Catching up with the New Pornographers’ A.C. Newman

amNewYork spoke with Newman about the band’s first album in four years.

Considering how busy the New Pornographers are these days, it’s amazing they have the time to release a new record.

Three of the group’s vocalists — Neko Case, A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar, who records as Destroyer — all have successful solo careers, but as their individual profiles have grown, the New Pornographers have morphed from a side project into something of an indie pop supergroup.

amNewYork spoke with Newman about the band’s first album in four years, “Brill Bruisers,” the title of which references midtown’s Brill Building, home to many famous songwriters in the 1950s and ’60s.


What keeps the New Pornographers going when people have so many other commitments?

The moment any of us sit down and start recording demos, it’s “The album starts now; let’s do this.” It has always been a hassle to get people together, but we just get it done.


“Brill Bruisers” seems higher energy than your last two albums.

After the first few records, I didn’t want to feel like we were just spinning our wheels. That’s when I started doing things like slower songs. ? After a couple of records like that and a solo album, I came out the other side where I felt we could go back to being a completely upbeat pop band and not feel like we’re repeating ourselves.


Where does the album title come from?

Initially, the [title] song was called “Brilliant Bruisers.” It became “Brill Bruisers.” ? Now people expect me to know a ton about the Brill Building and explain its importance to me. I love a lot of those songwriters, but ultimately I just thought the name sounded really cool.


Do you have a favorite Brill Building songwriter?

Weren’t [Burt] Bacharach and [Hal] David a part of the Brill Building? They had a massive influence on me. If you had to boil my influences down to five words it would be “Bacharach and David meets Pixies.”


Monday, Nov. 17 at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom; 8 p.m.; $35-$65


HAL BIENSTOCK. Special to amNewYork