Today (June 11), marks the digital release of Hunting Club’s sophomore album Mosaic, with a physical release set for August. The band took five to talk to Sound Dessert about “frightening” celebrity culture, taxidermy, Prince’s “very small ass” and of course, Mosaic.
Sound Dessert: How was it working with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon / White Rabbits) on this album? What made you want to work with him?
Hunting Club (Justin): We sort of had this epiphany, to expand our horizons of people we’d want to work with, this dream list of people who’d done albums we really loved. Mike’s name came up since he’d made such great sounding records with Spoon. Through some contacts I got in touch with Mike and he said he’d totally be into helping round out the album.
We worked with Mike on the final mix and production of everything. He gave us a ton of insight towards what makes a recorded song enjoyable to listen to, which he has such a knack for…finding the essence of the track. At the start of the process we made this agreement to go for creating our own little world of sound…to try to achieve something neither of us had heard played out, in hopes of actually creating something that sounds new and different. I think he helped us get to that place.
SD: What’s been the most unexpected part of the recording process the second time around?
HC (Justin): I think this time around we had carte blanche access to working in a studio since Jeff (bass,guitar) engineered everything on the album. It’s a blessing and a curse. It’s wonderful to try new ideas and not feel rushed, but it’s also easy to get lost in thinking something else could always get better. I think the unexpected piece was not knowing how that would affect the process, and ultimately feeling like we got to a place where we made music that sounds like Hunting Club.
SD: What are three takeaways you hope fans draw from Mosaic?
HC (Justin, Kyle): I think there’s a lot of depth to the tracks and I hope it’s one of those albums that people listen to multiple times and find something new with every listen that they like.
Enlightenment. A belief that anything’s possible. Inspires sexual exploration.
Hunting Club is rad and a gem they should tell all their friends and foes about.
SD: “Hollywood (who cares?)”, as the title implies, paints a negative portrait of that celebrity, material world with “blank stares, magazine culture, and sleeping in the shadows.” What inspired the song?
HC (Eric): I had an internship in Santa Monica one summer and it was truly a weird place. Mainly, though, celebrity “culture” is one of the most frightening aspects of American society; this song symbolizes the purest disdain I could possibly have for it.
SD: Another place – Wabasha, MN, is a charming city made famous as “the home of Grumpy Old Men”. What compelled you to name a song after it? (An aside, I visited the eagle center there last summer when I was in MN/WI visiting relatives. It’s a beautiful little town).
HC (Justin): There’s also a street in St. Paul named Wabasha and at one point in time we were naming our hundreds of song ideas after streets just to keep them straight. However, I like your idea way better, so I’m going to spin you a tale. Kyle went on his first ever date to Grumpy Old Men (so he would have been 5 or 6, way to go!!!). He and his date had an argument over who rocked harder…Matthau vs. Lemon. He desperately wanted to change her mind, and she his, but neither was about to change a key foundational element of their existence. It was then that young Kyle learned you can’t change who someone is, and thus “Wabasha” is a reminder of this simple fundamental truth.
SD: Prince is a Minneapolis native and resident. How does his success/presence influence the twin cities music scene?
HC (Eric): Prince was an oracle of righteousness in the 80’s. Today still, even if he recorded the sound of microwaving babies while singing jihadi hymnals Minnesota would call it genius and kiss his very small ass. Guy’s a genius, but in my opinion he lost his edge after Sign O’ the Times.
SD: What are some of your favorite watering holes in Minneapolis?
HC: Psycho Suzi’s is the best kitsch Polynesian joint in Northeast Minneapolis – great vibe, local micros, right on the Mississippi river. Nye’s is a classy old-school Polish piano bar that makes the most amazing dirty martini’s.
SD: Does Hunting Club have a penchant for taxidermy?
HC: Yes. I saw AMC has some show about taxidermy, maybe we could get some music placed on it. We have a loyal contingent of hunting folk that follow us on twitter; they must be extremely disappointed when they find out all our tweets are about Nicolas Cage and dreamy pop.
SD: Which noble beast would you be most proud to have mounted in your living room?
HC (Justin, Kyle): Falcor, Eric Pasi, Mule Deer, or this thing…
Download Mosaic at digital outlets now and look out for Hunting Club touring soon in a city near you!