Weekend the band are much like their music: intense, a little intimidating, but you can’t help but be drawn in. The dark, moody songs from their sophomore album, Jinx, were perfect in the gothic interiors of New York’s Judson Memorial Church. KEXP managed to grab the guys for a quick chat after their blistering session, which you can watch below:
You guys are on one of my favorite labels of all time, Slumberland Records. How did you guys hook up with the owner, Mike Schulman?
Shaun Durkan (vocalist/guitarist): It was a Myspace romance. (laughter) Early on, Mike left a comment on our Myspace page saying something really cryptic like, “Ripping.” We had been fans of the label for years. Early on in discussions about the band, we thought if we were ever going to be signed, we hoped it would be Slumberland, so it was really, really cool to see him notice us. We got in contact with him, had a few casual encounters...
Shaun: That was on Craigslist with him. (laughter) That led into late-night jam sessions and a hundred beers. We just clicked with him as a person and a music listener. He doesn’t really sacrifice his vision, which is really respectable in this climate.
And then you guys recently left Oakland, where Slumberland is based, and moved here to New York, right? How’s that been?
Shaun: It’s been like a year now. There’s been ups and downs. It’s hard to acclimate yourself to a new city, but it’s cool.
Kevin Johnson (guitarist): Thankfully we already had a ton of friends here, and knew a lot of bands here, and that made the transition pretty smooth. It’s been nice to have a change of scenery.
I read that after CMJ last year, one of you guys had a rough time, missed a flight...
Shaun: We missed another one last night! It’s a hobby of mine.
Really? Well, I was going to ask if CMJ was easier this year, knowing you can just go home afterwards and crash in your own bed?
Shaun: Oh, I don’t have a bed right now. We’ve been on tour. We’re about to play some more shows down the east coast, and then head to Europe. We’re just gearing up.
What about Seattle?
Shaun: On the last US tour, we had to skip the Northwest, and we have a lot of friends there. And he’s from Washington. [pointing to drummer Abe Pedroza]
Oh, no way! Where from?
Abe: Walla Walla, Washington.
Shaun: But hopefully soon. If not this winter, then hopefully by the Spring.
[ As of this typing, Weekend have yet to schedule any Northwest tour dates, but KEXP will announce the shows as soon as we find out. In the meantime, check out this great performance from CMJ. ]