Let’s hand it to Meow Wolf (specifically Vince Kadlubek) for booking huge Los Angeles indie-punk duo No Age. Guitarist Randy Randall and drummer Dean Spunt layer atmospheric electronics and ambient sound-scapes over a solid punk foundation for staggeringly interesting results. Rocking since 2005, No Age has exploded in popularity, so for the pair to make a stop at the VFW in Santa Fe is a huge deal. With recent talk of expanding and diversifying Santa Fe’s musical scene, a show of this caliber puts the city on the right track. I spoke with Spunt as he was heading toward Gainesville, Fla., about the band, the tour and the VFW’s clientele.
You’ve been on tour since Oct. 1. Is it just the two of you?
Naw. We’ve got a crew and a bro-type hanging around, and a third member who goes by the name Dr. Diamond. He only plays live with us. He does electronics and stuff like that.
You’ll be playing in Santa Fe, not Albuquerque. Was this a conscious choice?
Well, by the time we get there it’ll have been about a month since we played in Albuquerque. So I guess we did both. But we keep hearing that we have to play in Santa Fe.
That’s correct. From whom?
Just, um…just some people.
Right. You don’t have a manager, so do you guys book your own tours?
Yeah. I mean, we’ve done this before…in other bands, and we just want to go with the flow and do it how we do it. Most of the time, we want to play places that are smaller or more interesting. So far, this has worked well for us, so I don’t see that we have to change too much.
You have so many atmospheric elements, ambient sampling and so forth. Is it hard to strike a balance between that and punk?
Well, no. It’s not really. We’ve always just played what we want to play and it’s never been a question of “Will this fit?” That makes no sense to me at all. We’re lucky. We write what sounds good to us.
A lot of indie duos are popping up. How do you stand out with so many of these acts all over the place?
What?! What bands?! I thought we were the only duo! Honestly, I don’t really pay attention to a lot of current bands. We just do what we do without worrying about it.
What’s the deal with the No Age/Jim Jarmusch Neil Young cover?
I wasn’t there. I mean, I was there…but I didn’t play on it. I watched it. That was cool.
You did, in 2009, play with punk legend Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü at ATP in New York. What is he like?
OK, now that was really cool. He is such a sweet man and I was really excited. Y’know, he did this DJ set after the show that was pretty awesome. He had all this really cool
Did you ever think you’d be touring the world?
Well, we’re heading to Japan and Taiwan and even Istanbul pretty soon. I always thought about the US like, ‘Aw, man, touring the US would be totally cool!’ But I never thought I’d be going to Turkey.
Are you guys smokers? You can smoke in the VFW here.
Really? Weird. Not me. Randy dabbles.
Apparently the old-timers who hang out there are into the rock and punk shows that happen. I hear they are into the youthful energy.
Wow! That’s awesome! No Age, man. No Age.
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