Dusty, sun-beaten psych that swirls around the listener with droning organ, phased out guitar, and seriously spaced out atmosphere are what the Psychic Ills offer up with their latest, Hazed Dream. If this album were to come with a set of instructions for optimal consumption, they would simply read: “tune in, and drop out.” It’s kind of music that requires immersion, and is the perfect soundtrack for doing absolutely nothing at all. Tres (vocals/guitar), and Elizabeth (bass) talk to us about their freshly pressed sound. Interview by Sania.
TDOA: Hazed Dream is a beautiful album. It was on our top of ’11, so obviously we thought it was great. What are some of your thoughts on the final product?
Tres Warren: Thanks man, glad you like it. I think it’s cool. There are a couple things I might have changed, but there always is! In general I like it. It came together pretty quickly and in a natural way.
Elizabeth Hart: Yeah, I’m happy with it. It was a step in a different direction, the songs felt more specific.
TDOA: What is your writing, and recording process like?
TW: I was just doing a lot of home recording—hashing things and adding parts to them.
EH: Yeah, Tres was writing a lot of songs and I would add bass parts. It was cool working this way. When it came time to go to the studio, we had already recorded every song in T’s bunker with every part already written. Brian had moved away about a year earlier, but came into town and we played him the demos, practiced a few times, and went into the studio and tracked it all in two days. Tres overdubbed the rest and we mixed it in the bunker.
TDOA: Sonically, Hazed Dream stands on it’s own from past efforts, what lent itself to the more dream sequence vibe, and put together sound? There’s no crazy improve going on it seems, but a more thought out plan of action.
TW: I got worn out on that whole thing in some respects and wanted to work on more song type ideas. You know make some music that could be enjoyed a little more immediately.
TDOA: Currently, you call New York home. How do you feel about various music scenes present there?
TW: New York is great. I can’t really comment on the scene thing, but there’s a lot that you can be exposed to. You can take what you want and leave the rest alone. But I’m not sure if you have to come to New York for that kind of thing the way that you used to.
EH: There so many music scenes in New York, I would not be able to explore them all even if I wanted too. It’s cool though, New York just has an energy that makes you want to make stuff, I think. I love being introduced to new music by friends or through the label because I just don’t go out and try to find out about as much anymore.
TDOA: What are your ties to Texas, and where can that be found in your music?
TW: Born and raised. It’s always in the mind I guess. I like a lot of music from Texas.
EH: Yeah, my family is in Texas and I was born and raised there. I’m really into a lot of the musicians who have come out of that place, not sure if that is entirely evident in our music or not.
TDOA: You guys will be playing SXSW this year, and you have before, how was that experience for you guys, and are you looking forward to coming back?
TW: Yeah we’re looking forward to it. We’ve had good times there and any chance to hang in Austin is fine with me.
EH: That week is kind of crazy down there, but good fun for sure. I always look forward to catching up with old friends and eating Mexican food!
TDOA: What is the vibe like at a Psychic Ills show? What have been some of your favorite experiences sharing your sound live?
EH: I’m really psyched on the group right now. The energy just feels right dudes with the dudes we are playing with right now. A couple of years ago when we played in San Diego, a couple came up to me at the merch table after we had played, they bought a record and said that Ills would be the first music that their child would listen too. The woman was 8 months pregnant. That was a pretty awesome thing to hear.
TDOA: What are you currently listening to?
EH: Compound Eye – Origin of Silence
TW: Spirit – Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus & Föllakzoid – Föllakzoid EP
TDOA: Give us a quick 5-song playlist of your current fav listens?
Silk Road – Magical Power Mako
Amarillo Highway – Terry Allen
Artificial Energy – The Byrds
Miget Submarines – Swell Maps
Kokomo – Beach Boys
That’s How Strong My Love Is – Steve Young
D-I-V-O-R-C-E – Tammy Wynette
I Wanna Be Your Mama Again – Sir Douglas Quintet
I am a Hermit – Jonathan Halper
The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey’s Grave – Butthole Surfers
TDOA: What can we look forward to next from Psychic Ills?
TW: We’re doing another record with Sacred Bones that we’ll probably record later in the Spring/Summer.
EH: We also have another Frkwys release from RVNG Intl. coming out in the spring. It was sort of a late night session we did with Gibby Haynes(Butthole Surfers) a couple years back. It was a weird good time.