The Carl Online

Interview with David Berman by carlmagazine
October 3, 2008, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Music

From the print edition of The Carl, an interview by Greg Hunter:

David Berman released his first album as frontman of the indie-country band Silver Jews in 1994. Since then, he has recorded five others (including this year’s Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea), conquered substance  abuse problems, and become known as one of America’s greatest living lyricists. Berman first began playing Silver Jews material on tour in 2006, and, the band is currently touring for the second time in support of LMLS. Berman recently spoke with The Carl in anticipation of the Silver Jews’ October 8 show at Minneapolis’ Triple Rock Social Club.

The Carl: Are there older Silver Jews songs, ones you recorded before Tanglewood Numbers or the first tour, that have taken on a new life now that you’ve been regularly playing them live?

David Berman: In “Horseleg Swastikas,” I say, “I wanna be like water.” Every night I wear a polyester suit and sweat all the way through until every bit of fabric is drenched. By the time I come to this song I have to admit that even my most meager dreams have come to be.

C: The second tour has been going on for several months now. How does it compare to the first?

D: People don’t shield me as much. I get on the stage and every percentage of me is focused on  entertainment or expression. To a great degree I’ve managed to kill the self-conciousness that holds a lot of us back from doing the things that could set us free.

C: In an interview with [music and comics blog] Cable & Tweed, you said that your previous albums “prefer” Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, in the sense that they wanted to be like it, and that “preferring the first records means misunderstanding them.” Can you elaborate on that, or describe how LMLS is the culmination of all the Silver Jews albums to date?

D: My writing is usually just interacting with the genius of the ordinary, which is difficult to see… Read more of Greg’s Interview with David.

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