When electro-pop band Handsome Furs issued its debut album, “Plague Park,” in 2007, the husband-and- wife duo was viewed as a side project for Wolf Parade singer and guitarist Dan Boeckner.
With Wolf Parade now a thing of the past, Handsome Furs is Boeckner’s primary musical outlet (along with his wife, Alexei Perry). The group’s latest album, “Sound Kapital,” was inspired by its travels through Eastern Europe, China and Southeast Asia over the last two years.
amNY spoke with Boeckner.
Why did Wolf Parade break up? We’d been together for six or seven years and have known each other since we were kids. It sounds cliché, but we all wanted to do different things. It never got unpleasant, but it had the potential to, so we decided to quit while we were ahead.
The opening lyric on “Sound Kapital” is “When I get back home, I won’t be the same no more.” How are you different? I got a lot inspiration from the bands we played with in Asia. To be a young person in China and decide your career is going to be playing in an indie rock band is a bigger risk than going to film school in Chicago. It’s like jumping off a cliff economically and socially.
How is it different for bands in those countries? In Burma, we met a band called Side Effect. It’s illegal for them to play with foreign bands. To put out a record, they have to pass it by the censorship board. But these kids were unrelentingly positive — they didn’t complain about anything. It made me feel so lucky and got me excited about playing music.
Do you believe music can make a difference in places like that? I do, but not as some romanticized soundtrack to social upheaval. What it does is more micro-level: It allows people in oppressive societies to gravitate around like- minded people. It gives them a distinct identity and ability to express themselves creatively, which is the first baby step toward democratic action.
If you go:
Hansome Furs are performing a the Bowery Ballroom Thursday at 8 p.m. 6 Delancey St., $20.