INTERVIEW: Dave Lerner from Trummors

Indie folk duo Trummors (consisting of Dave Lerner and Anne Cunningham) are currently touring the U.S. to promote their sophomore record Moorish Highway, which was released earlier this June. Their tunes blend psychedelia with two part harmonies and drones, and also feature folk-based instrumentation such as the pedal steel to achieve an overall comforting sound.

1. What inspired the move to Taos, New Mexico? How do you like it compared to your previous residences? Taos has some good skiing there.

Anne [Cunningham] got a writing job in New Mexico, so it was a work related move. Woodstock has a similar vibe to Taos, since they’re both historically artsy communities.

2. You previously moved to Woodstock from Brooklyn, NY and recorded the latest album, “Moorish Highway”. How much of a role does the locale influence your songwriting/lyrical content?

The album was actually recorded in the Kingston New York area. The writing process was influenced by Woodstock. The song Moorish Highway was influenced by a writer I worked with. The title is an homage to him from Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade. We were also influenced by a lot of late 60’s singer songwriters by being in Woodstock, as well as by their use of pedal steel and electric guitar.

3. You recorded a cover of “Early Morning Rain” by Gordon Lightfoot for the album, which you had performed live prior. Is Gordon a favorite amongst you two? What other singer-songwriters are you fond of/influenced by?

We do love Gordon Lightfoot, but that song is well-known, it is staple. He’s phenomenally talented but I don’t put his records on all the time. Some of my favorites are guys like Guy Clark and Jerry Jeff Walker.

4. Any chance of a cover of “Sundown”?

Wow, that would be more appropriate for another tour. Perhaps with a larger band, but it’d be challenging.

5. With the latest album, the band has incorporated musicians of various skill-sets such as the pedal steel by Marc Orleans and drummer Otto Hauser, who’s worked with numerous artists over the years (Vashti Bunyan, Jeff Tweedy, Devendra Banhart, among others). Was the expansion of the band always the plan or was it inspired after the first album was released where you felt that the stripped-down sound could be enhanced?

We had been talking to those musicians about possibly collaborating, and in this record they felt they could do it, and the sounds called for it. Marc Orleans actually played in the previous record, so he was on board for the new one. Everyone was available. We kind of had a map of the songs and who we wanted to play in them before recording them. It was pretty planned out.

6. Who are some of the artists you listen to outside the style of music in which you play?

Some piano music, since we haven’t recorded with a piano player yet. We listen to Satie when we do some academic writing, or just some piano based, instrumental music. As well as some Alice Coltrane, jazz and more abstract stuff. Belle and Sebastian as well, they are pretty popular, but they’re a favorite.

Rapid Fire Questions

1. Alex Trebek recently grew back his mustache that he had for many
years on Jeopardy. Do you prefer Alex with or without the mustache?

Well, the thing about Alex Trebek is, he’s one of those people with a signature mustache. Just like Gordon Lightfoot. So with the mustache.

2. Halloween is coming up- what’s your go-to Halloween costume?

I’m not into dressing up solo, group costumes are more fun. Actually, me and some friends have discussed wearing Abba costumes at some point.

3. The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

If you take all of their records until ’74 – then The Rolling Stones, I guess. It’s quite an unfair question because The Beatles had a briefer, more solid and consistent discography, their records have a nice progression. If you add the Beatles’ solo records it’d be easier to answer. But overall my favorite Rolling Stones record gets more spins than my favorite Beatles record, so I’ll go with the Rolling Stones.

Trummors will be playing the following shows around the U.S:

  • 10/02/14 – Seattle, WA; Lo-Fi.
  • 10/03/14 – Spokane, WA; The Bartlett.
  • 10/04/14 – Portland, OR; Mississippi Studios.
  • 10/05/14 – San Francisco, CA; Rickshaw Stop.
  • 10/07/14 – Los Angeles, CA; Bootleg HiFi.
  • 10/08/14 – Phoenix, AZ; The Crescent Ballroom.
  • 10/10/14 – Denver, CO; Hi-Dive.

 

 

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