Note: A shortened version of this interview appears in this week’s Other Paper. Pick it up for free at newsstands or visit TheOtherPaper.com.
Strand of Oaks put out my favorite album of 2010, Pope Killdragon. The group’s second full-length, it’s staggeringly beautiful and more than a little bizarre. The band is essentially the solo project of Philadelphia’s Timothy Showalter, who will play the support slot for Joe Pug at the Rumba Café on Tuesday (along with local act Dolfish). Reached on the road recently via email, Showalter answered questions about how the album’s songs–which touch on subjects like Dan Aykroyd and a 12-foot giant–came into being. He also talked about his decision to include “Giant’s Despair,” an instrumental doom-metal track, on the album.
How did you end up writing a song from the perspective of Dan Aykroyd about the death of John Belushi? It’s not typical folk-song fodder.
Actually, a friend of mine from Scranton, Pa., was putting together a Dan Aykroyd compilation (for some unknown reason) and asked me to contribute. Like all things Strand of Oaks, I took a funny idea and somehow made it into something really sad. I was staying up late thinking about Dan and suddenly began to sympathize with how he must have felt after losing John Belushi.