As you may have seen elsewhere on our website, the first winners of the Uncut Music Award have just been revealed as the Fleet Foxes. I spoke to Robin Pecknold last week to get his reaction, and found out a couple more things from him. One, he’s as anxious to hear the new Animal Collective album as many more Wild Mercury Sound regulars.

As you may have seen elsewhere on our website, the first winners of the Uncut Music Award have just been revealed as the Fleet Foxes. I spoke to Robin Pecknold last week to get his reaction, and found out a couple more things from him. One, he’s as anxious to hear the new Animal Collective album as many more Wild Mercury Sound regulars.

And two, his personal highlight of the year was meeting Al Jardine. Here’s his story.

“We played a show in Big Sur. I’d never been there and it’s pretty small. There’s not a town, there’s a gas station and then these five million dollar houses, and then a really big national park. It’s pretty cool. The guy putting on the show said, ‘Hey do you wanna go to Al Jardine’s house? Al has a studio and he wants to know if you guys wanna check out the studio?’

“We were like, absolutely, it was a huge honour. So we went there and got to meet him in his studio. He had Brian Wilson’s piano, and knick-knacks that were really interesting to me, like a Beach Boys flight case with the Brother Records logo on it from 1973, and old reels of tape with the Brother studio logo on it. It was kinda crazy stuff. My eyes were definitely wide open. It was a beautiful house.

“He was awesome, he was so sweet.. I don’t know if he’d heard our music before; I think the guy who put on the show told him we might be a band that he’d like or something. We played him a couple of songs off the EP in the studio ‘cos he wanted to test out these new monitors he’d got for his mixing desk. Then he cancelled something so he could come to the show.

“The show was at this crazy place wth a Buddhist spirit garden, very small town Californian weirdness. There were nests you could sleep in overnight – made out of wood. You climbed into them like a hammock, but they were like big gigantic bird’s nests.

“He played us a couple of songs off a record he’d recently made, he had a duet between him and Neil Young recorded last summer that no-one had heard. It was going to be on his next record. He had a lot of good advice. Carl and Dennis are passed, and if I were to meet Brian I don’t know how substantive the discussion would be, but Al told us how they did this thing, that we should hold on to our publishing. That was a definite glowing moment.”