Why Run A Review When You Can Just Interview The A&R Guy?

anthonyjmiccio | April 30, 2008 5:15 am

Plenty of critics have regurgitated press releases to fill up a feature well, but the Seattle Weekly‘s “review” (that’s how the article is tagged) of the new Flight Of The Conchords album consists mostly of interview quotes with Tony Kiewel, the band’s A&R representative at Sub Pop. Kiewel explains how he first heard the group, why he thinks they’re so great and how the band is doing really well, even going gold in New Zealand! Weekly editor Brian Barr concurs, adding that mixture of mockery and genuine musical tribute is what makes them so great. Barr sure sounds like a fan. I bet he’d get a kick out of interviewing the band! Maybe Kiewel could hook that up sometime.

…”If they didn’t have the musical chops, we wouldn’t be putting out the record,” says Kiewel, noting that they were set to release a FOTC record before the HBO show ever aired. Released April 22, FOTC’s self-titled musical debut (in the United States at least) proves what multifaceted talents they are.

…If you didn’t know better, you might ask “Why the hell is Sub Pop bothering with a joke band?” But Clement and McKenzie have a trick up their sleeves: they really admire the bands and styles they’re poking fun at. And that’s what makes FOTC so engaging: they’re subtly teetering between mockery and tribute. You laugh at first, only to find yourself humming the tune when it’s stuck in your head the next day.

Kiewel says the release-date shipment of this album is the second largest in the label’s history (the largest being the Shins’ Wincing the Night Away), and the investment in the album packaging is possibly the most elaborate they’ve ever done. The label has also been receiving an average of three requests per hour to interview the band.

I wonder if this was the first time that request was followed with “well, if they’re too busy, can I interview you?”

Flight of the Conchords’ Special Delivery [Seattle Weekly]