Damien Jurado Will Take Your Breakfast-Food-Related Question Now


Earlier this year, Seattle’s Damien Jurado issued his 10th full-length album, Maraqopa, continuing his evolution from spectral, introspective folk whisperer to bold, ambitious, genre-splicing troubadour. It’s his second album — following 2010’s Saint Bartlett — helmed by fellow musician/bard Richard Swift (who’s also produced albums by the Mynabirds and Laetitia Sadier, and is the Shins’ touring keyboardist), and the collaboration has pushed Jurado to stock the rather bare ol’ songwriting cupboards with richer roots-rock, buoyant bossa nova, smoldering psych-blues jams, and more. Like always, though, Jurado’s pointed tales and evocative character sketches speak to love longed for, grasped, and disintegrated; faith (or the lack thereof); and somehow moving forward after everything’s been lost or destroyed. Even as his songs grow more dynamic, Jurado remains a fairly reticent fellow, preferring to let his music do most of the talking. Still, he agreed to finish a handful of sentences we started; we call it “Fill in the Blanks.”

See Also:
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Interview: Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier
The last time I played New York City I … “played two shows in one night. Got to see some friends. Didn’t eat.”

The thing I’m most looking forward to about playing tonight at the Mercury Lounge is . . . “the fact that I will not be playing two shows. I get to see some friends. I get to eat a meal.”

During the 10 minutes before I go onstage, I . . . “get a cola, and call home.”

In the 10 minutes after I come offstage I . . . “get a cola, and call home.”

The one thing I’ll remember the most about recording Maraqopa is . . . “writing the song ‘Working Titles’ and tracking it immediately. What you hear on the album is me singing it the first time through. We did one take.”

I love making albums with Richard Swift because . . . “nothing beats making a record with your best friend.”

I know a song I’m writing and recording is finished when . . .” I would honestly say that 80 percent of my songs are unfinished. There really is no end. Just the sound of me giving up.”

If someone had told me 20 years ago I would be this super-prolific songwriter who releases almost an album a year, I. . . “would have believed them.”

The single most satisfying thing about creating music is . . . “meeting the people who listen to it.”
The single most frustrating thing about creating music is . . . “when it affects your relationships.”

The three things I’d liked provided for me backstage at every show are . . . “a sleeping cat. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A recliner.”

The biggest misconception about me that I’d like to clear up once and for all right now is . . . “man, I have no idea. Whatever it is, though, they are most likely wrong.”

The first album I ever bought with my own money was . . . “KISS, Destroyer.”

The thing that compels me to keep making music and heading out on tour year in and year out is . . . “my kids. Everything that I do is for them.”

If I was in charge of my own tribute album and I could pick all the artists who would cover my songs, I would choose . . . “Mount Eerie, Calvin Johnson, Little Wings, Richard Swift, Laura Gibson, La Familia Del Arbor, Sea of Bees, J. Tillman, Robin Pecknold, Jason Molina, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers.”

The one question journalists or fans never ask me, but I wish they would is . . . “questions about food. More so peanut butter. Toast. Maybe just breakfast in general.”

My next album will . . . “be different than the last ones.”

Damien Jurado plays the Mercury Lounge tonight at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $14. Psychic Twin open.