As a native of Portland, how do you feel about the way that Portlandia represents your hometown?
I think it’s funny, but I think a lot of the messages and humor of the show can be applied to any other hip, liberal modern kind of place, like Austin or Brooklyn.
A lot of industry professionals have been mentioning that, in many cases, getting signed to a label is only the start of a band’s troubles, as far as getting recognition and promotions. How do you feel about being signed to SubPop Records?
I love it. Growing up I was listening to a lot of the regional bands, I guess you would call them, like Nirvana and Sunny Day Real Estate. A lot of them were signed to Subpop and other record labels. So growing up, a dream of mine as a kid was just to be signed on a label as cool as Subpop. They’re great about things, they support us and let us have complete artistic control.
What would be your dream tour for Helio Sequence?
The one we’re on right now, honestly. We’re on tour with Shabazz Palaces. They are our labelmates, but even if we weren’t labelmates, they’re still a band we love.
What are some of the inspirations on the new album, Negotiations?
One of the big things personally looking back was after the last record when my first daughter was born. She’s 4 and a half now, and I have another daughter now too. There’s something really inspirational about that, it was actually a very joyful time.
We also had the kind of solitude and this isolation in the studio in the evenings. That’s the thing about your career, you’re always following where it takes you. That’s how Negotiations came out, spending that time alone in the studio. Taking all your memories and writing about them almost like it’s a diary entry.
What were you trying to convey with the title track “Negotiations”?
For me, “Negotiations” was about realistically looking at the past, and the people you’ve known and the things you’ve done in your past that maybe you’re not so happy about. It was a very happy time in my life, but in order to appreciate the things that you are happy about, you do have to look at that realism.
What are Helio Sequence’s plans for 2013?
Well, we went home for Christmas last year. Then we remixed some songs with Shabazz Palaces and started preparing for the tour. We really kind of hit the ground running in 2013. We want to keep touring, we’re going to be touring the whole US and Canada, hopefully doing a bunch more festivals. When we get home right after this leg of touring in mid-February, we’re going to revamp our studio.
Speaking of the Shabazz Palaces remixes, what did you do to their music and were you happy with what they did to your music?
It was interesting, we didn’t know how we were going to approach it. We looked at it as more of an opportunity to reproduce the track. We took everything that was already there, cut it up and moved it to different places with different drum beats. The music and lyrics [of Shabazz Palaces] are so amazing, so we thought what if we stripped everything away. It was a really cool thing because the only things that we ended up re-using were his vocals and a loop on a couple parts of the song. It’s just really inspiring to work in that way.