There are few artists better suited for Freakfest than Diane Coffee.
Shaun Fleming, the artist behind the glitzy and eccentric act, is no stranger to the energetic pageantry that the event is known for. The Badger Herald was able to chat with Fleming before he takes the stage Saturday about what he has been up to as of late and his plans for performing.
The following interview has been edited for style and clarity.
The Badger Herald: What have you been up to since the release of Everybody’s a Good Dog?
Diane Coffee: Oh man, we’ve pretty much been on tour since September of last year. We’ve toured with Of Montreal, we did a lot of headlining shows and we’re about to do one with St. Paul and the Broken Bones.
BH: Was it cool to do a tour with Of Montreal? It seems like you two have a lot of overlap as artists.
DC: We’re definitely cut from the same cloth, I’d imagine. I had toured with them really early with Foxygen, back in the Foxygen days. So I already knew everybody, and those guys have become like family. I still talk to them a lot, and it was really great. We were all in it for the greater good, not just our show or their show. They would come out and do fun stuff when we were on, and we’d help them out with their stage show.
It was maybe one of my favorite tours of all time.
BH: Have you been able to work on recording any new material on the tour?
DC: I’m not that great at recording on the road. With the little time that we have off, I’ve put a few demos together and a lot of voice memos ideas. As soon as we get back from this trip, I’m going to start putting them all together and start working towards getting the next album underway.
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BH: For your first album, My Friend Fish, you recorded most of it when you had fallen ill. Was it hard for you to conjure up that same sort of creative energy for your second LP Everybody’s a Good Dog?
DC: I wasn’t so sick to the point where I was delusional and coming up with really creative ideas because I was hallucinating or anything like that. I think I was just bored staying in, and I had nothing else better to do so I just tried to focus on the work.
I think what was really special about that record was that I wasn’t really trying to write a record. I was just trying to write songs for the fun of it, and I think it comes across on those songs.
With Everybody’s a Good Dog it was the first time I ever had a deadline I needed to meet, and there was the pressure of everyone expecting the record, including the label and including myself. So that felt like it was challenging. There were parts where it felt like I wasn’t being creative because it felt more like work.
But, it was a great experience, and I felt like I learned a lot from that process as well. Knowing I would be releasing it, I could take a little more time to think about what I was writing a little bit more and focus on the end product.
BH: Do you have any special plans for Freakfest in particular?
DC: We’re still trying to figure out what it is that we’re doing. It’s both exciting and a little unnerving that it’s getting closer, and we don’t really have a good plan yet. I love Halloween and getting to dress up.
As far as Freakfest goes, I’m really excited, and I want to plan something really fun.