The Morning Benders have been enchanting their hometown of Berkeley, California with their sweet harmonic honeysuckle since long before the release of 2008’s Talking Through Tin Cans. With their 2010 album Big Echo, they’ve blown up their sound in a way appropriate to the album's title, adding some of the tense, echoing pauses of some of Grizzly Bear’s best songs. Don’t be fooled by the comparison, though; they’ve truly made the sound their own, with big drums and guitars doubled, inventively, like pianos. A video for their single "Excuses" that went viral recently takes these charms and multiplies them tenfold in a mini-"wall of sound" arrangement. They play at Governor’s Island tomorrow; we caught lead singer Chris Chu on his way to the East Coast and he told us about, among other things, the band's recent move to Brooklyn (not that they’ve had much time to hang around!), his dream collaboration with Questlove, and coldness in love and war.

You somewhat recently moved to Brooklyn—think you'll stay a while? What's your favorite part of living here so far? Definitely. I just love how many options there are here. You can do anything you want, get anything you want, at any time of day. That's pretty special.

Have you been over to Governors Island yet? This will be our first time.

How do you feel about headlining to such a potentially large crowd on Saturday? I'll have to let you know after the show :)

Both of your album names are sound-themed, and Pitchfork seems to be making a big deal of this, using their almost opposing literal meanings to illustrate how the band has grown. Was it in any way a conscious choice that you’ve gone from “Talking Through Tin Cans” to a “Big Echo”? Definitely. I've always loved album titles that try to somehow describe their sound, because music is so difficult to put into words. And especially for "Big Echo," we really thought the title fit the songs perfectly. Before we even made the album we were calling the new songs the "Big Echo Songs." This is before a lot of the arrangements and sounds were worked out, but for some reason we just knew it fit.

What is the hierarchy of the band like? Who writes the music, who writes the lyrics, who calls the shots (for example, gathers all the friends of the band for that amazing Yours Truly video?) I write the songs. So the melody and lyrics are usually already there. The music and the arrangements usually come out of playing the songs with the band, and finding some middle ground. Sometimes we just play a song for hours and hours and hours until we find something we are happy with. The "Excuses" video was an idea I had in the back of my head for a while, so I put that together.

What about Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” speaks to you? A lot of your songs, not just “Excuses,” sound worthy of the “wall of sound” treatment. I've listened to those songs since I was a little kid, I can't even really say why I love them so much anymore. I love the melodies, I love the sounds. I love everything about it.

How did it come to you to theme a love song “Cold War (Nice Clean Fight)” after the Cold War? Especially in contrast with “Promises,” which to me seems to convey a lot of ennui that’s very modern in nature? I wanted to write a song about that kind of conflict you sometimes find yourself in, in a relationship, where you aren't fighting overtly, but find yourself somehow emotionally at odds with someone. I thought the idea of a Cold War was a good way of summing up that feeling. It's also about letting those feelings pass through you, and trying not to let them take you over.

You played at Irving Plaza with Broken Bells recently. What’s it been like opening for a supergroup, albeit one that had a smaller discography (specifically, one album)? It was a pretty fantastic tour. The crowds were great and a lot of fun, but really what stands out for me is how supportive and amazing Broken Bells were. They are the nicest dudes, and super down to hang, which is a big deal in my book.

What current bands are you listening to? Twin Sister. Cults. Radio Dept. Teen Inc. Active Child. The Avalanches.

What musicians (dead or alive) would be in your all-star supergroup? George Harrison, Kevin Shields, Questlove (and me, of course).

Favorite venue to play/hear music in NYC. Music Hall of Williamsburg was pretty amazing for us to play. I also love Bowery Ballroom.

Favorite NYC bar, and restaurant. We just go where ever we can get free drinks. My favorite restaurant is Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown, for the Xiao Long Bao. I pretty much moved to New York to eat these.