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Be specific: Mary Timony on her new band, Wild Flag

wild flagWild Flag features members of Sleater-Kinney, the Minders and local favorite Mary Timony, second from right. (Merge Records)

By David Malitz

Wild Flag is possibly your favorite band you’ve never heard. The newest indie supergroup burst onto the radar a couple weeks ago, presenting itself to the world with a dream lineup consisting of Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney), Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks), Rebecca Cole (the Minders) and Mary Timony (Helium, Autoclave, Soft Power).

The Sleater-Kinney connection is exciting, sure, but we’re even more pumped for Timony’s inclusion. The D.C. resident has been a favorite of ours for a long time. Ranking Helium’s “The Dirt of Luck” so high on the best-of-Matador list was no charity case; the album proudly stands among the label's finest

And if Wild Flag is anywhere near as good as that Sleater-Kinney/Helium show at the Black Cat back in 1998, this is going to be one of 2011’s best bands. (That’s when we can expect an album and local tour dates.)

Click Track caught up with Timony over the phone, between guitar lessons she gives in her Washington home.

So how did it all happen? Was it a mass mind meld or did one of you set it in motion?

Carrie really brought it together. She was the one who started it. She took a long break and then decided she was ready to play music again and I know she and Janet really like playing together. I played with her separately (in the Spells) and she played with Rebecca separately. And Rebecca played with Janet separately. So we all played together so it just kind of made sense to start the band. But Carrie really was the one who spearheaded it.

People are really excited even without having even heard anything. You do have some songs, right?

(Laughs.) We do! We probably have nine songs. I just got back from being out there for a week writing songs. We came up with a couple new ones. We have really intense practices. I’ll go out to visit and we’ll practice every day for four or five hours.

(Timony talks songwriting and guitar lessons, after the jump)


Is the songwriting collaborative?

Totally.

Is that easy?

It’s fun. I haven’t worked that way in a long time and I’m really enjoying it. I’m learning a lot, I have to say.

So what’s it going to sound like?

It sounds pretty rocking, I think.

That’s generally a good thing.

Carrie and Janet just have so much energy. Rebecca’s just a super-talented keyboard player. So they’re just really, really good musicians. I think it’s pretty high-energy, for me. (Laughs.) Much more than stuff I’ve done before in the past. I don’t know. It’s hard to really describe it, but I’m really enjoying it.

Well, I know you’ve got to run...

I’ve got some kids coming over here to teach guitar to. It’s a fun job.

Do they know that you’re going to be gone for a while?

I don’t think so! Some of them would get excited. It’s a little bit hard to figure that out. I do this pretty full time and I told them my schedule is going to be a little nutty over the next year. I don’t want to let them down. I also [mentor] rock bands with kids and that’s going to be a little hard if I’m away.

But it’s also the best excuse.

That’s true. It’s professional development!

By David Malitz  | October 13, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags:  Helium, Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag  
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Next: Clicky shuffle: Random songs for Thursday morning

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