Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis didn't want to give up the story about why her Halloween costume is going to be a pickle.
"There's a story behind it, but I'm not going to tell you. What are you going to be?"
"I dunno. I was thinking a lion."
"Oh, that would be cute."
"Yeah, but I'm going to have to find a lion suit."
"I don't think finding a lion costume is going to be that hard. Wait. I love how you turned up your nose at my pickle costume and you're only going to be a lion! Well, there's this character called Super Pickle, a pickle with a cape, and he would fly in and rescue children that were about to eat a bowl of sugar cereal or a candy bar, and say, "Don't eat that! That's not good for you!' So I'm going as a pickle and my best friend's going as an olive."
Los Angeles's Rilo Kiley is touring to support their new full-length, More Adventurous, an album that blends country and folk into tightly produced pop music, but with much more honest and open lyrics than the typical mainstream slop.
For their last two albums, RK's gone back to Lincoln, Neb., to work with Saddle Creek producer Mike Mogis in his highly sought-after Presto! studio. Lewis credits much of the new album's success to Mogis.
"I think particularly we're growing in our relationship," Lewis says. "The first experience (The Execution of All Things) was a little intimidating, going out to Nebraska and record-ing with this guy that we were such big fans of."
But why oh why would a band that consists of two former actors living in Los Angeles go back to the desolate plains of Nebraska, for more than a month, in the middle of blizzard-hell winter?
"I love it there," Lewis says. "It's a lifestyle that really suits me. I know for some of the other guys in the band, the weather got them down, but I enjoy it. Winter there... is a great environment for writing and personal reflection. I feel that somehow being closed in during a blizzard during the winter helped me to figure some shit out."
After The Execution, Lewis commented about how her band wasn't cool enough for the L.A. scene.
"I think I've just given up on that. I don't really need it," she says. "I think we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, which makes us more uncool. So, you know, in L.A., if they don't think we're cool-well, fuck 'em, man."
A nice sentiment, and an attitude that seems toned-down or missing from More Adventurous compared to the edgier, potty-mouthed Rilo Kiley of the past.
"I don't know if angst has given way to sadness or contentment or the realization that it just is the way it is," Lewis says. "For me, screaming the word "fuck' is really fun and it was a little more fun a couple years ago, and it's still great when we play live, but I made a conscious effort not to curse so much because I didn't want it to become something I was using too frequently in songs. I feel like there's a better way to explain things without using profanity as a crutch. So, on this one I went through and took out some of the "fucks.'"Rilo Kiley screams "fuck' with Now It's Overhead and Tilly and the Wall at the Epicentre, 7 p.m. on Oct. 29. $12. 858-271-4000.