MUSIC MONDAY Washed Out’s Ernest Greene Finds Fulfillment in 9-to-5 Grind, ‘Portlandia’ Fame Laura Ferreiro Live Nation•August 27, 2014

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Washed Out – Within and Without (Full Album)

Laura Ferreiro
Live NationAugust 27, 2014

On Monday, Sept. 1 at 7:45 p.m. PT/10:45 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Washed Out’s concert from First Avenue in Minneapolis. Tune in HERE to watch!

Anyone who’s seen IFC’s Portlandia’s opening credits might recognize Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around,” the dreamy tune with bright synths and heavy bass that opens every show. “I was really blown away when I got an email from Fred Armisen really early on when the Washed Out project was taking shape,” Ernest Greene, better known as atmospheric dream-pop outfit Washed Out, tells Yahoo Music. “I thought it was someone messing with me!

“They were still in pre-production with the show. They didn’t expect that much from it. But it’s been an amazing thing for Washed Out. I think it’s almost daily that people write comments [on social media] about discovering us through the show.”

Portlandia – Opening sequence

 

Greene may have initially thought the Portlandia offer was a joke, but he takes his job creating gorgeous, dreamy soundscapes very seriously. His workdays usually begin at 9 a.m. and he doesn’t knock off until 5 p.m. — much like those who punch a clock for a living.

“I have a small studio set up in my house in Athens,” says the Georgia-based musician. “I’ll wake up, have a nice breakfast, and I won’t surface until dinnertime. I’m very domesticated in that way.”

Greene used to be more of a night owl, but now that he’s married and “domesticated,” as he puts it, things have changed. “To shift toward doing [music] professionally was quite a weird adjustment,” he says. “So the reality is I work all day. It’s the ultimate fantasy. I sit down and write by myself. It’s like a painter with various layers of paint. I start with a drum loop and add keyboards, and then melodies start to take shape. The vocals happen later. I’ve never really done therapy before, but it’s a form of therapy. Everything else falls away.”

Of course Greene’s schedule changes significantly when he’s touring, which he’s been doing plenty of lately. Rather than living a solitary nine-to-five existence, he plays late-night shows with a group of four touring musicians who bring Washed Out’s songs to life: guitarist Dylan Lee, bass player Chris Gardner, drummer Cameron Gardner, and keyboardist Blair Greene, who also happens to be Ernest’s wife.

“They’re really talented musicians,” he says. “They breathe life into [the music] in ways I couldn’t have imagined.”

The band has been performing in support of Washed Out’s critically acclaimed 2013 album, Paracosm, at major festivals throughout the year including Coachella and Bonnaroo. “It was our first time playing most of these festivals,” says Greene. “Bonnaroo was a personal highlight because I grew up in Georgia and the Southeast. It felt kind of close to home. It was incredibly hot and humid… but it was a lot of fun. We did a pop-up acoustic show in the middle of the campground, which was a first for me. People were having a blast and offering us beers.”

Greene says that Washed Out has never fit into one particular genre. “The music is at this weird intersection of dance music and indie music,” he says. “It’s not quite dancey enough to do a full-blown DJ set, and it wasn’t quite rock enough for a rock band. But I guess it’s what makes us unique — drawing from a lot of different influences.”

Washed Out has several tour dates lined up around the country through October. But as much as Greene enjoys touring, he’s looking excited about getting off the road and focusing on Washed Out’s next album.

“I’m looking forward to being back at home and starting the writing process over again,” he says. “When you’re traveling, the ideas are building up and you don’t have time to sit down and work through them. I’m looking forward to being at home with no other obligations.”

 

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