Need To Know: Battles


By Courtney Nichols

Do you think that having collaborators on the album will broaden your audience?
I would hope so. I think having vocals on the album, period, helps soften people's approach to us. Sometimes I think people are turned off by instrumental music in general, but having a collaborator like Gary Numan brings fans from his world to a band like Battles. I can imagine it would be something fun to find out. Maybe Blonde Redhead fans are in the same world, but mixing the worlds of Battles and Matias is fun as well! It's nice to reach an audience depending on collaborators. If people really love an artist and they see that the artist is willing to work with another band like us, those people will be exposed to our music.

This is a geeky question on my part, but how do you name an instrumental song?
It's a really geeky process. It stems from when we write parts -- in order for our own sake of reference -- we name them. Sometimes they don't have names but 'Sundome' was called 'Bouncy' for a while because John wanted us to play into that bouncy rhythm. It is as simple as that. The beginning of 'Sundome,' when we were writing our parts, I was imagining this beer garden on a warm, sunny day and hanging outside. I found out about this basketball team in Brooklyn called Sundome and I thought it would be a good name. There is no rhyme or reason to how we name an instrumental song. 'Africastle' was a loop I wrote originally and it reminded me of the video game Castle Mania but with an Afro-pop perspective. I thought the name was funny, and we referenced it as that for a while. Either it becomes the name of the song or, like a song called 'Bouncy,' we couldn't commit to that as a band so we changed it. Song titles, as long as we can live with them forever, than it's okay. It's hard to find that balance.

What is your favorite ice cream?
My favorite ice cream is coffee ice cream. Sometimes if you can find coffee ice cream with some Oreo in there, that is really good. You know something else? We are playing Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, and they asked us if we wanted to make our own ice cream with this ice cream vendor who is a sponsor.

That is everyone's dream!
I really like craft beers and in Seattle there is this place called Elysian Brewery and this caf' called Caffe Vita. I asked if they could contribute espresso and Elysian could have some sort of stout combination. I wanted to make an espresso stout ice cream. I think they are doing it! I am looking forward to that.

For more info on Battles, including upcoming tour dates, visit their official website.

Tags: Music