Psychic Ills’ music is, yes, hazy, also trippy, psychedelic is the standard definition. Music that through its sound connects you with a new or different perception of reality, that drives you to new experiences of your own mind, or music that speaks about revelations and enlightenment or just straight madness, somehow hypnotic music. Like mantras sang over and over again to connect with a certain vibration and get your whole self vibrating in that frequency, psychedelic music plays with loops and surreal sounds. It’s either well thought music, or music that is let free to dominate the mind of its creator, like when playing a kalimba for meditation, maybe guqin too. Psychic Ills seems to go more by the second way, let the music be and evolve as it goes, it’s their natural sound then.
The first time I heard their music was when I got Hazed Dreams, and I had a great time going over and over again to it, still I do. It’s a nice album to space away, and let your mind chill out far from the known reality. I am very happy that now I’ll have the opportunity to listen to their music played live, loud, and directly from their instruments, I am curious, hoping they are as good alive as they are recorded, I really hope they are. This is music to stare at, to immerse in it, not really to mosh and go crazy, but to be absorbed in it.
I’m in the mood for this concert. I hope you are too. Today Psychic Ills starts their first tour in China, they will be in nine cities in ten days, that will be a good trip for them, sure very psychedelic. We had the chance to interview them by email before they came to China, they were still in New York, their home town. We will see how they are once their tour is over, and what will they tell us then about their journey.
This is the Psychic Ills before their China experience. We will see in few days if China enlightened them in any way.
Layabozi: How are you guys doing?
Tres Warren: Good, looking forward to going to China. Sorry for the delay on these answers, I was without power for most of last week because of the Hurricane.
LYBZ: What were you doing before answering these questions?
Elizabeth Heart: Just hanging out
LYBZ: Are you listening to any music while writing you answers? If yes, what music?
TW: Yeah, Brij Bhushan Kabra, the record is called Indian Slide Guitar.
LYBZ: What are the current members of the band? And who will come to China?
TW: Chris Millstein, Scott Davis, Elizabeth Hart, Tres Warren
LYBZ: Why your formation has changed often?
TW: It’s just worked out that way. People come and go in bands, but this is a good group.
LYBZ: Is it important for you to come to China? Or is it another tour around the planet like any other?
TW: I’m looking forward to seeing the country and seeing some music.
EH: Totally. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m just really excited for the experience; the people, the music. I think it will be far out.
LYBZ: What are you planning to play on your shows in China?
EH: Probably some stuff from most of our past releases and our latest record, Hazed Dream.
LYBZ: What are you working on these days? Any news about your next album?
TW: The next album is done. It’s called One Track Mind. It’s coming out in February.
LYBZ: What are your instruments? I’ve read you play with many kinds of instruments and gear… what will you bring to China?
TW: Nothing too crazy, mostly just guitars and stuff.
LYBZ: I’ve been thinking lately about how we consume music. How do you select the music you listen to?
TW: I like to listen to vinyl records when I can, but I also listen on an iPod and on the computer like everyone else these days.
EH: When I am at home, I mostly listen to vinyl. I enjoy selecting a record and the whole ritual of putting it on the turntable. But, when I am on the train or moving, I listen to my iPod.
LYBZ: When you make your own music, what is your main concern? what do you have mainly in mind to guide your creation?
TW: That’s a good question, I don’t know what’s guiding the creation, and sometimes I’m happier with the results than other times, but I keep doing it because I always have ideas for a song I want to write or a sound I want try, and I like doing it.
LYBZ: What do you feel when you listen to your own songs?
TW: I don’t listen to my own songs too often once I’m done recording them, unless I’m playing them live. I enjoy listening to other peoples’ music.
EH: There have been times when I have not listened to something of ours for years and it will come on my ipod randomly, if I am shuffling the songs, and sometimes I’ll think that sounds alright. But mostly I am just listening to other music too.
LYBZ: Your music has a strong and specific atmosphere. What is about this vibe that you transmit with your music that got you into it originally?
EH: I don’t really know. Through the years we have gone through different processes of making music. The most recent stuff is primarily based in a more structured song. Vibes have changed too, but somehow the music always just ends up sounding like us regardless of the variables.
LYBZ: Is music a drug? And what kind of drug would you compare music to?
TW: I don’t know, maybe. For me it’s a habitual thing, it’s just an interest of mine that I’m working on a lot.
LYBZ: And what kinds of drugs are you on right now? Or what is your drug of choice?
TW:Modelo Especial. I don’t mess with too many drugs these days.