Before the music video for FloriDada plays — the first single Animal Collective debuted ahead of the February release of its 10th studio album, Painting With — a disclaimer appears. The video, it warns, has been known to cause seizures in those with photosensitive epilepsy.
What the hell, right?
Longtime fans understand, though, that it’s all just business as usual. As FloriDada comes to life on screen — a vibrantly colorful and trippy geometric display of sensuality and weirdness, backed by an infectiously fast beat — one thing is clear: After a nearly four-year hiatus, Animal Collective is back.
It’ll all come to life Aug. 22, when the group hits the stage at 8 p.m. at The Republik for their first show ever in Honolulu.
“It gets pretty psychedelic,” teases Animal Collective co-founder David Portner, better known by his stage name Avey Tare.
For those unversed with the wonder that is Animal Collective, Metro has got you covered with a look at the band and a playlist to get you pumped for the concert.
SO, WHAT’S AN ANIMAL COLLECTIVE?
Animal Collective is the name of the group playing at The Republik in a couple of weeks. Weren’t you paying attention?
Right now, Animal Collective consists of Portner, Noah Lennox as Panda Bear and Brian Weitz as Geologist. Sometimes, the group also includes Animal Collective co-founder Josh Dibb, who goes by Deakin.
If anything, the sometimes-changing lineup allows for flexibility and creative freedom. At any given time, Animal Collective might refer to some or all of its members. Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, for example, which came out in 2000, only featured Portner and Lennox.
“Everyone needs to maintain their own personality in the AC (Animal Collective) matrix, and so yeah, I’d say giving people the freedom to their do own thing helps a lot,” says Portner.
“Jealousy, hierarchies, possession — those things can’t exist when you play music with people, as far as I can tell,” he adds. “It’s taught me a lot about life in general.”
WHAT’S UP WITH THOSE NAMES?
Well, it seems to reflect a rather playful persona.
“We always get into playing characters and acting,” says Portner.
According to Portner, Lennox already was going by Panda Bear when they met. Weitz got his nickname from a friend in college, who jokingly called him Geologist, and Avey Tare is essentially derived from Portner’s first name Davey, with one small addition.
“The added tare, like you tear a name apart,” he explains.
I THINK I’M CATCHING ON. SO WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THEIR LATEST ALBUM?
Throughout the years, one thing has remained true about Animal Collective: The group loves experimenting. It’s a quality that has rung true in every song and record, though more recent albums have lost a bit of its usual cacophony and distortion.
Because of its limitless spirit, there’s always a fun and playful aspect to the music Animal Collective puts out — a quality on full display in Painting With.
“The breaks between records always help ‘cause it allows us to absorb other aspects of life and the world that are important for inspiration,” says Portner. “I think it just happened that it was a lighter, more carefree-seeming time for all three of us, so it shows in the record. Usually, when we get together it does get very playful, so in a way, I’m glad it shows in our work.”
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR PAINTING WITH?
We’ll let Portner do the talking here.
“Originally, we really wanted to make an album with short songs that had a lot of energy. Old punk and garage rock records were referenced, but we also love more modern dance music, so I think that got in there as well. I think lyrically, we are touching on a lot of global issues that are important to us, but the idea of ‘skewed perspectives’ kind of puts a twist on everything and got us into painting and visual art movements like cubism and dada. That’s all the real groundwork for the album.”
OK, I’M BUYING TICKETS RIGHT NOW. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Good, you should absolutely buy tickets right now.
If there’s one last nugget of knowledge to leave you with, it’s this fun fact: Animal Collective’s roots extend as far back as high school. So you can imagine how tight the group is.
“It always feels really natural and something like home,” says Portner. “Every time we separate, I think, ‘Is it gonna be weird this time, getting back together?’ But it never is.”
Admission to the Aug. 22 Animal Collective show costs $32, with a $5 increase the day of the show. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit jointherepublik.com.
YOUR METRO PLAYLIST
Ah, the difficulty of explaining to anyone what Animal Collective sounds like. A little bit of electro-pop? Mixed in with some synth? Definitely a touch psychedelic and always experimental?
Well, yes. Animal Collective is all that and then some. To better acquaint newcomers to the group, and to help get longtime fans psyched for the show, consider Metro‘s Ultimate Animal Collective Playlist.
“FloriDada” PAINTING WITH
“Chores” STRAWBERRY JAM
“The Purple Bottle” FEELS
“Bat You’ll Fly” SPIRIT THEY’RE
GONE, SPIRIT THEY’VE VANISHED
“Peacebone” STRAWBERRY JAM
“In The Flowers” MERRIWEATHER
“Fireworks” STRAWBERRY JAM
“Vertical” PAINTING WITH
“Native Belle” HERE COMES THE
“Moonjock” CENTIPEDE HZ
“Sweet Road” SUNG TONGS
MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION
“Rosie Oh” CENTIPEDE HZ
“Golden Gal” PAINTING WITH
“Meet the Light Child”
“Banshee Beat” FEELS
“Penny Dreadfuls” SPIRIT THEY’RE
GONE, SPIRIT THEY’VE VANISHED
“The Softest Voice” SUNG TONGS
“Lablakely Dress” DANSE MANATEE
“Winters Love” SUNG TONGS
“Amanita” CENTIPEDE HZ
“Lion in a Coma” MERRIWEATHER