Slothrust Interview: “This video deals with childhood, memory, and dissociation”


New album Everyone Else is out now via Dangerbird.

New York’s Slothrust are a delightfully unique proposition. Ostensibly an alternative rock band, the trio also incorporate distinctively blues based arrangements (‘The Last Time I Saw My Horse’) and, in places, folk picking patterns and progressions (‘Mud’) that thrill and surprise throughout their third album Everyone Else. Combined with this are the most wonderfully evocative and atypical lyrics that conjure vivid images gracefully while they cling to the listener like a suckerfish.

We recently sat down with the band and they told us about their love of blues, their video for ‘Horseshoe Crab’, Louis Armstrong covers, and subjective interpretations of their songs.

Check out their upcoming tour dates below!

03/23/17 Los Angeles @ The Echo%
3/24/17 San Diego @ The Hideout%
4/13/17 Fayetteville AR w-Highly Suspect
4/14/17 Dallas TX w-Highly Suspect
4/18/17 Hunstville TX w-Highly Suspect
4/20/17 Lexington KY w-Highly Suspect
4/21/17 St. Louis MO w-Highly Suspect
4/22/17 Cumberland Caverns TN w-Highly Suspect
4/25/17 Mobile AL w-Highly Suspect
4/26/17 Destin FL w-Highly Suspect

% w/ Sons Of An Illustrious Father

Purchase Everyone Else via Bandcamp.

Overblown: Everyone Else is your third album. How do you think you have progressed in the three years since Of Course You Do?

Slothrust: We have toured a lot in the past three years, so we know each other better as musicians and as people. We were quite familiar with this music before entering the studio and had pretty clear ideas for how we wanted it to sound. It has been a great journey playing to so many new audiences in different cities in America and seeing what this country looks like outside of major cities. There are many beautiful overlooked parts. We hope to come to the UK soon!

O: Leah, I’ve read that you enjoy hearing other peoples’ interpretations of your lyrics. Are there any interpretations that you’ve heard that have particularly resonated with you?

S: This isn’t totally about lyrics, but I talked to a woman from AUX who watched all of our recent videos, as well looked into my artwork, and thought about the ways that they intersect and connect to our music. I felt like she really understood what I was going for and the ways that a lot of our work is tied together by absurdism, juxtaposition, and childhood. Lyrically, these ideas really connect to “Horseshoe Crab” and also “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”. Another funny thing is that Will and Kyle have said they don’t totally know what certain lyrics are until we record them in the studio and have time to listen back to a solo vocal. This makes for some funny times.

O: Speaking of interpretations, I feel there is a sense of alienation and isolation on the album. From the title Everyone Else to lines like, “I don’t have anything in common / With myself, except that I came from the sea / Just like everyone else did / But it is so unfamiliar now / Everything is so unfamiliar now” (‘Horseshoe Crab’). Do you feel that way at times?

S: Yes! You are right on point. I was definitely at a transitional point in my life when I wrote this song. The types of situations and changes I was going through were isolating and disorienting at times. Change and reevaluating your life can be really healthy, but also a bit ungrounding.

O: I enjoyed the lo-fi nature of the video for ‘Horseshoe Crab’. What was the concept behind the video?

S: This video deals with childhood, memory and dissociation. The entire record is very ocean-centric, and this video seemed like the perfect place to explore that on a literal level. I shot it in Florida with our friends CJ Rhiel and Emmy Kenny. They were really amazing to work with. We are aesthetically on the same page.

O: I think it’s really interesting how you incorporate blues and jazz stylings and structures into your music. It makes a song like ‘The Last Time I Saw My Horse’ have a kind of garage prog vibe. Do you ever have a desire to write completely straightforward material or completely out there odd material?

S: I have always been interested in writing a large range of material. I have written pretty straight ahead pop songs, and also experimental solo piano pieces that are completely out of my playing range. I try to be as open as possible in terms of writing music, and generally make an effort not to box myself in.

O: You recently recorded a live cover of ‘What A Wonderful World’, which was obviously made famous by Louis Armstrong. What drew you to cover that song?

S: Kyle (bass) suggested that we cover that song. He has a great ear for hearing songs that are an interesting fit for us to cover. This song happens to be one of the first I remember from childhood. It is so special.

O: There’s a pretty excellent DIY scene in New York at the moment, it seems to me, involving Exploding in Sound Records, Shea Stadium etc. Are you involved in that scene?

S: Yes! Shea Stadium is our favorite venue in New York. We have performed there more times than any other place in the city. It is an all-ages venue, which we love because it is so important to be inclusive of young people in music. There is a really fast turnover of DIY venues in New York, and I am so happy to say that we had the opportunity to play lots of them. Shout out to some of those no longer with us: Big Snow Buffalo Lodge, Death By Audio, Glasslands, Aviv, and 285 Kent.

O: What do you do for the holidays?

S: I went to Boston to see my immediate family, and then to Cincinnati to see my grandma, aunts, and cousins. A nice time indeed! I have spent a lot of time in Cincinnati, it’s been interesting to see that city evolve.

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