Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth: Thinks Phish is Terrible, Will Definitely Not Collaborate with Bob Dylan

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Sarah Cass/www.myspace.com/dirtyprojectors/

Dirty Projectors' mastermind Dave Longstreth has a strong aesthetic sense that is obvious with each listen to 2009's Bitte Orca. After nailing every critic's top 10 list, collaborating wiht Bjork and David Byrne, then touring the world, the band released an expanded edition of last year's breakthrough album. The expanded Bitte Orca has an extra CD of previously unreleased tracks; Longstreth says it was a way for the band to take "odds and ends from this whole period in our lives and put it out as a single entity. It feels like a nice way of tying the bow around the whole thing before going back to writing."

Before he takes the stage tonight at the Glass House, Longstreth revealed more of his eclectic aesthetic--including his thoughts on being compared to Phish, and who else they want to collaborate with.

How is Dirty Projectors coping with mainstream success?
It was a lot of changes; the way we tour now feels much different than other tours we've been on. It's just a matter of focusing our energies and making sure we're thinking about ourselves as one component in a larger entity. It's what it is in a band.

You've released music with Bjork and David Byrne--who else is in your list of dream collaborators?
I don't have a list! It's really just incredible that these two heroes of mine have ended up being people that we work with.

I read somewhere that you've been listening to a lot of hip-hop. Will that influence what's next album-wise?
We do it different every time. I personally think the collaboration with Bjork was the freshest shit we've made. But the way that worked was I wrote the songs super quick, as opposed to Bitte, which I edited a ton.

I went through so many different shapes and tones with that record; so many different colors and structures. I wanted to do something the opposite of that--I did Mt. Wittenberg Orca in four to five days, by making ProTools mock-ups of me  singing all the different girls' parts and just giving it to them [to learn]. It was quite efficient.

I don't know what will be in the next one; it's too early to think about that. Right now it's all about being on tour; the album feels like a totally different part of the life cycle.

What about Solange Knowles covering your work?

Solange's cover of "Stillness is in the Move" is great; we played a cover of it with her. What I've been getting out of rugged '90s hip hop is the language...maybe I'll get into language more.

But trying to talk about whhat we're going to do next is super pointless; any idea I have would not be the sperm that would inseminate the egg becuase it's the wrong part of the month.

Your music is so complex and unlike what is generally heard on mainstream radio; do you think your recent success has to do with people's tastes getting better?

The way people consume music and listen to it now is really different; it's not giant media corporations engineering stars anymore.

For the moment it all seems a lot more grass roots, so it allows for a wider spectrum [of taste], of personal things being put forward. I feel grateful that our moment is coinciding with that one.
There are downsides; it's difficult to make money, for example.

These days, the way a musician makes money is by touring and that's OK, but the fact that the world is saying the recording is not worth anything is a bummer for me becuase I love recording; I love putting records together that have a certain feeling, as a work that is a unified whole.

You've been compared to the jam band Phish; Do you like that?
I don't see that. I think Phish is...I don't think that music is very good. I think it's super interesting though, because I was reading something about the return of jam bands, with a bunch of dudes from indie rock...saying they listened to Phish.

If you put that together with what we were talking about--that a recording is worth nothing and the only way a musician can make money is by playing music live in front of other people--you'd think there would be a return to that embrace of that moment. A return to what jazz is about, improvisation and spontaneity.

The problem is jam band music ostensibly tries to use those things, but almost across the board that shit is just terrible.

And so far people aren't really [improvising] with live shows. They're just rotely recreating what their album sounds like night after night. And that's what audiences want to hear. Maybe that will change.

Maybe the connection we have with a band like Phish is the inflection or just doing it all live, in that moment, in front of people, and for real; not cueing any tracks. That may be it, because I like to reinvent songs from earlier periods of the band in different arrangements, a different feeling. That's something we love to do.

What have you been listening to lately?
 
I have been listening to a lot of '90s hip-hop and '80s Bob Dylan. That's sorta it.

You think you'll ever collaborate with Dylan?

(Emphatically) I don't think so. (Laughs.)

Dirty Projectors perform tonight at the Glass House. 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, 7 p.m.,  $20.



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161 comments
into being a hipster
into being a hipster

Yeah! Fuck opinions! Dave longstreth sucks because he has them! I know I don't.

phucku!
phucku!

Damnit I wish I would've never read this article... I was beginning to enjoy the Dirty Projectors and now that enjoyment is ruined, tainted by this doucher's ego. PHISH ROCKS, eat a dick. Oh and p.s. some of us don't adhere to all of these classifications, i.e. "indie", etc.... I love music and I allow myself to remain open to all types of music, which is how I came across this band. But someone who claims the whole "indie" categorization is ridiculous! what is that anyway? you think phish is owned by some corpo record label? they're just as "indie" as you are faggot!

Hawki008
Hawki008

I must agree that, although all are entitled to individual opinion, Longstreth doesn't seem to know what he's referencing. I am a true fan of bands like Phish and Widespread Panic, or "jambands" if you must, and he's right when he says that some setlists can seem a bit repetitive, but that isn't always the case, which he would know if he actually listened to the music. Sounds to me like a "holier than thou" opinion, that because he's been dubbed a musical genius (with which I can't totally argue, bitte orca is an INCREDIBLE album) he feels superior to lowly jambands and other artists alike, because he's progressive, avante garde, what the hell ever. Seems like some generalization or stereotype that he's heard about these so called "jambands"...Improvisation is present in most if not ALL of Phish's live performances, and Longstreth, I challenge you to listening to an entire phish show thoroughly before you judge.

janst
janst

Wow. Reading comments sections is never very good for one's outlook on humanity, but this section is really something else. He doesn't like Phish. It's his opinion. So he doesn't understand that they indeed improvise heavily outside of their song structures at pretty much all of their shows. Who cares?

I also don't really like Phish very much anymore, at least not their songwriting. It used to be really beautiful and intricate and original (they were my favorite band for years), but in my opinion the songwriting has kind of stagnated in the last 12+ years (although Round Room had some fresh moments and Time Turns Elastic as a song is a pretty fun romp through variations on old prog Phishisms). In any case, they definitely deserve praise for breaking ground in a number of areas, and I'm sure that their live shows are often still amazing.

Incidentally, I also see similarities between Dirty Projectors and Phish (at least early Phish); DP's music, has a lot of the complexity, beauty and originality that I loved so much about Phish when I first listened to songs like You Enjoy Myself and Reba. I would recommend them to Phish fans. Their song structures, melodies, chord progressions, textures and rhythms are super original, interesting, and gorgeous. But hey, that's just my opinion...

janst
janst

Wow. Reading comments sections is never very good for one's outlook on humanity, but this section is really something else. He doesn't like Phish. It's his opinion. So he doesn't understand that they indeed improvise heavily outside of their song structures at pretty much all of their shows. Who cares?

I also don't really like Phish very much anymore, at least not their songwriting. It used to be really beautiful and intricate and original (they were my favorite band for years), but in my opinion the songwriting has kind of stagnated in the last 12+ years (although Round Room had some fresh moments and Time Turns Elastic as a song is a pretty fun romp through variations on old prog Phishisms). In any case, they definitely deserve praise for breaking ground in a number of areas, and I'm sure that their live shows are often still amazing.

Incidentally, I also see similarities between Dirty Projectors and Phish (at least early Phish); DP's music, has a lot of the complexity, beauty and originality that I loved so much about Phish when I first listened to songs like You Enjoy Myself and Reba. I would recommend them to Phish fans. Their song structures, melodies, chord progressions, textures and rhythms are super original, interesting, and gorgeous. But hey, that's just my opinion...

harry peeniz
harry peeniz

another week passes and i still have no fucking clue who dave lonstreth is or what his highly overrated hipster fag ensemble sounds like.

Who is dave longstreth?Who are the dirty Projectors?I have a feeling i will never know. nor do i care to. Good job turning away thousands of possible new fans, jackass. If anything, you'd want to compliment phish because their fans are rabid consumers of music - and not just phish music. Good job dumb ass!

wan hu hong
wan hu hong

it's been a whole month sice this trash was published in this hipster scum rag and i still have no fucking clue who Dave longstreth or the Dirty projectors are. But I digress.

However, in the last month i have seen phish 7 times and it was great everytime.

Dirty projectors? Dave Longstreth? who the fuck are these clowns?

holly bernstein
holly bernstein

who is dave longstreth? Who are the dirty projectors? Should I care? Do I care? NO! NO!

fuck your face!

toddd
toddd

Not the biggest Phish fan, but had to chime in: Listen to a song by this Dirty Projectors band. I've heard a handful, so I would say, pick any song. Just go to Youtube, for example, and listen to any song by this band. It will invariably sound like complete shit. Guaranteed. This guy has possibly the most annoying voice in the history of "indie rock", he writes some of the worst melodies these ears've heard since maybe the Shaggs and there are these annoying lady singers just going "oo-ee-oh-ooo-eee-aaaahh" like fucking CONSTANTLY. It is the eptiome of "you've got to be kidding me -- who does this guy have pictures of?" music, and this decade has had more than its fair share of that sort of thing, almost all of which is coincidentally (?) made by NYC (media capital) bands... Hmmmm...

runam
runam

What i'm saying is that my mom is a Phish fan. I've never heard phish's music, but I have at least HEARD OF THEM. I'm just as confused as to who the hell the Dirty Projectorz are? I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THEM!?!

runam
runam

Never heard Phish's music, but what's clear is that their fans are homophobic and mostly illiterate.

Raymond
Raymond

I have a feces fetish - so I actually love poop! Hence I love phish! I'm a shit eating loser! My name is Raymond and i love fecal matters!

Raymond
Raymond

PHISH is poop. And this guy is a loser too. That is all.

Lenny1
Lenny1

While I don't wear a tie dye t-shirt to fit in, I do, however, wear those faggy square lensed glasses that look like elvis costello on pms. I also douche out my vagine everyday to keep the stink away.

it's hip to be geigh! hipsters rule the cum/semen scene!

Lenny1
Lenny1

i like the dirty projectorsphish is over the hill.i have fun at there shows, and i dont have to wear a tie-dye to fit in.

i bet in the next ten years the dirty projectors are still packing shows and phish will be in attendance...

ouch

mark gorden
mark gorden

i used to like the dirty projectors..cant believe that guy opened his mouth like that..he thinks he knows everything about every band..what an asshole

i will never go to another DP show or support them in any way, actually i will discredit them if i see them in public, and shit talk any fans i come across..

who does that gy think he is

Andrew
Andrew

dudes, all of these incredibly belligerent comments from phish fans are fucking hilarious. i'm not that into the dirty projectors at this point, but one thing is certain:

this guy, Longstreth, knows considerably more about music than Phish's fans, and yes- they suck. badly. sorry it pisses you off so much. I'm sure you think the same about a lot of music that others really like, too.

the problem with phish fans, like lady gaga fans, is that they do not know that they have no taste.

T-Bone
T-Bone

I've lost all respect for this band. I'm going to publicly rip on them whenever I get the chance. They don't deserve any of the fame they've gotten to this point and I'm gonna do my best to ruin any little bit they have left.

Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal

this fucking guy is a clown. Phish has been around since 84 and is still relevant while this shitty band will not be remembered in 5 years.

this band is awful. who the fuck are they and how are they popular by any means?

Anonymous
Anonymous

You just f&*ked with hundreds of thousands of open minded music lovers (Phans). good job guy

David
David

Fucking pretentious hipster, Phish owns your face

dirtyfaggets
dirtyfaggets

this idiot isn't clearly commenting about music he doesn't know. Clearly he has never heard live phish jams if he is commenting about their lack of improvisation. Certainly he has never heard the orchestrated masterpieces the band has created. I think this inddy fagget is just jealous that his band will never gain any real success past hipster critical acclaim...fuck this guy and his shitty music

LILBONSAII
LILBONSAII

Phish....terrible?! Are you kidding me. Now I know Dave Longstreth is offically geigh!

Won't be seeing the Dirty Projectiles anytime soon...or EVER.....that's for sure!

sumodie
sumodie

Mr. Longstreth obviously does not know anything about Phish -he comes across as very self absorbed and close minded.

Dan Kreiner
Dan Kreiner

Please go to my shitty website, phanntank.com. It was a phish forum, but that didn't go so well so I'm changing it to a dirty projectors forum. If you'd like to change the website yourself, the password is hanzerbeek.

Keller
Keller

I actually liked this band, but what an ignorant prick. Why put other band's down? Do you really think you're that great? I've lost all respect for this band. Won't be getting an ounce of support from me anymore!

Mike
Mike

so I just listened to a few of your music videos, and I have to hand it to you.. your band is absolutely terrible. I almost can't believe a youtube videos that sounds worse than nails on a chalkboard can have over a million views.

just shows that there is something wrong with our society. have fun touring with your awful band

Lenny1
Lenny1

its ok for the dirty projectors to diss phish..phish are a cover band..and they arent a good one either!

long live the emo-hipster bands of today..we will see what band survives the next decade..it wont be phish, ill tell you that...

look at this and tell me its not awesomehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

B
B

Who are these guys? Has anyone ever heard of them before? He likes hip-hop?

WSP RULES
WSP RULES

i love the dirty projectors....

Ryan
Ryan

Phish never publicly says they dislike other bands. Why say shit about Phish? Now you have a whole legion of hardcore music fans who aren't going to try your lame hipster crap

Joe Deacon
Joe Deacon

Ok, I don't really know of this PHISH group, but regardless, as a musician, he shouldn't be taking a shit on other peoples music. That's only hurting his career and diminishing his character.

What a queerbait. Emo music sucks balls anyway.

harry
harry

at least the girls in your band are cute

sneed
sneed

Anyone need Rush tickets in ATL?

Kitty Sez Wha?
Kitty Sez Wha?

Dude, I'm sorry that you don't like to be compared to jam bands. But to say that they suck because you don't like the style of music is just flat out wrong. Phish is composed of four amazing musicians who can and have played a wide variety of music with improvisations that you could never duplicate if you tried.

Stop trying so hard to be hip with your silly little know nothing hatred of a genre of music that you don't like. It just comes off like an inferiority complex. And please tell your followers to stay out of my scene. Ironic hipster posers should stick to Williamsburg.

KThaxBaiKitty

Mike Gordon
Mike Gordon

Hey Dave Longstreth, can I take you out to the boathouse so I can take some artistic pictures of you?

I know you aren't a kid, but you look like one.

PS can you shave your pubes for me?

who are you?
who are you?

Who are you?

signed,

Phish Fan.

Top grossing act in 2009 - that doesn't say anything at all.. their music must really suck.

Trey Anastasio
Trey Anastasio

Phish always wins fgt.

If you redo any of my music, I will send sue to cut your fucking balls of.

don g. thomas
don g. thomas

I'm still confused. Who the fuck are the "Dirty Projectors" and why do they think they could even be in the same league technically or musically as Phish? It is laughable that some basement tour band whose members have barely gone through puberty and have just popped up on the radar because it's some douchetastic blogger's flavor of the month in the ass popisicle club.

I'll check back in 10 years. I can bet that i still won't know who the Dirty Projectors were, while after 10 years phish will continue to amaze millions on a nightly basis.

was this a joke?:"rotely recreating what their album sounds like night after night. And that's what audiences want to hear." Because i'm laughing my fucjing ass off!

WOW
WOW

wow what a joke with the phish bashing by this idiot... I can't believe this interview was actually published.

LAME

thehoarseofcoarse
thehoarseofcoarse

quit tryin' to troll me bro; i have a pitiful cock, which is why i'm so concerned with dave longstretch's opinion of my favvy band.

beav
beav

who the hell are the dirty projectors?

_Quartal
_Quartal

Look PT Bros,I'm the interviewer and Dave is actually a pretty decent guy. Sorry I asked about the Phish. Gotta run! My bus is here.

--posted from my iPhone, gen 1

Soukie
Soukie

::applies peppermint lip balm::

Soukie
Soukie

Anyone need some analingus? I'm ready for you.

thehoarseofcoarse
thehoarseofcoarse

I have a micropenis and thought this would be the best place to admit it.

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