It’s great. I love it. Honestly, I love it not because I can take responsibility for the parts that are great and terrible. And that means if I don't have to feel responsible for anyone else, I can take risks I might not have been comfortable taking. If I wanted to release a "screwed" cover of an Eagles song, I don’t have to ask anybody. If I have a bizarre idea that might weird people out or piss people off or not make sense, then I want to be able to share that with people and take that feedback. I’m fully willing to take responsiblitiy for these weird songs that I have. I just have to. It’s something that I feel compelled to share with people. That’s why I'm a songwriter. That’s why I'm a musician. I'm confused as to why that is, but it is.
I’m really hoping that it'd be finished by now but I'm also not going to rush it. It takes as long as it takes. I want it to be exactly how I want it to be. I have a lot of balls in the air. I'm not trying to be too hard on myself. I'm trying to definitely have it done by the end of this summer at the very latest. Everything takes a little longer than it takes. Mickey, dear friend, he’s mixing a lot of tracks we have finished. We're gonna wait 'til it's done.
What kind of expectations do you have for this Sharon Van Etten tour? You’ve done countless shows as Wye Oak, but I was curious how different it feels when it’s only you.
It's definitely different. This is the first time I've had a band, a couple friends backing me. MickeyFree is my DJ; he'll play some keyboards, he'll drop beats. Will Ryerson from Other Colors is playing bass, and a little guitar. I’m still playing guitar for significant portion of the set but not all of it. I'll be just singing for some, which is interesting for me. It's freeing and really intimidating.
I've known Sharon for years. She's a good friend. That band is great. I know her record has done well, so her shows will be kind of big. I've only played small, warehouse spaces, nothing too legitimate. I think the music is compatible with what Sharon does. I enjoy playing this set so much. ... I’m sure there will be people with expectations from what Wye Oak does, and it definitely won't scratch every itch for them.
I’m not sure how much you can talk about this, but I heard you and Jon Ehrens have been working on a pop project. What can you say about it?
We’re working on this pop record. It's beginning to take shape. It’s amazing. I’m really excited about the record. It's some of the most catchy, well-written songwriting we've done. We share songwriting duties. It's some of the best stuff we’ve ever done. We both love pop music. Our goal is to write the 10 poppiest songs we could. It's some of his best work to date as well. If I had my way, it’d be the Summer 2012 megajam record to listen to with the top down. ... It’s in the mixing stages right now.
Is there a name for it?
It's called Dungeonesse. It's happening more slowly than both of us would like. He’s a super-talented songwriter. I shine in the pop spectrum more than I was anticipating.
Are there any specific goals for Flock of Dimes?
No! That’s the rule. That’s the only rule. I tend to trust my gut in situations. I already have a project that’s been fortunate, and in order to keep that thing going, there are certain industry rules and standards. You have to tour. Flock of dimes is whatever I want it to be whenever I want it to be. And that’s what makes it more free.
You’re a bit of a veteran in the Baltimore music scene, but you’re still young. Do you see yourself staying apart of the scene for years to come or could you be somewhere completely different in a few years?
Funny you should ask. I've been toying around with the idea of leaving Baltimore. I grew up here. I was gone for about a year, and since I've been home, since January 2012, I’ve rediscovered Baltimore again. I’ve fallen in love with it again. I’m having a hard time imagining walking away. I'm happier here right now than I've ever been in my entire life. I don’t want to live in any one city for my whole life. I’m not that kind of person. But for the time being, it's got teeth in me once again. It’s a very special place. I imagine I'll always be apart of Baltimore’s music scene somehow.
If you go
Flock of Dimes performs Thursday at the Ottobar, 2549 N. Howard St. in Charles Village. $12. Call 410-662-0069 or go to theottobar.com.