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sing antique valve (Americans say toob!) amps and vintage mics, harnessed to acoustic recording techniques at the same time, and mixed the two


together. There’s distortion and various noises, but Noam points out that every sound on the record is generated by a sound they made. They give us 12 songs, ten written by the band, Josh Ritter co-writing lyrics on two tunes (Hundred Dollars and New York City). Additionally, the album contains two non-vocal tracks; Radiohead’s Kid A and the Swedish group, Vasen’s Flippen. I leave the million dollar question to the end for Chris,


regarding Nickel Creek: Will they or won’t they? A clue perhaps, with the name of their final tour, The Farewell For Now Tour. Nickel Creek fans may well like this answer: “It may happen.” “I think my priority is being a part of this band and getting


this band to a place where it sustains itself, and we don’t have to try so hard to see it through to the next level. Self-propelling. If Punch Brothers got to that place, it was so well established it was taking care of itself, I could see a reunion-ish tour or something like that for fun. Never say never. I love Sean and Sarah dearly.” Chris was in Nickel Creek from eight to 28-years-old. So if


Nickel Creek were a relative, which one would they be? “Right now, Punch Brothers are literally my brothers and Sean and Sara are my close cousins.” “I like how we left things. I liked the third record. The first


two were very immature, but the third one I liked. The last one pointed to the things that the three of us have pursued on our own. Punch Brothers was formed consciously; Nickel Creek


was formed unconsciously. We fell into it when we were eight. Punch Brothers was formed with the idea of putting together compatible people. Nickel Creek just happened. It got to the point where we felt we should leave it there. Our interests weren’t compatible. But I got lucky enough to find four guys with whom music making is very natural.” Noam echoes that sentiment: “It is a dream scenario to create


music with these four people and share with audiences. Most people do not get applause by going to work.” They certainly get a lot of applause, and are gaining a higher


profile daily with major American TV appearances such as on The Letterman show, and they are the focus of the documentary How to Grow A Band, directed by Mark Meatto. It was filmed over a two year period and premiered at the 42nd Nashville Film Festival in Nashville last year. The film also screened as part of the 38th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in June 2011. Chris sums up their objectives: “We are trying to make music


that is both surprising and satisfying.” Noam has a different agenda! “We are trying to make a lot of money and have some fun at the same time,” he adds. By rights, if commercial success reflects sheer musical


brilliance, they should make shed loads of moola with WHO’S FEELING YOUNG NOW? The album is commercial, hip, current and relevant—not even close to retro in any way. They really are treading virgin ground. Call it progressive bluegrass. Call it nu-grass. Call it what you want. So, let’s agree on “…a sonic hillybilly legal high for the ipad generation!” Bill would be proud. Simon Redley


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