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Arts & Life

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats Looks to Iowa for Inspiration

Photo Courtesy of the artist
John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats


John Darnielle is the songwriter and leader of the band The Mountain Goats. He headlined this weekend’s Maximum Ames Music Festival. He performed an expansive set including songs from The Mountain Goats's newest record, "Beat the Champ," a concept album about professional wrestling.


Darnielle, who lived in Ames, Colo and Grinnell, is also an author. His first novel Wolf in White Van was nominated for the National Book Award last year. It's a fascinating tale of an outcast gamer whose face had been mutilated.


Darnielle spoke with IPR's Clay Masters about his last two projects as well as a new one he's working on that has to do with Iowa.