Friday, January 9, 2015

Publicist UK Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
DAVID O: Dave Witte (drums) is also in Municipal Waste, and was the drummer of Burnt by the Sun. Brett Bamberger (bass) is also in Revocation, and was the bass player for East of the Wall. Zachary (vocals) was the singer for Freshkills. I play guitar, and also play guitar (and sing) for Goes Cube and Distant Correspondent. Goes Cube used to tour with both Freshkills and East of the Wall (though, never with all three bands on the same tour). Zack and I started messing around on a long-distance collaboration around the same time that Brett and I were wondering why we'd never collaborated. So I sent Brett what Zack and I were working on, and he loved it, contributed to it, and played it for his buddy, Dave Witte (who he'd worked with in the past) who also loved it. Zack and I were both very familiar with (and very big fans of) Witte's work. So we were thrilled. Pretty natural. There wasn't even like a "hey everyone, we should have a band!" And yet every step, from formation to writing to recording, etc, has been almost effortless.

2.How would you describe your musical sound?
DAVID O: I think we just like to say that it's dark and heavy and intense, but not really metal (despite a few moments).

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
ZACHARY L: I can't really say that I have specific themes in mind when I start writing lyrics. I mean, I have a worldview that's...semi coherent. Occasionally I'll have a particular bee in my bonnet but generally start with phrases that have been bopping around in my head while I ride the subway. I try to keep things somewhat coherent and I know it's a cop out to just "go for a vibe" but we're working within a pop medium and sometimes aesthetics have to take precedence over consistent narrative. What would Smokey Robinson do half the time and half the time it's just "First I look at the purse" sounds cool.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Publicist UK'?
ZACHARY L:I've been working within the music writing industry for a couple years now and am still not entirely comfortable. I spent years hating writers and publicists and now, up close, they're just people. Some of whom I really like. The role of the publicist, even among these people, is still controversial though and, therefor, "publicist" is a darker and more evocative name, in 21st century capitalist USA, than "Black Fetus Obliteration" or whatever. Though I'd still totally go see Black Fetus Obliteration. I also thought a rock band called "publicist" is funny. The "UK" part was added because there's another "Publicist" and London Suede are fucking awesome.

5.Has the band had done any live shows or is this strictly a studio project?
DAVID O: We'll be touring in 2015. So, no, it's not just a studio project.

6.Static Tension Recordings is releasing your original demo's on a 7 inch in February, can you tell us a little bit more about this recording?
DAVID O: All the parts were recorded in different locations. In the spring or summer of 2014, we had more than an album's worth of songs written (though not recorded). But we had a few demos, two of which we were pretty happy with. So we decided it was time to make ourselves known. The first song was "Never Gone To School," which was premiered by Decibel Magazine. Then the next song was "Slow Dancing To This Bitter Earth," which was premiered a few months later by Noisey. After that, we signed with Relapse. Shortly after we signed with Relapse, Static Tension approached us about doing the demos as a limited-edition 7", and we loved the idea.

7.Recently the band has signed to Relapse Records, can you tell us a little bit more about the deal you have made with that label?
DAVID O: I mean, obviously we're not going to talk about the deal in terms of specifics or contractual stuff. But we're really fucking happy to be on Relapse, and we think they're happy to have us, too.

8.On a worldwide level how have underground music fans reacted to your musical style?
DAVID O: Overall, very positively. I think there's a knee-jerk reaction that's like, oh, this is so different than what you'd expect. I guess that's true since everyone's saying it. But the interesting thing is that there is absolutely ZERO discussion in the band about what the music should sound like. We're not trying to make something different or unexpected. This is just the music we're creating together on instinct. But I guess that's surprising to a lot of people.

9.What is going on with some of the other musical projects or bands these days that some of the band members are a part of?
DAVID O: Because I've got a family, I prefer to focus on one band at a time, rather than spread myself too thinly. That said, Goes Cube has its third album entirely written, and we're eager to move forward with it when the time is right.

10.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
DAVID O: Release date of the LP is TBA for now. But suffice it to say, 2015 should be a busy year for us between the 7" and the LP and SXSW and other shows/touring. As far as where I see the band heading musically, I'm not sure. There's a lot of water left in our well. Honestly, I've already got guitars written for like three other Publicist UK albums.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
DAVID O: At this point, it's hard to keep track of all the influences. I tend not to listen to anything that I don't completely fucking love. And if I completely fucking love something, chances are it's probably influencing me in some way. As for what I'm listening to, Kate Bush and The Smiths are always in the mix, and I've totally jumped on the Future Islands bandwagon. Nothing and True Widow are also constantly on the record player. And then I'm extremely lucky because, instead of like Elmo or whatever, my three year-old son fucking LOVES Neurosis, Old Man Gloom, Napalm Death, and Mastodon. In fact, he likes Mastodon so much, he claims that he's their drummer.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
DAVID O: Being a good dad and husband. Drinking really good beer (most especially stouts). I like to combine those things as much as possible, too. Also, I'm trying to do more writing. I recently had a feature published on Deadspin. But, again, it was about beer. And I was probably drinking beer when I wrote it.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
DAVID O: That's a very ominous question.

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