It’s been four years since Rilo Kiley‘s first tour and they show no sign of slowing down.
Compared to their first two month tour in 2001, in 2005 they’ll be clocking about seven months on the road. With the leap from a fifteen passenger van to a full-on tour bus, the shift marks a change in their on-the-road lifestyle.
“There comes a time in touring when you want to play more shows that are further spread out and you’re just doing so much touring and making enough money to where you can do that,” said Jason Boesel, the drummer for Rilo Kiley. “You know [to] be better to yourself so you can be out there for longer and last longer.”
The touring can take a toll on inner band relations, but with six years under their belt Rilo Kiley always bounces back.
“I don’t think it’s ever been easy,” he continues, “That’s the sort of weird dynamic of our band. I think we fight sometimes and hate each other for short periods but it always sort of smooths out and comes out at the other end. I think certainly traveling in a bus and having more than one hotel room for everyone to sleep in….that all helps.”
The newfound luxury is admittedly being paid straight out of their own pocketbooks, but it’s a necessary expense at this point in the music game for them. Jason has doubts on how far they would get if they if they didn’t work amongst friends with like minded characteristics, “I think we like to work with our friends or at least people we feel like we could be friends with. If someone is talented but we don’t like them we typically wouldn’t use them…I think especially we’re kind of a tough group to jump into and hang out with.”
When asked why, he responds, “Well, we have a very stylized jargon to our group and some intense personalities. I think there are some just people that naturally fall in and love it, but if not, it’s kind of rough.”
Intense personalities aside, the group has established an all-star indie cast of like minded producers that were clearly able to capture, continue and expound upon the Rilo Kiley sound for their latest release, More Adventures. Signature marks are sprinkled throughout the album, including the hand of Jimmy Tamborello (Postal Service) on the track “Accidental Death ” (sic) adding more synthetic and glitchy elements to the poppy tendencies of Rilo Kiley. “Portions for Foxes” is one of the heavier tracks on the album, which was molded by Mark Trombino, who is best known for his involvement with Drive Like Jehu and Rocket from the Crypt projects. Mike Mogis worked on their last two albums, lending his Saddle Creek flavor to their well crafted pop style.
In past tours Rilo Kiley was forging new territory to grow their fan base. Today they have a good lot of people supporting the group so it’s less of a focus, and the band seems to be coming into their own. On the new album, this has allowed them to deepen their use of the studio, and it shows.
Jason expounds, “I think the last one we dabbled in a little bit, using strings and stuff, but this one we really wanted to make it sound like a “real” record, the records we grew up on.”
This seems evident on a few distinct tracks that seem to be inspired by records from their past, the 70’s AM Gold hits, and even some lilting country a la Patsy Cline. “There’s a certain point in most peoples lives that you realize the kind of music you grew up almost hating…in a weird way, you know, because you heard it so much you didn’t really understand music yet…it sounded strange to you. All of a sudden, one day, it becomes your deepest connection with music. I think inevitably [it] makes you emulate a little bit here and there, and that’s what we did on a couple songs.”
They have never taken their partnerships in music lightly, initially signing to the Seattle based Barsuk label and then moving onto to Saddle Creek for the release of Execution of All Things, being the the label’s first non-Nebraskan act. Their newest album marks the transition and birth of their own label Brute/Beaute; a joint venture where the band will continue to release their own work as well as the friends they hold dear…but not until they get back from touring.
Rilo Kiley is currently on a 19-date American tour and they will be heading overseas this summer to play the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, amongst other festivals included in their extensive European tour. For the Fall season they will be back in America as the opening act for Coldplay’s American tour. The band appears here in Denver this Monday, June 13 at the Gothic, playing with Feist and The Brunettes. Doors are at 8pm and tickets are $14.