Sometimes a band's reputation precedes them. Seems like such is the case with Animal Collective these days. When I was in high school it felt like pavement had a reputation as slacker jokesters who were only half serious as far as rock bands go and despite their indisputable talent were really making most of their career out of poking fun at the music industry and "slacking off". What I saw and what I heard was something far more twisted and broken, maybe a bit "clever" in the pop sense, but still musicians bending the boundaries of what could be popular in rock music. It inspired me to make music like no other music had. One night in high school myself, Brian (geologist) and another friend of ours waited for pavement's performance on 120 minutes while drinking vodka with diet Dr Pepper (what?) and smoking weed. After a very uncomfortable interview the band proceeded to play Stop Breathin', one of the more downer songs on their then "hit" record "crooked rain crooked rain". The song was already a favorite of mine but the performance that drooled out of the tv was like no other live music I'd seen on a tv show. It wasn't "the hit". It was relaxed and drone-y yet still really emotional and intense. The almost out of tune guitars worked in harmony. The Spacey harmonics and a lengthy jam lasted forever. Probably what felt like slacking to some, made us feel like we were in heaven. — Avey Tare of Animal Collective