West Palm Beach, Flordia?! Yup, the band in Heaven hail from a section of the U.S. that isn’t known as a hotbed for shoegaze. Yet with their perfect amalgam of the sounds of The Black Angels and My Bloody Valentine, they meld dense melodies and atmospherics that make afternoons disappear once the needle hits the vinyl. The band took a few moments to talk to us, prior to heading to Austin Psych Fest in a few weeks.
TDOA: We’ve done a few interviews with Florida-based bands and they’ve said that it’s a tough “scene” to catch on in. What’s your perception of the Florida music scene? Is there, in fact nifty shoegaze scene that every is missing out on?
TBIH: Not a shoegaze scene, but West Palm Beach in particular has a lot of great bands in one small area that all play at the same two venues. Great DIY bands, like Cop City/Chill Pillars, Weird Wives, Guy Harvey, Dewars, Love Handles, The jameses.. There are lots more. But lots of shows are bands playing for bands, and some friends. There isn’t some crazy music scene. Just a nice little community.
TDOA: The video for High Low is amazing. How involved in the storyboarding/development of the concept of the video did you get? More videos in the future?
TBIH: In that particular video I feel I played director. That video (and song) is based on a night my sister and I had to drive a girl home after she had taken mushrooms for the first time, and the reaction was horrible, violent even. The video is a kind of watered down recreation of that night.
Working on music videos has kind of been more fun that working on songs. Surely there will be more to come.
TDOA: Obviously it’s the music that drew us to you. Can you talk a bit about the bands that inspire your sound?
TBIH: There are so many bands we love, but the ones that inspire our sound are the fuzzy, dreamy ones, with buried vocals, buried everything. We like to bury things too.
TDOA: Some bands hate being compared to the shoegaze/dreampop bands of the 80′s/90′s. What says you?
TBIH: We love that stuff, we’re inspired by it, why not? Spacemen 3 is probably our favorite.
TDOA: Let’s talk songwriting! Can you talk about the development of the songs on the new EP? What generally comes first: lyrics, vocal melodies, guitar melodies, a beat….?
TBIH: Usually a guitar riff, then a melody, then some words, then some beats. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes a few words first.
TDOA: And for those of us who are tech geeks, please tell us about your setup: pedals, amps, etc.
TBIH: I use a Fender Twin Reverb and my friend Mark of SynthMonger pedals made me a custom distortion which I love and then he modded my EHX Memory Boy so I can control the feedback with my foot. I also use a Boss RV-5 for reverb and a EHX Pog for some organ sounds.
Jay our bassist uses EHX Bass Big Muff and a Sans Amp foot pedal and this monstrous Ampeg bass amp I can’t remember the name of. It’s discontinued, but it’s honestly the heaviest sound I’ve ever heard.
TBIH: You’re playing Austin Psych Fest in a few weeks. What bands are you hoping to catch while you’re there?
Brian Jonestown Massacre above all, then Dead Meadow, and Amen Dunes and the rest are great but we’ve actually seen a ton of the other bands a few times already.
TDOA: You’ve been getting great reviews for the new EP and there seems to be some momentum. What’s the plan to capitalize? Full-length? Endless touring? More videos?
TBIH: We are working on the full-length now. Not sure if we’ll ever capitalize, we’ll see I guess.