Voice to Chaos – The Psychedelephants

Sociology fascinates me. The way that movements in cultures are mirrored in the art that those cultures create, especially when viewed historically, offer very interesting perspectives on people, and their ideas and perspectives on a changing world.

This idea offers a unique view of cliched ideas like, everything has been done before. To believe that a person, performer, artist, writer, etc is ever going to elevate to creating something completely unique that has never been done gets progressively harder the further through time we progress. That is simple. But, what is unique is that individual’s experience in the world. That is specific to them, and their interpretation of it, and that sense of uniqueness, or voice, is one of the concepts that an artist, band, performer, writer has to come to jezus about. It is not so much if you are creating something completely new that has never been before, it is if you are bringing to it a personal experience and voice that not only resonates with other people, but is in itself, interesting.

A really good example of this cultural and artistic blurring and progression is psychedelic music. As a genre, before its elements permeated rock n roll, it was largely affiliated directly with drugs and Eastern spirituality. This is reflective in instruments like the sitar and tabla, distinctive song de-structures {time signature changes and modal melodies, and surreal, esoteric lyrics. But whereas The Beatles traveled to India to explore this emerging movement, once it took a hold it became distinguished by “cinematic guitar stylings and evocative lyrical imagery, as is seen in bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath” {Frank Hoffman}. American academic, Christophe Den Tandt expands on this idea as it moves into the 70s: Many musicians during the post-psychodelic era adopted a stricter sense of professionalism and added elements of classical music as evidenced with bands like Pink Floyd and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. It also paved the way for what would become the foundations of progressive rock with bands like King Crimson and Rush.

Music is a derivative of time and environment. All art is. This is a great way to examine new music and not simply dismiss it as, oh they sound just like ___________ {insert some common name band that is more convenient to listen to}. Rather, looking at music, and literature, and art becomes much more about analysis: about the setting that created it, the culture surrounding it, and the confluence of events and history that influenced it. And then try to give that chaos…. a unique voice.

The Psychedelephants

Images courtesy of The Psychedelephants

1. What three local bands in town are people not paying enough attention to besides yours?

The Woodworks, Palo Brea, Terra Fractal

2. Where do you shop for stage clothes?

Hand-Me-Downs

3. Have you ever met Bubba? Explain.

Yes, we’ve been friends with Bubba for 8 or 9 years! It’s always nice running into him!

4. What other bands do you play in around town, if any?

The Banter, Antenna Talk, Deadfoxx

5. What is your go to cover song?

Queens of the Stone AgeMy God is the Sun

6. Besides being musicians, do you have day jobs, and if so what do you do?

IT, call center, hospital, donuts

7. Ninja or Samurai?

Ninja

Samurai Bushido must only have modern relevance in Star Wars… cuz they have zero votes folks. Sorry Tom Cruise.

8. As a band what are three of your favorite venues that you play around town?

The Beast (Cornish Pasty Tempe), Crescent Ballroom, Valley Bar, and an honorable mention is the legendary Rogue Bar

9. I find it incredibly hard to imagine actually writing your songs. Are they born out of chaos, like a jam session, or are they precisely crafted from the ground up?

It can be either way. Most of the time i write my parts first and the band creates their parts around mine. I leave a lot of room for interpretation so it feel organic. The crazy parts you are thinking of I considered to be a psych-out bridge. The idea of a song spiraling out of control to then get whipped back into a catchy chorus. We just want the audience to feel a push and pull between comfort and chaos.

Be sure to Follow THE PSYCHEDELEPHANTS for show updates and release info!!!

And Keep the Greasy Side Down, my friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.