The first couple of sounds from Whispertown’s newest single, Open The Other Eye, states the obvious: Morgan Nagler wants to dance. She might want you to dance too, but for right now, Whispertown is her playground. There’s a band attached to the live performances, but this is definitely a new direction, one of the lo-fi electronica nature, with fewer bodies in the studio. So, does this mean that TheWhispertown2000 (Vagtown) era is over for good? It’s a departure from the folk, sweet sounding melodies, but when someone is having this much fun with their work, it’s bound to catch on with all the cool kids.
Smashed Chair: What is the oldest item that you own?
Morgan Nagler: A giant framed print of a shell that my parents gave me for my first birthday.
SC: Jake Bellows, David Rawlings and Andy LeMaster all had their say with the making of Parallel – were they ever mean to you?
MN: No. They are all SO different, but have the greater good in common, without a doubt… and I cry easily.
SC: So, the name of your band is – no, I’m just kidding. You probably get that a lot. How was your breakfast this morning?
MN: I had only coffee before my bass lesson today, but my Linner was delicious... Garlic Tofu Lunchbox from Atch Kotch!
SC: Have you gotten a lot of flack from drummers because you went the route of pre-recorded percussionisms? (that's not a real word)
AB: Actually everyone's been really cool about it. Live though, we use a drummer and also there's live drumming on the album that wasn't there before so maybe it's a little less offensive.
SC: Way back in 2006 there was Livin’ in a Dream and for the most part the band was still feeling things out. For Swim it was polished, things were falling into place a lot smoother (or so it sounded to me at least). Now with Parallel - what’s different and what’s the same about your writing process?
MN: Well, the writing process for my own stuff has stayed pretty close to the same for me, over the years. The goal being to realize some subconscious truth without letting my brain get in the way too much. But the next step, post writing, has been so fun to experiment with! For Livin’ In a Dream, I went in with the songs, and no parts or arrangements planned ahead of time. For Swim, the band and I worked really hard flushing everything out before hitting the studio. And for Parallel Jake and I showed up in Athens with the songs and some new ideas. Andy LeMaster then used his psychic powers to create a new experimental world for these songs to live in. It was liberating to go somewhere with a completely open mind and people you trust, and let things take their shape.
SC: Could you complete these sentences for me? Great!
The night is not complete without
SC: I want to learn
MN: To be the rhythm section!...and not stress out =)
SC: My favorite expression is
MN: This stinks!
SC: The last time I cried during a movie was
MN: Anytime I have ever watched a movie.
SC: What type of music videos did you mimic as a child? I was really into Peter Gabriel’s claymation stuff, but mine never looked as cool.
MN: I preferred making up dance routines to songs such as RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT by DeBarge
SC: Late at night, when you’re about to fall asleep what would be the most annoying song to pop into your head?
MN: A few years back as I lay in the dark next to my room mate, and bed mate at the time, in the windowless room we shared, he said "What song is in your head?" and I replied, "Puttin' On The Ritz."
SC: I want to ask this, because if I don’t, then how will anyone know: Are you a solo artist now or is Whispertown still a group thing?
MN: It is now a revolving group thing. I usually think it's way more fun playing with people, but occasionally I will play solo steeze. At SXSW this year, we have a 6-piece rock band!
SC: Got any bad habits you want to work out while we’re here?
MN: I would love to kick Worrying.
Parallel, Whispertown's newest, March 20 and record release show at Hotel Cafe March 23.
words by nathan solis