The New Pornographers
The New Pornographers are a Canadian indie rock group formed in 1997 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Their sound is influenced by that of such power pop bands as The Cars and Cheap Trick, but they use much more sophisticated rhythms and chord changes. Although it was widely reported that the New Pornographers got their name from a pamphlet put out by televangelist Jimmy Swaggart condemning rock ‘n’ roll as “the new pornography,” Carl Newman has stated that he came up with the name after watching Shohei Imamura's The Pornographers (1966).
Carl Newman, who writes most of the band's material, has said, "When I seriously started to try to write songs, my main influences were, like, Burt Bacharach, Jim Webb, and Brian Wilson. Those were the guys I kinda looked at their music and went, 'What the hell are they doing here?' I was just fascinated by the structures and the harmonics."
The melody of the first and eponymous track on their second album Electric Version, for instance, begins with an arpeggiated diminished triad — a rare and strange opening flourish for a pop song.
The band have released seven albums to date: Mass Romantic (2000), Electric Version (2003), Twin Cinema (2005), Challengers (2007), Together (2010), Brill Bruisers (2014) and Whiteout Conditions (2017).
The band members include:
- Carl Newman - vocals, guitar, ebow, synthesizer, harmonica, pump organ, xylophone
- Dan Bejar - vocals, guitar, synthesizer, melodion
- Kathryn Calder - vocals, piano
- Neko Case - vocals, tambourine
- John Collins - bass, guitar, synthesizer, ebow, vocals
- Kurt Dahle - drums, percussion, vocals
- Todd Fancey - guitar
- Blaine Thurier - synthesizer
The New Pornographers are frequently referred to as an indie supergroup because of the following members' associations:
- Carl Newman, solo artist (as A.C. Newman), also of Superconductor and Zumpano
- Dan Bejar of Destroyer,Swan Lake and Vancouver Nights.
- Kathryn Calder of Immaculate Machine.
- Neko Case, solo artist, also of Maow and cub
- John Collins of The Evaporators
- Kurt Dahle of Limblifter and Age of Electric
- Todd Fancey of Fancey
- Blaine Thurier, independent filmmaker
Newman, however, doesn't care for the term: "I'm really tired of that supergroup label, and I wish people would stop using it. None of us were known at all outside of Canada — I just don't think it's accurate."