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Jon Chattman

Jon Chattman

Posted: August 18, 2009 05:07 PM

Chairlift's Aaron Pfenning: iPods and Veggie Tacos


I have little musical talent. I sing off-key. I can't play an instrument. I have little rhythm. My three-year-old nephew sings the chorus of "Hey There Delliah" and it sounds better than anything I could come up with. Still, I'm convinced if I moved to Brooklyn, I'd gain instant talent and become star. Why not? Everything out of the borough these days has rocked: TV on the Radio. Santigold. Trouble Andrew. I could go on, and will. The latest BKLYN outfit thriving is Chairlift, a band originally formed at the University of Colorado by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriterist (yes, I'm creating that word) Aaron Pfenning and lead vocalist Caroline Polachek. Their album Does You Inspire You came out earlier this year, and includes the infectious single "Bruises," which was played over and over on Mac commercials (you didn't mind one bit did you?) and "Evident Utensil," which is nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. Fresh off their appearance at Lollapalooza last weekend, I spoke with Pfenning briefly and asked him about the lift the band's gotten lately and, well, inadvertently Steve Jobs.

What was Lollapalooza like this year?
Sweaty, heavy, and it made me cry in a very, very good way. Deerhunter was my favorite.

What's the oddest cover you've ever performed on tour?
Either Snoop Doggs "Sensual Seduction" or Pulp's "Babies."

Sweet. Were you caught off guard by the success of "Bruise" in the iPod commercials?
To be honest, we haven't focused much on the iPod ad. We spent a great deal of time deciding if we wanted to accept the offer, and after making that decision we've been facing forward making new music and not looking back.

How'd you come up with the band name and the album title?
The band name was chosen by a Dixie Gypsy on Pearl Street on Boulder, CO. The album title also happens to be the title of a magazine that was launched in 2007 by my female alter ego, Daisy Grace. Caroline and I realized one day as we were reviewing the mixes for the album that "Does You Inspire You" was also the perfect title for the Chairlift record.

Ideally what's the best case scenario for your band?
We become the proud owners of taco stands in every American state, selling organic Chorizo and Veggie tacos. Also continuing to make music throughout our lives would be acceptable as well.

What's the worst case?
Our band thinks in only positive, innovative, creative, or beneficial directions.

Lastly, I have to ask - does you inspire you?
Always and forever.

Follow Jon Chattman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thecheappop