Lou Barlow
may 4th 2005
interview by Barbara H

So, how has the tour been going on ?

this is the fourth show and they've all been good.

Did you tour the US before that ?


was it good ?

it was good, wasn't as good as this, but it was good. (laughs)

About the new record, i was wondering if you had started it knowing that you would release it under your name...

some of the recordings were made not knowing that i was gonna do it but most of them were done knowing that i was doing like a lou barlow thing

Was there an idea behind releasing the record under your own name after all this time?

it was this many people suggested that it would be a good idea and i've never liked the idea of putting out a record under my own name but i just gave in to make it easy for the listeners, it just seemed like it was necessary to do so

How did you record the album?

I did a few songs in Nashville, Tennessee with Mark Nevers who is known for his work with Lambchop and Will Oldham, we recorded it in his house, itw as a nice set-up, i slept upstairs, so it was very homey, very comfortable and casual. I recorded one song with my friend Wally Gagel who i worked with for years on Folk Implosion recordings and we did that at his house, and i did a lot of stuff at my house and i did one song friend who has a small studio, a small practice space in Los Angeles, so it was all very, you know, not big flashy studios, just kind of errr...

Home studios

yeah (laughs)

Why did you whoose to title it "Emoh" i mean i know it's "Home" backwards but...

A friend of mine, i had given him the record and i was trying to figure out how i was going to call it, i didn't have any names for it and he listened to the whole record and he called me up and said "do you know that "Home" spelled backwards is "Emoh"?" He said "you should call the record "Emoh"" and i thought that would be really funny

it is funny!

yeah (laughs) and also it ends with "oh" like sebadoh and sentridoh, it's sort of a nod to that as well.

"Caterpillar Girl" was originally a Folk Implosion song...

a b-side

yeah, why did you choose to re-record it and put it on this album ?

it was only released on vinyl and no one heard it so... i have an attachment to that song

Why didn't you put it on the New Folk Implosion record ?

It just didn't fit i didn't feel inspired to do that, no one really responded to it and a friend of mine, his daughter really loved it so i think when i was putting the record together after listening to the song again i just thought "i have to put this song on the cd"

I like it

I like it too, it's not lo-fi, it's much more of a Folk Implosion recording, but it's a solo recording, i pretty much played everything on it

Did you write everything by yourself too ?

on that song i did

And on the other songs ? It sounds like Imaad Wassif was pretty much involved in Emoh...

He would play, he would invent his own guitar parts, people who played on the record mostly invented their own parts while i watched, you know.

You did a Sebadoh tour last year and you're doing a Dinosaur Jr tour this year, i was wondering what was the idea behind these tours, just having fun playing together again...

yeah, and money too! (laughs)

how did it happen ? The Sebadoh tour was very intimate...

Well, Jason and I are still very good friends and we both missed playing with each other so we just did a tour... With Dinosaur it was just a lot of people Jay and I have in common pushing us together and... Jay has a very aggressive management company who works for him (laughs) so they made sure that everything happened they found Murph, they approached people for shows...

Do you plan on recording new material with Sebadoh or Dinosaur Jr ?

Jason and I will probably do shows with Eric Gaffney again i think cause we've been talking about that. Jason played with Eric recently, and I played with Eric recently so i think we'll probably, if it's possible, we'll get together but we live so far apart... With Dinosaur it's different because there's so much money involved and Dinosaur is a very popular band but with Sebadoh, in the US, it's very unfriendly (laughs) so we have to really do everything ourselves and there's just not the money to do that.

Do you plan on releasing other Folk Implosion records ?

No, Never again.

Why ?

Folk Implosion was really my collaboration with John Davis. when i kept the name after he left i was never really... i neevr wanted to do that but i was encouraged again by people that i should keep the name, because i did have this band that was playing folk implosion songs, and we did them fairly well but i was encouraged to keep the name but i think that The Folk Implosion was a collaboration between John Davis and I and i think that out of respect to that, it's time to stop. People didn't like the Folk Implosion anyway!

Yeah, the latest record...

People didn't like the New Folk Implosion record but even when John & I, our popularity when we did One Part Lullaby really just went down

I was very surprised by the response to the New Folk Implosion record, because there are very good songs in it...

that's a fine record, but it's not the way the people... you have to deal with the context the people put it into and we tried to do another record by a band that... you know IOne Part Lullaby had terrible reviews in the US, no one really bought it and we got dropped by the record label. i thought that was a great record, it's all very disappointing, very heartbreaking...

you've been releasing records for a long time now, and there's always going to be people who say that it's not as good as it used to be, how do you deal with it ?

I understand it, people will always say that, people have always said that. The first record that i put out was Weed Forest, no no, The Freed Man was the first record that we put out for Sebadoh and then Weed Forest, and some of the people who listened to Weed Forest said it wasn't as good so... and in Dinosaur too, we had done Bug after You're Living All Over Me and, at least in our eyes it was as good... i'm used to that, i kinda follow my own pressure

You're part of a generation of American songwriters like Bill Callahan and Will Oldham...

they're younger than me

they're younger than you! i'm sorry. (laughs)

i know what you mean though

I was wondering how do you see them and yourself today...

I see Will and Bill like... they really cultivated a style, and they did it very slowly, they slowly built a style and an identity which is incredible. I haven't done that, i have no particular identity that i stick with, there's no particular name that i stick with and it's not that Bill and Will didn't change a lot, but still the heart of it is very similar, and there's this enigmatic character behind it and... they both have a certain integrity about what they do but i have no integrity whatsoever, i really don't care....

What are the next plans for you ? touring, recording...

Doing the Dinosaur tour and hopefully writing a new record while touring with Dinosaur and then do another solo record, or another Sebadoh record... i don't know...

thank you!

you're welcome!

/may 15th 2004/