At the start of their NY Times play list, Hold Steady are described as pairing “classic rock instrumentals with lyrics that recount tales of lust and murder,” which makes them sound much more extreme than they actually are. If you’d never heard them before coming across the piece, you’d have a difficult time figuring out what they actually sound like based on the bands Craig Finn and Tad Kubler select and talk about as “what they’re listening to now.” What do you get when you mix Brother Ali, John Reis’s the Night Marchers, nomadic musicians Tinariwen (Amrit got turned onto them by the Bedford Cheese Shop and gives them a mighty thumbs up), and Oasis? The Hold Steady, of course. Their thoughts on the brothers Gallagher, aka the Michael Jordans of Brit rock, are pretty interesting:
TAD KUBLER: “Stop the Clocks” (Columbia) is kind of a best of, but they’ve refused to call it a greatest hits. It’s kind of a love-hate thing for me. The chord structures in the songs are brilliant, the melodies fantastic. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but it’s fantastic songwriting. I enjoy that there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. When you initially hear it, it sounds like sugar-coated pop music. But when you listen, it’s a lot more intricate than you expected. It’s like Michael Jordan makes basketball look easy, but when you actually try to apply that to what you do, it’s incredibly more skillful than you had initially thought. They had four No. 1 singles off their first album. There aren’t a lot of bands that can do something like that. They have continued to write good songs. Like Oasis when we go into the studio, we go in with more material than we know we can put on an album.
CRAIG FINN: I’m not super familiar, I don’t have any Oasis on my iPod or anything. Since I’ve been in the U.K., I’ve seen that since the Beatles they’re the biggest band. They’re huge stars in the media. I don’t really listen to them. When it comes on I like the hits, but I don’t own any records.
Read the article in its entirety here.