I sat down with Kati Claborn and Luke Ydstie of The Hackles band, whose new album drops Friday. Here’s a Q&A session from our chat. For more about the band, their creative process and their connections to Astoria, check out the story on page 10.
Lucy Kleiner: What was your earliest encounter with music?
Kati Claborn: Probably family gatherings. My grandma and one of my uncles were really wonderful pianists. My grandfather was a minister and then she was the organ pianist. She put so much life into hymns that didn’t really resonate with me, but she played them with so much exuberance that she made them just really wonderful to listen to.
Luke Ydstie: This is part memory, part family story, but when I was really young I would hide under a blanket in the corner of the room where the stereo was and listen to the “Rights of Spring.” I remember being under the blanket, and I remember it made me think of bears on an island. Background information, that may have been the era when I was wearing a bear suit for two years.
KC: Luke’s mom had made him a bear suit, and he refused to take it off.
LK: What’s a memory that made you smile while you were recording?
KC: I have a really great memory of Halli [Anderson] playing violin on “Dominoes” and just going really out there. We kind of were like, ‘we’re just going to do a few passes, each time just do anything. Get really weird.’ I just remember it being really fun and really entertaining. Also when I came into the room, you’d been recording and I had been gone for a couple hours. You had put harmonica on and you were so happy about it.
LY: Oh yeah. I think I got a beer from Bridge and Tunnel, brought it back to the studio, and then I did accordion, and then I did harmonica on top of accordion and I was having a really nice time.
KC: Both of those moments are places where things went a little bit off the rails in a really wonderful way.
LY: Man, that’s what you’re looking for. When things go off the rails in a wonderful way. That’s the pinnacle of recording.