Tu Fawning's "Monumental" New Release

June 05, 2012 2:25 PM

“Tu Fawning return this May with their sophomore release, A Monument. While the band retain their trademark sound in Corrina Repp’s formidable voice, the swampy blues-guitar howls are now replaced by a newfound love for vibrant percussive mania. A more ample use of keyboards have steered the band past the morbidly dark vaudevillian vibes of their 2010 debut album Hearts On Hold, and these new songs are even more focused and pointed than ever. A Monument delivers a set of dense, romantic, and highly energetic songs that fully represent Tu Fawning’s powerful live show. And on A Monument, this sparkles through on every track.”

The interview was conducted with Joe Haege from in Berlin, Germany, May 9, 2012.

1. Your new album, A Monument, is being released in the U.S. on May 15th. According to your bio, “the songs explore the connection between the good and bad, the light and dark, the sensuality and earnestness in being alive.” What does that mean for you guys?

 “Well, it sounds really grandiose, but for us, it’s really easy to kind of just partition off. We look at music that has a darker tone, but we look at it from a different perspective. We want to make sure it sounds honest, kind of same way as a film…we’re not trying to be too heavy handed and have a specific message, we just want the music to have a human and down to earth element. Bands like us get written of as stylistic but those are just choices, we don’t claim to be anything more than human.”

2. Originally, the band was just made up of Joe Haege and Corrina Repp and A Monument is the second album that features all four current members. How did the dynamic change when Toussaint Perrault and Liza Reitz joined Tu Fawning and did that affect the band’s sound?

 “It did, it really expanded it in a way that we were really hoping it would, but not from just from a two piece to a rock band. I mean, we love rock, but we wanted it to sound different than that. We had two guitars, a drum set, a piano sampler…and it was too much shit. When we realized we wanted two more members they were the first two we asked. We knew it would be the right fit.”

3. How did the band come up with the name, Tu Fawning?

 “Corinna and I couldn’t come up with a name, that’s always the bane of every musician’s existence, coming up with a name that describes the band yet doesn’t sound stupid or pretentious. Anyway, Corrina likes to make collages out of clippings from National Geographic, and next to one of the images she had clipped was a random paragraph with those two words together in the same sentence. We really liked the words and we tried them in different combinations until we finally settled on Tu Fawning.”

4. All four of you play many different instruments, do any of you have a favorite one to play, and why?  

 “I love writing with drums and percussion, over the years I found that I love dictating the cadence and the feel of a song. Drums and percussion can change the tempo, style and beat of a song. It’s really difficult to be an amazing drummer. I meab, I’ve been playing guitar for awhile and I love guitar, but there’s something about drumming that I’ve discovered I really enjoy. Corrina’s favorite instrument is definitely the voice; she loves to sing. With Liza and Toussaint, I don’t know (laughs). It changes every day.”

5. You’re currently touring in Europe and kick off the American leg of your tour June 8th and will be playing a show at Mercury Lounge in New York on August 2nd. How is it different performing in Europe and the U.S.?

“Technically I would say the US you expect very very little, you expect people to typically not listen, be talking most of the time, you expect not to get fed anything. In Europe that’s all kinda different. There’s just a little bit more respect for a musician as being an artist and not just an entertainer at a bar. Coming from America or the UK you feel like the clouds have parted, and you feel some weird validation, like, “Oh my God, I’m a musician and I’m getting treated like this!” If you go to a club sometimes nobody really cares and sometimes it takes everything in you to win over the audience. The benefit of being American in that situation is that some European artists don’t have a thick of a skin, because if you can break through America’s jadedness you can get to a level that’s pretty damn special.”

by Jessica Appelstein

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