The Beijinger catches up with Alpine Decline to discuss what it is like to tour with an infant and whether we should expect baby howls on the next album.

How has your process changed since your baby was born?
Jonathan: Writing is a pretty central ritual in our lives and we’ll still be putting out records at our usual pace.
Pauline: Touring so much this year around the new album (Go Big Shadow City) actually slows things down more than the baby.

What are some of the challenges of touring with a baby?
P: The biggest challenge is transitioning. One second you are totally wrapped up in this far out headspace, and the next you are stripped down to your underwear cleaning poop and puke off your clothes, and it’s hard to use a breast-pump backstage without someone walking in.
J: Oh Jesus, do people need to know that? We’re about to go on a 20-city tour of China, then to North America, and Europe.

What is the vetting process like to become the tour babysitter?
P: We’re mostly concerned with someone who is okay with touring. It’d be so bad to get out there with someone who’s never been on tour before and then they realize what touring is all about and freak out.

Have you ever considered using a baby monitor and letting the kid do vocals from a remote location?
J: Actually, this is something we’ve ...
P: Jonathan’s threatening to start running the baby crying through some tape echoes.
J: No, no, I don’t want to appropriate his suffering as a field recording! Would you recommend your new album to child-rearing adults, or as birthing music?
P: I’m not sure it’s suitable for children, but we did record another new album of the “no drums, no guitar” sets we’ve been doing.
J: We started doing this when Pauline was about six months pregnant and couldn’t really bang the drums anymore. It’s not exactly drone or experimental music, but we call it that for lack of a better word.
P: I’m not sure about birthing music, but that could be good child-rearing music.

Catch Alpine Decline at their album release party at Yugong Yishan with AV Okubo on Apr 19. Or for instant aural pleasure, head on over to their bandcamp.

Photo: Courtesy of Alpine Decline

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