terça-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2014

Anthem of the Sun with The Sun Blindness - An Interview

Melbourne, Austrália, muito antes do Tame Impala surgir com o revivalista psicodélico, a cidade já respirava ecos sessentistas e setentistas cortesia do The Sun Blindness, um comboio de freaks fanáticos por Grateful Dead e toda a época das trips insanas de LSD.

Pena que os caras estão em um hiato desde 2011, algumas mudancas de formacão, surtiram esse tempo de pausa, o ultimo registro em estúdio é o genial Far Arden, que muito bem poderia ter sido lancado em 1969 que seria um dos grande clássicos da época, tamanho o experimentalismo ácido, faixas como Minutes to go ou Journey Through The Valley of O são puros delírios.

O TBTCI aguarda ansiosamente os próximos capítulos dessa saga do The Sun Blindness.

***** Interview with The Sun Blindness *****

Q. When did The Sun Blindness form? tell us your story….
I was working the graveyard shift at a supermarket in 2003, packing shelves all night. Duncan started working there too, and we soon became friends. Due, initially, to our mutual love of smoking pot. We got into the habit of going back to my house in the morning after a long night at work, where we'd get stoned and play guitar for hours, long experimental jams. I was into psychedelic music and culture in a *big* way, especially anything related to the sixties. I turned Duncan onto LSD in 2004 and soon after we got our shit together and actually started the band and started writing actual songs. We took the name from an obscure John Cale drone record from 1965 called "Sun Blindness Music". We did our first gig in February 2005. I should mention that psychedelics aren't for everyone, and I'm sure there's been plenty of great psychedelic music created by people who've never indulged, but it's impossible to discuss our band and music without mentioning them, because they were and still are one of the most significant driving forces behind what we're trying to create and express. It is what it is.

Q: What are your influences?
Well, I can only speak for myself, Duncan would probably give you an entirely different answer. That said; I grew up listening to a lot of Sixties music, the usual suspects like The Doors, Beatles, Pink Floyd, 13th Floor Elevators. 'The Piper At The Gates of Dawn' was definitely one of my biggest influences. Around the time we got the band going, I was obsessed with the eighties band Spacemen 3, and a lot of our early, pre-album stuff was an attempt to emulate them. I used to collect a lot of psychedelic music compilations from the sixties, things like Nuggets, Rubble, Chocolate Soup For Diabetics, Fading Yellow. They were a huge influence on me, especially the production. I'll never forget when I first heard the Pretty Things song 'Defecting Grey'.. it blew my head off. I was into some modern stuff too, like early Gomez, Kid-A era Radiohead, and a guy called P.G. Six. I don't know if you could call it an influence, but we were both really into the first Interpol album 'Turn On The Bright Lights' at the time. When we recorded 'Like Pearly Clouds', I was heavily into The Incredible String Band, The Beach Boys and The Millenium, who did a great album called "Begin". And I loved the freewheeling, eccentric, enthusiastic psychedelia of the Brian Jonestown Massacre's album "Their Satanic Majesties Second Request". When I heard that album I could hear so many little nods (some overt, some subtle) to classic psychedelic songs from the past. It was inspiring. I was also heavily into Terence Mckenna and William Blake when we recorded "Like Pearly Clouds". Psilocybin mushrooms and DMT were a huge influence on me at that time, and their presence permeates that album. In contrast, our second album "Far Arden", was an acid soaked affair; LSD was what was around for that one.

Q. Your 5 albums of all time…
- The Doors - The Doors (1967)
- Skip Spence - Oar (1968)
- The Grateful Dead - Live/Dead (1969)
- P.G. Six - Parlor Tricks & Porch Favorites (2001)
- David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971)

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's terrible. When we started doing gigs we did them as a duo, with two electric guitars and lots of pedals. It was a strange setup, but it was cool. Later on we picked up a full band with drums, bass, keyboards, etc. These days we're back to a duo, with one acoustic guitar and one electric. Trying to convert the lush soundscapes of the albums into a live setting has been a constant struggle, because it's inevitably going to sound very different and stripped back, which confuses people. When it works, and the people you're playing for are into it, it can be transcendent and feels great. When it doesn't, and people are generally disinterested or talking through your show, it can be frustrating... "Transmitting but not receiving", as Roky Erickson used to say.

Q. How do you describe Sun Blindness' sounds?
Dreamy, cosmic, sincere psychedelia.. a feeling of wonder, of looking beyond the veil. Too much modern music is self consciously ironic and phony.

Q: Tell us about the recording process....
We generally record at home, on a combination of 4-tracks, some simple PC audio software with a good mixing board and a few decent mics. It's a low-fi affair, but I'm satisfied with the results. Especially after Kramer, our mastering wizard, scrubs it down and makes it shine. The first album was a very lo-fi affair; I ran literally everything through a 15 watt Vox Cambridge Celestion amplifier. Including the vocals... I had a special lead to connect a microphone to a guitar pedal, such as a delay, then into the amp where I used the spring reverb on the amp and the in-built tremolo if needed. I'd layer several harmony parts on top of each other this way, and the result was a really warm vocal sound which I really liked. Even the tambourines and shakers went through that amp. We had to improvise in this way because we had no money to buy better recording equipment. Still don't! But I'm glad we did it that way.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
There's a lot of amazing psychedelic music being made at the moment.. Animal Collective come to mind. The Laurels, from Sydney, are a great band; we kind of came up in the same scene as them around 2005/2006, and have spent many years partying together and crashing at each others houses when we tour. They play druggy shoegaze music at staggering volumes, it's fantastic. To be honest, I don't listen to a lot of new music, partly out of laziness and partly because I tend to get obsessed with certain periods and genres of older music, and spend so much time involved in exploring that stuff that I tend to neglect new stuff. In other words my finger is thoroughly not on the pulse of new music, whatsoever... I'm very insular in my listening habits. I get obsessive about one thing, then move on to another. When it was made doesn't matter to me - I've come to regard anything I haven't heard as new; regardless of when it was made. Both Duncan and I have been very into old country music in the last few years, people like George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams. I'm a huge Grateful Dead fan, too.

Q: Which band and song would you like to cover?
Thousands, but my latest idea/obsession is to cover "Son (We've Kept The Room Just The Way You Left It)" by Michaelangelo. It's sort of become a tradition for us to cover an obscure psych song at the end of an album.. We did 'Lazy Livin' by the on the first album, and 'Journey Through The Valley Of O' by Relatively Clean Rivers on the second. I

Q: What are the plans for the future….
Well I think the future is a concept, it never arrives, there's only this moment. That said; to get our personal lives together enough so that we can finish recording our next album, and to play live more.

Q: Any parting words?
A quote from Jack Kerouac -
"Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl or boy by a fireside, why not go to your desire and laugh?"
Thanks guys