On the eve of the release of his band’s debut LP, Fallow, Connor Noetzel, lead vocalist of New York’s The Afternoon Edition, took time to dish on brother Shane and multi-instrumentalist Brian Gallio by answering our 8 Questions.
BFoN: Favorite instrument
CN: Pedal steel guitar, no doubt. It has such a range of emotion built into it. I love hearing old players from the ’60s and earlier because their tone and style was so different. If we never met Paul, the band’s pedal steel guitarist, I’m not sure the band would have ever really gotten started.
BFoN: Favorite book
CN: I like reading musician biographies and autobiographies. I know Brian likes Vonnegut a lot, and Shane is illiterate. It might be a cliché answer but Bob Dylan’s Chronicles Vol. 1 is a really great book. He writes like the great writers who inspired him, not like a musician which makes it a really interesting read. And he skips right over his “golden years” of songwriting and gets right to the making of “Oh Mercy” which is one of my favorites of his. Keith Richards’ Life is also a must read.
BFoN: Musical influences
CN: We draw a lot from classic stuff that our parents raised us on like Neil Young, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, etc. We only recently became obsessed with Bob Dylan’s discography, and as a result of that — The Band’s as well. There are a ton of modern bands that are doing great things that you kind of keep in mind while making a record, too. Whether it’s a particular guitar sound, song structure or arrangement, bands like City and Colour and the Avett Brothers have had a massive influence on us. Seeing those bands live really made us want to do this thing.
BFoN: Favorite album of 2014
CN: The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream, no question. Adam captured some magic on that record, man. It’s so evocative! Every song just has such a distinct vibe. You know those songs where the lyrics sound like what the music is trying to say? That album is full of those songs. We’re still obsessed with it, it’s a master work.
BFoN: Star Wars or Star Trek
CN: Star Wars. It’s just a more interesting world to me. I’m not huge on either, but I think the whole band is in agreement that J.J. Abrams is going to make the biggest movie of all time.
BFoN: Which member of the band is most like a Spinal Tap character
CN: Brian, our auxiliary guy. He plays piano, banjo, harmonica, and guitar. But he also stuffs his trousers with cucumbers like the bass player Derek Smalls to make his member look bigger. It’s embarrassing, really.
BFoN: First album you purchased
CN: Puff Daddy and the Family – No Way Out. It was actually a gift but it’s the first CD I remember owning. That record’s a classic.
BFoN: Origin of your band’s name
CN: I heard it in a line of dialogue written in a film directed by David Fincher called Zodiac, which is one of my all time favorites. They are talking about printing a cypher in “the afternoon edition” of a newspaper. I just heard the phrase and liked it. And it just happened to be in one of my favorite films of all time.
Pedal steel rings throughout Fallow, as do the band’s influences. While the aforementioned musical acts lurk in the far corners of the album, current folk-rock artists such as Horse Feathers and Great Leak Swimmers are paid a debt here. From the wallowing surrender of opener “Let You In” and rambling “I Can’t Stay” to the joyous proclamation of “The Simplest of Things,” The Afternoon Edition stake their own claim on modern Americana with the verdant Fallow.
Many thanks to Connor for his time. Stream Fallow below and purchase the album via iTunes.