Pitchfork Diaries: Here We Go Magic

Kristina Lieberson of Here We Go Magic takes a break from touring to talk about the band

Here We Go Magic had to be one of the prettiest-sounding bands at Pitchfork this year.  The band grew from a solo project into a full-fledged band and since this new formation has not stopped producing awesome music and shows.  Between their interweaving melodies and their bouncy live show, the band’s attitude is irresistible.  We sat down with keyboardist and vocalist Kristina Lieberson in the early afternoon Sunday (too early for Kristina and myself) to talk about Here We Go Magic’s new philosophy.

HEAVE: I know Here We Go Magic started as a solo project and only evolved into full band recently.  Have you noticed a difference between the first songs you guys worked on together to what the band is now?

Kristina Lieberson: Oh definitely.  Well now we all write together, I mean Luke comes up with the main sketches of the songs still.  But I think now you hear five different voices in the music rather than just one.  It definitely creates a different palate.  It’s just a different sound coming from solo music, having five voices all speaking their part.  I think there’s more melody, there’s tons more melody because everyone is involved.

HEAVE: You guys are about to start a huge, huge tour.

KL: Yeah we’ve already started.

HEAVE: How do you prepare yourself for extended bouts on the road or overseas?

KL: We’re pretty good about trying to take care of ourselves.  I think it’s more when you’re on the road that you need to try to eat well and exercise if you can so you can not feel cranky all the time.  You get tired.  Sleep is very important but you can’t always have it because you’re traveling all the time.

HEAVE: Do you have any tips for bands who are getting ready to go on bigger tours on how to keep their sanity?

KL: I think relaxing, not being stressed out.  Not drinking too much.  We’re all guilty of it because you just drink at every gig and you drink all the time because you’re a musician and musicians just drink all the time.  I think that’s the most important thing, not to drink too much.  Seriously.  It helps a lot.

HEAVE: What do you do when people keep buying at the bar?  Do you just say no?

KL: Sometimes (laughs).  Sometimes you just have to say no.

HEAVE: From a recording perspective, do you guys prefer analog recording or digital recording?

KL: We do everything to tape, so we don’t do anything digital.  Well we recorded a little bit of the vocals through Pro Tools actually, we transferred it to the computer.  Jen and I do all the backing vocals and we would layer and layer and layer our vocals.  It’s good to do it quickly on a computer instead of recording on tape after tape but everything else is direct to tape.

HEAVE: Is there something about the sound that’s more appealing to you?

KL: It’s much warmer.  Everything just sounds better on tape, it really does.  I think that’s a common trend amongst a lot of bands now.  It gives it kind of that lo-fi sound.  And like all records before the 80s were done on tape, even in the 80s.  It sounds so much better.

HEAVE: As one of the members of the band what do you feel you bring to the project personally?

KL: Personally, awesome keyboard lines (laughs).  I don’t know.  I’m a vocalist first and foremost so I think Jen and I add a lot of complex harmonies.  Mike too, he’s the other guitarist.  All of our combined harmonies bring a lot of richness to the project.  Our ears hear these kind of notes that need to come out.  I think vocals and keyboards, I obviously add that, but I would say harmonies.  All of the harmonies that the three of us add are very important.

Here We Go Magic's new album Pigeons is out now on Secretly Canadian.  The band continues their US tour with Dr. Dog until mid-November.  Check out their MySpace to see when they're headed your way.

Posted by Amy Dittmeier on Jul 30, 2010 @ 1:13 pm

here we go magic, pitchfork music festival, interview