Published Aug 26, 2014The New Pornographers just returned with Brill Bruisers, their sixth album. Of course, that's in addition to the absolutely massive volume of side-projects and spinoffs from the Vancouver-bred pop collective, who have collectively released a trove of music since the '90s.
It's been an eventful and unpredictable journey for the group, whose members include Carl "A.C." Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar and more. We've documented their whole history in an extensive Timeline feature, which you can read in full in the new September issue of Exclaim! It's a long read, so to get you started, here are a list of five notable facts from throughout the band's career.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About the New Pornographers:
1. Prior to the New Pornographers, Carl Newman played in a faux-religious group.
In 1992, Newman forms Thee Crusaders, a faux-religious group that includes future New Pornographers keyboardist Blaine Thurier and future Destroyer drummer Scott Morgan (a.k.a. ambient producer Loscil), among others. They release a double-7-inch EP on Scratch Records. (Newman's day job is working in the Scratch's retail store.) "We weren't really serious about it, and yet we had a genuine love for all those Christian campfire songs," Newman reflects. "We weren't really trying to mock religion. I think we were mocking some element of religion and celebrating a different element of religion. No one could tell how far in either direction we went."
2. Just as 2000's Mass Romantic began to earn attention, Dan Bejar moved away.
Close to the end of the year, Bejar tells his bandmates that he is moving to Spain with no plans to return. Newman says, "I remember thinking, 'Yeah, this is fucking typical. The moment something good happens, of course Dan has to fucking move to Spain.'"
3. Newman didn't play any music during his teens.
He doesn't begin playing music until his early 20s. "It seemed like a massive barrier to cross," he remembers. "It blew my mind. It was such a chasm — that few feet between audience member and guy who's standing on stage. I thought, 'How dare I?' It seemed like hubris. I was like Icarus flying too close to the sun: 'Do I dare do this?'"
4. Before Destroyer, Bejar was in a band called True Love Forever.
Newman also meets Dan Bejar, who is a member of the indie rock band True Love Forever. "[They] were sort of a Pavement-esque band that I thought were pretty cool," Newman recalls. True Love Forever release a cassette demo with a couple of Bejar's songs.
5. Brill Bruisers may have only just come out, but Newman is already working on the band's next album.
Newman is already plotting the next New Pornographers record. "I've been doing a lot of writing for the next one," he says. "Doing this soundtrack [The F Word] and doing this record felt like such a positive experience that I want to keep doing it."
Read our full New Pornographers Timeline here.