James Minchin/Courtesy of the artist
James Mercer (left) and Brian Burton (right) of Broken Bells.
James Mercer (left) and Brian Burton (right) of Broken Bells. James Minchin/Courtesy of the artist
After the Disco, Broken Bells' second album, grew out of late-night conversations about what happens once you've grown up, or what happens after the party. The title phrase developed from band member James Mercer (The Shins) riffing on melodies until he hit something that sounded like "after the disco."
"Life is sad," Mercer says. "People, you know, are going to pass, and you know that you will one day. I mean, there's that. I think that Brian [Burton] and I have pretty heavy conversations about things like that."
"You think about what it's going to be like when you're older, and now you're there, and, well, now what do you do?" Burton (Danger Mouse) asks.
Speaking recently with NPR's David Greene, Mercer and Burton discussed their creative process and how making the album provided a refuge from other projects, both personal and musical.