Hey there Machinists — I’m sitting in front of a roaring wood stove, listening to some dulcet piano music and drinking coffee. Figured it would a nice time to connect with you all — and answer any questions you might have! HMU!
Hey there, Colin. No question really. I'm on a bus riding through California's Central Valley on my way to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving, wearing my Twenty Years Before the Mast shirt, and listening to Sleepless. Just wanted to say, thanks for the decades of art! Your music means a lot to all of us, and goes great under these massive blue skies.
Do you, in fact, want my 8yo to join the decemberists, as he feels you indicated by tossing a guitar pick in his general direction in Chicago? I’m kidding—guessing you guys are not in need of a guitarist who cannot play guitar—but it made his year and he’s still talking about it. Thanks!!
Any chance of a Hazards of Love 15th anniversary tour, 2024?
Just wanted to share that I used to play The Hazards of Love in the car with the little kids but I stopped when my son started singing "I had entered into a marriage..." 😬😬😬
Any plans to have Traveler’s Rest come back? I so wanted to go in 2020 before… everything.
Did you ever pay back Steven for the stolen bicycle?
When are you writing a musical for Broadway?
After seeing the Enfield Tennis Academy show up in the “Calamity Song” music video—- also thank you so much for imagining what Eschaton would like IRL :)—-How do you feel about the writings of Pynchon, and would those ever make a cameo in an upcoming Decemberists song and/or music video?
Is the musical you are writing with Daniel Handler intended for kids or adults?
Why the lyric change to "Wisconsin" in Calamity Song? Thought it was specific to show in Milwaukee. But saw you again at Ryman and there it was again. That show was excellent by the way!
I asked this previously, but what is the timeline for releasing the new music that y’all played live on tour (Burial Ground, etc.)?
I am late to the party, but I was wondering if you could hint at what inspired Lake Song, since its one of my favorite songs ever. The line about the ghost of your footprints on the station wagon window evokes such a strong, almost sorrowful nostalgia for long ago teenage moments for me every single time I hear it.
Hi Colin, can you please tell me the story around the song Hurdles Even Here? I discovered it on YouTube but can't find it on any albums, EPs, or Spotify. What happened to it and what's it all about?
Although your songwriting seems to lean more towards history/fantasy, are you much of a fan of any scifi? I've always thought the two genres tell similar stories at the end of the day.
We're looking at a small spread and my wife really loves llamas so....any tips on keeping the beasts happy? They seem okay with other animals and we already have a bunch plus a small pig coming soon.
Any chance we might get a truly beautiful hardcover collection of your lyrics?
Hi Colin- How did you get involved with the concert on Parks & Rec? Was it a fun experience?
Do you know about Campaign: Skyjacks, the ttrpg podcast set in a world based on the music of The Decemberists? (Big Bad Evil Guy called The Mariner, a mysterious scene at a place called Shankill, an admiral called The Bandit Queen, etc) and if so, what do you think of it? And if not, what do you think about that idea — of universes spun out of your songs without your hand on the tiller?
Let’s Get Sad Beanie
If you are taking requests it would be amazing to hear “I Was Meant for the Stage” in Astoria next month.
When you’re planning stories, do you have any particular way of planning out worldbuilding? Also, what typically comes first in your writing process, characters or plot? Thanks!
Do you ever listen to your older music and wish you had added or taken away some elements? My band just finished the tracking for our first album and I’m paranoid, production-wise.
Is Suckers Prayer an homage to Goodnight Irene? and does it always get the best crowd response Love a good river song. thanks Colin.
Sometimes completely unbidden this line from The Decemberists entry in “conservapedia” will pop into my head and I have to wonder if somebody ever really did directly ask you this:
“When asked whether he felt his music could corrupt those who listened to by glorifying rape, homicide and suicide, leader singer Colin Meloy said that he "didn't care"[Citation Needed].”
What’s the current status of Fudgie?
I'm a songwriter but haven't been able to write anything since June. Any tips for writing motivation/making time?
Fave and least fave Xmas songs?
As an aspiring writer I have a soft spot for the oft-overlooked and under-appreciated “Midlist Author.” Is the song meant to be ironic? Or how do you intend for the lyrics to be interpreted?
Just curious, was the hexafoil in The Stars Did Wander Darkling at all inspired by the one found in your barn? (Also a question for Carson - will Old Bright return?)
I don't have one question, but I do have something I've been meaning to ask.
I'm a Portlander who's planning on leaving the country in the next year, but before I do, I'd really like to say hello one last time in person. And I figure the best way to do it would be to interview you (or really just to have a chat) about your early Portland years, maybe for your podcast, as a sort of guest.
My friends and I used to bring the band Oranginas before the shows, back when that was your thing. I'm the one who sat on your URL until you were ready for it, and you signed my copy of The Hazards of Love with "Thanks for the domain!" I was at the Bachelor and the Bride video screening at that place on Burnside. A group of friends had planned to play soccer with the band, but that's the day your instruments were stolen, so you had to cancel, and in the ensuing auction, I finally landed that patch I didn't win in the Sixteen Military Wives scavenger hunt. There's a lot of Decemberists in my history here.
This isn't just to ramble about how weirdly dedicated some fans can become, but these are some of my greatest Portland memories, and I would love to just talk with you about your love for this place before I take off and leave most of my past behind.
So I guess a do have a question: if I were to offer to make a donation to any charity in exchange for setting up a talk for an hour or so, how much would that donation be for, and what charity would you choose?
I’m very late to this thread so I doubt this will get answered...
Rusalka is the best song on the latest album in my opinion. But it feels out of place compared to the rest of the album’s 90s vibe. How did this song end up on the album when it sounds more like something you would have written during the Picaresque - Hazards era...
If you made a secret tribute band, what would your tribute band name be (and to which band would it be a tribute)?
Hey Colin! Do you ever do crazy fan requests?? I’m getting married on December 2nd to an amazing girl named Avery, we fell in love starting with the music you make. Any chance you would film yourself singing “Dear Avery”, and then wish her the happiest day of her life, and send it to me to play for our wedding? You are amazing either way, I just have to ask 🤩
Shyness is nice, and shyness can stop you...
From doing all the things in life you’d like to.
Like me saying -- you’re awesome!!
That is all :)
I would love to hear The Crane Wife album (and the others) without the "loudness wars" compression. I'll bet the original dynamics are amazing. How much control do you have over mixing and mastering when an album or EP is released?
What are your thoughts on the economics of touring, as this is a hot button issue right now? How do The Decemberists manage with this? Large tours that involve tour buses (or multiple tour buses), large crews, stage design, lighting design, etc. would seem to have a very large overhead versus touring in a van with no or maybe one crew member? What are your thoughts from your band's perspective versus that of smaller bands, to even larger bands/tours? Thanks!
Any future plans for Offa Rex (or with Olivia Chaney)?
Hi Colin! You and The Decemberists are in my dissertation :) Here are two questions from the back of my notebook that I have been saving for you:
1) What is the significance of "Hall of the Mountain King" being played before your live concerts? And which recording are you using?
2) What inspired writing "Philomena?" The saint? Who is the narrator in that song?
Hi, since you have such a body of work, how do you put together setlists ?
I'm getting married in a few weeks. You and Carson seem to have such a loving and authentic partnership. Any advice for newlyweds?
I'm curious about your opinion of The New Pornographers? I find their layering of multiple voices and intentional out of tune strings and notes very interesting.
Will there be more archival live show vinyl releases?
what’s your go to breakfast?
At minute 5:29 in Row Jimmy, what made you giggle? Did you consider redoing the song or did you immediately know you wanted to keep it there? I love that you left that in because it makes me smile every time 😊
Are you planning a follow-up novel for The Stars Did Wander Darkling?
British Folk Revival
My sister and I would like to know: what is your favorite fruit?
Why didn’t Randy get more “screen time?” I love his scenes.
Do you have any opinions on how to make a grilled cheese and what do you like to put on them? [File under cozy questions]
What are some of your favorite movies and has cinema ever influenced your songwriting?
Why doesn’t “Colin Meloy Sings ‘A Rocky Mountain Christmas’” exist yet?
Have you had a chance to digest the new Alvvays album yet? If so, what do you think? My first time seeing them was watching them open for you two nights in a row in 2015 and I always associate that band with the Decemberists.