He can’t quite put into words what he’s trying to say, but it’s clear enough: Granduciel was feeling the effects of being in the spotlight. “And then I start thinking about things like legacy, and what it means to put it out there. If I were to get a hit by a train tomorrow, what would I leave behind? And would it have been the best I could do?”
The recording process, once it finally did start, took some eight months, spanning a half-dozen different studios. And with the new LP’s release just a week away, now comes the fun part for Granduciel: the live performances and the dialog between the artist and the listener.
“It’s not just like they hear a song and like it and see you live. It’s a decision to let you into their life,” he says earnestly. “And then there’s the connection of playing live with the band, and that’s just as invigorating as it was when I was 16. When it all locks in. And everyone’s on the same page.”
Granduciel has been seeing a therapist for his anxiety, which has helped some. He’s also learning to address his fears directly and, if the conversation at North Third is any indication, remind himself of all that The War on Drugs has accomplished, instead of what they might not.
“There’s a lot of thinking these days,” he adds, with noticeable certainty in his voice. “Which is good.”
Tues., March 18, 8:30pm. $18. With White Laces + A.M. Mills. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. 215.232.2100. utphilly.com
Floetry’s Philadelphia story