Mew’s fifth Studio release, and third on a major label No more stories Are told today I’m sorry They washed away No more stories The world is grey I’m tired Let’s wash away has met critical acclaim earning an A from The Onion A.V. Club, 4 out of 5 stars from Spin, and an 8.1 from pitchfork media. They currently have one date left as special guest on Nine Inch Nails sold out ‘Wave Goodbye tour,’ by invitation of Trent Reznor, this Tuesday September 8 in Los Angeles, along with a couple of dates in Mexico prior to heading back to Europe for a fall and early winter tour.
Lead singer Joans Bjerre was kind enough to take a few moments from their current tour to answer a few questions for Lost in Reviews.
John: The Mewsuem in LA is a really unique and fresh idea. Who came up with that idea?
Jonas: Yeah it’s exciting, I am looking forward to seeing it in real life.
It was something we had talked about for a while, having a presentation of the new videos and show a little bit of what went on making them, to make an exhibition. It was something we planned out with the label and with the directors we worked with making the videos.
John: Is that something that might be done elsewhere?
Jonas: I hope so! If it is a success we certainly should! No definite plans though.
John: Outside of the “Wave Goodbye” dates with NIN do you plan on doing any additional touring in the US for support of “no more stories”?
Jonas: Yes absolutely. We are considering a few options. It’s difficult planning out these things, because we also need to be in Europe and Asia and everywhere and all over. I don’t know at present when exactly we’ll return. But I hope it’s soon.
John: How was it working with Rich Costey again since 2003 on Frengers?
Jonas: It was great! We love working with Rich, he is one of those few producers who’s both incredible at recording things to sound distinct, present and warm and who is also the inventive professor messing with electronics and coming up with new ideas all the time. Also, we already knew his ways from working with him before, that makes things easier because you know how to avoid misunderstandings and he knows our strengths and weaknesses.
John: Trent (Reznor, Nine Inch Nails) has collaborated with previous artist he has brought on tour. Are there currently any plans to work with Trent?
Jonas: No plans as of yet, but that would be really interesting.. Who knows?
John: Between recording “no more stories…” and the tour it seems you have had a pretty busy year. What’s been a highlight of it?
Jonas: One of the highlights was finally finishing the album. It was quite a battle. Rich had a drawing in the studio of Sisyphos pushing the boulder up the mountain and on the boulder he had written “Mew album”. Sometimes I really envy those bands that put out a new record every year, but that’s just not what we do. We require more time. But it’s painstaking sometimes. It’s incredibly enjoyable too, of course, but the level of getting everything just right is baffling to people who aren’t in our inner circle.
Our show at Webster Hall in Brooklyn was another highlight, a really intimate and intense show. There are shows when you just feel completely present in the “now” and you can sense the audience feels the same way. Playing Japan again was incredible as well. I love Japan.
John: What inspired you to get into music/your sound? What inspires you to continue today?
Jonas: I think it started real early. When I was little I watched Yellow Submarine over and over and over again. That had a significant impact. Films have inspired us a lot too, not only musical films but films in general. The moods of films. Bo and I listened to great pop music as kids, Prince, Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Eurythmics. I know Silas had all the Black Sabbath albums. When Nirvana broke through we were enthralled in school, but they also opened up our minds to other bands such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Afghan Whigs, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth. Back then it was a bonanza of new things waiting to be discovered. I’m sure it still is, but it takes more energy to investigate nowadays. And maybe as you grow, you’re no longer a book of blank pages waiting to be written on, now it’s more like you’re a scribbled-upon notebook full of doodles and ideas and plans and lists of things, it’s harder to find space for new things, and you get more picky with age, but then every once in a while you discover something new, something really inspiring and you just magically find a new page for it somewhere.
John: What is the stand out track on “no more stories…” in your opinion?
Jonas: Oh I can’t just choose just one! It’s like M&M’s.. It also changes from day to day. My favorite today might be Tricks Of The Trade, I really like the groove in that, because it’s both real stiff and strangely sloppy at the same time. A lot of our music have conflicting themes that somehow mix well together regardless. It’s part of our whole thing, making it difficult for ourselves. It can’t get too comfortable or we’ll stagnate.
John: Thank you for your time.
Jonas: Thank you for yours!
Mews latest release No more stories Are told today I’m sorry They washed away No more stories The world is grey I’m tired Let’s wash away is available now on iTunes and Amazon, you can listen to excerpts from the album, check tour dates and get the latest Mew updates at Mewsite.com
By John Coovert