Back to basics: They Might Be Giants looks to its roots

Albuquerque Journal, October 18, 2013
by Adrian Gomez

It's the beginning of the tour for John Flansburgh. This means he's rested and in a good mood.

"Just wait and see me at the end," he quips during a recent interview. "I don't even want to be with myself by that time."

Flansburgh is one half of the founding members of the alternative band They Might Be Giants. The band has been around since 1982, when Flansburgh and John Linnell came together to create music. Today, the group also consists of Dan Miller, Danny Weinkauf and Marty Beller.

"It's crazy because we are playing some of the same places that we got our start at," he says. "You would think that we wouldn't want to play these smaller venues, but it's great because we get a chance to get back to basics and make the show all about the fans."

They Might Be Giants is touring in support of its most recent album, "Nanobots," which was released in March. Flansburgh says creating the album was relatively quick because the band wrote many of the songs after releasing its 2011 album, "Join Us."

"We took a long time with 'Join Us' and it felt like a turn for us," he says. "We had done a bunch of children's projects in a row and we had to figure out what to do as rock writers. Once we got going it was very easy, and 'Nanobots' is a perfect continuation for what we got going on."

Flansburgh says the duo has been impressed with the response of "Nanobots."

"We had a lot of left-field impulses on this album," he says. "It's amazing to see that they (the fans) support us in all of our weirdness."

While the duo has a plethora of songs to pull from for the tour, Flansburgh says they have some new ways of performing old songs.

"We recently started performing 'Istanbul (Not Constantinople)' as just an acoustic duo," he says. "This is the way we used to play it in the late '80s. It's a moment that has been taking people by surprise."

Flansburgh also says that the band will perform its Grammy Award-winning song, "Boss of Me," which was the theme song for TV show "Malcolm in the Middle."

"There are some things that just get better with time," he says. "This is one of them."