James Mercer Confirms Shins Split

Ever since Natalie Portman told Zach Braff that “New Slang” will ‘change your life, I swear’, it suddenly become completely horribly uncool to like The Shins. Secretly, though, like any band that becomes TOO popular to remain “cool” (Vampire Weekend, anyone?), most people never stopped digging their thoughtful indie pop tunes.

Pedestrian recently interviewed The Shin’s front man James Mercer to talk about his latest musical project Broken Bells on which he has collaborated with Brian Burton AKA DJ Dangermouse. Conversation inevitably steered into Shins Territory. We asked him about the future recording plans for the Shins (Mercer was reported to be putting The Shins on hold to 2011) and about the heavily-rumoured split within the band.

Here’s what he said:

“I’ve got a number of songs that I want to record. I just basically began setting up a studio at my place, so the next thing – when I get some time off from Broken Bells – will be setting that up and getting some demos recorded for the next Shins record.”

Is there any change in personnel?

“Yeah there definitely will be different people. I’m just kind of… I don’t know what… breaking out of the mould that The Shins were in for so long. So I’ll definitely be using different people… You’ll see.”

He said the new lineup will include Joe Plummer from Modest Mouse on drums, guitarist Eric Johnson from folk rock band Fruit Bats, and bassist Ron Lewis. Martin Crandall and Jesse Sandoval are definitely out of the picture.

I’m going to miss Marty Crandall. I saw The Shins play a show in Brisbane a few years back and he was entirely charming and referred to the crowd as “Brisbaniacs”. Aw.