Psalm Zero Interview is up
1. I guess I'm late to the Psalm Zero boat but I wanted to ask the mix of Post Rock, Post Punk, Electronica and Avant metal seems to be an interesting mix. Did you expect Sparta to sound like this all along?
Yeah, all three of the PZ records have had all those elements, configured differently in each song. I knew this record would be more on the “rock” side of things, especially with Keith’s live drumming.
2. I see you're touring with Kayo Dot and have worked with members of that very band on your own music. How did this tour come about and what are you hoping from it ?
Well, Ron plays in both PZ and KD so it’s a perfect thing to do. Toby just hit me up and proposed it. As always with a tour, I’m hoping to create profound ecstatic, ritual experiences with people in different towns, as well as sell t shirts and fuck around in the van.
3. I hear elements of bands like Tiamat, Slowdive, Tenhi, Swervedriver, Soundgarden, Antimatter, The Cure, Joy Division and even Anathema . What bands have inspired you?
That’s awesome you said Tiamat. Not that I’ve been listening to them a ton, but the synth at the beginning of “Animal Outside”, the guys said Yeah that has a Tiamat vibe. I was thinking a lot about Soundgarden and Alice in Chains on this record. Ron says he channels a lot of Interpol/Carlos D with his bass stylings here. And Keith has become a very serious techno producer, which you can’t hear in PZ, but it’s a huge part of him.
4. I love the very deep almost gothic meets darkwave vocal style with the musical heavy overtones. In the studio does vocal themes and ideas come 1st os is the music written then vocal ideas come?
I usually write the lyrics first, then a little bit of the riffs, then I create melodies for the vocals, then more riffs
4. If you could make a proper video for any track off Sparta which would it be and how would you like it to be presented?
Check out the video for “The Last Faith” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8nIp2pLuvk that Joan Pope directed. That’s pretty much perfect to me.
5. Why the Departure from Profound Lore to your own independent release? Did you feel that in 2020 with good PR and Digital media you can really just do it on your own?
In the case of PZ, doing it on my own seems like it’s going to be just as good. That wouldn’t be the same for every act, in every moment of their career, but it’s working for us so far.
6. The NYC scene is an ever ebb and flow of the world around it. Where does Psalm Zero fit in all of it ?
PZ has a strange role. We all grew up in NY, so it’s what we are. But I recently moved to LA, where I’ll be for a couple years, and Ron moved to Portland temporarily. So we’re doing the whole thing long distance now. We’ll always be a “New York band” though.
8. How does Psalm Zero differ Live vs Recording? and which do you prefer?
On this upcoming tour it’s going to differ significantly in that we’re doing programmed drums, no Keith. Me, Ron, tracks, and light design. It will be a lot more electronic feeling.
9. How would you present the band to someone about to listen for the 1st time?
I’d play them “A Pill”, and then “Real Rain” from the last record.
10. If Psalm Zero was to end today what do you want the band to be remembered for?
Hopefully not my behavior from 2012 - 2014
11. Are there any artists musically out there that you would like to expose my readers that they should really check out?
Check out STERN https://sterntheband.bandcamp.com/
JC MEYERS https://jcmeyers.bandcamp.com/
All three very experimental artists that are gaining recognition for their originality.
12. I love the mix of electronic, horns, organs and metallic over tones. Was it hard to arrange it all to have that dark and fragile feel to the heaviness or call for Sparta?
That’s awesome that you find it dark and fragile. Those are great things. Those additional instruments didn’t take a ton of thought. Just a little extra coloring. I love bells.
13. Is there a running theme between all Psalm Zero albums or just a picture of that time for you?
There’s no overall running theme throughout all the records. But each record within itself tends to spiral around certain obsessions. I re-use lyrics a lot. I’m kind of an obsessive person. On this record, it’s “humanity”, the human, the post-human, the inhuman.