Today marks the Fear Fun record release and it just happens to also mark Father John Misty’s late night television debut as tonight, Tuesday, May 1st, (at 11:35pm ET/10:35pm CT) Father John Misty will perform “Only Son Of A Ladies Man” on The Late Show with David Letterman. Later this week, you’ll be able to find Father John Misty back on TV during a spotlight segment on Last Call with Carson Daly. Tune in to Carson’s show this Thursday, May 3 (@1:35am ET/ 12:35am CT) for performances of Fear Fun tracks, “Everyman Needs A Companion” and “I’m Writing a Novel”.
You’ll also get your chance to see a live Father John Misty show later this spring, with the North American tour beginning May 2nd. A full list of tour dates are listed below and can also be found on Father John Misty’s subpop.com artist page.
Father John Misty on Tour
May 02 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
May 04 Los Angeles, CA – Natural History Museum
May 05 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
May 07 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
May 08 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
May 11 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
May 12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
May 14 – Toronto, ON – Horsehoe Tavern
May 15 – Montreal, QE – Petit Campus
May 16 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
May 18 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
May 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
May 20 – Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel
May 22 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park
May 23 – New Orleans, LA – One-Eyed Jacks
May 24 – Houston, TX – Fitzgeralds
May 25 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
May 26 – Austin, TX – Mohawk
Father John Misty’s debut album, Fear Fun, comes out on May 1st, and we’ve got some important business to discuss with you regarding related, free, limited-edition stuff. No doubt you have seen the very great music videos for the very great songs “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” and “Nancy From Now On,” and are justifiably very excited about Fear Fun as a result. In a gesture intended to heighten this excitement and, it’s true, also encourage sales, we will be giving away, to the good people who pre-order this album from SubPop.com, a bonus CDR featuring five demo versions of songs from the album! And, as we like to think we’re becoming increasingly well-known for, when you pre-order the vinyl LP through SubPop.com, you’ll receive the Loser Edition version of the record, which is a limited-edition colored (in this case, pink) vinyl edition. This is only available to early adopters, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. So, if you pre-order now, you’ll get the bonus CDR, the Loser Edition pink vinyl, and as always, stickers! All of this is a while-supplies-last situation.
Indie Rock Spring Break aka The SXSW Music Festival is right around the corner, and we are thrilled to announce our 2012 showcase lineup, to be held on March 16 at Red 7.
This year’s lineup will feature performances from the likes of Shearwater, Niki & The Dove, Spoek Mathambo, Poor Moon, Father John Misty, THEESatisfaction, King Tuff, Blitzen Trapper, Poor Moon, Debo Band and Husky.
You can now stream tunes from each of the bands we have playing at this
year’s festival by clicking here. We have also included set times for the showcase below.
Stay tuned for a full list of Sub Pop related events & day parties at this year’s festival!
Blitzen Trapper- 1am
Father John Misty 12am
King Tuff 10pm
Poor Moon 9pm
Niki & The Dove 1am
Spoek Mathambo 12am
Debo Band 9pm
Special Guest 8pm
On May 1st we are releasing the debut effort from Father John Misty. You can watch the new video for the track “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” starring Aubrey Plaza of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Sundance Film Festival Hit “Safety Not Guaranteed” and the upcoming “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” by clicking here. The video was directed by Noel Paul.
Like what you hear & see? You can chat with frontman Josh Tillman talk about his music, live today at 3 pm PST.
Feb 29 – new parish – oakland
March 3 grass valley – center for the arts
March 4 santa cruz – crepe place
Read About Fear Fun
When discussing ‘Father John Misty’, Tillman paraphrases Philip Roth: ’It’s all of me and none of me, if you can’t see that, you won’t get it’. What I call it is totally arbitrary, but I like the name. You’ve got to have a name. I never got to choose mine."
He goes on, “‘People who make records are afforded this assumption by the culture that their music is coming from an exclusively personal place, but more often than not what you hear are actually the affectations of an ’alter-ego’ or a cartoon of an emotionally heightened persona,” says Josh Tillman, who has been recording/releasing solo albums since 2003 and who recently left Seattle’s Fleet Foxes after playing drums from 2008-2011. “That kind of emotional quotient isn’t sustainable if your concern is portraying a human-being made up of more than just chest-beating pathos. I see a lot of rampant, sexless, male-fantasy everywhere in the music around me. I didn’t want any alter-egos, any vagaries, fantasy, escapism, any over-wrought sentimentality. I like humor and sex and mischief. So when you think about it, it’s kind of mischievous to write about yourself in a plain-spoken, kind of explicitly obvious way and call it something like ‘Misty’. I mean, I may as well have called it ‘Steve’”.
Musically, “Fear Fun” consists of such disparate elements as Waylon Jennings, Harry Nilsson, Arthur Russell, “All Things Must Pass,” and “Physical Graffiti,” often within the same song. Tillman’s voice has never been better and often sounds like Roy Orbison, “The Caruso of Rock”, at his most joyous, while the music maintains a dark, mysterious and yet conversely playful, almost Dionysian quality. Lyrically, his absurdist fever dreams of pain and pleasure elicit, in equal measures, the blunt descriptive power of Bukowski or Brautigan, the hedonist-philosophy of Oscar Wilde and the dried-out wit of Loudon Wainwright III.
The album began gestating during what Tillman describes as an “immobilizing period of depression”, in his former Seattle home. “Songwriting for me had always only been interesting and necessary because I saw it as this vehicle for truth, but I had this realization that all I had really done with it was lick my wounds for years and years, and become more and more isolated from people and experiences. I don’t even like wound-licking music, I want to listen to someone rip their arm off and beat themselves with it. I don’t believe that until now I’ve ever put anything at risk in my music. I was hell-bent on putting my preciousness at stake in order to find something worth singing about.”
He continues, "I lost all interest in writing music, or identifying as a ‘songwriter’. I got into my van with enough mushrooms to choke a horse and started driving down the coast with nowhere to go. After a few weeks, I was writing a novel, which is where I finally found my narrative voice. The voice that is actually useful.
“It was a while before that voice started manifesting in a musical way, but once I settled in the Laurel Canyon spider-shack where I’m living now, I spent months demoing all these weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences almost in real-time, and kind of had this musical ‘Oh-there-I-am’ moment, identical to how I felt when I was writing the book. It was unbelievably liberating. I knew there was never any going back to the place I was writing from before, which was a huge relief. The monkey got banished off my back.”
Tillman brought the demos to LA producer/songwriter/pal Jonathan Wilson, and in February 2011 began recording at his home-studio in Echo Park. "Initially, the idea was to just kind of recreate the demos with me playing everything, since they were pretty fleshed out and sounded cool, but a place like LA affords you a different wealth of talent, potential, etc than just about anywhere else. I realized what was possible between Jonathan’s abilities, and the caliber of musicians that are just hanging around LA, pretty quickly. People were coming in and out of the studio all day sometimes, and other days, it would just be Jonathan and I holed up, getting stoned, and doing everything.
“I was honest with myself about what music actually excites my joy-glands when I was considering the arrangements and instrumentation,” says Tillman. “As opposed to what’s been enjoyable to me in the past – namely, alienating people or making choices based on what I think people won’t like or understand. Pretty narcissistic stuff.”
When asked about Laurel Canyon, where he eventually ended up living in the aforementioned tree-house with a family of spiders, Tillman says, “My attitude about it all is pretty explicit in the record. Given my fairly adversarial personal attitude about the music and aesthetic that comes from that place, it’s kind of a huge joke that I live in a former hippie-fantasy land. I have a really morbid sense of humor.”
Phil Ek (who everyone knows has worked with Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes) heard the rough versions of the album in May 2011 and offered his services to mix. “Phil and I have known each other for a while by virtue of Fleet Foxes, so he was familiar with my music, but we had never discussed working together. I think he immediately recognized the shift in my writing and singing from a producer and friend’s standpoint. His excitement is really evident in mixes, I think.”
Fear Fun is available May 1, 2012 from Sub Pop and Bella Union, in the US and UK/EU respectively.
Interviews by Richard Metzger and Casey Wescott
Written by Paula Zabrey, Jan. 2012
Perhaps you saw Father John Misty’s performance of the brand new track “Bored In the USA” complete with a 22-piece string section on The Late Show with David Letterman, and found that you’re wondering yourself silly with questions like, “Could it be true?! A new record from Father John Misty?!” and you ended up here, the webhome of FJM’s record label, hoping to answer your burning questions. Well the answer, dear friends, is yes, on February 10th, 2015, Sub Pop Records will proudly be releasingI Love You, Honeybear, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the amazing, left-field FJM record, Fear Fun.
As if the news couldn’t get any better, Father John Misty is headlining late winter/spring tour, accompanied by a 7-piece backing band full of musicians, in support of I Love You, Honeybear. Support for the tour comes from Guy Blakeslee (Feb. 9th-18th), and Sub Pop label mates King Tuff (Mar. 25th-Apr. 8th) and Luluc (Apr. 22nd-25th). Please find a current list of tour dates below.
A standard 2xLP version in a gatefold jacket and on black vinyl
A limited edition deluxe 2XLP alternate-cover version on tricolor vinyl in a Dioramic, Meta-Musical Funtime gatefold jacket
All CD and LP formats will come with a fold-out poster, featuring a collage of Emma Tillman’s intimate photos, designed by Alia Penner and an extensive “Exercises for Listening” written by Josh Tillman. Additionally, CD and LP preorders will come with 8 demos on cassette (while supplies last). There will also be two new t-shirts available, as stand-alone items or as part of a bundle with preorders of I Love You, Honeybear.
What does Father John Misty say about I Love You, Honeybear? Here’s a very good answer to that question you probably weren’t asking yourself:
Father John Misty aka Josh Tillman, says of the album, I Love You, Honeybear was recorded all through 2013 to 2014 in Los Angeles with producer Jonathan Wilson, who I also recorded and produced 2012’s Fairly Fun with. There’s a case to be made that it sounds and acts a bit like solo-era John Lennon, Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Dory Previn, while taking more than a few cues from Woody Allen, Kurt Vonnegut, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Muhammad Ali. It has a decidedly more soulful presence than Fear Fun,
due in no small part to the fact that I am truly singing my ass off all over this motherfucker. The album is really characterized by the scope and ambition of the arrangements. Nearly every tune is augmented by something special, be it orchestral strings, a mariachi band, questionable electronic drum solos, ragtime jazz combos, soul singers,
or what have you. I’m pretty sure there’s a sitar in there somewhere. Blammo.
I Love You, Honeybear is a concept album about a guy named Josh Tillman who spends quite a bit of time banging his head against walls, cultivating weak ties with strangers and generally avoiding intimacy at
all costs. This all serves to fuel a version of himself that his self-loathing narcissism can deal with. We see him engaging in all manner of regrettable behavior.
“In a parking lot somewhere he meets Emma, who inspires in him a vision of a life wherein being truly seen is not synonymous with shame, but possibly true liberation and sublime, unfettered creativity. These ambitions are initially thwarted as jealousy, self-destruction and other charming human character traits emerge. Josh Tillman confesses as much all throughout.
“The album progresses, sometimes chronologically, sometimes not, between two polarities: the first of which is the belief that the best love can be is finding someone who is miserable in the same way you are and the end point being that love isn’t for anyone who isn’t interested in finding a companion to undertake total transformation with. I won’t give away the ending, but sex, violence, profanity and excavations of the male psyche abound.
“My ambition, aside from making an indulgent, soulful, and epic sound worthy of the subject matter, was to address the sensuality of fear, the terrifying force of love, the unutterable pleasures of true intimacy,
and the destruction of emotional and intellectual prisons in my own
“This material demanded a new way of being made, and it took a lot of time before the process revealed itself. The massive, deranged shmaltz I heard in my head, and knew had to be the sound of this record, originated a few years ago while Emma and I were hallucinating in Joshua
Tree; the same week I wrote the title track. I chased that sound for the entire year and half we were recording. The means by which it was achieved bore a striking resemblance to the travails, abandon and
transformation of learning how to love and be loved; see and be seen.
There: I said it. Blammo.”
Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear Tracklisting:
1. I Love You, Honeybear
2. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
3. True Affection
4. The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.
5. When You’re Smiling and Astride Me
6. Nothing Good Ever Happens At the Goddamn Thirsty Crow
7. Strange Encounter
8. The Ideal Husband
9. Bored In The USA
10. Holy Shit
11. I Went To The Store One Day
Jan. 16 - Felton, CA - Bret Harte Hall
Jan. 17 - Sonoma, CA - Vet’s Hall Ballroom
Jan. 18 - Chico, CA - El Rey Theatre
Feb. 09 - Los Angeles, CA - Roxy*
Feb. 12 - Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC*
Feb. 14 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom*
Feb. 16 - Montreal, QC - Virgin Mobile Corona Theater*
Feb. 18 - Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall*
Feb. 21 - Dublin, IE - Whelans
Feb. 22 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
Feb. 23 - Manchester, UK - Gorilla
Feb. 26 - London, UK - Village Underground
Feb. 27 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
Feb. 28 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
Mar. 03 - Paris, FR - La Maroquinerie
Mar. 04 - Brussels, BE - Botanique - Orangerie
Mar. 05 - Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso
Mar. 07 - Berlin, DE - Privatclub
Mar. 08 - Hamburg, DE - Nochtspelcher
Mar. 25 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works**
Mar. 26 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse**
Mar. 27 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel**
Mar. 28 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club**
Mar. 31 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club**
Apr. 01 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer**
Apr. 03 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theater**
Apr. 04 - Minneapolis, MN - First Ave**
Apr. 07 - Lawrence, KS - Granada**
Apr. 08 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room**
Apr. 09 - Denver, CO - Ogden Theater
Apr. 22 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater^
Apr. 23 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald’s^
Apr. 24 - Austin, TX - Stubb’s^
Apr. 25 - New Orleans, LA - Civic Theater^
* w/ Guy Blakeslee
** w/ King Tuff
^ w/ Luluc