Who: Fat Possum artist Auguste Arthur Bondy (aka Scott)
What: The Alabaman singer/songwriter plays haunting, minimalist folk with introspective and haunting lyrics
Why: Bondy’s third album, Believers, just dropped and ups the ante by plugging in the sound but still finds the timeless troubadour on the outskirts of Anywhere, U.S.A.
Where: The Casbah
Scott McDonald: Just out of curiosity, where does the Scott come from?
A.A. Bondy: It was my great-grandmother’s middle name.
SM: You did your first record in N.Y., the second in Mississippi and Believers in California. Was it important to change your geography?
AAB: I seemed to be following something around. I’m not quite sure what, and I’m not sure if I still am. But I think I’ll be at the beach for a while.
SM: Believers moves more to an electric sound than the first two albums. Conscious move or just happen that way?
AAB: There were electric songs on the first and second records, but obviously, this whole record is electric. I just liked the sustain -- and the color -- of it. I felt like being more 20th-century, I guess.
SM: Believers has a very lonely, cinematic feel. Can you talk a little about the writing process?
AAB: I think it’s just more blurred. And it is more like a film score at times. There’s the song, which is simple, and then we kind of scored the song itself.
SM: Did you spend much of the process alone?
AAB: I just wanted it to feel like an unknown landscape. The first-time-you’ve-been-somewhere kind of thing. I don’t think I was aiming for lonely. There’s a difference between lonely and alone.
SM: In what ways has the last few years of go-go-go helped (or hurt) the creative process?
AAB: It’s been good and bad, like anything else. A home out in the wind. Then, don’t like it in the wind -- like the song says.
SM: Prefer it solo or with the band?
AAB: We are four in number, and I like it better in a lot of ways. I did solo for a long time. Seems like a lot of people do it that way till they save their pennies and get a band.
SM: Read an interesting quote from you that said Believers was "the last couple of years in one long exposure." Is that indicative of your process as a whole?
AAB: A lot happened in the two years prior to this record. And the way it came out in the songs is the way I felt about that time passing. The hungover walk to the elevator, Mount Rainier from a van window, days adrift in the Midwest. And then you’re back home around people you love. Normal is strange. Strange is normal.
SM: When this tour winds down, what's next?
AAB: A beach somewhere with a nice left.