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Q&A: Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold chats with WUNC Music ahead of the Good Moon festival

Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes
Andrew Benge / Redferns
Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes

Sylvan Esso are celebrating their 10-year anniversary in Durham this weekend with Good Moon, a festival happening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, featuring some of the band's favorite artists.

Fleet Foxes is headlining the first night of the festival. They released their last album "Shore" during the pandemic and have spent the last three years touring the world behind it.

Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes caught up with WUNC Music's Brian Burns ahead of their appearance at Good Moon.

This is an excerpt of an edited transcript of that conversation. You can hear the full interview by clicking the LISTEN button at the top of this post.

How did you get to know Sylvan Esso?

I guess it was back in the Mountain Man days, when Amelia was doing Mountain Man more often. That was such an amazing vocal trio so even back then I loved her music.

Do you remember the first time you heard a Sylvan Esso song?

Yeah, they redid one of the Mountain Man songs and it showed me how important arrangement and production can be. Sometimes I’ll get locked into a certain way of thinking about how a song needs to sound after it’s been written, and that was a great reminder that a song can really go in a thousand different directions.

The shows this weekend are happening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. You’ve played shows at just about every type of venue imaginable, where does minor league ballpark rank on the list?

Minor league ballpark seems like the perfect place to play. It’s kind of the perfect size venue. Anything bigger is too big, so it’s kind of the perfect outdoor spot for a show.

Tell us a bit about where your last record "Shore" has taken you since it was released.

It’s been awesome and kind of the most fun we’ve ever had on tour. We’ve been really lucky to have this awesome crew, kind of to the point where we’re just still doing shows, even though the record has been out for a long time, just because it feels good to have the crew out there. It’s fun being “tour dad” and getting pizza for everybody.

Have you been anywhere for the first time on this tour?

Yeah, we’ve gotten to go to some crazy places on this tour. We went to South America for the first time. We went to Jakarta. We went back to Australia. We went to Mexico City for the first time. We’ve been super lucky.

Good Moon is happening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on May 31 and June 1. The festival features performances from Sylvan Esso, Fleet Foxes, Dehd, Hippo Campus, Truth Club and Reyna Tropical.

Brian Burns is the Music Director for WUNC Music, WUNC's AAA music discovery station. He has been working within the local music scene for over a decade. On the weekends you might see him DJing at various spots around the Triangle, or digging through boxes of records. He's also the host of Future Shock on WUNC Music and a contributor to NPR Music. He graduated from UNC’s School of Information and Library Science with an MSLS in 2015.
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