Talkative is no stranger to the phrase “psychedelic rock.” My guess is every time someone describes their sound, the words “freak-rock” or “Animal Collective” are mentioned. And I’m not here to skirt the cliches, because it’s true. These dudes know how to make a tapestry move, if you know what I mean. Not to mention live video projections that accompany their already trippy set. With influences ranging from Akron/Family to Megapuss, Talkative knows how to draw energy from their muses while still maintaining a sound completely their own. They possess a level of both airiness and heaviness that surfs on the edge of experimentalism. And who wouldn’t want to hang ten with Talkative?
Hailing from Eugene but making Portland their stomping grounds, the group is well on their way to being one of the most lucrative bands on the scene. So we sat down with Cody Berger, Chad Davis, Ali Muhareb and Cason Taft at their favorite bar in the area- The Langano Lounge. We talked about the new album, their upcoming tour and the many nicknames of Chad Davis.
Rip City Review: Are you guys excited for Treefort Music Festival?
Cody Berger: Yeah! We’re really excited. For it’s second year, it’s doing really well. We’re really glad we get to be a part of it.
Chad Davis: All of our friends are going to be there.
Ali Muhareb: Pony Village, And And And, Wampire is going to be there.
CD: Wooden Indian Burial Ground will be there too.
RCR: Any bands that you’re really excited to see when you’re there?
AM: Bad Weather California.
Cason Taft: Animal Collective.
CB: Dap Kings.
CD: I don’t know who’s playing.
RCR: What’s on the table next for you guys?
CT: The full-length album is coming out in May. I think we’re going to try and do a longer tour in June to support it.
RCR: How is the new album different from the older stuff you guys have done?
CT: It’s going to expand on the sound we’ve already built up. A little bit more of a murky sound, and then it’s going to completely debase the sort of rock sound we’ve built up to now. If you listen to the old records compared to the new records, it’s going to be the same band, just a different genre almost.
RCR: So you guys do visuals for the show?
AM: I actually joined the band as a projectionist, I do video feedback, pretty much telling a computer to look at itself, experimenting with the shapes the computer can make. There’s a lot of visual data that can come out of a computer, when you basically circuit bend it. The visuals that I make aren’t really supposed to exist. We try and do projections for as many shows as we can, sometimes the projections don’t work but for the most part we try to incorporate it anytime we can. Sometimes we do live projections but for the most part it’s a DVD we play.
RCR: Is it ever synched up with certain songs you’re playing?
AM: We’re working on that for the future.
RCR: What do you guys like about being musicians in Portland?
CT: It’s way better than day jobs. Easily.
CB: It’s just like hanging out with your friends all the time. I end up going to a show by myself and I get to see tons of people.
RCR: Do you guys have a favorite place to play in Portland?
CB: I’ve never played at Langano but I think it would be a great place to play.
CD: We might do a residency at the Langano in April. And there would be an R-type challenge at every show. If anyone wants to play me at R-Type, and they can get a higher score than me, I will buy them two microbrews. And they only have to buy me one microbrew. That’s going to be on the flyers.
RCR: So you’re writing your album right now?
AM: We’re demoing a bunch of stuff right now. We’re trying to see what works and what doesn’t. We’re exploring sound while trying to keep it coherent.
RCR: What are your musical inspirations?
CB: A ton of Waylon Jennings on the stereo.
CD: “It might be crazy but it keeps me from going insane” is the mantra.
AM: I’ve been listening to a lot of Lungfish lately, they’re a band from Baltimore. They’ve got really clunky guitar riffs and transcendental vocals.
CT: Most of the music that I listen to gets me really excited about what I do, but doesn’t directly influence the music that I make. We’re not trying to sound like Waylon Jennings at all, but we’re trying to have his spirit and attitude.
CB: I’m trying to play jazz a lot more.
CD: No jazz.
CT: Can’t get into a jazz trance without Chazzz.
RCR: Is that what we should call you, Chazzz?
CD: Chazzz with three z’s. I have a lot of nicknames. Chazzz Majesty aka Chad Davis aka Dr. Scientist aka DJ Rumpelstiltskin. I hang out in a lot of different circles and I have different persona’s for each one.
RCR: Do you guys have a best show to date?
CB: We played a show in the woods in Eugene. There used to be this venue called Stonehenge. To get to the venue we had to hike like a mile and a half with all our gear. But that show was awesome because we all played different instruments than we normally play and we wrote a special set for it. Instead of Talkative we were called Earthquake Generator. I played drums, Ali was singing and playing tambourine, Kayson was singing and playing sampler. There was this dutch guy who had homemade liquor and a lazer machine that shined like a billion green things in the sky.
AM: Our buddies filmed it and said they would give us the footage, and they never did. If they’re reading this interview, they should show it to us!
RCR: Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
CB: Me and Chad like to crimp.
CD: It’s originally from the Mighty Boosh but we wrote ours ourselves.
CB: I hate to say that’s our festival ritual.
CD: I have to go to the bathroom a lot before we play. It happens to a lot of people- not just me.
AM: I guess I like to have a couple of brews, not too many, and I don’t talk to a lot of people right before we go on.
CT: I usually quiet down about ten minutes before we go on. I don’t have much to say. I just get going in silent mode. Sometimes I try to remember Beach Boys songs.
RCR: If you guys had to make a musical love child with another Portland band, who would it be?
CD: We made one on time.
CT: Maybe Grandparents. They’re good vibes, and they’ve got smooth technicality and a lot of creativity. They’re super stoked about everything they do and everything around them. It would be awesome to do some orchestrated musical thing with them. Log Across The Washer too.
AM: Fanno Creek would be great, they have all these undertones of psychadelia.
CB: I think in terms of a musical love child, we’re kind of a slutty band. In the sense we’d have kids with everybody. I have tentative plans to do a rap compilation this summer with a bunch of bands that don’t rap. There’s a time and a place for every musical love child. I can’t pick one.
AM: The We Shared Milk kind of nailed it with the love-child thing.
CD: They already got with Old Age, Log Across the Washer and Grandparents. Once The We Shared Milk’s been there I don’t want to go there.
RCR: Any final words?
CD: You can’t pet them all.
CB: We love you, we hope you come get weird with us anywhere in the world.
Catch Talkative at the post-Treefort Music Festival party March 25 @ Bunk Bar w. Animal Eyes & Pony Village.