An Interview With The Duo, AU PAIR on Their Debut Album Together, “One-Armed Candy Bear”, Their Biggest Inspirations and More!
Posted On 03 Feb 2016
Tag: All Acces, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Au Pair, Big Star, Big Star's Third, Brian Haran, Chandler, CHICAGO, Django Haskins, Durham, Everly Brothers, Fante, Gary Louris, Hawkwind, In Every Window, Jayhawks, Jody Stephens, John Lennon, Kraut, Lemmy, Mike Mills, One-Armed Candy Bear, Paul Simon, Pink Floyd, Ravel, Raymond Chandler, REM, Rick Astley, Sham, Stereogum, The Man In The High Castle, The Old Ceremony, Thelonious Monk, Thirty Tigers
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks and Django Haskins of The Old Ceremony are now part of the duo, Au Pair. On November 13th, they released their debut album “One-Armed Candy Bear” through Sham/Thirty Tigers.
On this record, the duo sing and play into one single microphone. They worked with the producer, Brian Haran, who recorded the album at his studio in Durham, NC. This collection is indeed a great balance between their classic song-craft and cheeky experimentation including body percussion, feedback loops, avant guitar and Kraut rock touches.
The online publication, Stereogum premiered the album’s first single “In Every Window” and called it a “bright, breezy pop song…its appeal is obvious and immediate.”
Gary and Django met in Chicago in 2013 where they were performing as a part of a “Big Star’s Third” concert, which celebrated the influential band’s music with original drummer Jody Stephens, Mike Mills (REM) and many others.
Au Pair have a few shows lined up this month in Chicago, Minneapolis and West Virginia and those tickets can be purchased here: https://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2016/02-05-2016-au-pair-featuring-gary-louris-and-django-haskins-8pm/
Learn more about Au Pair in the following All Access interview:
How did you two first meet each other? What brought you together to start this duo? Why do you think you work so well together right now?
DH: We met doing a show of Big Star’s music in Chicago. There’s a certain personal chemistry that carries over into writing and singing that was clear when we met and still seems to be happening as we keep playing and writing together.
DH: Well, songs are songs to a certain extent, and we both have written a whole pile of them, but I think they’re different in that they really are a fusion of our overlapping but different sensibilities. Gary has an ear for some beautiful melodies that I really appreciate, and we both push each other to avoid things we’ve done in the past.
GL: Well, there are no bass and drums and we use more synthesizers. And there are less band members so less hotel rooms are needed.
Do you still both work on your separate projects? If so, how are you balancing it all?
DH: We are both keeping up work with our other bands; The Old Ceremony’s latest record is still warm off the presses, and the Jayhawks have a new one coming out soon. We do the AP thing whenever we can, and it’s always worth the effort to fit it in to our schedules.
GL: There are 24 hours in a day. I don’t have cable. I love music.
Can you talk about the inspiration for your debut album’s lead single “In Every Window”? How do you two share the writing process for your music?
DH: I think Gary had the chorus melody idea for “In Every Window” and we just hammered it out facing each other in my living room — somewhere along the way the story took a turn for the skewed, which we both found more interesting anyway.
GL: Django is really gifted at snowballing. I’m thinking let’s break for lunch or watch another episode of The Man In The High Castle and he is saying let’s finish the damn lyrics. We have both read a lot of 40’s noir novels and we noticed that this record has a lot of LA in it. Chandler and Fante were in the room with us.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
DH: I’d do my best not to have to do that, but it falls somewhere between the Everly Brothers and Pink Floyd, though none of those kind of descriptions really do anything beyond getting into the general realm of someone’s sound. I think I’d just say “listen to it and you tell us.”
GL: I would say it is indescribable. Don’t be lazy. Buy the record and make your own decisions.
DH: Raymond Chandler, Paul Simon, Thelonious Monk. Those are a few of mine.
GL: Bozo The Clown, Hawkwind and Rick Astley.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
DH: A massage therapist or two.
GL: Lemmy, John Lennon, Ravel and Rick Astley.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
DH: There’s no specific message that I know of, except for some philosophical points of view that we each bring to the songs. I think we’re both pretty stubborn guys artistically, so I’d say that tenacity is probably in there somewhere and a sense of humor hopefully.
I hope people come away feeling stimulated, moved, or at the very least, excited about buying our records.