The New Pornographers.

Out on the range

The Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers takes Tower Theatre’s stage on April 26.

Recorded during the pandemic, The New Pornographers released their ninth album, Continue as a Guest, last month. A.C. Newman took time just before hitting the road to chat with Oklahoma Gazette about the ninth album and the road ahead.

OKG: We get to enjoy the first week of your tour. Are you guys practicing heavily, or do you prefer to work it out on the road?

A.C.: We all have to do a lot of homework. We basically have about three days where we just do nothing but practice all day long — which is probably more than we need — but there's a lot of stuff we do to get ready. Basically, we have to learn how to play our record. At the beginning of a Pornographers album cycle, it's like we're learning to do a New Pornographers cover band. The things that are easy to do in the studio, then all of a sudden you're like, “Okay, how are we going to do this live?” We do a lot of back and forth and work it out. I’m looking forward to it. It's always been the nature of our band, even though it's become my career, it's always been kind of part-time. Maybe in my mind it's a full time job because I'm always kind of working writing, but as a functioning unit that's touring a lot, we've never toured a massive amount. So I look forward to seeing them like, “Oh, I haven't seen my friends in a while.” We're not the band that can't stand each other. We're not the band that all travels in separate buses. We're still friends.

OKG: I take it you guys have a lot of fun being in close quarters for long periods of time.

A.C.: I mean, not necessarily fun. Just being in close quarters with anybody can drive you to madness, but they’re people we like, so that helps a lot. But yeah, it is weird. That's the strange thing about going on tour, especially when you're going on a bus tour, it's like all of a sudden, you leave your house, and you live in this tiny submarine with, like, nine roommates. It's like, ‘Oh I haven't done this in a while.’ Everybody's sharing one little fridge.

OKG: What's your favorite thing about being on the road?

A.C.: The shows are the reason you do it. It's the two hours out of the 24 hours that are the reason you're there. I always tell people touring is a strange thing because there's hardly any in between. It's either fun or it's kind of a drag. In your life, sometimes you’re just cruising along at a medium tempo. You're not having the best time but you just kind of in your day to day routine. But being on the road, it's fun or it's like, “Oh God, I don't want to be here anymore.” At some point you're like, “I don't want to live in a bunk inside the submarine, but then you realize, no, this is fun.”

OKG: How long do you guys spend on your recording process?

A.C.: It's always been a long process, but it's not a 9-to-5 thing. Sometimes we're just working, going through our lives and kind of working on music kind of part time. Like some somebody compared it once to working on an old car. You know, like somebody who has an old Mustang they just tinker on the weekends. And then a year or two later it's like, my car is finished, it's something like that. I envy the people who can just knock stuff out incredibly quickly, but I'm not one of them. I think there is some rock music that has just very simple immediacy. I don't think Jack White toiled for six months on the record— I think he knocked it out pretty quickly. And you know, I wish I could be that person. But again, I'm not.

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