Monday, February 4, 2019

5 Questions with Ken Stringfellow of The Posies

Today we introduce a new feature on the blog: INTERVIEWS! And for our first interview we are pretty stoked to have Ken Stringfellow (he's the one with the cool hair), an indie rock hero who has forged quite a career for himself by being half of pop/rock legends The Posies and having a great solo career as well as playing with R.E.M. and being part of the Big Star reunion concerts up until Alex Chilton's death in 2010. A great musician and all-around good dude whose answers to our questions are like his music: intelligent and cool.
Electric Eye: Have you started work on a new Posies record? If so will it be influenced by slavic death metal or the more traditional polka/rap fusion? Is there still a point in releasing records?

Ken Stringfellow: We haven’t started yet but when I get off the road this month I hope to delve into writing and then be recording by spring. As for how it will sound... you could be right! I’m open to whatever comes. And yes albums are still legit statements, the State of the Union for how we address our philosophical, etc. stance. A book of songs. Books are far more ancient than records and they’re still around, so... I’m all for twisting and bending forms too. I’m open to ideas!

Electric Eye: When working with Jon Auer, what is the process? Who brings what to the table? Or is there no method to the madness?

Ken Stringfellow: We write songs individually and present them, and then start adding parts to each other’s song. We have a rule that we can’t edit each other. If I submit a vocal, etc. to one of his songs he has to use it. And vice versa. I think we will end up working in my studio in Seattle, try and be in the same room more than the largely individual way we made the last album.

Electric Eye: What’s your fondest memory of Alex Chilton?

Ken Stringfellow: Alex towards the end, who spent so much time in Paris and was looking at buying a flat there, and was in such good spirits... that was wonderful. 

Electric Eye: Do you know how many countries you have played in? Which one was the most different, exotic? In what ways?

Ken Stringfellow: I’ve visited 95 counties and performed concerts in 89 of those. Mauritania probably had the most exotic music scene, they make microtonal music on modified guitars and home made amplifiers. It’s based on folk music but ends up sounding more Sonic Youth than Sonic Youth ever did. It’s also remote, isolated, empty. Amazing place. 

Electric Eye: What is the one thing (song, album, concert…) you would like to be remembered for as a musician?

Ken Stringfellow: Maybe it hasn’t happened yet! I’ve still got projects ahead.

Many thanks to him for taking the time to give us thoughtful answers and sending them back literally within a couple of hours. Check out our review of The Posies in Paris in April 2016 HERE.

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