There’s no shaking the undeniable catchiness of Manchester Orchestra, the Alpharetta, Georgia band whose elegiacal “Simple Math” has taken over college radio. At first listen one could brush it off as a very capably written indie pop song, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But at second and third listens the track becomes an earworm, and the true emotion of Andy Hull’s vocals begin to surface. Sure he claims the song of infidelity is fictional, but it certainly seems like somewhere in those lyrics lie a lick of truth. Of course, I’ve always been a sucker for a perfectly crafted pop song and “Simple Math” is just that. The band’s third LP of the same name (out May 10 on Columbia/Favorite Gentlemen) was once again produced by Dan Hannon, who was also behind the knobs of Manchester Orchestra’s two previous albums — their debut I’m Like A Virgin Losing A Child and the follow-up Mean Everything To Nothing (which contained their breakthrough song “I’ve Got Friends”). Now with Simple Math, Hull has taken his always very personal lyrics and directed them at his marital, physical, and mental failures. “The songs on this record are stories,” explains Hull, “but more directed and personal. In many ways, it can be called a dueling conversation between my wife, God and myself.” Good enough — if you like what you hear, check them out on tour which starts tonight in Memphis, Tennessee (full tour dates after the Jump). We got some time with Christopher “Cheese” Freeman, Manchester Orchestra’s illustrious keyboard and percussion player, and this is what he had to say…
Allow me to introduce myself, I’m…
Christopher “Cheese” “Lightning” Freeman
I’m usually posted up at…
The foosball table in the foyer of the house I live in/the couch.
You might’ve heard of me because…
I look like Dangermouse
My next order of business is…
Going out on a two month co-headlining tour with Cage the Elephant
If it wasn’t for my first grade music teacher I wouldn’t be where I am today
The best part about my job is…
Seeing beautiful places and seeing my heroes play music and get paid to do it.
The worst part about my job is…
The “hurry up and wait” aspect of rushing to get places, only to have to sit there for 6 hours before we play.
If I was taking a train from Paris to Madrid, and I could choose one person to share the cabin with, I’d choose….
The first piece of music I heard that I remember waking up my ears was…
Radiohead’s The Bends. I listened to it in the back of my friend’s sister’s white Mustang in Panama City Florida start to finish.
The last piece of music I heard that woke up my ears is…
TV On The Radio’s Nine Types Of Light
Check out Manchester Orchestra’s just-released “Virgin” below, and the video to the elegiacal “Simple Math” below that. Then hit the Jump to continue reading our Q&A and see a behind-the-scenes video peek into recording “Virgin”, as well as full Tour Dates for their co-headlining tour with Cage the Elephant…Oh yeah, and follow LIAS on Twitter and/or Facebook, we’ll always keep the math simple…
“The person I admire most is the garbage man in my new neighborhood. Watching that guy work puts everything I’ve ever done to shame…”
If you want to put a smile on my face, you probably want to…
Buy me whiskey
If you want to wipe that smile away, then you should…
Chew with your mouth open.
The last time I saw the sun come up I was…
23 (current age) but I had been up all night and really jet-lagged.
The person I admire most is…
The garbage man in my new neighborhood. Watching that guy work puts everything I’ve ever done to shame. Not in a pretentious super humble way or anything; The guy just hauls ass.
The last time I lied was because…
I forgot what the right answer was during an interview, so I guessed.
If you hit shuffle on my iPod you might be shocked to find…
That I disabled the “shuffle” feature because it’s bullshit. Kidding. I don’t think you can even do that. Taylor Swift and Cranberries
If you hit shuffle on my iPod I’d be embarrassed if it landed on…
Any solo stuff I’d done in my free time.
When I get my next really big check, I’m gonna go score a…
Nice dinner with my girlfriend. Or new pair of Khakis. I keep wearing the ones I have to do housework in and getting them all dirty.
But it’ll never replace…
The poster in my room that reads “Mystic Seaport” because I find it to be classy as well as perverse
My one magic power is…
I’d like to give a quick shout-out to…
And lastly, If I was Lost In a Supermarket, you’d find me in the…
“Ethnic Foods” aisle (racist.) for the Kosher grape juice and Sriracha
The behind the scenes peek into recording their upcoming single “Virgin”…
Manchester Orchestra 2011 Tour Dates:
April 29, 2011 — Memphis, TN — Tom Lee Park #
April 30, 2011 — Due West, SC — Erksine College #
May 2, 2011 — Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont Club ##
May 3, 2011 — St. Louis, MO – The Pageant ##
May 4, 2011 — Chicago, IL — Metro ##
May 6, 2011 — Cleveland, OH — Beachland Ballroom ##
May 7, 2011 — Rochester, NY — Water Street Music Hall ##
May 8, 2011 — Baltimore, MD — Rams Head Live *
May 10, 2011 — Boston, MA -– House Of Blues *
May 11, 2011 — New York, NY — Terminal 5 *
May 13, 2011 — Providence, RI — Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel ###
May 14, 2011 — Philadelphia, PA — Theatre of the Living Arts ###
May 16, 2011 — Toronto, ON – The Mod Club ###
May 17, 2011 — Detroit, MI – The Fillmore *
May 18, 2011 — Columbus, OH – The LC Pavilion *
May 20, 2011 — Columbia, SC — Jillian’s *
May 23, 2011 — Orlando, FL — House Of Blues *
May 24, 2011 — Tampa, FL – The Ritz *
May 25, 2011 — Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle *
May 27, 2011 — Houston, TX – Verizon Wireless Theater **
May 28, 2011 — Austin, TX — Stubbs **
May 29, 2011 — Dallas, TX – The Palladium **
May 31, 2011 — Phoenix, AZ – The Marquee **
June 1, 2011 — San Diego, CA — Soma **
June 2, 2011 — Los Angeles, CA – The Music Box #
June 7, 2011 — Eugene, OR — McDonald Theatre **
June 8, 2011 — Portland, OR — Crystal Ballroom **
June 9, 2011 — Seattle, WA – The Showbox SODO **
June 11, 2011 — Salt Lake City, UT – Club Sound #
June 12, 2011 — Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall #