Munly talks Slim Cessna's Auto Club's new album and seeing Billy Bragg for the first time
Slim Cessna's Auto Club, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary last April, had been playing annual New Year's Eve shows at the Bluebird Theater for the past eleven years. This year, the band is playing two nights at the Oriental Theater -- with the Sterling Sisters (which features Slim's son George) opening both nights, the Denver Broncos UK (Munly, Slim Cessna, Lord Dwight Pentacost, Rebecca Verao) opening on Sunday and Munly & the Lupercalians opening on New Year's Eve. Backbeat spoke with Jay Munly about the new Auto Club album, his awkward interview style and seeing Billy Bragg at the Rainbow Music Hall in the '80s.
- Review: Slim Cessna's Auto Club at the Bluebird Theater, 12/30/11
- Photos: The Hush and Slim Cessna's Auto Club @ The Bluebird Theater
- Slim Cessna's rare recordings now available to download
Westword: The Denver Broncos UK are playing one of the New Year's shows. Have you guys played as the Denver Broncos UK in a while?
Jay Munly: The last thing we did was in October, I believe. We usually have just played art openings and museum spaces, so we got invited to do that in Kansas City.
How would you say that the Denver Broncos UK differs from the Auto Club or some of your solo projects?
It's quieter. There's less people.
I saw the trailer for the new Shooter Jennings film. I was curious how you got involved in that.
The phone rang and he asked if I would take part in it, and I did. It was easy. It wasn't a big stretch for me, really.
Is it going to be a short film? I know he's got an album coinciding with it.
You know what, I'm probably the worst person to ask. Not the worst person, but I don't know that much about it. They flew me out there. We went and filmed in Kentucky for a bit, and that's all we did, and then I came home. My perception is that they're doing a vignette of connected videos that could be a shown as a film and they correlate with the album.
Have you done much acting?
Yeah. I went to school for that for a semester, and then I got sick of that and then changed majors and schools.
What did you change your major to?
Modern English literature.
Speaking of writing, I know you've written some books and obviously you're a songwriter too, but I'm curious: What initially drew you to more darker themes?
You know, I'm not quite sure. It's not really something I think about. I don't go into... I mean, obviously I plot things out and have outlines and rewrites. I don't get asked that question all the time. I'm sorry. I'm still a terrible interview. I have no answer, and I just kind of mumble my way through. I don't know. People are just drawn to certain things. A lot of people write about being in love when they're fourteen. They're big and famous and rich. I'm not one of those.
I know Petr & the Wulf was supposed to be part of a multi-album project. Are you working on any new material that's part of that project?
Certainly. Actually, most of it's written. It takes a lot to get the actual process completed as far as getting the right band together and figuring out how to record what I record, if anybody wants to record.
How many albums in total are you looking at?
I would expect to do four, including Petr & the Wulf. I imagine stretching that out a little more, but I don't want to keep beating it to death.
How will they all sort of be tied into one another?
They're all characters from the same land. There are related families who interact with one another. It's kind of hard to flesh out over the phone in a few sentences, I guess.
What do you do when you're not playing or writing music?
What do you mean, like just during the day?
Well, I don't have a traditional job, if that's what you're thinking. I work at home and write and rewrite and erase and delete and delete. Yeah, that's it. We have cats. When the weather's warm, I mow the lawn, and I shovel the sidewalk when it's cold like today.
Continue reading for more on Slim Cessna's new solo material.