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Fun Fun Fun Fest's Orange Stage: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Balmorhea set to showcase the new stuff at Fun Fun Fun Fest

Peter Mongillo
Austin instrumental group Balmorhea bring more electronic elements into the mix on ‘Stranger.’

“Home,” the Johnny and June-if-they-lived-on-a-commune love song with an addictive horn line landed in enough commercials, television shows and dorm-room mixes to keep the song around even after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros front man Alexander Ebert released a solo album and the band released a second full-length. On the band’s latest, “Here,” Ebert and Co. take an intimate route, trading in some of its reach for the sky psychedelia from 2009 album “Up From Below” for a more grounded approach. Ebert talked about the new material, including a second new album that is slated to come out some time within the next few months, via email from Australia last week.

In addition to the band knowing/being more comfortable with one another, was there a particular experience that influenced your journey from ‘Up From Below’ to ‘Here’?

I think on “Up From Below” I was reaching toward a place, desperately — for community, wilderness of freedom and to contribute to the world more openings from the suppressive containments of adulthood. That’s a mouthful, and a high place to reach. I think we have reached much of that, and so lyrically “Here” is not desperate or wildly defiant, but confident and exposed — speaking FROM a place more and less TO a place.

You’ve said that the other album that came out of the ‘Here’ sessions has a much different feel than what ended up on ‘Here’ – how did that happen? Was it the songs? Or something else?

It was a deluge — many many songs poured forth — what made “Here” were songs that felt like they had an affinity with one another — more meditative, in particular. Many of the others — the ones that will be on the next album — are more rambunctious and physically energized as well as more adventuresome. So while “Here” is speaking from a place, I think this next one is satisfied with sufficient rest and setting us off on many adventures.

It seems like the music business is quickly headed toward a nonstop festival circuit. What are some of the challenges of connecting with your audience when you’re playing to an open field that has a bunch of other things going on at once as opposed to playing a club?

For us it is all worthwhile — small, large, in, out — the most important thing is truthfulness and liberty on stage. If I am unhinged, I will connect. I really only run into problems when I got some kind of fear (going on).

What is your relationship to ‘Home’? It seems like it has a life of its own, still hanging around after a few years, a solo album, and a new album from the band – is that accurate? Do you ever feel like it gets in the way? Or is it something you embrace?

Yes — I love the fact and love the song tremendously. I love singing it to Jadey and to the audience — the interesting thing is it was never a massive radio hit. It really primarily spread through word of mouth, Internet, mixtapes … so this may play into our reasons for continuing to embrace it so completely.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros perform on the Orange Stage at 8:50 p.m. Sunday.

Other highlights from the Orange Stage:

FRIDAY

Run-DMC. (8:35 p.m.) Rap pioneers Run-DMC, performing this year for the first time since the death of DJ Jam Master Jay, picked Austin as one of a handful of shows; it’s not clear when or if they’ll be back.

Bob Mould. (5:05 p.m.) Former Husker Du frontman gave an inspiring, energized performance of his celebrated Sugar album “Copper Blue” during South by Southwest. Expect the same this weekend.

Sharon Van Etten. (3:25 p.m.) Painfully honest, forward, fired-up songwriter Sharon Van Etten returns to Austin after sweeping through town during SXSW.

SATURDAY

Public Image Ltd. (7:50 p.m.) John Lydon, formerly Johnny Rotten, formed menacing post-punk band PiL after leaving the Sex Pistols. They released their first studio album in 20 years, the well-received “This is PiL,” in May.

Real Estate. (6:05 p.m.) Sunny, jangly indie rock with a focus on hazy guitars and dream-world vocals.

The Golden Boys. (11:50 a.m.) Yes, they start before noon, but the Golden Boys’ garage stew of rock and soul demands that you be there.

SUNDAY

Deerhoof. (5:15 p.m.) With a sound that is at once noisy, unpredictable, sometimes unsettling, experimental pop group Deerhoof embodies the best of FFF’s orange stage personality.

A Place to Bury Strangers. (2:50 p.m.) Gloomy pop drowned in a sea of clamorous distortion.

Hundred Visions. (11:50 a.m.) Austin rockers invoke the spirit of late 70s New York — Television and Talking Heads — in punchy, tense bursts.

The Story Behind the Song: Bob Mould and ‘If I Can’t Change Your Mind’