Listening to good music is one of life’s great pleasures. We are fortunate to be able to immerse ourselves in the world of music on a daily basis. The downside is that you can become numb to the music. The bands begin to blend together and at times, you struggle to get excited about new music. It takes something special to give you that rush of euphoria you feel when a bands music touches your soul. Say hello to The Prids. They’re new album, Chronosynclastic is easily the best album I’ve heard this year.
Blending the perfect vocal melodies of David Frederickson (guitars, vocals) and Mistina La Fave (bass, vocals) over a perfect storm that echoes My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Built To Spill. Sound like lofty praise? There’s a reason why musicians like Doug Marstch (Built to Spill), Kip Berman (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Scott Ford (Twilight Singers) Oliver Ackerman (A Place to Bury Strangers) and Henry Rollins have been waxing poetic about The Prids. This is the sound of the future of music.
As they prepare to launch a U.S. tour, Mistina and David took a moment to talk to us about their past and their amazing new album.
The Prids- Hide Your Thoughts
TDOA: Obviously the relationship between you and David is a compelling part of the story. We’ll try and avoid the psychoanalysis, but still scratch the surface. Lyrically, do you think the ups and downs of your relationship are documented within the songs and do you find it difficult to have your relationship aired in such a public way?
David: The lyrics have documented every heartbreak I’ve ever had. So yes Mistina’s and my relationship is well-worn material.
Mistina: I don’t find it difficult to hear any more. After the break up, early on. But not now.
TDOA: I remember watching some X shows when Exene and John Doe were going through a split and it was painful to watch. How do you describe your onstage rapport at this point in your lives?
David: Nothing has ever changed as far as our performances go. Mistina tries to knock me over a little less than she used, but I’m not sure why.
Mistina: I am making it a point to knock him like I used to this tour. Done.
TDOA: Let’s talk about the songwriting. The songs on the new album are amazing. Can you talk about the genesis of the songs lyrically and musically?
David: We definitely went into writing these songs without any thought of what we’ve sounded like in the past or any genre we might have fit into at a given time. The lyrics in hindsight always just seemed like poetic commentary to what I’ve been through or what I am going through. Unfortunately there’s a lot of hurt there.
Mistina: I set out to have songs with very clean pop bits that burst into noise. I like the juxtaposition. When it was time to record we really played that aspect up, and every time I hear it now I’m delighted. Brought in friends to add embellishments, especially on the noisy parts.
TDOA: Can you talk about working with Hillary Johnson as the producer on this album? For those that aren’t familiar with her work, please share and talk about her contributions to this record.
David: Working with Hillary allows me to be relaxed because I know she’ll only settle for the best I can do.
She’s always wanting to push things further and experiment, for instance, Mistina will step out for a break and when she comes back we’re doing all these strange guitar parts. Then she’d say “What the fuck is this!??!” then.. “I hope you’re having fun because you know that’s not going on the record!”
Mistina: Well someone needs to do damage control! Just kidding. My favorite part of working with Hillary is how she pushes you to get the perfect vocal take. We’re good friends, and we’ve known one another a long time but I don’t think working with her would be uncomfortable if we were strangers… she has a very soothing quality.
David: She knows her craft so well it’s a wonder to work with her.
TDOA: The Prids have a reputation as a great live act. Do you prefer playing live or recording in the studio?
David: I much prefer performing for people. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. I feel so much purpose and function.
Mistina: I love every aspect of being a musician. I guess I would say I prefer live performance because of the exhilaration that washes over you when you’re on stage. Making another human feel something, seeing it in their faces, that’s amazing. When you’re in love, you can see in a person’s face the affect you have on them, when they truly love you. Performance is the closest thing to that.
The Prids- In The Fall
TDOA: How do you feel about music videos and did you make a video for the new album?
David: I like music videos when they’re completed and I’m sitting and watching them.
Mistina: I love making videos! It’s right up there with live performance. I’m actually taking a nose dive into film making and plan to make a few videos for this album myself. We’ve already shot 4 videos with various directors which are all in post production, and we have 3 more planned for this summer. Our friend Sean Strauss is coming along on this tour to film a documentary. We’ll be releasing that and all the videos at the end of the year on DVD.
TDOA: Obviously this is not your first release. How do you feel your music has changed and evolved over the years?
David: The songs are larger and grander. Instead of time going by and I lack the words to express what I feel, it only gets easier.
Mistina: When we stopped caring what people thought, the whole thing got easier. And therefore, better. It’s the one nice thing about getting older.
TDOA: The artwork on each of your releases is fantastic. Has one person been responsible for the cover art or have you used a number of different people?
Mistina: On our eps and 7″‘s we’ve used various artists, such as Gee Voucher (of Crass), Harry Dingman (of post punk legends For Against), Nate Wedergren, John Worsley. Mike Scheer created the cover art for our first two full lengths. We adore him. On this release, the cover is actually an un-manipulated photograph of my Grandmother that was in my Grandfather’s wallet for 40 years. But Mike manipulated 3 photographs for the album layout. We’ll always work with Mike on our full length albums, he’s one of my and David’s favorite artists of all time.
TDOA: I read a press clipping with quotes from some amazing musicians, singing your praises. How did Henry Rollins of all people hear you and what can you tell us about meeting him?
Mistina: A friend suggest that we send a cd to his radio show, and so we did. Then I ended up emailing with him, and he eventually came through Portland on tour and invited us to the show. We got to meet him backstage and he was so incredibly nice.
David: He was very nice and extremely polite. He was complimenting us on our music and naming the different songs he liked and I just thought it was awesome that he dug it enough to know the titles.
Mistina: You know when you meet someone who is really alert and turned on to the universe, how impressive that is? He’s one of those people. Hyper intelligent.
TDOA: What’s next for the band once you complete your summer tour?
David: We’re planning to go out on tour again in August or September. We are going to begin writing our new album immediately.
Mistina: I’m going to practice knocking David over on stage like I used to, and maybe help with writing that new album.
For more information about The Prids, visit their Facebook page here.
Jun 11 2010 Doug Fir w/Soft Tags, Crypt of the Grave, DJ Wednesday Portland, Oregon
Jun 12 2010 Hemlock Tavern with Soft Tags San Francisco, California
Jun 13 2010 Death Rock Dive Bar @Stork Club with Soft Tags Oakland, California
Jun 15 2010 Silverlake Lounge with Soft Tags Los Angeles, California
Jun 16 2010 Radio Room with Soft Tags San Diego, California
Jun 17 2010 The Rogue Bar with Soft Tags Scottsdale, Arizona
Jun 18 2010 Burt’s Tiki Lounge with Soft Tags Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jun 19 2010 The Cavern with Soft Tags Dallas, Texas
Jun 20 2010 Emo’s with Soft Tags Austin, Texas
Jun 21 2010 Record Bar with Soft Tags Kansas City, Missouri
Jun 25 2010 Darkroom with Soft Tags KEXP SPONSORED EVENT! Chicago, Illinois
Jun 26 2010 Skully’s with Love Culture Columbus, Ohio
Jun 27 2010 Cakeshop with Me You Us Them and Soft Tags Manhattan, New York
Jun 29 2010 Death By Audio with Soft Tags Brooklyn, New York
Jun 30 2010 Bell House with Secret History and Soft Tags Brooklyn, New York
Jul 1 2010 Mayday Cincinnati, Ohio
Jul 3 2010 Bourbon Theater with Soft Tags Lincoln, Nebraska
Jul 6 2010 Hi Dive with Soft Tags Denver, Colorado
Jul 8 2010 Neurolux with Soft Tags Boise, Idaho