I hung there for a while and then decided I wanted to go to Iceland because it reminds me of a bizarro version of New Zealand. (via, Before we eat, Ruban Nielson’s son, Moe, leads us in a blessing. Unknown Mortal Orchestra: "Multi-Love" You recorded this one in your studio in your basement, but have you ever thought about not doing it yourself? “It was as if she just walked into that dark basement, just like she did every night, to find me writing songs about her and Jenny and the world and the conversations that we were having.”, When the kids ask about Laura now, Nielson and Jenny tell them that she was forced to leave. "I'm the kind of person that he would prefer not be there," Nielson says, referring to America and its president. We just had an apartment we’d walk to the studio from everyday. But then Jenny approached him with a plan: Laura was going to come to stay with them for a while, and the five of them would try living together. When Jenny shared the news with her family back in New Zealand, her mother was upset with Ruban in particular. Nielson faced just as much heartache at home. In a matter of hours, a gang of 6-year-olds is set to arrive for Moe’s birthday party and Iris has helped her mother decorate the gold-painted walls of the dining room with a banner. "Can't Keep Checking My Phone" also appears in the association football video game FIFA 16. When I tell people about what inspired me to write a song, I’m worried that it’ll make the song weaker in a way. This disarmingly clear March day is spent as a family, with Nielson—the 35-year-old voice and mind behind, That something came, but in a surprising and complex form. We don't pull our punches," he admits. There’s face-melting capital R rock ‘n roll (“American Guilt”), unabashed dance floor bangers (“Everybody Acts Crazy Nowadays”), and strange concoctions of lo-fi yacht rock (“HunnyBee”). It’s a wild tale, enthralling in the way a simple line came to represent an entire album, but it also allows anyone interacting with Multi-Love to gloss over its layers of precise, intimately detailed arrangements. Sometimes I think I have a lot of options for what I could do in my life. It’s nice to be able to do that because you can really get a feel for what’s working and what isn’t. With Kody as their frontman and Nielson as their de facto manager and guitarist, the Mint Chicks quickly gained renown in New Zealand, going on to release a handful of records. But as part of his attempt to get clean and make amends, Nielson’s father supported his son in two pivotal ways: He helped him gain entrance to New Zealand’s most prestigious art school, Elam, by gathering recommendations from sympathetic teachers, and he bought him his first guitar. I’m fun and caring but I’m not very responsible. Talking about his own insecurities, Nielson says, “They would discuss something feminist, and I would just sit there, like, ‘Well, I think men are shit, too, but I’m the man in the room.’” For days, he would sulk around the house while Jenny and Laura carried on, toiling in the basement rather than confronting them both with his feelings. Jacob and I hung out there and recorded. And then a funny thing happened. Filed Under: Music, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ruban Nielson, Multi-Love, The Grantland Q+A. If this is the end of my marriage, then this will be the album that documents it. I wanna play in a band that plays music like THAT! Iris picks dandelions and Moe sings to himself while banging on parts that have yet to be raised. Silver Scroll Award: And the finalists are ... Britney Spears' conservatorship battle gets uglier, James Blunt stalker's extraordinary claim, Locals Only: Maala on his new album and performing live, The wait continues: Biden's Arizona lead shrinks again, race tightens in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Hannah Francis inquest: Police inspector says he would lay charges if he had the chance, Emergency voucher initially denied for stranded couple. Nielson would lie awake most nights, only to sleep through school the next day. Having worn out most of his record collection, he wanted to make the sort of odd and obscure psych-rock album that he couldn’t find. There are a million ways for this to go wrong for my life—but there’s no way for this to go wrong for me artistically, as long as I keep my eyes open and I’m brave.”, On May 1 of last year, Laura arrived, along with summer. In 2005, it was notable that Kody Nielson wielded a chainsaw on stage and destroyed a corporate sponsor's overly prominent sign with it. Plans already in motion. Yes, you read right. That’s the most heartbreaking thing. After touring behind his first two albums for nearly three years, Nielson arranged to take a year off, so that he could write, record, and spend more time at home with his family. In 2013, he released. You say it sounds more distinct which is interesting to me, because it’s hard for me to imagine what it sounds like. "People that know me really well know that I'm, like, really simple," he insists. I was so impressed by how people looked after each other. An untouchable genre.". Okay, sure, the hat lends some plausibility to his claim, but all other evidence suggests that no, I'm not currently with stupid. Also, on a technical level, I think that pop music and rock ‘n roll work a lot better if you leave space for the person who’s listening to the songs to take the music and make it theirs. He's been enjoying more frequent contact with his mother, with whom he’s bonded over a renewed interest in Hawaiian culture and identity. Was that an intentional decision or because of circumstance? GQ: It’s interesting that most of the talk around your last record was about the relationship between your and your wife’s polyamory. The worst fear is that you’ll make something good and people won’t get it. Did that influence or affect the way you approached this new record? Nielson had already returned to Portland, Oregon, where he began working at a film production company as an illustrator. According to the press release announcing this album, you spent a lot of time listening to your older works to help inform this new record, which strikes me as odd considering Sex & Food is your most distinct sounding in a lot of ways. From underneath his black baseball cap, Ruban Nielson denies his genius. Nielson describes the sound as "folding the band back on itself". It's just something that my brain does. © 2018 Condé Nast. “Jenny encouraged me to try again.”. They are currently back touring in Europe through November, before heading to Australia and New Zealand for a string of headline shows in December. “They had turned into love letters,” he says. On October 29, 2013, the band released an EP titled Blue Record. The reason why she’s not here is out of our control, but we’re trying not to be maudlin about it. Written and performed and recorded by Ruban and Kody. “I just wanted to pretend that no one had ever thought of it before, to stumble into it blindly.” He scratches nervously at his chest, over a tattoo of an open eye etched between his collarbones. All four original band members met at Orewa College in Orewa, New Zealand, although the band starting moving between Portland, Oregon and Auckland, as the Nielson brothers have dual citizenship in New Zealand and the U.S. Karl Puschmann is a senior entertainment writer and columnist for the New Zealand Herald. No. "[15] NME praised Ruban's ability to turn his songs into "works of warm, fuzzy beauty."[16]. Please download one of our supported browsers. If I didn’t have music, all these things would be going on and I’d just be confused and living life. They all took trips together and celebrated Halloween with the kids. Ruban Nielson: The funny thing is that doing this press trip, I was reminded that during the last record I didn’t even speak about my love life. One after the other, Nielson adds various flourishes with instruments pulled from all corners of the room. I had a budget for this record and I could do anything. The reason why she’s not here is out of our control, but we’re trying not to be maudlin about it. It’s both, in a way. "[14] Paste Magazine called the album "a modern, beat-heavy take on '60s psych, with plenty of hooks and fuzz to get you hooked and feeling fuzzy. The band broke up following Ruban's departure.

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