about what it means to be a rock band here.

We took a chance and got our record back because we still want all of that. All of it good and bad of what it means here to be a rock band. Something I heard when I was 12-year-old boy growing up in California, and someone gave me a dusty old Stone Roses record and I thought, “Jesus, where did that come from?” And I read the liner notes and memorized the lyrics to “Elephant Stone” then “Ask” then “Like Cockatoos” then “Bankrobber”—all the while thinking that there’s this whole other world, this whole big world outside the mind-numbing hallways of my junior high school with it’s mind-numbing predilection for music I could not relate to because I did not own Adidas sneakers and I knew in my heart of hearts that I was just too weird and wondered where all the other weird people were. And I’m not saying that they were in England. I’m saying that this music—this English music, this English conception of rock and roll with it’s desperate, cloying, angry, winking beating heart made me feel less alone.

I wish I could tell you how far we’ve traveled, what it’s meant for us, what you mean to us. Just know that we are grateful for the journey and grateful to you. And no, in case you’re wondering why we haven’t been here for a year: it’s not that we’ve given up on you. Quite the contrary. And we can’t wait to play tonight.

best to you–

Mikel Jollett

“The Secret” EP Out March 11 (US)

Okay, so we couldn’t wait. In advance of our new full-length record, Such Hot Blood, we’re very excited to be releasing a special four-song EP called The Secret, on March 11th, featuring our single “Timeless” and three other brand-new songs from the upcoming album.

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  • Note: Don’t worry about paying extra for anything you already own. iTunes will just charge the difference. (i.e. Whether you get the EP and already own “Timeless,” or complete the full album upon release—you’ll pay only for the add-ons.)

First-Ever West Coast Orchestra Performance June 1st

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On June 1st, we’ll be playing a special concert with the Tulare County Symphony at the Fox Theatre in Visalia, California. For those of you wondering where the hell Visalia is, it’s about three hours north of Los Angeles and three and a half hours south of San Francisco. It’ll be our first time performing with a full orchestra on this side of the country. We’re expecting an amazing night. We hope you can join us.

Sat June 1 – Visalia, CA – Fox Theatre – PRE-SALE THURS (2/21) @10AM
(link will be live then)

Fun Visalia fact: This is pretty much where our beloved drummer Daren grew up, spending his formative years as a young knucklehead, banging on things, searching for trouble—and always seeming to find it. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can visit his family’s famous hot dog joint, Taylor Bros Hot Dog Stand on North Encina Street (since 1952).

 

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