For those of you that know and love the music of The Low Anthem you will know the line-up as frontman Ben Knox Miller, multi-instrumentalist Jeff Prystowsky and the classically trained composer Jocie Adams. So who do those extra pair of feet in the photo above belong to and where is it?
The answer to the first question is that they have a new member by the name of Mat Davidson. For anyone who has followed their history…they have had new members before who end up leaving for something weird and wonderful like living in a yurt tent (Dan Lefkowitz) or joining an Ashram (Curtis Scoefield). Be intersting to see what future beholds Mat. That cavernous space is a disused pasta factory that they have been spending a lot of time in drinking Jack Daniels, eating pizza, having late night music sessions and making a new album!
The Low Anthem have been raved about since the release of Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, which really placed them up front in the media spotlight and stamped them as the thinking mans folk band. The intellectual identity is not far from the truth, in a past interview with Uncut magazine, Knox Miller explained that
OMGCD mimics the westward expansion of the United States in the later part of the 19th Century, just as Darwin was formulating his theories of natural selection on the other side of the Atlantic.
Knox Miller isn’t the only member to seek meaning in intellectual quarters, joined at the hip buddy, Jeff, also declares to be a book delver and always carries around a copy of Walt Whitman as well as Darwin’s Origin of Species. And as for Jocie, she was a NASA technician for christ’s sake! Inspiration for the album can be placed at the feet of Steinbeck as much as Darwin. Knox Miller apparently made all memebers read Steinbeck’s East of Eden. He wanted the album to be a musical embodiment of that classic piece of fiction.
You’d want to rehearse any interview questions very carefully to avoid getting egg on your face. Knox Miller has some very set ideas about the plight of modern music and where the problems are. The interview actually became a well tuned rant with questions posed to their young generation on why they expect so little from music…which is, let’s face it, the reason why there is so much shit popular music on offer today. Expectations are very low. To spark off like that in an interview places him in a very exposed position but I have no doubt that he will continue to feel those shoes and stay well clear of the trash can disposable music industry. Modern day top 40 albums will continue to go out of fashion faster than a politicians election day promise. But the likes of OMGCD will remain in the music press pundits historical landmark playlists for years to come.
I admire this type of musician, they think deep and they play deep. So here’s a few goodies for your senses:
Cover of Bob Dylan’s “Dignity”:
[audio:http://www.box.net/shared/static/8l0btmqxvr.mp3|titles=Dignity|artists=The Low Anthem]
if you like this track then sign up to their fan news to get a free copy!
A recent live show they did for KCRW:
And a great video to Ticket Taker
We’ll be seeing The Low Anthem this year at the Open House Festival in Belfast which we’re very excited about!
Photo Credit: Johanna Neufeld