Arts, The Muse

Q&A with Xiu Xiu

Experimental art-pop band Xiu Xiu are making another stop in Boston on their second tour of 2010, in support of their latest album, Dear God, I Hate Myself. This time they are accompanied by longtime friends Deerhoof, an experimental indie rock band from San Francisco. Xiu Xiu have changed quite a bit in the last year, losing several members and revamping their sound to be based more on keyboards and electronics and less on guitars. Current members Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo gave away, with special edition vinyl copies of the new album, t-shirts with “XIU XIU FOR LIFE’ written in the blood of Seo and Stewart themselves.The Muse got a chance to ask Stewart a few questions via email.

The Muse: Has your songwriting process changed with the lineup shift in the last year?

Jamie Stewart: Angela can play anything that I would otherwise program so it has led to more experiments with complicated harmony, but with a live feel as opposed to computer feel.

M: How do you adapt new and old songs for the live setting?

JS: It depends on the song; some of them we play faithfully to the record, others we totally obliterate the previous version. Reworking the arrangements can be an incredible challenge, but I appreciate the opportunity to make something new.

M: You and Deerhoof recently played Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures live… What was that like?

JS: Wonderful. I was playing the music of one of my favorite records with one of my favorite bands.

M: Do you think this tour will bring about more collaboration with Deerhoof?

JS: We have worked together on several things in the last few years. John [Dieterich] played guitar on our last two records, Greg [Saunier, drummer] has produced our last three as well played several instruments on them. It seems like with this tour and those shows that this part of collaboration will continue for certain.

M: What’s inspiring you musically right now?

JS: Animal sounds, insect sounds and bird sounds.

M: After selling t-shirts made with your own blood and raffling your urine for Graveface Records, where can you go next?

JS: Selling t-shirts with your urine and blood on them.

Xiu Xiu and Deerhoof are playing Oct.10 at the Paramount Theatre. Tickets are $18, and the show starts at 7:30, with Father Murphy opening.

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