Hamilton Leithauser Talks Walkmen Reunion: “We’re Not Going To Turn Into The Pixies”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Hamilton Leithauser Talks Walkmen Reunion: “We’re Not Going To Turn Into The Pixies”

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The Walkmen will be back in a big way in 2023, starting with a run of shows in NYC this April — their first performances in a decade — and continuing with headline and festival gigs in other cities. In a new interview today at Vulture, lead singer Hamilton Leithauser discusses the reunion for the first time.

He wastes no time addressing the question we’re all wondering about: Will the Walkmen be releasing new music? Leithauser’s response:

We haven’t discussed that. I’m working on so much stuff. I don’t see that happening right now. I wouldn’t be against it in the future — I really love writing with those guys. Maybe after we play together we’ll be interested in that, but not right now.

We’re not going to turn into the Pixies or something like that. Nobody wants to do that. We just wanted to do what was fun. We used to do this because we needed the money, and you have to get out and keep the engine running, so you say yes to things you maybe shouldn’t have. Now we just don’t need to. We’re doing only the stuff we want to do, and that’s a great feeling.

His implication that the Pixies sullied their legacy by releasing a bunch of mediocre reunion albums that no one likes is extremely on-point. Leithauser also says he hasn’t actually seen his Walkmen bandmates in person since deciding to reunite and therefore no rehearsals for the reunion have yet transpired: “Fuck no. The funny part is going to be when everybody refuses to rehearse, which I know is going to happen — it’s the most Walkmen thing in the world.”

Leithauser is, however, working on a new solo album: “I am. I thought I finished it and then I stepped away to work on a documentary and I realized I wasn’t done.” He may or may not release it in the midst of the Walkmen’s reunion festivities next year. He also regrets using the word “breakup” back in 2013.

There’s also this quote that gets me super pumped to see another Walkmen show:

The thing I’m excited about is the big loud rock and roll I thought we did really well, which was the stuff I also got the most tired of doing. All electric guitars. I have songs like “A 1000 Times,” which takes as much energy as singing something like “The Rat,” but it’s intentionally acoustic. I don’t have that big power instrument. To play with Paul and Matt and Walt and Pete, it becomes this wall, this force. They’re great musicians. We did work for a very long time to come up with that sound. You may like it, you may not like it, but you really do know it’s us when it comes on.

Flash back to the end of the Walkmen’s original run with our 2013 feature on the band.

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