Episode 231: Ted Leo


Ted Leo balks slightly at the notion that The Hanged Man is a more personal record than previous efforts. He chalks much of the idea up to the media surrounding the self-released record, and his particular candidness in recent interviews. But Leo’s done a lot of living in the seven years since the release of The Brutalist Bricks, and many of those stories manifest themselves in very real and raw ways on his new record. Since 2010, the musician has left New York City for more spacious digs in Rhode Island, found a new songwriting partner in Aimee Mann and grappled with some personal tragedy. The record is also the first in some time to bear only Leo's name, putting his long time band the Pharmacists on temporary hiatus and holing up in a newly built home studio. The new album also finds Leo without a label, opting instead to fund the record through a Kickstarter campaign. But while all of this sounds like the making of a four-track bedroom album, The Hanged Man is anything but. It’s one of his most luscious and fully realized records to date. Ahead of the album’s official release and his subsequent tour, we sat down in my Queens apartment to discuss the changes in Leo's life over the past several years and how a lifetime of adhering to a DIY ethos helped him prepare for his new album.

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