On Gossip Girl,
Penn Badgley's Dan Humphrey did
always seem like the guy who would bring a guitar to the party and spend the night in the corner strumming away. In Mothxr, his new synth electro-quartet, Badgley takes stage with mic in hand to croon through his band's new album Centerfold,
a collection of Weeknd-esque R&B.
I dialed up Badgley and asked him to talk through the band's inception and writing process before their show tonight at Old National Centre with The Neighbourhood.
"The band is comprised of Jimmy Giannopoulos (Lolawolf); he's the producer. Simon is the guitarist, and Darren played bass on the record, but he plays keys live. Jimmy sometimes plays bass live, when he's able to tour with us, or we get one of our friends, or a session player. Live, we have a drummer, but Jimmy is the programmer of the drums. He's sort of like a studio drummer, but he's not at all a drummer by trade. He's a producer and a programmer.
"The concept of the project was born out of my friendship with Jimmy and our desire to work together. Darren [Will] and Simon [Oscroft] were two friends; it's as casual as it made sense at the time. And then the moment that we sat down, I think it immediately transformed from being a project that jumped to another level. It was a concept born between Jimmy and myself, but the moment we sat down, it became all four of ours. That was intuitive and unspoken. Darren and Simon contributed and offered so much that it was an uncommonly seamless and pretty immediate process between the four of us to sit down and write together. Throughout the whole album it just never stopped working well. More or less for the first five days we would record one song a day. 'Impossible' was the first; 'Underground' was the second; 'Easy' was the third.
"I do remember the process during 'Easy.' It was quite an intense process, because we were all constantly influencing one another and directing one another's performance. Every step of the way, you weren't quite sure what would be coming from whom. To be quite honest, that's the way with anything creative. But it's definitely something that I don't think the four of us could quite quantify or control at that point. We just kept working at it."