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September 22, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Hamilton Leithauser

Buzzmaster
  (12:31 PM)

Keep sending those questions for Hamilton! And don't be surprised if Pete Bauer joins as well! Got any questions for Pete?

Ham
  (2:01 PM)

Greetings!

Marc (Arizona)

Did you lose respect for Lebron after "The Decision" nonsense? Who is the worst basketball player on the Walkmen?

Hamilton
  (2:05 PM)

Yes "the decision" was weak. When Matt is on your team, it is a major negative...it's like handing the other guys the ball

Pete Marshall (Norman, OK)

If you go could back in time and have The Walkmen exist in any decade, which would it be?

Pete
  (2:08 PM)

The sixties or maybe the forties as I think we would have caught a lot of people by surprise in the 40s.

Steven (Orlando, FL)

Which is a cooler job, rock star or superstar athlete?

Peter
  (2:10 PM)

The better job would definitely be athlete I would think and hope. You stay at nicer hotels and you retire sooner.

Kate (AZ)

You're quite tall; have you ever considered a career in the NBA?

Peter
  (2:11 PM)

A lot of times children confuse Ham for Dirk Nowitzki but he sure does not play like him.

Mark (Cincinnati, OH)

How did you respond when the band was called Simon & Garfunkel in Cincinnati?

Ham
  (2:12 PM)

We lowered our heads and walked. That guy was not to be messed with.

Kevin W. (Saint Cloud State)

What are your pre-game warm-ups before hitting the stage?

Peter
  (2:12 PM)

two heinekens and a plastic cup of scotch.

Patricia (NYC)

Federer or Nadal?

Ham
  (2:12 PM)

djokovic.

paulina (virginia)

why did the band decide to lose the epic, romantic horn pieces like "crackhead" (the lonely song) and the good days? i really enjoyed those live and, not that lisbon isnt really great, maybe some more than the stuff you decided on. and is there a chance we'll be seeing some of those songs you didn't choose for lisbon later? like in the next album? you guys are appreciated down here keep up the good work! :D

Peter
  (2:13 PM)

I think the recordings of both of those just did not work out that well. Maybe in the future. I'm glad that people know we had a song titled "Crackhead" though. It was a very pretty and friendly song.

Matt (Houston, Tx)

Favorite album of 2010? What's your opinion of this "chillwave" stuff the kids are loving so much these days?

Ham
  (2:13 PM)

The kids need to grow up. I've never heard of chill wave, but it sounds pretty lazy to me.

Ken (Philly)

Favorite baseball team - Nats, O's, Phillies, Yankees, or other? How about the other guys?

Ham
  (2:14 PM)

Tigers, Nats, Orioles...all the terrible teams.

Peter
  (2:15 PM)

Phillies! I've really jumped on the bandwagon since I moved here. My son is five and has started booing everyone in Yankees hats he sees which brings up some real awkward situations in Manhattan.

Stina (Virginia)

I've got a baby boy on the way and my husband us set on the name "Hamilton." What do you think about your name?

Ham
  (2:16 PM)

Kids will use "Ham and Cheese", "Ham sandwich", did you have "Ham" for dinner...stuff like that. It hurts, but it's kind of like naming your boy Sue.

Jose (Rancho Cucamonga,ca)

I just saw you @ The Fonda in Hollywood. AMAZING!!! I hope to see you @ Coachella this year!! What is the fate of the songs that were cut out of the album? Also, will you play our wedding in July? We can't pay much but can offer free beer and tons of Mexican food!!

Peter
  (2:16 PM)

While I doubt the Walkmen will play, my family and I are happy to freeload our way into your wedding and will be happy to sing for food and drinks.

Ham
  (2:16 PM)

I thought we were talking about the Washington Redskins!

Matt (Houston, Tx)

Ham, your band is one of the best things I've ever heard, period. As a matter of fact your song "In the New Year" was playing during the birth of my daughter. So, please don't hold it against Houston that we stole that game from the Redskins on Sunday and come and play a show for us.

Daniel (Michigan)

Love the new album! But how can a song as good as Weight On My Shoulders not make the cut? Please release it in digital form.

Peter
  (2:18 PM)

I'm gonna blame Paul Maroon for that. I still dig that one.

Ham
  (2:18 PM)

That game was just terrible. Pete and I watched on a cell phone in Las Vegas, then went and lost all our cash in a sports-themed casino where the dealer was wearing a seahawks jersey.

Scott Hower (Atlanta, GA)

Hey Hamilton - the Walkmen are one of my fav bands and I love the new album! Will Donovan McNabb take the Skins to the playoffs this year?

Ham
  (2:19 PM)

It's on. I have the faith. I think they looked pretty good even in that loss. Where was Albert Hainsworth by the way? I missed most of the coverage beforehand. I hope for his sake that he wasn't playing.

Brad (Gadsden,Alabama)

Hamilton, Who is your favorite college football team?

Ham
  (2:20 PM)

I don't watch that much college football but I do follow Michigan a bit since my grandma taught there.

Cynthia Harris (Chicago)

The Walkmen @ Double Door Chicago, Lollapalozza weekend was definitely one of the hottest, sweatiest, best live shows I've ever been to. I can't wait to see you again at The Metro 10/13.

Ham
  (2:21 PM)

Yeah I walked away from that weekend with an advanced case of pneumonia. I think I still haven't fully recovered.

Thomas (San Diego, Cali)

What would you say to Daniel Snyder if he showed up backstage at a show?

Ham
  (2:23 PM)

How are Jamie Fox and Tom Cruise, you dark-hearted prick.

Andreia Mota (Oporto, Portugal )

I read somewhere that you felt like Europe doesn't like The Walkmen or, at least, you hadn't achieved lots of success here. Do you feel like things might change with this new record?Also, how do you feel about soccer? Do you have any favourite (european) team?^^

Peter
  (2:25 PM)

So far anyway, that's how it's gone except in Portugal so that was one of the reasons we named our record Lisbon. Hopefully, that's gonna change as we're over there for a month and that's a lot of crying in the shower at the local travel lodge. Regarding soccer, I was rooting for Portugal during the world cup because we already knew we were gonna call our record Lisbon. Then my wife got her eye on Renaldo and I sort of turned on em.

Chris (FL)

What do you eat the most often while on tour?

Ham
  (2:26 PM)

Chipotle. We used to go to Cracker Barrel every day...it was so depressing with all these happy families, and this ugly, dilapidated table of five shlubs fighting over that stupid little "tee" game. Pete is on a strict diet of Starbucks for breakfast and Chipotle for lunch and dinner.

Paulie (NYC)

I've always wondered how musicians get paid? Do you get a weekly check? What? And how do you make sure your label isn't ripping you off!?

Peter
  (2:26 PM)

You get paid in peanuts and you forget all about ever getting paid by a record label soon after signing up with em.

Josiah Kosier (Here)

Your last records have all flopped. What makes this one different?

Ham
  (2:27 PM)

Who says this one is different? And in regards to getting paid ... The way it works is simple...everyone rips you off. The band is constantly screwed, and it becomes impossible to claw your way out of this pit you have somehow been forced to dig.

Ashley (Mobile)

Is it hard to keep up with your favorite teams while you are touring? Do you get to go to many games?

Peter
  (2:28 PM)

We have become experts in finding weird overseas websites that broadcast stolen sports. It's all we do.

Dennis (Tenleytown)

What inspired the song Victory?

Peter
  (2:30 PM)

Constant failure.

Kent (Lawrence, Kansas)

Have you seen a doctor about your throat? I know I ain't your mother; I just hope it's okay.

Ham
  (2:31 PM)

I saw a doctor about my hearing...I was hoping he'd say "Get outta here! You're fine! You could hear the grass grow" but instead he told me I have "machine gunner's ear" in both ears.

William (Home)

When was the last time either of you was in a fight?

Ham
  (2:33 PM)

I can't remember the last one, but I do remember getting into it with pete in some stranger's flat in London one time at 6:55 am because neither of us wanted to go feed the meter for the van. I think I dominated him.

Nick (Columbus, OH)

How many beers did you guys have while sitting outside the fortress on the hill overlooking Lisbon? That's a great spot...

Ham
  (2:33 PM)

I don't know about beers, but we did stuff ourselves with the saltiest cod they had to offer.

Brian Kelly (D.C.)

Give us some insight into the art of the encore ... what do you do during those few minutes? Are you tempted some nights to not do an encore if the crowd was just so-so? And isn't the whole encore thing kind of corny anyway? Why not just kill for 2 hours and jet!

Peter
  (2:34 PM)

The whole encore thing is real corny but people sort of get angry if you don't. Even when it's half empty someone always gets mad. So why not? You just sort of stare at each other and wait to get back out there. We always play Low rider right after which I think is a very good way of letting people know things are over.

Bethany (PA)

The Walkmen seems like such a cool name ... how was it not taken before you guys? Or was it?

Peter
  (2:34 PM)

It was. By some rappers in Tampa! We didn't know though until later.

Jason (Philly)

Who are you and why should I have heard of you?

Ham
  (2:35 PM)

We're x-Padres farm teamers.

Vish (Santa Cruz, CA)

Congrats on placing #27 w/ Lisbon on the Billboard charts!

Peter
  (2:35 PM)

Take that and shove it Arcade Fire! Oh wait...

Gerardo (Mexico City)

Are you guys planning to come to Mexico City? Or at least interested? Lisbon is such a masterpiece and I really need to see you again.

Peter
  (2:37 PM)

We would love to. That's probably my favorite place we ever visited.

The Hamburglar (DC)

Mr. Vekouteren or a one of you as QB in 4th/5th grade?

Ham
  (2:38 PM)

You should be able to construct a better sentence than that.

Sarah (GA)

You used to have a really cool/funny "diagram" of the tour van on your website. Are you still touring in a van, and are there any major changes to it now we should know about?

Peter
  (2:39 PM)

It now shakes if you go under 70 mph and hasn't had an oil change in about 20,000 miles. My neighbor had it towed recently as abandoned which really pissed me off.

Timo (Cali)

If some big company wanted to use one of your songs on a national commercial, is that cool or is that selling out? Why do you think people give bands such a hard time about trying to make it, however you can?

Ham
  (2:40 PM)

It's really cool. I think it's so cool.

FBI (Arlington)

Was the moon landing fake? Did Oswald act alone? And where is Bin Laden?

Peter
  (2:42 PM)

No. No. And Pakistan.

Pen (Los Angeles, CA)

The Walkmen have covered a few Recoys songs. How 'bout covering "Roy Orbison" next? Or a Jonathan Fire*Eater song even? ;p

Ham
  (2:42 PM)

Jonathan wire eater? Are those guys still kickin around?

Alan H (NY)

Which song on Lisbon did you tinker with the most before coming up with the final version?

Peter
  (2:43 PM)

That song Juveniles, I recorded about a hundred pianos and a hundred versions of myself whistling the main riff. The final version has one piano and it was the fourth full time we recorded it.

Nick (Columbus, OH)

I know you guys are all from the DC area - how do you and the rest of the guys feel about the area's college teams (UVA, UMD, G'town, etc.)? Fans, opponents, indifferent? P.S. Any plans to come to Columbus soon - it's been a while!

Ham
  (2:44 PM)

I'm pretty indifferent. As far as DC goes, I do like the Redskins, although they've thrown basically every reason to hate them at us in the last couple of years. I'd say hiring Shanahan and McNabb are the first good things they've done in 5 years. I was all pumped for Gibbs, but he really did look like a lost little cub scout up there. I would like to like the Nats, but I guess, being in the Walkmen, I don't need to surround myself with more losers.

Nick (Cleveland)

Hamilton, I saw you guys live in Cleveland a few summers ago. Unbelievable show, you guys really sound great live. Any chance you guys can channel your raw emotion and energy into making a Cleveland-themed record based on our heartbreaking sports history?

Peter
  (2:45 PM)

I like your idea. I think our maudlin horn slow jams would really hit the spot for that subject matter. I feel for you.

Raquel (Lisbon)

Hi Hamilton. So, I live in Lisbon and I was wondering if you guys have any surprises for the Lisbon show in November :)

Peter
  (2:46 PM)

A lot of people have been asking about this and we've had a long standing idea to serve a spaghetti dinner from the stage so maybe this is the night.

Stevie B. (New York City)

Break down the Walkmen as a 5-man basketball team, by position. Also: who's brings the most "intangibles" on the court?

Ham
  (2:48 PM)

Matt -- scrambler; loses the ball to other team as fast as possibleWalt -- right guard; talks a lot of smack and surprises everyone by basically abstaining from playingPaul -- Point Guard; quick, darting motions with no follow through; basically has it in for Pete Ham -- Center; very disappointing abilities, slow reaction time, no shot; blew out his knee last time he played; uses injured knee/hangover as defense mechanismPete -- Left Guard; very sharp elbows..has sent multiple opponents to emergency room over the years with slit open eyes; smokers cough; overall terrible game...definitely the most enthusiastic player

Greg (Arizona)

I should be studying for a French test... What do I need to know?

Ham
  (2:50 PM)

Je nes pas cest bon?

Alex (PA)

Hamilton - what did you think of the Christopher Hitchens book you read (mentioned in the NME interview)?

Ham
  (2:51 PM)

I liked it a lot. I am reading Hitch-22 now. Is it true this guy was banging Martin Amis? I think so.

Megan (Covina, Ca)

Orioles or Nationals?

Ham
  (2:52 PM)

O's. Too much history.

Anaxamander (Ronkonkoma, NY)

I've seen some pretty lame bands open for you. Who was your favorite?

Peter
  (2:54 PM)

You're telling me! I'd say my favorite was Beach House. Usually, especially over seas though, we'll get these English groups who always are about to make it big and have all these songs that sound like "where the streets have no name" and to top it off they constantly blow smoke in your face and smell like egg sandwiches.

Andreia Mota (Oporto, Portugal )

I read somewhere that you felt like Europe doesn't like The Walkmen or, at least, you hadn't achieved lots of success here. Do you feel like things might change with this new record?Also, how do you feel about soccer? Do you have any favourite (european) team?^^

Ham
  (2:55 PM)

I have no idea...it's like a roulette game every time we go over there, and judging by how pete and I fared in Vegas on Sunday, we are not going to end up "in the black". Regarding Soccer, I was thrilled to see the US put England in it's rightful place.

Chris (D.C.)

What if the Redskins make the Super Bowl one of these years and you have a gig scheduled that night? What then?

Ham
  (2:55 PM)

Hire Dirk Novitzky to stand in for me.

Pen (Los Angeles, CA)

Any summer US festivals you guys will be playing at next year? Can you give us a heads up as to which ones?

Peter
  (2:55 PM)

Hopefully, just about everything. We will be playing between 10-1030 am if history is any indication.

Hamilton
  (2:58 PM)

Thanks everyone sorry we can't answer everything we've gotta run. Later.