Interview: Peter Silberman (The Antlers)

The Antlers

Anyone who has been following this blog will know I’ve been enjoying The Antlers hugely lately. The band is the project of Peter Silberman who is joined by band-mates Michael Lerner and Darby Cicci. In 2007 the band released the brilliant In The Attic Of The Universe.

The album is beautiful and has a dreamy, hypnotizing quality that will make you want to listen again and again. You can hear and download the album for free here, and can also hear lots of songs for free on LastFm. There are also a few EPs which you can download on their website. The New York Hospitals EP features vocal contributions from Sharon Van Etten, another brilliant musician from Brooklyn. The band are set to release a new full length, Hospice, this March. Based on the 2 tracks you can hear on Myspace and Sylvia (An Introduction), a beautiful track from the New York Hospitals EP that sets the tone for the record, this could easily be one of my favourite records this year.

Peter kindly answered some questions for me. The Antlers photo above is by Judith Levitt.

What was your first musical instrument and where did you get it?

When I was about 6, I started playing a kid-sized nylon-string acoustic guitar, though I don’t remember where it came from.  I assume my Dad gave it to me because he was the one who taught me to play.  Though now I’m remembering a story my parents told about me having a harmonica at a really early birthday party and spending most of the party playing it (and probably annoying the hell out of everyone).  I also seem to remember an old photo of me and my dad, him playing guitar and me playing a plastic saxophone.

Do you download music or buy hard copies? Or both?

I almost never buy CDs, I sometimes buy vinyl, and I usually just download.  It’s a typical response these days, but I do like having all of my music in one place, and I’ll usually re-buy something on vinyl if I can find it and afford it.

Favourite music venue to play and why?

Right now it’s between Union Hall in Brooklyn and Cake Shop in Manhattan.  Union Hall has pretty much everything you could want from a small venue…great sound, friendly people, great shows, great food.  Cake Shop is certainly a bit grittier in a lot of ways, but lately we’ve been playing there almost every two weeks and it’s really starting to feel like home.  It’s also one of the few places on Earth that I’ll admit has vegan food that is better than its non-vegan counterpart.

Last book read:

I’ve read half of about 20 books over the past year or two, but can’t seem to stick with one long enough to finish.  One of those was “Unbearable Lightness of Being”, which I started 2 years ago and hated, then restarted a couple weeks ago and loved.  I think the last book I actually FINISHED was Leonard Michael’s “Collected Stories” or Raymond Carver’s “Where I’m Calling From”, which is maybe my favorite book ever. Last movie watched:

Last movie watched:

I think it was Contact.  I know a lot of people really hate Contact, but I don’t.  I love that movie.

5 hopes for 2009:

(in no particular order)

1. Tour the West Coast and  visit my friends who all seem to be moving out there lately.

2.  Finish more books

3.  Finally start a record label

4.  See the hundreds of movies that I ought to have seen but have not.

5.  Sleep less.  I already don’t sleep all that much, but I’d like to be sleeping less.

Best moment on tour?

It might not have been the best moment, but the one that keeps coming back to me is when a 4 year old girl decorated Darby,  pictured here:

Also, any place with a dog is automatically the highlight of a city.

If you could play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Ten Sleep, Wyoming.  I don’t even really want to play there, I just want to go back there.

Favourite band/singer/album you discovered recently?

I listened to their old album and liked it, but the new Brightblack Morninglight is incredible.  I also just discovered Os Mutantes.

If you could get any two musicians to collaborate with each other, who would they be and why?

That’s tough.  Maybe Nina Simone with Massive Attack.  I think having her singing over moody, dark trip-hop would work really well.

Please visit their website, listen to their songs, and get excited about the new album!

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  1. Interviews | Anika In London - April 25, 2010

    [...] The Antlers // January 28th 2009: This was before ‘Hospice’ came out. [...]

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