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Be Specific: Dirty Projectors frontman reflects on spoils of success, super-niceness of Solange

dave longstrethWell-educated Dirty Projectors groupies may find this man staying at a high-altitude hotel on the outskirts of town. (Photo: Mia Ferm)

By Allison Stewart

It only took seven albums, but Brooklyn band Dirty Projectors became an overnight sensation with the release of its 2009 album "Bitte Orca" and its Mariah-Carey-goes-to-Williamsburg smash single "Stillness is the Move."

In the time since, the DPs have toured extensively and released the digital EP "Mount Wittenberg Orca," an experimental collaboration with Bjork. As the band prepares for its Tuesday night gig at the 9:30 Club, Click Track spoke with frontman Dave Longstreth about how success has changed his band. Or not.

How has touring changed for you since the album started to do well? Are the hotels nicer? Is there a better class of groupies?

The hotels are I guess the same? The groupies tend to speak four or five languages now.

And they all have advanced degrees from Barnard?

Yeah. Barnard or Brown. Not so much the smaller liberal arts colleges, but still very nice. And we don't stay at anything but Waldorf Astorias now. And they tend to be set in hills above the towns, so it's great for looking down on people.

What did you expect to happen when the album came out? You couldn't have expected it to do so well, or did you?

When you're making it, it's hard to tell because it's so internal. It's some weird figment of your imagination, and you have no idea what it's going to mean.

( Longstreth's thoughts on Solange and the band's creative future, after the jump. And check Click Track tomorrow for part two of this interview.)

Have you heard Solange's cover of "Stillness is the Move"?

Yeah, I have. It's awesome. I think her version is great. And Solange is a super nice lady. We actually played a show with her back in February, and we medley-d her version into our version.

Whatever happened to "Temecula Sunrise" [a promised "Bitte Orca" companion EP slated for release last year]?

Oh…you mean the EP? I think it came out in Europe. We've kind of done other [stuff] since then. I think we came up with ["Mount Wittenberg Orca"] instead. And preparing "Wittenberg" was way more exciting than preparing some supplemental material for an album that had already come out. In my opinion. And the song that was going to be on that EP ["Ascending Melody"] we actually just gave away.

So where do you go from here, now that you've had a hit? Does that make you want to run really far away from it, or go in the same direction?

It would be great to do both at the same time. Run in the opposite direction, and run toward it. And I don't know how to do that… I'm psyched to go out into the clubs and be back in America [after touring Europe]. After that, it'll just kind of be lights out, making the album time.

(Check Click Track tomorrow for part two of this interview.)

By Allison Stewart  |  September 1, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags: Dirty Projectors  
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