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Devendra Banhart's New Album Gives Him "Panic Attacks"

September 9, 2008 6:10 PM ET

Next month, freak-folk icon Devendra Banhart will release the debut record from his new side-project with drummer Greg Rogove, which the two have dubbed Megapuss. But Banhart revealed to Rolling Stone that he's also hard at work at a follow-up to his breakthrough album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. So how's the recording process going? "It's fucking painful and torturous," Banhart jokes. "I had a panic attack [the other] night and was shaking." While Banhart's still in the early stages of writing and recording — "How can you talk about the island when you're lost at sea?" he cracks — Banhart does reveal that some songs have a "weird vibe of cowboy songs" while another has an '80s-style electro-pop beat reminiscent of Hall And Oates' "I Can't Go For That." "I think there's a new swelling of basically the collective unconscious deciding, 'Hey, Hall and Oates are pretty cool,'" says Banhart. "They're not guilty pleasures anymore."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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