Of Montreal talks 'Little Rock' and why they're coming back after all

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Of Montreal is playing at the Rev Room on May 2, which might come as a surprise to anyone who's ever heard their song "Little Rock," a bonus track from their 2008 album "Skeletal Lamping." A short acoustic demo, the song references some terrible experience the band had here in town and ends with singer Kevin Barnes's solemn promise, "The only guarantee is that we're never coming back to Little Rock." As the music fades out, he clarifies: "No, we're never coming back to your shitty little town."

I reached out to the band, curious about the song's back-story, and Barnes responded via email:

What's the story behind this song ? What happened?

To be honest I can't really remember the scenario that inspired the song. I have a vague memory of the show being kind of underwhelming, but I'm not sure if it was the fault of the band or the audience or what, and I think after the show someone from the audience walked off with a hat I was wearing on stage ... it's all very murky. I definitely don't carry any deep-seated resentment around with me about it though. We actually played Little Rock once more after that incident and that other show was a lot of fun, so i'm excited to come back.

What was it about this Little Rock experience that demanded expression in a song of its own? (as opposed to other bad or just underwhelming experiences in other cities)

I think I just liked the idea of writing a song about Little Rock, I mean the city name is a really easy set up. If you all changed the name to A Lot Of Rock it would make it harder ;-).

Are you nervous about coming back?

Like I said, we've been back once before and that experience was very positive, so I'm not at all nervous about coming back.


In the song you say, "I can't count the things you have, just all the things you lack" — what are some things we lack? 

Well one thing Little Rock lacks is a rainforest filled with howling kittens, if you'd address that issue you'd be perfect.

Do we owe you an apology?

Ha ha, no!

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NOTE: If anyone was at that show and remembers anything interesting or notably awful about it, please get in touch: will@arktimes.com

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