At this point, the output of the Josh Berwanger Band is starting to rival that of the bands for which Berwanger was formerly best-know, the Anniversary and Only Children. The band’s just finished recording their second LP, and just release their third single — a split with power-pop idol Dwight Twilley — on Good Land Records. We asked Berwanger a few questions via e-mail about the split and his upcoming plans.
The Josh Berwanger Band seems to follow an older release model: several singles, then an LP. What’s the rationale behind that?
I want to consistently have something coming out on a format to keep people interested until the next LP comes out. Back in the day, bands were able to put out a record a year and still be relevant. Nowadays, from recording the record to the time a label needs to set it up properly it takes nearly a year.
This was something I was talking to Jonny Phillip of Good Land Records about one day. We often talk on the phone about what albums we’ve been listening to, and then I mentioned how much I love Twilley’s Jungle LP. Then from there the idea of doing a split with him spawned.
Where does “Some Other Guy” come from — was it recorded for this split, or a leftover from something else?
We were in rehearsals for an upcoming tour, and in-between songs in our setlist Ricky started playing “Crazy Horses” by The Osmonds. After 15 minutes of jamming on it, we had the song down. The first day on tour, I thought when we get back we should record “Crazy Horses” at Element Studios. I booked the studio. As we were on the road we started listening to all the layers that song had and thought to do it right, we would need more then a day. So, we ended up recording “Some Other Guy” instead.
When’s the next album coming out?
It’s done. No word on when its coming out yet. The plan now is to play all new songs at SXSW and then we have a tour with Field Mouse and Lithuania (a Dr. Dog side band) in May and June. In that time, there should be a better idea on the release date.
How did you come to work with Jay Shaw for all your releases?
I’ve been a huge fan of Jay’s work for some years now. When I was halfway done recording Strange Stains, I sent him an email with some songs as well as some images of early Eastern European movie poster art that I love. I figured he wouldn’t respond or not have the time to work with me. But he wrote back and said he dug the tunes and also loved those posters, as well. We just kept talking and from there have developed a great friendship. It’s very true: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
The Josh Berwanger Band plays an electric, full band set and Dwight Twilley plays acoustic as part of the release party for their split 7-inch this Saturday, March 7, at Love Garen Sounds in Lawrence.
You can also purchase the Twilley / Berwanger split from Good Land Records on some gorgeous splatter vinyl, limited to 100 copies.