Ducktails is the solo project of Matt Mondanile (also of Real Estate) and The Flower Lane is his fifth album to date. Released via Domino Records, the LP was recorded and mixed by Ali Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never), and contains contributions from New Jersey band Big Troubles, Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), Joel Ford (Ford + Lopatin), Madeline Follin (Cults) and Sam Mehran (Outer Limitz), to name just a few.

Ducktails is the solo project of Matt Mondanile (also of Real Estate) and The Flower Lane is his fifth album to date. Released via Domino Records, the LP was recorded and mixed by Ali Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never), and contains contributions from New Jersey band Big Troubles, Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), Joel Ford (Ford + Lopatin), Madeline Follin (Cults) and Sam Mehran (Outer Limitz), to name just a few.

We met up with Mondanile shortly before his show at London's Lexington to have a chat about the new album, notwithstanding various topic digressions.

Hi Matt. How are you?

I'm good, thanks.


I was reading some older interviews of yours where you say after an album is completed you usually like to go on a walk or a drive to listen to it in full. Did you do that for the Flower Lane, even with the collaborative element?

Not as much. This time I would just get the song emailed to me and I would just listen to the song at my apartment or just on headphones. So it's not like listening to the final thing and then just walking around and seeing if it's good; it's a little bit different.


Did you all listen to it together in the end?

Yeah. But I basically was involved in everything. It was mostly me taking the final decisions...


My favourite song on the new album is 'Timothy Shy'. It's quite different from many of your other songs, especially since you've said in the past that you like the idea of your music being background music-

Yeah that wasn't really background music. That's a really goofy song. It actually came out really well; I think it sounds really good but when we were making it, we were like - this is really weird - it's not a usual song for us, kind of thing. It's really 70s, like Elton John or-


Spoon?

Spoon? Yeah it does sound a bit like Spoon.


I think they've got the monopoly on all piano type...

One note songs... Yeah yeah. [laughs]


With all of your songs I get this kind of summery vibe. Is this a form of escapism, or do you tend to make music in the warmer seasons?

I didn't really grow up in a warm place. Where I grew up in New Jersey, it was more like four seasons; winter, spring, summer, fall... So a lot of it is escapism, like being in a nice place with music to go with it.


So you mainly take inspiration from elsewhere; postcards, films?

Definitely postcards - I collect postcards. It has kind of evolved. Kitschy; that's what I was going for.


So the album artwork... Where did you find the image?

It's my friends; Lauren Pakradooni's. She did it in art school. I really liked the image and I just asked her if I could use it for the record.


I think it fits the album really well. I read awhile back you might be making a photobook... called Backyards?

Oh yeah. Yeah, I'm still trying to do that. There's a guy that I'm interested in working with that does picture books: Picture Box Books. They've done picture books for bands like Odd Future and stuff. So they might do one of mine, or I might put it out myself. I'll make a note to myself - you just reminded me [enters note]. Good!


How many photos do you have?

Like a lot. Well, there's this thing - I didn't do it on the recent tour, but I always use the same camera; it's just a little point and shoot black Olympus camera and I take all my photos with it. So all my photos look really similar.

So a lot of them of are of backyards?

I really want to do that specifically. Just of people's backyards. I need to take more but I have a lot of good photos...


That's another reason why I always imagined you make your music in the summer; being able to tour and stay in people's backyards.

Well, that was just in Massachusetts in the summer. It was just a really short time.


I guess Domino could put it out...? How is it working with Domino now? This is your first album with them...

Yeah, Domino do books... Yeah, Domino are pretty good to work with, they help out a lot. They can get the music out there, which is really good.


You've covered some Ducktails songs with Real Estate in the past. Do you have any plans to cover anything from The Flower Lane?

I don't think we'll play anything off the The Flower Lane really because we're working on new material. I guess we don't need to do that so much anymore. So it's mostly playing Real Estate songs, which is cool. I think I'm going to be ready to play a few more new songs.


So you'll be playing some new Real Estate at Grizzly Bear's ATP? How did you find out you were playing; did you know them?

We know them a little bit and they asked us to play which is cool... their booking people just got in touch with our booking people.


Alexandra Palace is really nice - I can't wait. So are you sticking around London for a bit; your next show in the US isn't until 6th March...?

I'm not actually staying - wait, is it February now?! Almost March... no actually I'm going back to the States, not tomorrow but the next day. And then I do a US tour, which is like... Well I've never done one with Ducktails; a full US tour. I've toured a lot with Real Estate, so I'm hoping people will come out. There will be a lot of touring right now.


Moving on to some question staples. Are you content with the era you've grown up in / living in, in terms of music?

I think it would have been cool to have been born a little earlier. Like back to when musicians were still selling millions of records. Now they sell way less records. It would have been nice to be in a band in the 1990s, I wasn't even in one until the 2000s. It would have been exciting to be in a band in the 80s... They never had to tour, which is cool. They could just make money from the album...


You're not so into touring?

It's fun but it's really exhausting...


I thought you would really enjoy it, considering the long tours of both Real Estate and Ducktails...

[laughs] I think I do actually. I actually do a lot. Yeah, it's really fun.


Do you have lots of aftershow parties then?

Not every night. Sometimes you feel really gross, but sometimes you do...


Is it easy to unwind after a show? I imagine you get the songs stuck in your head...

That's funny. This morning I couldn't get the songs out of my head. I was like why am I thinking about this? Just trying to get them out of my head. I mean, it's never too loud or anything, but yeah...


The Flower Lane is out now. You can visit Ducktails by heading here.