The New Mendicants – the indie supergroup that begs to differ
Indie kingpins Joe Pernice of The Pernice Brothers and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub pool their creative resources for a low-budget side project that’s yielding good returns
Of course, The New Mendicants isn’t the first extra-curricular activity for either. Blake most recently collaborated with former Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Childs on the band Jonny, while Pernice has released solo records and developed a sideline as a very capable author of fiction.
“The new Fanclub album is about 80 per cent finished,” Blake confirms. “We went to France around March and recorded about 12 songs over a three-week period, then said ‘We’ll finish this over the summer’ – but that’s kind of passed now,” he laughs. “We’re looking to finish it in the next few months and we’re hoping to have it out by May or June. We just have a few songs to finish and some vocals to record, but it’s almost there. It’ll be nice to be able to move between projects.”
Pernice confirms that there is a new Pernice Brothers album ready to go, too – but that doesn’t necessarily spell an imminent hiatus for The New Mendicants.
“We plan to do some more recording soon, actually,” says Blake, smiling. “We both like the idea of just recording as often as possible. I think we’re very compatible as musicians; this is only our fourth tour in a year and we’re playing with four guitars, a glockenspiel and that’s it. And it’s a lot of fun. We get on very well together. It’s almost boring.”
“For now . . .” Pernice interjects, ominously.
“Yeah, for now,” agrees Blake, chuckling. “There may be trouble ahead – we could be in separate cars for the next tour. But, no, that would be expensive, wouldn’t it? Though I suppose we could get a trailer, couldn’t we? See, there’s always a solution . . .”
Into the Lime is out now. The New Mendicants play Whelan’s, Dublin, on January 24th, 2014