When we spoke with Jonathan Rado from a Minneapolis hospital last month, he was having a pretty hard week. Physically speaking, Rado was in good health—he was at the hospital to visit his Foxygen bandmate Sam France, who had broken his leg onstage the previous night only a few minutes into the performance. The broken leg was one of a handful of crises on Rado’s plate that week, as headlines circulated about a tell-all Tumblr post from a former touring vocalist, a festival “meltdown,” and a subsequent string of canceled festival dates while France’s leg healed. While this particular week was probably one of Rado’s most stressful in recent memory, scrutiny from the music press is familiar to him and his band.
When we do get around to the purpose of the call, his upcoming solo record Law and Order, Rado describes the album and its writing process as “stuff I would laugh at” and that he “doesn’t think much about it at all.” It’s easy to take those pull quotes out of context, but he’s actually describing a pretty organic songwriting and home recording practice, which takes place entirely—including a full drum set—in his current bedroom in New York and his childhood room in California.