Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes Learns to Play With Others on 'Paralytic Stalks'
If there's one thing that's defined Kevin Barnes prolific and sonically diverse output as Of Montreal since 2004's Satanic Panic in the Attic is the musician's decision to write, perform and produce his records alone.
"Back in the day, Of Montreal was more collaborative," Barnes tells Spinner about those formative years when each Of Montreal member wrote the parts for their own instruments.
"We all lived in the same house together. I got to a point where I found all that kind of limiting. I didn't want to have that dynamic to the recording process... I didn't want to deal with the tension and stress, so I started working alone."
Barnes continued that way over the course of the next four full-lengths -- Satanic Panic in the Attic, The Sundlandic Twins, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? and Skeletal Lamping -- inviting guests to contribute sporadically, but never allowing their contributions to dictate the music's course.
"I have a really strong concept of what I want to do," he says.
Yet a chance meeting with multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi turned his working method on its head. Barnes met the musician backstage at a festival, where Bashi was performing with Regina Spektor.
"He said, 'I have a studio if you ever want me to add strings to something.' At first I thought, 'Yeah, that probably won't happen.' Then I thought, 'Well, I won't lose anything if I just send him the song and if he comes up with something cool, then awesome.'"
The song Barnes sent was "Casualty of You" from 2010's False Priest.
"It was a revelation," says Barnes. "I heard that and I thought,