As we reported back in 2013, Dan Bejar has his sights set on a new album from Destroyer, telling us at the time that he had "big dreams" for the as-yet-untitled full-length. Well, those dreams are starting to become reality, as Bejar has shed more details of what's in store from Destroyer, as well as from New Pornographers.
"I'm going into the studio and the songs that we're working on have a very familiar vibe for me, and I'm totally, totally fine with that, y'know?'" Bejar tells Exclaim! about the follow-up to Destroyer's 2011 effort Kaputt. "I think there was a shift between Kaputt and the records that came before it, but I don't think it's as drastic as all that. I know there are people who couldn't stand Destroyer music before that album, so that must mean something, but I think there are traces of that record in lots of other stuff I've done."
As previously reported, Bejar is recording these songs with his 2012 touring band and assumes the new material will cater to what that configuration does best.
"The songs themselves, there's a handful of them that have a Destroyer-like quality to them," he says with a chuckle. "I don't really know what that means, but you write a song and you're just like, 'Wow, that really sounds like a song I might write.' That seems like an incredibly obvious statement to make, but it doesn't always work out that way."
Apparently, Bejar sometimes surprises himself with his own songs and the shapes they take. He admits he might be too close to Destroyer to make such distinctions, but that's not always the case for the other bands he's in, like Swan Lake, Hello, Blue Roses, or the New Pornographers, who are getting set to release their new album as well.
"I wrote a couple of New Pornographers songs actually that, in my mind, really don't sound like something I wrote," he says. "They're going on the new New Pornographers album. Lyrically, I'm saying things I don't recognize as something I would say. Structurally, in the music, it doesn't sound like chord progressions I would gravitate towards. So pretty elemental stuff."
As for the yet-to-be-captured Destroyer material, Bejar says he sees no particular thematic focus or sonic patterns — at least not yet.
"I can never cast a hex on those songs by making a proclamation about what they're about the day before I go in to record them," he laughs. "That's gotta be a voodoo hex. Generally for me, on a different day in a different time, I'd probably have a different answer."
When it comes to prospective release timelines, though, he sounds a little more sure of himself.
"The New Pornographers record is going to come out this year or all hell is going to break loose," he jokes. "It's pretty much done. And the Destroyer stuff, it's early days, but I want it to come out next year. I think I have a fighting chance for maybe spring of next year. But without having rolled tape for a single second, it's hard to say what the path will be. I definitely want to have the album done by the end of the year."
Listen to this conversation with Destroyer on the Kreative Kontrol with Vish Khanna podcast.