TAS In Session: The Postelles

New York's nostalgia-laced popsters The Postelles have been longtime friends of The Alternate Side; the quartet was on hand to play for our official launch party back in May 2009.

Over the summer, singer/guitarist Daniel Balk, drummer Billy Cadden, lead guitarist David Dargahi and bassist John Speyer released their White Night EP which featured three new tracks, including a remix of "Sleep On The Dance Floor" by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. 

They took their time with their full-length effort, but The Postelles will finally release their self-titled debut album tomorrow, October 12, on Astralwerks. The album, which features rejuvenated versions of set staples like "123 Stop," includes four tracks produced by The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr. who has long championed the guys. 

The Postelles will be hanging around their hometown a lot in the next couple of months. The band will celebrate their record release with a show at Bowery Electric on October 13,  they've booked a couple of additional New York gigs during CMJ, plus they'll play Webster Hall on November 27, opening for Fun. After that, they'll embark on a North American tour which will keep them on the road until December 13.

When the band dropped by Studio A -  as irreverent as always - they treated us not only to tracks from The Postelles and the White Night EP, but threw in a gyrating cover of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog."


Alisa Ali: You’ve got a couple EPs out now.

David Dargahi:  But this is our first as a real band.

Alisa: Why do you say that?

David: The other one was the first thing we ever did.

John Speyer: It was probably two weeks into our band forming.

Billy Cadden: Before we even did a show.

David: Yeah, they were glorified demos, really.

Alisa: Okay. I thought it was pretty good, that first EP. Six songs on there. “White Night” was on there!

David: I guess we’ve been playing those songs for so long since then that we decided that they needed to be re-recorded for the album, so that’s what we did. Alisa: So you’re more pleased with the way it sounds now?

Daniel Balk: Oh, definitely.

Alisa: Newfound inspirations or have you guys found better ways of doing things?

David: Yeah, we didn’t really know how to record when we did the first one.

Alisa: Didn’t Albert Hammond, Jr. help you out?

David: Not on the first one, no. He helped us out on a single, on “123 Stop” which we also re-recorded. That’s really what the difference is. The first EP, he didn’t help us at all and then on the album tracks he did, he brought new life into them. We learned how to really track the songs the way we wanted to.

Daniel: And play music.

David: We learned how to play ...

Daniel: Guitar. And sing. At the same time. Albert taught us everything.

Alisa: Oh stop it. It was in you the whole time.

Daniel: It was in us. He had to take it out of us.

Alisa: You’ve got a full-length album finally coming out on October 12. What was the holdup?

David: The hold-up was getting videos out. We wanted to have some time to put stuff out before the album. We didn’t want to put the album out and then release everything. We thought it would be better to do it with a little buildup.

Alisa: You’ve got some crazy videos out now?

Daniel: Insane. [We’ve got videos] for “White Night” and “Sleep On The Dance Floor.” A lot of dancing. Girls and dancing. John dances.

John: I hip shake.

Daniel: The “White Night” video is sort of set in the city. There’s a girl running around the city and [we’re] sort of following her for the night. It actually snowed the night we did it which is perfect since the song is called “White Night.” We didn’t plan that, it was the real deal. Mother Nature at her best.


Alisa: If you had a billion dollars per band member [for a video budget] what is the most ...

Billy: I’d quit the band.

Daniel: I’d quit music, I’d buy a yacht and move to Greece and John and I would live on the yacht.

John: We’d have to have separate yachts, though.

David: Just John and Dan.

Daniel: (laughs) David and Billy would do a music video together.

David: We’re volunteering to be in this band. They’re the CEOs. We’re the unpaid workers.

Daniel: We are being paid for being here, right?

Alisa: Yeah, check’s in the mail, buddy.

Daniel: Send it to our yacht in Greece. Okay, if I had four million dollars I’d do a private video of me and Penelope Cruz.

John: I don’t think she’d be in a video with you.

Daniel: Not even for four million dollars?

John: No dude. She wouldn’t touch you.

Daniel: Okay, let’s back up and think of a different ....

Billy: What about a World War II battleship and then all of us dancing on it?

David: Or John could be a king, set in the 17th century, Scottish ....

Daniel: Whoa. You’ve thought about this, haven’t you?

Billy: Would you get on a horse?

David: Well, John and I have spoken about this a little bit.

John: We could be white knights.

Daniel: White knights on a pirate ship. Can John have a peg leg?

John: CGI budget, dude.

Daniel: No, I’d seriously cut your leg off.

Alisa: No!

John: No. Then I couldn’t hip shake.

Daniel: You can get it back. It’s four million dollars, dude.

John: True. Could I get wings?

Daniel: Can we go back to the Penelope Cruz idea?


Alisa: Last year Rolling Stone listed you as a Band To Watch.

Daniel: Yeah, what a bunch of idiots (laughs).

Alisa: That must have really helped you guys a lot.

David: It helped Dan’s ego.

Daniel: No, we all plastered it on our walls. It was a pretty proud moment for us.

Alisa: You must have bought a thousand copies of it.

Daniel: A thousand and one. It’s an honor for sure.

John: And we’re doing the cover of Rolling Stone ... later this decade.

Alisa: You certainly went on a bunch of tours, played a bunch of shows in Europe. What’s the reception to The Postelles there?

Daniel: We went on tour with a band called The Futureheads, a group of good guys. They showed us around and a lot of good kids come out to their shows so we got really lucky to be paired with them. It was cool.

Alisa: Who else have you toured with?

Daniel: Vampire Weekend and Hockey and The Constellations, two bands we get along with really well. A few other bands. Those are the most recent.

Alisa: Most memorable tour experience?

Daniel: We played Canada with Vampire Weekend. That was really fun. But I’d say the most memorable live experience on tour was the U.S. tour in Portland when all of the kids came onstage. It was like an 800 person venue and I think 400 of them came onstage. It was really crazy and really dangerous.

Alisa: Did you ask them onstage?

Daniel: I asked one person who had been MySpace messaging us for four years and we’ve been a band for two years - which is sort of strange - and I told him to come onstage and he brought everyone. Crazy, but fun. I had a great time doing that. Alisa: What did security do?

Daniel: Security? Our security is John (all laugh).

David: Bonnaroo was really good. Probably one of our biggest shows. We camped out and did the whole experience. Really fun, but a little regrettable once it went up to 105 degrees.

Daniel: We were dumb. We had a hotel room to shower in. We just didn’t make it.

David: Luckily our main show was the first night so it didn’t matter if we were exhausted for the rest of it.

John: We had another show!

Daniel: David was sleeping for our second show.

David: Oh yeah. I don’t think I made that one.

Alisa: Did you see [Flaming Lips doing] Dark Side of the Moon or GWAR?

Daniel: No, we were seeing The Black Keys during that. They were my favorite show of the whole festival. I think their [new album] is my favorite record of the year.

John: Band of the decade.

Alisa: They knocked you off as band of the decade?

Daniel: No, I think we’re first, in my eyes.

John: Well, clearly we’re first in your eyes. You’re the guy with 1001 copies of Rolling Stone.









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