2011 is shaping up to be a busy year for local noise-folk quartet Theodore. The band has plans to release both a ten-inch record and a full-length LP in the coming months, which will follow last year's Hold You Like a Lover (which we named one of the best local releases of 2010).
Lover was released on Moon Jaw Records, an imprint of Misra Records, which has released record by such acts as Shearwater, Destroyer and Centro-matic. Theodore has now made the move to Misra, which is about to relaunch about a brief hiatus. To celebrate, the label is offering an artist-curated compilation of Misra bands past and present, and Theodore's Lover track "I Won't Be a Stranger" was selected for inclusion by Southeast Engine's Adam Remnant. The comp also includes cuts by Phosphorescent, Destroyer and the Mendoza Line and can be downloaded for free here.
Reached by email, Theodore lead singer and songwriter Justin Kinkel-Schuster answered a few questions about the band's upcoming releases and its plans for the coming months.
Christian Schaeffer: How did the move to Misra come about? Justin Kinkel-Schuster: It is really a very short story. Misra's now-manager Leo DeLuca put out our last record on his Misra imprint Moon Jaw Records. My guess is we did all right with that last record and so he's asked us along for the ride to Misra Records proper, which we're happy to do. Is there a title and/or release date set for the new album? Also, the band recently ended a successful campaign on Kickstarter.com to get a 10-inch record funded. What sets these collections of songs apart from Hold You Like a Lover? The record that will be coming out first is the ten-inch, which is titled Blood Signs. BS is in the mastering/artwork/pressing phase at the moment, and we're hoping to get it into everyone's hot little hands by around the middle or end of April. It will be a limited pressing (300) and it looks like Misra will be doing digital-only on this release.
Both the ten-inch and the LP are, to my mind, distinct from each other and from HYLAL in that they are (hopefully) manifestations of our desire to constantly out-think and out-play ourselves in every way, shape, form, and sound. I believe both records are, respectively, the best sounding recordings that we have made to date (for whatever that may be worth and how little it may be to say) and one hopes that will always be the case with one's most recent output.
"I Won't Be a Stranger" was selected to appear on the Misra Legacy Compilation Vol. 1, alongside bands like Destroyer, Centro-matic and Phosphorescent. How does it feel to be part of a roster of such established and idiosyncratic artists? It is certainly gratifying and exciting to be mentioned or included in a group with those artists and we're grateful to be there.
Finally: aside from the new releases, what else does Theodore have planned for 2011? We're just trying to do what everyone else is -- mainly, not suck, and secondly, to constantly work to hone and craft our stuff by playing shows and making records such that we may someday be able to pay our rents solely via our musical exertions.
Additionally, Kinkel-Schuster emailed a post-script about the new songs: "I think the records are the result of us still trying to walk the crooked lines drawn by the opposing forces of weirdness noise and rock and roll that are in us. Are you ready boots? Start walkin'...."
Theodore's plays this Wednesday at the Crack Fox along with Dastardly and Magic City; check the Facebook event page for more info.