The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Naked and Famous talks touring the world, inspirations of new album

    Nan Palmero (CC BY 2.0)
    Lead singer of the Naked and Famous, Alisa Xayalith, performs during the Naked and Famous world Tour in October 2013.

    The world doesn’t stop spinning for anyone.

    Although just about everyone at one point dreams of being in a world-famous rock band, such an occupation doesn’t preclude one from the highs and lows of life.

    On the back of hit albums and the even more massive hit,“Young Blood,” a song that takes all of five seconds to recognize by its familiar buzzy-synth intro, The Naked and Famous took a break from touring when life caught up in the form break ups and tough times.

    RELATED: 8 Tucson concerts to see this fall

    Like any good band, though, The Naked and Famous channeled the experience into its newest album, Simple Forms, out Oct. 14.

    Before The Naked and Famous hit the road on its fall tour, the Daily Wildcat spoke with frontwoman Alisa Xayalith via email about Simple Forms, the evolution of the band over the past few years and what to expect from the tour once it kicks off in Tucson at the Rialto Theatre on Wednesday night.

    What’s been making you happy lately?

    My new fender guitars have been making me happy. I have some new mustang models and a paramount acoustic that I’ve just been swooning over. 

    I’ve been taking the time to learn different folk pickings and get back into the swing of spending lots of time on my own to explore unchartered territory on the guitar. I like being busy and learning. Making progress makes me happy.

    Tucson is the first stop on your fall tour and what are you most excited for with this tour and show? Is there anything you go out of your way to do in most cities when touring?

    We’ve been playing shows in fits and starts this year.

    Tucson marks the official start of us being on the road. We’ll be playing songs off Simple Forms.

    Taking these songs out of our small rehearsal room and onto a stage is exciting for us.

    A lot of us find the time to wonder around new cities, often searching for the best coffee.

    RELATED: New Zealanders take to Old Pueblo

    Where does the name ‘Simple Forms’ come from?

    “Simple Forms” is a lyric lifted of a song from the album called Falling. The lyric is “we’re made in simple forms”—it’s a point of contradiction. Because life and people aren’t simple at all. Each individual lives in their own complicated microcosm and I think that is beautiful.

    At one point during the Consequence of Sound interview, you said, “It’s been two years since we came off the road and a lot of life has happened in and all around us.”

    Care to elaborate on this time period with the band?

    As time goes on, people change and grow up. Relationships can get fractured and for us, a lot of tension built up over the years.

    Living in the confines of a small tour bus and working as hard as we did for years, something was bound to break and fall apart. That happened to us.

    We all felt broken as people, weathered from years of touring and the inter-personal dynamics that play out in this band.

    It took us a while to put things back together again, we needed a break. The past is behind us now—three years later, we are back with an album that we are proud of. I truly believe music is cathartic in times of trouble and the thing that tore us apart brought us back together again.

    What were the driving factors and inspiration behind the new album?

    We have invested 10 years of our lives into The Naked and Famous and making music is like a second skin.

    I can’t really see any of us doing anything else. The drive and determination to continue has kept this thing going. The first song that we completed that started the process for Simple Forms was the lead single “Higher.” It prompted us on what kind of album we wanted to make.

    What do you hope people will take away from this album?

    When people listen to our music, I don’t want them to think of the band [and] people that created the music.

    I want them to think of themselves and how they can relate to it. I want people to connect to the honesty and to the soundscape we have created and apply that to themselves.

    What aspect of Simple Forms is most different from Passive Me, Aggressive You and In Rolling Waves?

    I think what we have achieved is taking the pop elements of The Naked and Famous [that] people fell in love with and applied it all over the place on Simple Forms. It’s the most immediate collection of songs we have created.

    What can people expect from the tour?

    We are investing all our time into making a great show. For now, we’re ready to play people new songs and to get back on the road—it’s been a while.

    Follow Alex Furrier on Twitter.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search