David Bazan on Pedro the Lion's Control
After Control, you and T.W. Walsh really solidified Pedro the Lion as a duo. But you made Control with Casey Foubert (Crystal Skulls, Sufjan Stevens), correct?
Casey Foubert helped me make the record; it was just he and I. But I should say that Trey Many, who's my booking agent now, and he had a band called Velour 100. He played with me two years leading up to the recording of Control. So we fleshed out those songs with him as the drummer...I certainly got perspective on that record over time with Trey.
Pedro the Lion was essentially the same thing as "The David Bazan Band." Why not tour as Pedro the Lion?
If I can help it, I won't ever use that name again. There are a lot of reasons why. I'm pretty invested in using my name as the brand name for what I do. After finishing Pedro the Lion, we saw firsthand how important brand recognition is in terms of getting all of the people who are actually interested in the music to buy the record and come to the shows.
Even at this late date, it's kind of hard to believe [but] there are people at the shows obviously every night that just didn't know that there was a life after Pedro in terms of my songwriting. They never connected the dots. That's one of the things I hope to correct with this tour, to be like, "Hey everybody, if you liked Pedro, you should check out [my solo records], because you probably would dig it as much.
That's one reason. I don't like the name. I think it's a dumb band name. That's another reason. I've just moved on. They only reason I would call it Pedro the Lion is to try and make more money. And that doesn't seem like a great reason, especially considering the reasons why I wouldn't do it.
I was surprised when I saw that you'd be doing a Control tour.
It's not totally like me, I don't think.
I wasn't bummed out. I don't like the idea of nostalgia tours, but then a record I really loved turned 10...
It was a tough decision when it came up. It just kind of smacked off all that cashing in, nostalgia stuff. But we were looking for a way to promote the re-releases as effectively as possible. Honestly, without the re-releases, I would never commemorate the 10th anniversary by playing it from end-to-end. It just seemed like the most effective way...we could have said, "The David Bazan Band plays Pedro the Lion songs, and other songs," but we always do that anyway.
But it's working out okay, I take it?
We're halfway through the trip, and I realize I really do like the back half of the record better. I think that the texture at the back half is just more interesting, to me personally. But that said, I love "Options," I love "Progress," and the three rock songs in the middle of side A, they're fun. We can dig in and get really hard, and that feels good.
The David Bazan Band is scheduled to perform Wednesday, December 5, at the Rhythm Room.