The Walkmen with Milo Greene
7 p.m. Tuesday
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm, Norman
Coming up in the New York garage-rock revival of the early 2000s with bands like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol, The Walkmen have stepped out of the past decade looking no worse for the wear.
Unlike most of their peers, the group has put out one critically acclaimed album after another, emerging as big in 2012 as it was in 2002. “We didn’t go in as young kids excited to be in a band. We wanted to be musicians for our lives,” said bassist Peter Bauer. “It’s not something we were ever going to give up easily.”
Not even marriages and children can get in the way. Instead, The Walkmen’s current promotional photos include family members.
“We thought it would be an anti-rock ’n’ roll idea,” Bauer said. “It’s a wonderful life. It’s a great job for having kids. We tour in our own way. We’re not this huge machine, and we can come home when we want. Our kids love it.”
Becoming fathers seemingly has given The Walkmen a sense of nostalgia heading into their latest album, Heaven. The title track’s video is a montage of old photos and early video footage of the band playing its first gigs, leading into clips from headlining massive festivals. (In the Sooner State, The Walkmen have headlined the Norman Music Festival. Tuesday’s show at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is free.)“We wanted to make it about ourselves a little bit and see if that changed how people heard our music,” Bauer said. “I think people viewed us as very detached and serious. I liked that it showed another side.”
He said building Heaven, which was released in May, was rather, um, heavenly.
“This one came easy,” he said. “I don’t feel like the next one is going to be that simple. We don’t have nine songs written already.”
Ever the consummate professionals, the five guys are, in fact, already pondering where to go with the follow-up, even as they’re touring with this one.
If their history means anything, we can expect it to be strong as ever.
“The next is going to need to be incredibly different in some fashion,” Bauer said. “We are just trying to start to figure that out now, what record would be worth making.”