Was that just a matter of you sitting there with the paper? How involved was Tyler with putting all those songs together and arranging them?
Arranging them more. The actual note structure and content I would do a lot in my head at work or driving my car, just having words running around in your head. The music flows around. I’ve been playing long enough that I can know what a riff sounds like without playing it on the guitar necessarily, so I would make up a lot of ideas away from the instrument and go pick it up later and see if my imagination matched up with what I was thinking. Me and Tyler live pretty close, so two times a week we’ll get together and practice, and that’s really when I bounce ideas off him and he comes up with his ideas and then we start trying different things with form and structure. There’s a big back and forth and a lot of working on these songs before they actually ever got recording.
So it was all set before you went into the studio? On the record it sounds pretty natural and spontaneous. I don’t know if that’s just Randall Dunn’s recording or what.
(Laughs) Live we kind of reinterpret things and we don’t play everything the same. When we’re in the studio, yeah, there’s a fair amount of improvisational aspects. I was improvising for many years before I came back and tried to reintroduce structure into my stuff. I think it’s pretty vital to have to do that. Live, we even change the stories a little bit and take off in some different directions and since there’s two of us, it works pretty nicely. We just have to follow one another and there’s not a third guy to try and get on the same page. That would be a little trickier (laughs), if we had another harmonic instrument— I would always make things up with Tyler in mind. I guess if you see us live sometime…
I read online there’s a new EP coming out?
Um, no. We did a 7” and we’ve just been touring with SunnO))) so much that we haven’t been able to record a new thing. The LP has a couple bonus tracks on it and we have a 7”. Most of them sold out, but I think Crucial Blast still has some. It was a split 7” that was recorded before the album.
That was with Night Terror?
Yup. So yeah, no new EP yet. I want to. I’ve got a couple songs ready. We’ve got a whole new record written and a bunch of other stuff. We could do some EPs or a whole other album. The next album’s gonna be about snakes. It’ll kind of relate to the crows a bit. They’re all relatives, I guess.
How does the snake relate to the crow?
Umm, ‘cuz dinosaurs (laughs).
(Laughs) I kind of meant conceptually, but okay.
(Laughs) Conceptually, it’s a similar thing. There’s a lot of myths in the world that use the crow that have stories about the crow, like from Norse mythology with Odin crows on his shoulder, or Native American myths about the crow. And so we kind of tried to show the universality of all those myths. There’s also a lot about the snake. The world snake in Norse and the Cherokee horned snake. We have some songs that are more based on the snake, but also may mention the crow too. They’re all this universal myth idea, that all these myths come from a similar place, from some kind of unconsciousness or collective unconscious or just the lineage of the stories handed down—and dinosaurs (laughs).
The Unkindness Of Crows is available now on Southern Lord. For more on Eagle Twin, check out myspace.com/eagletwin.
JJ Koczan would very much like an egg sandwich, and so he’s going to go cook himself one. Here’s to self-reliance. theobelisk.net