Washed Out Talks Band Camp & Dreams Of Mexico

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24_WashedOutPhoto: Courtesy of Shae De Tar. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
"We had some car trouble this morning," says a sniffly but otherwise upbeat Ernest Greene. His band, Washed Out, just had a harrowing journey from Amsterdam to Berlin, and he was worried he'd miss our interview. "It's like an eight-hour drive, and our van wouldn't start. It was freezing cold, terrible weather, and we just got here about half an hour ago," he says. It's a description that sounds very un-Washed Out — a band that's known more for founding the chillwave genre than braving European sleet storms. Even so, Greene is happy to talk about the band's new record, Paracosm, its expanded live presence, and the countdown to some much-needed R&R.

Trial by Fire
"We started in the States; I guess a week or so after the record came out. It's always stressful having a new set to put together, but it was especially stressful because the first two weeks of shows were mainly big festivals on the West Coast. Like, the second one was in L.A. for Fuck Yeah Fest — there was something like 12,000 people watching us. This record has a lot of guitar, which is pretty different from previous Washed Out records, so we have a new guitar player. We were pretty much throwing him in trial by fire."

History Lessons
"I was a terrible student in high school, but I've been going back and relearning the history of the places we're visiting [in Europe]. I guess I do the equivalent of that in the States, too. Just doing research and coming up with interesting things to see and do. We've been running a really tight schedule, but we're really lucky if we have an hour to spare to do something fun."

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Band Camp
"My wife and I have a house in Athens, GA. We have enough space to sleep everyone comfortably. It's kind of like this band-camp thing. We're all together; we spend most of the day working on stuff and just hang out at night."

Album Cycle
"It's funny thinking back to the time I spent working on this newest record. It's a year ago, but it doesn't really seem that long. There's just so much time that goes into getting the record out, promotion-wise. It's left very little time for thinking about new music or being creative again. It's the reality of the business-side of putting out records and touring to promote the records. I don't think it lines up so well with why I started doing music — I'd prefer to stay home and come up with new songs, but it's nice getting away and being busy. It makes being back home and back at work, making new stuff, more focused. I'm a lot more passionate about it."

Vacation Vibes
"I'm kind of getting sick, and it's really cold here, but we're doing a festival in Acapulco, Mexico, right at the beginning of December. It's a situation where we fly in, and we're there for a few days and we're only going to have to work for one day. I think we're actually playing on the beach in the sand. It should be interesting."