San Francisco band Vetiver
's latest album, consisting entirely of hand-selected covers, Thing of the Past
, will be released today, May 6! I spoke to frontman Andy Cabic
about the recording of the album, the frustration of his first guitar, and his new obsession with the mushrooms in his backyard.
Miss Ess: What is your first musical memory?
I have an odd memory of a large sunlit room with light hardwood floors, very reflective and
bright, and a there being a step in front of me, and as I'm crawling towards it, Buddy Holly
's "That'll Be The Day" is playing. I grew up listening to a lot of Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers
and stuff like that, so...it's possible this was an early apartment of my parents’ or something, I'm not really sure. It's one of those weird memories that feels like a dream and I'm not really certain of anything solid about it except for its strength in my mind and how vivid the light and the scene are when I remember it.
ME: What was the first record that really blew your mind and made you think about making music your life? What albums formed your young musical mind?
Well, I don't know that any one record made me come to a decision to make music my life. I just sort of played music, and looked back one day and realized music had become my life and there wasn't a whole lot else I seemed able to do. Whoops!
Growing up, the public library near my father's house was very good. I used to visit it every weekend I spent with him and check out cassettes, as many as I could, and a lot of what I found there had a big influence on me. VU
by the Velvet Underground
and At Yankee Stadium
are two albums I remember renewing for months from the library. I grew up in the suburbs with no older siblings, pretty out-of-the-loop from any signposts pointing the way towards what "the good stuff" was, so...I would spend all my allowance on cassettes, read Star Hits
magazine and Tower Records' Pulse
, watch 120 Minutes
every Sunday on MTV and just figure out stuff through trial and error. I loved anything out of Athens, GA and Minneapolis, and bands like Rain Parade, Camper Van Beethoven, Big Star
meant a lot to me growing up.
When did you pick up your first instrument?