Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle has cranked out a new album of wordy and wise story songs just about every year for the past two decades and he’s an equally prolific consumer of culture. When I interviewed him for this week’s Weekend section, we talked about NHL hockey and death metal. After the jump, Darnielle expounds on two of his passions.
The band plays Friday at the 9:30 Club. The show is sold out, so if you can’t go, listen to “Damn These Vampires,” a standout track from brand new album “All Eternals Deck.”
The Mountain Goats - “Damn These Vampires”
On covering this year’s NHL All-Star Game for local paper the Independent Weekly and how to keep the physical nature of the game:
“Oh, man. I was in the press box.... Thirty years ago it would have been a room full of cigarette smoke with guys with the cards and the fedoras. It was so cool.
... The one thing that makes a physical game harder now: ... The checks can be harder because there’s more stuff there to protect you. You’re not even seeing somebody’s face that well. In the old days there was plenty of violence, but you were basically looking at a guy up close. So you had a natural human tendency to check yourself. I think now ... the checks have potential to do more damage because you go hard when people are wearing a lot of buffer stuff. The ’70s versions of these goons were skating around with their hair flying all over.
On death metal, working with Erik Rutan (of metal bands Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal) and genre stereotypes:
“]Death metal] grabs you in some way. Death metal: it’s got that violent sort of sheen. ... I was having a bad day a few months ago and I e-mailed Erik to say, ‘I wanted to let you know I’m listening to [Hate Eternal album] ‘King of All Kings’ just to get myself through a dreadful day.’ And he wrote me back, ‘That’s what Hate Eternal is all about, my friend, pure release of aggression!’ It does that. But at the same time, is that what appeals? No -- what appeals instantly is you hear it, and think -- I like that! I want to hear some more of that!”