Last April Pavement got its fans in a tizzy when Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) posted on the group’s mostly dormant Facebook page, in part: “there’s some great news coming soon.” While it was never entirely clear what Kannberg was referring to, it was later assumed the guitarist was referencing The Secret History, Vol. 1, a vinyl-only double-album featuring songs that the band had already released as part of its Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe reissue. Cool, yes, but a bit of a red herring for anyone expecting a sequel to Pavement’s 2010 reunion.
Flash forward to this year and things, once again, looked primed for a Pavement reunion. There were initial negotiations for Pavement to reunite to perform as part of the Charleston venue Music Farm’s 25th anniversary, although they were eventually aborted. According to Pavement booking agent David Viecelli, “there are no plans for any Pavement activity whatsoever.”
While that may be true on the touring front, there exists the possibility that Pavement members will convene soon at drummer Steve West’s home studio in Virginia to record new music, with or without leader/principal songwriter Stephen Malkmus.
“We’ve toyed with the idea of making a seven-inch record without Stephen on it,” says Pavement multi-instrumentalist/singer Bob Nastanovich. “We’d be looking to make something along the lines of [1996’s] Pacific Trim or [1992’s] Watery, Domestic.” The Pacific Trim EP, for one, featured only a skeleton version of Pavement (Malkmus, Nastanovich and West).
“We [Nastanovich, Kannberg, West and bassist Mark Ibold] have all talked about doing it this spring. I wouldn’t rule that out. I don’t see any reason why Pavement fans can’t be treated to three or four songs and for them to decide whether they like them or not.”
Of course, should Malkmus decide to get the band together, Nastanovich would be quick to go on sabbatical at his day job, working at the Prairie Meadows racetrack in Altoona, Iowa, where he works 60 hours-plus per week seven months out of the year.
“My job is so easy in Pavement that, fuck, if someone called me up right now and said, ‘you wouldn’t believe it, Bob, but Pavement is playing in Des Moines in 40 minutes,’ I’d be over there with my tambourines and maracas,” he says. “I’d also immediately start drinking beer heavily.”
In addition to working at the track and gambling daily, Nastanovich watches a lot of sports on TV, runs Pavement’s Facebook page with Kannberg, and travels as a DJ, both here and aboard—but doesn’t do so in the Skrillex sense of the vocation.
“When I say DJ,” he explains, “I don’t go up there and do any tricks. I just play records. I don’t know how to do all that bullshit.”