Wow. Has it been almost two years since Denton, TX combo Midlake's stellar Bamnan and Slivercork came out to almost uniform critical praise and the huzzahs of one Jason Lee? Well, they've got a new one on the way, the enigmatically titled The Trials of Van Occupanther and Stereogum has this link up today for a new song, "Roscoe", which sounds like a lost song from Rumours which ain't a bad thing. I like to see a band change horses midstream, especially when they are citing Jackson Browne and F. Mac as influences!
Anyway, McKenzie Smith, the drummer in the band and second from the left in the picture, is a great guy and bears more than a passing resemblance to Elijah Wood, former hobbit. It was McKenzie's birthday, so at a Mae Shi show, Bill from Team C. went to wish him a happy birthday. Only it wasn't McKenzie. It was Elijah Wood surrounded by a bunch of good-looking ladies. And instead of saying "Holy cow! Elijah Wood!", Bill just shrugged and said, "Sorry, man, I thought you were somebody I knew" and walked away. Elijah Wood looked dumbfounded and maybe a little disappointed that Bill didn't want an autograph or anything. But Bill really wanted to talk to the real Star, McKenzie Smith. Good times.
In this edition of IMing With The Stars, our own Jon Polk talks to McKenzie about the new album, teaching drums to kids, Lynne Cheney, and how awesome Team Clermont is (what?! he said it!). Check it out:
Jon: what's up?
Jon: i thought I saw you trying to im me?
McKenzie: just now
McKenzie: whats up man
Jon: oh you know, workin' a half day on MLK
Jon: did you seem John Vanderslice name check you guys on Pitchfork the other day?
McKenzie: yes, that was awesome
McKenzie: he is a good dude
Jon: so, what's up with ya?
McKenzie: man, a lot!
McKenzie: busy rehearsinfg
McKenzie: getting ready for the next year~!
Jon: congrats on the Lips show at South by
Jon: that's gonna be hot
McKenzie: oh cool
McKenzie: where did you hear that/
Jon: e pulido
Jon: world's fair showcase at
Jon: so, when you gonna let me hear this new material?
McKenzie: i casn show you stuff at sxsw
McKenzie: but cannot give to you
McKenzie: band promise
Jon: fair enough, i'm just antsy for the new
McKenzie: ha, its different
Jon: how's work going for you these days?
McKenzie: man, great...teachin them little kids
McKenzie: its fun
Jon: i'll bet. especially drums
McKenzie: yeah, i teach little kids music history
Jon: really, starting when?
Jon: like classical and whatnot?
McKenzie: through 4th
McKenzie: then i teach drums to 5th through 12th
Jon: is this through a school or private lesssons? I know i've asked you this before, sorry for the repeat
McKenzie: and private lessons
Jon: school for the history part and the drumming is lessons? or both?
Jon: ah, that last sentence didn't make sense
Jon: are the drumming lessons private or are they school sponsored too?
McKenzie: i am an assistant band director that works with all the drummers at school, then after school, i teach private lessons
Jon: you should put all your kids on one of your records
Jon: have one track with like 16 drummers or something
McKenzie: haha, that would be great
Jon: so, back to the rehearsing
Jon: are you guys headin' out for some shows soon?
McKenzie: march, one in
McKenzie: then, sxsw
McKenzie: then some touring in the states
McKenzie: maybe summer, but for sure in the fall
Jon: good deal, so then eveyrone in the band has come around to the idea of touring then?
McKenzie: well...we always wanted to and knew we had to...its just been a matter of the right tour, the right time
McKenzie: it is scary for us with the secure jobs
Jon: sure thing, makes a lot of sense
McKenzie: so, lets hope that this year things work out well
Jon: at the same time, i'd really love to see you guys tour around the states more
McKenzie: how is team clermont doing?
McKenzie: we will for sure
McKenzie: that is a definite
Jon: team c. is cracking away like always
Jon: we're staying busy here in the publicity department
Jon: lucas and i have been working together now for over two years, so we've gotten ourselves in a pretty good groove
McKenzie: thats great, you guys rule
Jon: went out with Lucas's band this past weekend to BHam and
Jon: your too kind
McKenzie: i wonder what bella is gonna want to do in that regards this time
Jon: well, we've got our fingers crossed
Jon: I put in a proposal for it.
McKenzie: i think he was planning to use you guys for something, not sure what yet
Jon: tried to highlight that we worked the first one, have kept up the relationship, etc.
Jon: one way or the other, i expect you guys to do really well this time around
McKenzie: im not surer what the worlds fair folks want to do, but i guess we will be talking about all of that very soon
Jon: well, hey put in a good word, eh?
Jon: just kidding (sort of)
McKenzie: for sure man, i will indeed
Jon: remember, if you're new record sounds like Fleetwood Mac, nobody likes Fleetwood Mac like Team C
Jon: I can't remember what were the other points of reference you gave for this new one?
McKenzie: ha, hmmm
McKenzie: i would say the infuences, not sure what else is sounds like...maybe some CSNY
McKenzie: crosby, stills, nash and young
McKenzie: maybe some
McKenzie: neil young
McKenzie: joni mitchell
Jon: so, that's definitely a bit of a departure.
Jon: from the last one
McKenzie: indeed...but still midlakey some how
Jon: are the keyboards still as prominently featured on this one?
Jon: i'm just trying to wrap my head around a joni mitchell, neil youngy, bread-like Midlake record
McKenzie: well...thats the thing..there is hardly any keyboards on it
McKenzie: tons of piano, elec guitar
McKenzie: acoustic guitar
McKenzie: and BGV's!
Jon: so, one other thing we've been doing at team c press is a blog
Jon: there's a feature on it called 'iming with the stars'
Jon: do you wanna be on it?
McKenzie: sure thing
Jon: your interview could be read by up to 12 people
McKenzie: does the team c site not get much traffic?
McKenzie: do you guys have a myspace?
Jon: yeah, fool. you guys are our 'friends'
Jon: the site gets some traffice
Jon: we posted a post entitled "naked pictures of lynne cheney" with the hopes of getting a classier readership
Jon: that helped
McKenzie: who is lynne cheney?
Jon: Why our Vice-President's lovely wife
McKenzie: is she hot?
Jon: not at all
McKenzie: thats awesome
Jon: so, I'm gonna go get some food now, but it's been good talking to you.
McKenzie: indeed, i am asking you to be my friend
McKenzie: or team clermonty
McKenzie: do you have a page?
Jon: yeah, i'll find you
Jon: i haven't set mine to a usable url
Jon: it's still all numbers and the like
Jon: so, you keep those kids a drumming. i'll send you a link when the 'iming with the stars' is up and you're a star
McKenzie: my name is mckenzie smith
McKenzie: later man
Jon: see ya