free music: princeton

this awesome la. band has nothing to do with school (we promise!).

by liza darwin

Princeton has to deal with their fair share of name-related questions. (No, they didn't go to Princeton; they borrowed their name from the street of their childhood homes in Santa Monica). But with some confusion at the beginning of the interview- the L.A. band announced themselves as being "from Princeton," which made us wonder if a college tour had invaded our offices- and a slight mix-up between twins Jesse and Matt Kivel (whoops!), their NYLON visit today might have been their memorable yet. In between the funny switch-a-roos, Jesse, Matt, Ben and David managed to fill us in on their new music, who's on their iPods, and how they stay entertained on the road.

Can we talk about your new video, "The Electrician," which features Active Child?

Ben- We had talked about doing a cover with a band that we liked, and we're friends with Active Child so we thought it would be cool to do it.

Jesse- We wanted to make it darker than before. We wanted to capture a feeling of someone who goes on a trip, and something bad happens, but you're not sure exactly what. We wanted it to be deliberately vague.

Why did you guys decide to release a 7" now?

Jesse- It had been a while since our last album [2009's Cocoon of Love], so we decided to release a few tracks and gradually work our way back into it.

David- We had been away for so long that people didn't know if we were still a band.

Do you guys have a pre-show routine?

David- We normally just chill out, do vocal warmups.

Jesse- We try and drink to hit this level of buzz to where we are relaxed and not so nervous. It has to do with our set times and our self control [laughs].

And a post-show?

Ben- Sometimes we go out, but a lot of the times the shows end so late. We also have lots of long drives the next day.

How do you stay entertained during the long drives?

Jesse- We went from L.A. to Boston recently, which was pretty enjoyable.

David- We play games where we come up with hypothetical scenarios, like "Ben, what would it take for you to live in that mud hut over there?" It starts out easy, and then we up the ante and add all these caveats.

Ben- For the first time in my life, I accepted it! I said I would live in this mud hut [shows me the photo on his iPhone].

Jesse- When you have nothing to do for 8-10 hours, it gets elaborate.

What bands are you currently into?

Ben- We have a CD binder filled with tons of old music that we've found for like, $1 at random record stores. Boyz II Men, Usher, Missy Elliot, stuff you listened to growing up.

David- ...Now 4!

Ben- But in terms of newer music, we like LA bands like Active Child, Superhumanoids, a band called Hands.

If you had to leave the West Coast, what are the three things you'd miss most about California?

Group consensus- The lifestyle, the weather, and Mexican food.

Not In-N-Out Burger?

Jesse- I like it, but I can live without In-N-Out.

If you had to soundtrack any movie with Princeton songs, what movie would it be?

Matt- A Nicolas Roeg film. His films have more space in terms which music can be used; there's a lot of atmosphere and sound and things. He's also a bit more down on his luck as a filmmaker, I feel like there's more possibility with him.

Download "To the Alps" and listen to more Princeton here.