Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst on how a wild Donald Trump conspiracy theory inspired Better Oblivion Community Center’s ‘Dylan Thomas’

'Maybe he's a maniacal super-genius'

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst have spoken of how a conspiracy theory about how President Donald Trump may in fact be ‘a maniacal super-genius’ inspired Better Oblivion Community Center‘s ‘Dylan Thomas’. Watch our ‘Song Stories’ video with the band above.

The duo announced their new supergroup Better Oblivion Community Center last month, surprise releasing their acclaimed self-titled debut album that day. Speaking to NME, they told us how they came to work with Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ guitarist Nick Zinner on lead single ‘Dylan Thomas’, as well as what went into the Japanese Breakfast-directed music video and how it was all inspired by the podcast Reply All and conspiracy theories surrounding Donald Trump.

“On this one episode of Reply All, they were talking about when Roseanne was Tweeting all of those conspiracy theory things,” Bridgers told NME, “and how they think there’s a whole conspiracy around Trump playing four-dimensional chess and just fronting that he’s stupid – but actually he’s like a maniacal super-genius.”

She continued: “That’s my favourite theory. There are right-wing people who support him who literally think that his idiocy is like a crazy plan that he has always had to play dumb, and then be doing all of these genius things behind the scenes.”

Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. Credit: Nik Freitas

The track also features a guitar solo from Nick Zinner.

“Nick and I are old friends,” Oberst told NME. “He’s 274-years-0ld this year. I haven’t been around that long, but we’ve been friends since the early ’00s… since the early 1800s!

“He’s amazing. When we were making the record it was kind of by happenstance that he’d been living in LA on and off. We were talking about getting together, and for one of the songs I could kind of hear him playing on it. Phoebe thought it sounded cool and he was over there the next day.”

In keeping with their supergroup approach, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner wrote the treatment and directed the video. The duo told us about the ‘crazy two day shoot’ that surrounded them attending a mysterious house, where ‘hi jinx ensued’.

“She’s amazing, I love her,” said Bridgers of Zauner. “My first grade music teacher is screaming upside down in it too. We shot it in LA so it’s a lot of my friends. My friend Meg Duffy of Hand Habits is in it as well.

Watch our full ‘Song Stories’ video with the band above

The band’s full upcoming US, European and UK tour dates are below.

MARCH
8 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theater #
9 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse #
10 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box #
11 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theater #
14 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom #
15 – San Francisco, CA @ August Hall #
16 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir #
17 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s #
19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro #
20 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird # *
21 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown # *
22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line # *
23 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall # *
25 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom # *
26 – Pittsuburgh, PA @ Mr Smalls # *
28 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair # *
29 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom # *
30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg # *
31 – Providence, RI @ Columbus Theater # *

APRIL
2 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer # . *
3 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat # *
4 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle # *
5 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle # *
6 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West # *
7 – Nashville, TN @ Basement East # *
9 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk # *
10 – Dallas, TX @ Trees Lounge # *
12 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf # *
13 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent # *
29 – Helsinki, Finland @The House of Culture

MAY
1 – Oslo, Norway @ Rockerfeller
2 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Berns
3 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
5 – Berlin, Germany @ Columbia Theater
6 – Cologne, Germany @ Kantine
7 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
8 – Antwerp, Belgium @ De Roma
10 – Bristol, UK @ 02 Academy Bristol
11 – London, UK @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire
12 – Manchester, UK @ Ritz

# – support from Christian Lee Hutson
* – support from Lala Lala