Q&A: Weekend's Shaun Durkan On Getting Chewed Out By Wire, Having A Post-Punk Dad, And That Other Act With A Sorta-Similar Name


With a bevy of groups using their fondness of the C86 "sound" as an excuse to mask their barely there songs or shoddy musicianship in layers of distracting hiss and static, it's refreshing to find a group that actually uses those sounds as a complementary accessory. On their full-length debut for Slumberland Records—a label that knows a little something about that storied NME compilation—San Francisco's Weekend adorn their take on tried and true post-punk with bracing sheets of noise that could've come straight from the worked-over amps used by either Kevin Shields or the Reid brothers, a heady mixture that earned the trio plenty of good press and an opening slot on Wire's most recent tour. Their upcoming EP Red eases up on the fuzz a bit, but not at the expense of what the band does best. This week, they're hitting the town for two headlining dates at Glasslands (on Sept. 3) and the Mercury Lounge (on Sept. 4). We talked with Weekend singer / bassist Shaun Durkan last week about the new EP, his family's musical pedigree, how to piss off a punk rock institution, and a certain up-and-coming indie-approved R&B act.

The new EP is a definite change of pace from your first LP. Is this just a stopgap release to tide things over until the next LP gets recorded, or the start of a new direction for the band?

I think we view the EP as its own release. A lot of bands release EPs that basically have a single and a bunch of B-sides and that's something we didn't want to do. We wanted to write & record something that sorta represented we all were as people & musicians. So, yeah, all of the songs were written in the past six months, post-Sports. I guess it is sort of where we are, but also a sign of things to come.

You used the same producer (Monte Vallier) for the EP as you did with Sports. Given the shift in your sound, was there a purpose behind not making a change behind the boards?

Well, it would've been easy for us to basically do the same thing that we did on the LP again, especially since we used the same producer. But I think we asked Monte to come on board again as a means of bridging the gap between the two releases. [We used a] similar approach to recording the songs, & obviously the same equipment,we recorded in same studio; we just had different goals for this EP. We wanted it to be a little more immediate, as far as the listeners' experience. I think you get that in not only the production—you know, the quality of the recording—but also the content. I think it's a little more confrontational, a little more direct. We could've taken any one of the songs from the LP & just remixed it, basically, and it would've sounded like a new release. The LP had such a definitive, really heavily directed sound, as far as what we were going for. We just really wanted to take to the next logical step, which was stepping out of the haze a little bit.

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