interview: Nate Kinsella of American Football [Polyvinyl Records]
Tune into WMSE as DJ Matt talks to American Football’s Nate Kinsella, who are in the middle of touring for their latest release, LP3, on Polyvinyl Records.
“For the 15 years during which LP1 was the only American Football album, it was indie rock’s equivalent of Richard Linklater’s 1995 film Before Sunrise—a humble masterpiece of mixed emotions that offered affirmation to hopeless and skeptical romantics, believing in love at first sight while questioning whether it has to last forever to have meaning—did it really matter if they got back together again? And like Before Sunset, 2016’s LP2 capitalized on the sleeper success of its original with an outright sequel that traced the charming awkwardness of recoupling and trying to hit the familiar beats. Though hardly redundant or unnecessary, it felt a bit indulgent, too dictated by its relationship with its predecessor to establish a new narrative; Mike Kinsella himself admits it was basically fan service.
“And the third act of each, LP3 and Linklater’s wonderful 2013 film Before Midnight, finds their leads in unexpectedly traditional roles: Jesse and Celine married with children, American Football as a regularly touring band that makes albums every three years instead of 17, all accessing a darker, deeper resonance than they ever envisioned during their immaculate conception. “I just want you home,” Williams pleads towards the end of “Uncomfortably Numb.” Maybe it’s a couple struggling in vain to believe their love is worth fighting for, maybe a wish for the kind of inconsequential, unforgettable romances of “Never Meant” or “The Summer Ends”? The latter is the reason fans make the pilgrimage to the house at 704 W. High Street, but American Football is clear about its intent from the beginning—they can go back home, but they’d rather trudge forward with the heaviest of hearts.”