Monday, July 25, 2011

Richmond Fontaine - The High Country

 Richmond Fontaine - The High Country

Richmond Fontaine - The High Country (Decor/El Cortez, 2011)

Last week Willy Vlautin was in Dublin on his way to the Galway Arts Festival to do a reading with Roddy Doyle and play a gig. We had a quick chat about The High Country, the forthcoming Richmond Fontaine album.  The High Country is described as "a song-novel, in which a gripping tale is spun with fully fleshed-out characters, changing scenes, snippets of radio and spoken word passages." The album is a gothic love story, "between a mechanic and an auto parts store counter girl, whose secret love inspires an effort to escape the darkness of the world that surrounds them - drugs, violence, madness, loneliness, and desperation set against a backdrop of endless logging roads and the remains of a forest brutalised by logging."

Willy explained the concept of the record for me: "It's a linear story about a woman who lives in a small town, is married to a really rough guy and falls in love with another guy. It's very gothic, there's light versus dark, the romantic songs I think are really over-the-top romantic, and then there's a really twisted dark side to the record. So those live next to each other and  it gets to the point where one song will be kinda romantic and then the next song is really dark, but I think it makes sense. It's probably our most ambitous record, I guess, our wildest record and probably the most fun to make... The woman lives in a gully of this logging town under these huge trees. I live next to a bunch of logging areas and you just get lost under the trees. Her dream is to just get out of there, everynight when she goes to bed she dreams of "the High Country," dreams that she's not stuck in the gully of some small dying town."

The High Country is released in September and Richmond Fontaine will return to Ireland in November for a full tour. In other related news Willy's first novel The Motel Life has been filmed by the Polsky Brothers, starring Dakota Fanning, Stephen Dorff, Emile Hirschand and Kris Kristofferson and will be released next year.The interview with Willy can be heard below. 

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