Shudder To Think Regroups At New York Gig
Shudder To Think principals Craig Wedren and Nathan Larson joined each other on stage last night (Sept. 17) at New York's Mercury Lounge for the first time since the band split in 1999.Shudder To Think principals Craig Wedren and Nathan Larson joined each other on stage last night (Sept. 17) at New York's Mercury Lounge for the first time since the band split in 1999.
Larson appeared midway through Wedren's solo set and performed six Shudder songs with the latter's band, which includes late-period Shudder drummer Kevin March. The artists played "X-French Tee Shirt," "Red House," "Lies About the Sky," "No Rm. 9, Kentucky," "Day Ditty" and "Appalachian Lullaby," which featured vocals from Larson's wife, Cardigans frontwoman Nina Persson. Their group, A Camp, also played a set last night.
The reunion was coordinated by Wedren and Larson's mutual friend Rain Phoenix, whose band Papercranes is in the midst of a Mercury Lounge residency. "She sent everybody an email and said, 'Let's just do this!,'" Wedren tells Billboard.com. "Nathan and I have gotten over our past bullsh*t. There's no more real venom or puss left there. So we were like, 'Great. Perfect timing. We can just play a show together and it will be like good family fun.' It was very familial. It felt great."
Although nothing is in the works, Wedren says the door is open for some kind of future collaboration with his old mates, who split after two cult favorite but commercially unsuccessful albums for Epic. "I don't know that any of us would be so happy to get back in the van," he admits. "We'd have to figure out something we could do that would be creatively fresh and also jibe with our lives. None of it is out of the question -- I don't think there's any weirdness there that would keep us from doing it."
Amid a busy slate of film scoring, Wedren is now focused on completing his second solo album, "Wand," which will be tied to a film of the same name. "I was sitting on this mound of music I really loved, but was totally schizophrenic -- from very orchestral to more experimental soundscape-y stuff to pop songs to very elliptical Shudder-type songs," he says.
Rather than releasing five different albums in five different styles, Wedren opted to create a movie via which he could utilize all the music. "I usually get hired to score or write songs for a film at the end of the process," he notes. "This is the reverse. I'm working on the music and intend it to be a feature film-length listening experience. Then I'll collaborate with lots of different musicians, actors and directors to develop a visual narrative."
Wedren plans to approach friends like Lisa Cholodenko ("High Art"), David Wain ("The Ten"), Dylan Kidd ("Roger Dodger") and editor Mike Cahill ("Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out") to assist with the assembly. "I have a list of people who are either friends of mine from the film community or whose work I respect, or people I know who are directors and giant music geeks," he says. "So many of my friends these days are actors and filmmakers. I'll play them the music and whatever turns them on is what we'll work on together."