Pavement’s Terror Twilight Story

NIGEL GODRICH: Funny, you get a really polarized reaction from Pavement fans. Some people actually say it’s their favorite record, and a lot of people say, “That’s not a real Pavement record!” Both are totally valid.

STEVE WEST: Bob and I had a song that we used to sing to each other as a joke: “The Terrible Twilight! / It’s Gonna Get You Tonight!” But every album is different, and if some of the feeling that the other Pavement albums had was gone, that was fine with me.

STEPHEN MALKMUS: On the internet, you’ll find people saying this is their favorite Pavement record. And that’s cool. I think it may be true.

NIGEL GODRICH: In the most snobbish and condescending way, I would say it doesn’t matter if Stephen likes the album or not, because that’s what it is. But I know he likes it – I think he just doesn’t want to be seen like that [laughs].

STEPHEN MALKMUS: Nigel and I are still good. He comes to my solo shows every time. I wouldn’t hesitate to ask him to mix something. He’s a totally giving guy, who I relate to — he’s just like, ‘I like you, I’ll do it for you.’ It’s not like, “My rate is $5 billion.” It’s good when you don’t feel like you’re in a business relationship.

Proof that there are no hard feelings, the long-awaited Terror Twilight: Farewell Horizontal the reissue restores Godrich’s original sequence alongside early Malkmus synth demos, remnants of the aborted Jackpot! and Echo Canyon sessions, B-sides, recordings from a June 1999 show at New York’s Irving Plaza, and at least one unearthed rough diamond, “Be the Hook”.

SCOTT KANNBERG: I really like Nigel’s order, so that’s why we’re bringing it back, because it’s really interesting.

NIGEL GODRICH: When I read that they were going to do the reissue with [my original sequence], I was like, “Oh, I don’t know how I feel about this!” I was flattered, but I also thought, ‘That’s not really fair’, because records grow, they have their own life and they change as the world changes – they have l look different from a different place. And starting this record with “Spit on a Stranger” feels pretty definitive to me now.

SCOTT KANNBERG: The reissue has been on our minds since probably 2009, but [their U.S. label] Matador didn’t want to release it because there weren’t really any good extras. And we were just starting that first reunion tour [in 2010], so we set it aside. But when we made our global deal with Matador [in 2020]they were like, “Okay, we gotta do Twilight Terror, everyone keeps asking about it. jesper [Eklow, Matador’s former director of production and Farewell Horizontal overseer] convinced Stephen to release some of his demos, and we found a bunch of rehearsal tapes that we didn’t have before. For a fanatic, it’s going to be cool. But for the casual fans, I don’t know if they’ll want to hear the “Billie” rehearsal tape, you know? [laughs]

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