Wilco :: An interview with Nels Cline - Part 2
Words: John Balfe
When you did sit down and eventually tackle those songs from the back catalogue were you intent on adding your own stamp to them, or did you aim to remain more faithful to the songs as they were recorded?
I was actually surprised at how much latitude I have to this day with the older material. There wasn't much discussion about the arrangements, it was more learning the song and then playing along with it and maybe every once in a while Jeff saying "there's a little lick in that solo, do you mind playing it?"
We started playing something like 'Too Far Apart', which is from [Wilco's first album] A.M., and from hearing the song the way Jeff was playing it which is a little tougher and meatier sounding than the A.M. version, which I think was a very hastily assembled version, to hear him tell it, I just went for this kind of Hendrix-y thing on it which was what I was hearing and everyone seemed to like it.
On other pieces such as 'Reservations', I went into "sound design" mode and everybody was happy with that. There wasn't a point in which anyone said "here is an exact arrangement, please learn it." Some songs are obviously tighter than others, but more of the recent material is much more refined in that way because it's been created by this band.
Cline (far left) joined Wilco in 2004
You'll be in Dublin in June for the Forbidden Fruit festival. Is there any chance you'll be announcing any Irish non-festival dates?
I don't think so. This is the weirdest trip. It's a gig in Spain, then Ireland, then Portugal. My guess is there won't be any other [dates] but I'm not always the first to know about these things! We always love playing in Ireland. I've never played in Belfast myself, I'd love to play in Belfast but we always love playing Dublin. There's a room, I'm having a mental block on the name of it right now…
It must be Vicar Street?
Yeah, it's great! The audience is always great, but it sounds really great in there because it's carpeted but it's still a standing venue so you're playing this live show but it has a slightly tighter sound.
I noticed that at Forbidden Fruit you're on the same bill as Andrew Bird who has toured with you before and has been a collaborator. Is there any chance of him joining the band on stage in Dublin?
I wouldn't be surprised. No one's talked to Andrew, but it wouldn't surprise me. He played with us quite a bit on the tour that we did with him, and a few other times in Chicago and it has been a while, so it would be lovely. His new record, which I haven't heard yet, it supposed to be great. I'm looking forward to hearing what he's got going anyway whether he sits in with us or not.
Wilco play the Forbidden Fruit festival on Monday June 4th. Tickets are available now from usual outlets nationwide, priced at €49.50 for a day ticket, €89.50 for two days or €115 for the whole weekend.
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Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Thursday 24th May 2012 | Music
Looking forward to forbidden fruit, should be excellent.Posted 23:04 | Thu 31st May 2012
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