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Animal Collective 'lying low'

The band are on a break - but are not calling it a day

  • 19/03/2010
  • Ian Youngs
Animal Collective

Animal Collective are “lying low” following the success of their last album Merriweather Post Pavilion - but they are not likely to split up, band member Panda Bear has told 6 Music news.

Panda Bear, real name Noah Lennox, said the acclaimed US experimentalists were “exhausted” after being on the road for much of 2009.

“There was just so much touring for us,” he said. “We’re not really road dogs.

“We were really happy with the record, so we wanted to put in a little extra this time. But it took its toll in terms of us just being exhausted. So I think all of us are trying to lay low just for a second.”

Merriweather Post Pavilion, the band’s eighth full album, was their most successful to date, reaching the US top 20 and earning two Brit Award nominations.

Asked whether this was the end for the band, Panda Bear replied: “There have been times in the past when I’ve thought we were done.

“So I don’t know, this could be it. I don’t expect it to be, I should say, but you never know.”

"There’s freedom to do things outside the band or for the band formation to change constantly."

Panda Bear

The vocalist himself is currently playing selected solo dates and is starting work on a new solo album.

“My focus right now is just to do this record and make sure I do my best with that, and then when that’s winding down, I feel like I’ll move my focus back to the group,” he said.

“We’ve already talked about it in very loose, vague terms. But no dates have been set in terms of us getting together to work on stuff.

“One thing I think all of us are interested in is trying to write music in the same location because it’s been a while since we’ve done that. So hopefully that comes to pass.”

His fourth solo album, titled Tomboy, is due in September and will have one significant difference from his previous work, he revealed.

“I think the biggest change is that I’m trying not to do samples as much, or at all really. There’ll be a few, but the foundation of all the songs is no samples.”

Animal Collective are famed for their use of samples and were the first act to get clearance to use a Grateful Dead sample, which appeared on their track What Would I Want? Sky.

While he is working on his solo album, Panda Bear said it would not be inconceivable for the other group members to make an album without him.

“I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it. That’s an ideal that we’ve clung to since we started playing music together, that there’s freedom to do things outside the band or for the band formation to change constantly.

“If those guys wanted to do that I think that would be sweet. I don’t know if they’re talking about that or not.”

Merriweather Post Pavilion was also named the best album of 2009 in a round-up of end-of-year polls by UK music critics. The reception was “pretty overwhelming”, Panda Bear admitted.

“I don’t think that will ever happen again for us,” he said. “I’m really happy about it of course. I kind of didn’t think that sort of thing was possible, really.”

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