Lou Barlow of Sebadoh on The Morning Mix

Lou Barlow joined Cindy Howes via phone on the Morning Mix, and he had some interesting things to say about his band Sebadoh’s newest release, Defend Yourself.  The record is Sebadoh’s ninth studio LP, and was released on September 16th.

This is Lou Barlow, Jason Loewenstein, and Bob D’Amico’s first studio album since 1999. “In a way it wasn’t anything like the last time we did it, because it was much more personal and basic. It was kind of the way I always wanted to do a record,” Barlow says.

Lou confessed that he is going through a divorce at the moment, and said that this has inspired much of the music on Defend Yourself. “It's sort of charted out on the lyrics of the songs. I feel like our songs are about our relationships for the most part.”

Cindy asked Lou what his biggest fear with releasing Defend Yourself was. “If I make the mistake of reading reviews, I have to deal with people that really don’t like me.” Barlow hopes that with the new album, the band can draw people to their shows where he gets some good momentum. “I’m so glad we’re continuing to do what we do, but there's always the other side, where you have to deal with people who don’t think you’re great.”

Lou Barlow has been part of a few bands over the years, including Dinosaur Jr. and Folk Implosion, who had a top 40 hit with “Natural One”. Cindy asked Lou about what it was like having a top 40 song almost two decades ago. “I actually made money from making actual radio play! I mean, in my life as a musician, my money comes from playing live. So when that happened, I had money because people liked one of my songs. It was incredible.” Barlow said that they were “anonymous” when “Natural One” was big, and as a result they didn’t feel much pressure. “There was no…it wasn’t like we had to go out and do anything. We could kind of sit back and let the song be popular. It was great." 

When asked about which music innovations have really impressed him, Lou said that the idea that bands can effectively record themselves is what stands out. Citing Grizzly Bear and Death Cab for Cutie, Barlow says that the ability for a band to record in their own practice space, foregoing expensive studio costs, is extremely beneficial.

Sebadoh will be in Pittsburgh on November 15th at Club Café. Defend Yourself is the new album, and it’s out now. Check it out.