"I think we've grown up a lot," he says during our phone call. "[The songs on The Bloom and the Blight] have more perspective of experience and maturity and coming from the perspective of someone that sees the beauty and tragedy in things but doesn't get as caught up in it."
Certainly they've seen their fair share of beauty and tragedy in the past few years. Relationships have bloomed and crumbled, personal projects have achieved widespread if lesser acclaim. In likely the most tragic events in recent memory, in 2011 Stephens was involved in two separate accidents, a horrific van crash out on tour in Wyoming and a collision on his bike with a car while riding to his practice space in the Mission.
But he's moved forward. He'll get back on that touring horse, and is happy to soon be back in the van with his childhood pal, Vogel.
"I am actually really looking forward to going on tour again; We're both really looking forward to playing new songs, and seeing people's reactions," he says, adding, "It's not like we're expecting everyone to fall in love with it, but at least people know what they're getting into. We're playing all the new songs — so the set's pretty foreign to anyone besides us."
TWO GALLANTS: OUTSIDE LANDS NIGHT SHOW
Aug. 8, 7:30pm, $20
155 Fell, SF (415) 861-2011
TWO GALLANTS: OUTSIDE LANDS
Aug. 10, 1:50pm, $95 (one-day pass)
Golden Gate Park, SF