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The War On Drugs On World Cafe

The War On Drugs in side the World Cafe Performance Studio at WXPN.
Galea McGregor
The War On Drugs in side the World Cafe Performance Studio at WXPN.

The War on Drugs' A Deeper Understanding is epic. Ambitious. Huge. Case in point: the first single they released, "Thinking of a Place," clocked in at over 11 minutes. But make no mistake – this isn't the work of a noodley jam band. Every sound is deliberate, every dynamic is thoughtful, and the build is brilliant. That's thanks in large part to the way lead singer and songwriter Adam Granduciel works.

To make A Deeper Understanding, Granduciel rented studio space for more than a year. In his words, "For me this time around I was like 'I just need a place I can go every day and work on this thing.'" The space Granduciel rented was in Los Angeles, where his girlfriend lives. That's a huge change for a band that originated in Philly. We've always been proud to call the band local (we produce World Cafe in Philly, too), but I guess we're OK with sharing a little credit with the West Coast on this one.

Granduciel and I talked about Warren Zevon and Bob Dylan, the time he spent mowing lawns as a kid, and the tools he uses to manage the anxieties that sometimes kept him from leaving the house while making the last War on Drugs record. And the band knocked our heartland synth's socks off with performances from A Deeper Understanding, and a Zevon cover. Hear it all in the player above and get a look inside our studio as they perform "Pain."

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