MGMT was formed by Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden in 2001. The song Time to Pretend was one they wrote early in their career. It first came out on their debut: the Time to Pretend EP in 2005. And three years after that, they put out a new version of the song, on their first full-length album, Oracular Spectactular, which was named album of the year by NME and was one of Rolling Stone's top 20 albums of the decade. It went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. In this episode, Ben and Andrew trace how the song Time to Pretend was made, from its dorm room origins, to its first recording, to re-envisioning it with Grammy-winning producer Dave Fridmann. They also uncover the hidden sounds and easter eggs within the recording.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Here, listening to song explorer where musicians take apart their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. My name his reputation. Your way, this episode is sponsored by micron. micron, mobile memory and storage products, delivery, data foundation for feeling the next generation of five g and a high enabled smartphone experiences with every new generation smartphones do more new and innovative things that the previous generation couldn't at the heart of innovation. Is micron mobile memory and storage micron? It's where data lives, song exploded is sponsored by capital one, if you ready for a new ride, but you're not sure where to start meet the tool that man car shopping and financing easier with capital, one auto navigator. You can find a car and get pre qualified instantly, you'll, get your real rate and monthly payment without even impacting your credit score. It so simple. You might feel,
you're, taking the easy way out. That's because you are capital, one what's in your wallet terms and conditions apply, find out more at capital one dot com, slash auto navigator, subsumed, has some explicit language yours, to solve the explorer. My name's, She way Jim tea was formed by Ben goldwasser and Andrew Van wine garden in two thousand one. On time to pretend was when they wrote early in their career, it first came out on their debut the time to pretend epa and two thousand five, and three years after that they put out a new version of the song on their first full length, album regular spectacular, which was named album of the year by enemy and was one of rolling stone's top twenty albums of the decade. It went on to sell over a million copies worldwide in this episode that andrew trace how the song time to pretend was made
storm room origins to its first recording to reinvigorating it with grammy winning producer day friedman. They also over the hidden, sounds and easter eggs within the recording here's mgm. On some explode. This has been from Mgmt most of the sounds both the recording on the e p and on the album version Been around since we were in college, I mean the actual sounds that we made on my laptop without any fancy studio. Or anything like that. In most of that, stuff is still on the recordings I was totally broke. I couldn't afford any musical gear at all: I mean I was all on the laptop that I used to write papers on for college.
The The that just thirty, since in reason like everything, pretty much. As you know, one of the stock synthesizers that comes with the programme and in college in our spare time. We spend a lot of time messing around me no sense in trying to see what kinds of crazy so we can get out of them. That's just a base One of the sense and reason. Hey. This is Andrew van ryan garden. We, like really into super naive, childlike malady. In college and end the info. Kind of has a very toddling sound. yeah.
yeah it is not pleasing sounds like the wings of an insect or making yet or something, but definitely the hook. That point in time we were too nerdy liberal arts college students. The ban was a joke. about being rock stars. Thousands, Whole stick of the ban in college is that we be plainly in some living room for fifteen people and we ve wearing fake fur, coats and sunglasses, then drinking champagne and just acting like force. It was kind performance are in a way, but not very, like high concepts how'd, you know no concept: I mean it was a song about becoming right. Stars and stretching our lives, and we it seeing everything in unison. It became sort of like this ironic
since statement type thing, and it felt right for us both to sing every part of it suddenly. It makes some miles blue eyes the parish fuck with the stars. Two thousand five was the first time the song was on an official, release. I think we may make a thousand city copies of the evening and then Two thousand and six is when there is the first interest from colombia records and they didn't on the recording on the appeal You know they wanted to put those songs out as well, and I mean we were fine with that. Someone
Anne and Andrew went to record new tracks for their among colombia. They all recorded a new version of time to pretend we didn't, they re record The whole song. I mean it's your remit. It is probably more accurate. the label was telling us. You need to work with producer. We don't really know what a producer did or get this subtlety of what a producer could be. That's when we kind of started to think of producers who he would want to record with. Then we talked to Dave Friedman and really got along well, and I mean we knew we liked the way that the drums on the flaming lips record sounded the experience Dave is a very easy going guys a producer, you never really free This things like you should do. This is more like. Hey have a we try this as an experiment. Davis thorny suggested we we change temper a little bit
It was only one or two BP in that we spend it up and we landed on and wanted it to be the exact tempo of dancing queen by abba, which it is the and also we recorded the same piano part from dancing queen in this song. You can't really hear it, but yeah be there at the end. The third is the will probably get in trouble for saying this, though I dunno, if it was an obvious thing to add, live drums, maybe a lot of it had to do with the fact that we were just really excited about being in a studio where we could make drums sound good and we we hadn't
but they had the opportunity before- and I remember I do like a bunch of live john- takes that we're just really ridiculous. This kind of is ideas. Well, some takes rises. Doing the most ridiculous, like Tom fills Yet we were really taking advantage of dave, abilities with John sounds then was kind of a master of sense horn arranged. In college. I ve has been really inspired by like really good fake, sampled orchestra instruments like you, you would never be fooled into thinking that somebody is actually playing that instrument, but it sounds the sounds really amazing in its own way, and it's really fun to many people. that in turn it into something new and certain like, let's go on a fox hunt, kind of french joints,
deal women's one musical performance on the the island forgotten about that's amazing. It this little like metal robot instrument. It looks like a robot and is called a thing in a group and as like a little light sensor on it and the difference in the amount of I would change the he had like a giant industrial. Dimmer switch for the lights in his room, so you could ask we play the robot sort of like a ferryman there's a sound towards the latter. part of the song that
like an ascending kind of squeal that's being played by day prison by turning dimmer switch very precisely. This is such a big deal to be a real recording studio with like this guy, who is a legend in our minds and that was going- Additionally, a moment for me where I What kind of hit me like that we are at a different level of working? We weren't just screwing around around we're we're kind of like me something that was maybe good. Time to britain, like If you had asked us in two thousand and five we wanted have been like, oh yeah, that song could be popular when we were kind of. first talking to the label some guy. The music industry, thought it could be a hit single and we
Like a laughing about that, because we are like yeah right, but then I guess You know, we don't really know what we are doing. Our best guess, jar and acclaimed ban from brooklyn were making their network television to be with us tonight. This is their see. The internal or regular, spectacular, please work mg empty. I know for me it whenever was two thousand and eight when we played on David letterman. Thou is kind of like very surreal We played time over ten and we did need aware druid capes end, This is one of those moments very like years. All like I mean silly inside joke and then like oh yeah, but how national national tv, looking like a fucking idiot and Jud gape, I know that was like, I feel like if you watch that video you can see me like kind of like
Oh god, what is happening. now here's time to pretend by him gm tee in its entirety.
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Transcript generated on 2022-06-07.