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Fly Away Home: Pterodactyl, their new album, and a lot of hamburgers

by John Powell

How do you explain New York’s Pterodactyl? Pulling indie hipster synths out of the emo cushioning and sewing it into chaotic drums, multiple singers, and a wall of noise that balances delicately between just noise and beautiful sound like shoegazers on speed? They sound a bit like Animal Collective but with more direction. They can get catchy. They can get out of control. Their album Spills Out knows no real bounds, and on tour, the foursome doesn’t seem to know bounds either, having traveled across the U.S. and turning their gaze back to the city.

They’re playing Winooski, Vermont for the first time, and the crowd is full of square glasses, tight pants, and mustaches, not unlike Pterodactyl themselves, although the boys don’t fit the hipster credentials of cynical and sarcastic. After being on the road so long, it’s surprising how well they get along, heading up the street to a pho noodle house, where they slow down enough to provide one of the funniest interviews likely to come out of the restaurant.


Is this your favorite kind of food?

Joe: We were drawn to here. It called out.

Matt: We’ve been eating a lot of hamburgers

Joe: Yeah, always.

Matt: We didn’t have any hamburgers in Montreal, but we did the equivalent.

Jesse: And sometimes you just want to eat hamburgers. We went to In n’ Out a couple of times.

Matt: We went to Al’s Fries. That was a unique experience.

Duncan: Where’s that?

Matt: Here, when we dropped off the trailer.

Jesse: We went to a great hamburger place in Seattle, right after the show.

Duncan: I remember being really pissed when I was finished with the hamburger. Remember?

Matt: Which one?

Duncan: In Seattle, when we ate with your friends, Clara and Adele.

Joe: Adele’s actually gotten quite famous recently.

Jesse: Oh, yeah. I heard she made music sales bump up by three percent all on her own.

Joe: Good for her.

Jesse: It’s not that Adele.

Joe: It’s not that Adele.


That’s why I like the Al’s burger: they’re small, but when you finish, you just get another one.

Matt: I wouldn’t be bummed if we ate there again.

Duncan: I wouldn’t either. I had chicken when we went there. I wanted to get the fried chicken, and didn’t for some reason, and regretted it.

Matt: You know where I fucked up? I didn’t get fries. I forgot.

Joe: So anyway, to answer your question, this is one of my favorite foods. [Laughs] But there aren’t that many opportunities on the road for good pho noodles. This was an obvious choice.

Jesse: I just texted Crystal and she also said this is her favorite.

How was Montreal?

Matt: It’s a really nice place.

Joe: It’s full of pretty girls.

Matt: It’s disorienting. Even living in New York City.


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