Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nice little interview with Smog

His topics have also tended to stay in the claustrophobic indoors -- often in his head -- where he can be found lying awake at night "getting off on the pornography of my past, lighting matches and dropping them into a wet glass." But on River he's discovered the space surrounding the room. Something has changed.

"It's a bunch of things," Callahan explains over the phone from Austin, where he lives. "I don't know if I can even touch on all of them. But it's possibly because I got a new classical guitar."

In the past Callahan never considered himself much of a guitar player -- "No one ever came up to me and said, 'Wow, I love your guitar playing,'" he admits. But his new instrument pushed him in an unknown direction. "The neck is so wide that it's almost like a piano. It made me think about every note instead of chords. Physically I feel different when I'm playing guitar now. It takes thinking about it more."

You can hear this shift in "The Well," which moves like a tumbleweed, with guitar, bass, drum and harmonica; it could be a lost Townes Van Zandt song. Still, it was only partly because of this guitar acquisition that River -- which was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio in Austin -- arrives after the longest break of Smog's career.

"I think I had a little of what they call writer's block," explains Callahan of the two-year absence. "That was sort of combined with wondering whether I should keep making records or not at all. I wanted this record to be a really good one. So I took my time with it until it was right."

read the rest here


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