Indy: I understand a Chicago restaurant that names burgers after local bands has just named one after you. So which is better: the Pelican Burger or the Agenda of Swine burger?
TdB: Speaking as a strict vegan of 15 years, I'd go with a sprout sandwich slathered with hummus and maybe some oil-cured black olives.
Indy: Is there actual pelican in the Pelican Burger?
TdB: Is it possible to even get pelican meat? They actually tried a Pelican Burger in the past, but it had anchovies and no one ordered it, so it got canceled. This is Pelican Burger Mach II. Probably they steered away from actual pelicans because — whether or not a pelican is edible or tasty — I don't think anyone would order it.
Indy: Let's talk just a little about music. New songs like "The Creeper" [on the forthcoming What We All Come to Need] have a great droney feel, but with real precise-sounding riffs. Were you ever into heavy instrumental bands like Mogwai?
TdB: Oh yeah, we're all really big fans of Mogwai. We've been holding out hope for an offer from them to play together for a long time now. But we've never really focused on our music as necessarily being instrumental, and certainly that wasn't the goal when we started out. We always thought that we would have a singer, up until we started playing shows. And we were just as much influenced by bands with vocals, like Hum and My Bloody Valentine.
Indy: You've got a vocal from Allen Epley [Shiner, the Life and Times] on this album, which came out really well. How did that happen?
TdB: Bryan [Herweg, Pelican's bassist] presented us with this song that almost had that Shiner vibe, but obviously a little bit slower and a little bit sludgier. It seemed like it would be perfect for Allen's voice. So we went ahead and asked him, and he responded with fantastic results.
At Denver's Marquis Theatre, Oct. 20.