Tuesday, June 17, 2014

reassembling | An interview with David Pajo of SLINT

 You're currently on tour with Slint. How does this current tour compare mentally and physically to those of 2005 and pre-96? 

Just to clarify, the only touring Slint did, prior to the '05 / '07 reunions, was a brief tour in 1989. Our last show was in Autumn of 1990. So it was a full decade and a half before we played again!

Mentally: This current tour feels very different from all the others. I reckon the remaster, box set and documentary (and possibly the book by 33 1/3 Publishing) has introduced Slint to a new generation of listeners.

Physically: It actually resembles the 1989 tour a bit, in that we carry our own gear (although I'm better at getting out of it these days). Depending on your perspective, we are old as shit.

 There are a lot of bands doing "reunion" tours right now and often bands are pegged as money grabbing or hanging on too long when I look at Slint then and now it comes across as a somewhat unanimous nostalgic reinvention for the greater good rather than any monetary gain. What essentially sparked the decision to reunite?

It was monetary gain, haha!

From young suburban kids to now middle aged men how has the band's perception and appreciation for the music changed and how do you bring the past into the future and still remain sincere?

We don't take any of the current attention we're getting for granted. And we surely don't expect it to last forever. I couldn't listen to Spiderland for more than a full decade after it's release. Now I have enough distance to appreciate it for what it is. 

Revisiting these songs is an education. All the work we originally put into the songwriting is pretty fucking strong to this day. All the pieces fit like clockwork, it's invincible. And it's pure- we never thought about other humans liking it. We wrote to please ourselves and hopefully our comrades would dig it too. 

My job now is to honor the songs, instill it with feeling, and not fuck up.

 I read recently that the reissue of Spiderland received a perfect 10 review on pitchfork.com. Is it surreal now to read things like this and look back on the reception of the band pre 96? There's gotta be a sense of pride when you see such praises for work thats over 20 years old?

24 and a half years old- it's embarrassing to admit. People generally think Slint were a 90s band… we weren't. We started in 1986 and all of our recorded material was written the following four years. I am very proud to be a part of Spiderland. It's not too shabby, considering how young we were.

Aside from the touring and the release of the Spiderland Boxset, the "Breadcrumb Trail" Slint documentary has also been playing around the globe. I understand you attended some of the screenings and even did a q&a. What was that experience like?

We did several Q&As- sometimes original band, sometimes three of us, sometimes just one of us. They were all pretty awkward, as you can imagine. In LA, David Yow MC'd one of the Q&As. In New York, Fred Armisan MC'd and I actually played a few cover songs with Fred and David Grubbs.

The Q&As were kind of amusing in retrospect, but mostly it makes me feel pretty vain and stupid.

You've been involved in many musical projects over the years outside of Slint, from Papa M to Zwan to YYY's. Your diversity as a musician and performer is more than evident. What have you taken from these ventures and how do you ensure you keep evolving?

Every band I've ever been in has taught me something, made me a better person or musician. No one should try to evolve, it just happens.

When I was 11, I made the deliberate choice to always follow my irrational heart over my logical mind. This is sometimes very difficult but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Whilst the current Slint tour is slated as a reunion tour, are there any plans to play together moving forward and even work towards new material?

We haven't really discussed those issues at all, so I would say no. 

 Lastly, theres no doubt you guys are drunk on nostalgia presently. Can you share one of your personal favourite memories of the early Slint days? 

The 1989 tour was just nonstop hilarity and adventure. There's so much stuff that didn't make it into the documentary or book- probably for the best. The tour was incredibly short, less than two weeks I'd say. But a random memory will surface and crack me up- I can't even believe how many stories that were made from that sojourn 25 years ago.

We are drunk, yes, but on pussy.