TROUBLE IN MIND DISCUSS WHAT PSYCHEDELIA MEANS TO THEM AS A LABEL IN 2013
Bill and Lisa
TROUBLE IN MIND
What is psychedelia to you?
Bill: I'm not really sure I can directly answer that - it's not a definable thing for us (or at least ME). I know what I like! I guess ultimately it's all a label - a genre tag to make something easily classifiable & digestible for listeners. People don't know what to do when they can't easily quantify a piece of music & it's that thing that is just a bit off that makes it interesting & "psychedelic" to me. To me a record like Eskimo by The Residents is just as psychedelic as Con 3 by Conrad Schnitzler or even Future Days or Saucerful Of Secrets. They're all records that make you go "What the fuck?" ESPECIALLY when taken into the context of the time period during which they were recorded. Mind blowing.
Lisa: I come from a slightly different angle than Bill to "psychedelic" music. We've talked about how if we'd have met in high school he would have scoffed at me because I was a deadhead and he was a punk. I don't know if Freedom Rock ever made it over to Europe but it was this three cassette collection of all your favorite hits from the ’60s. My parents let me order it and I was like 10 years old at the time. If there is anything to blame for my slightly warped view of what psychedelia is and greater appreciation for sunshine and pop psych like The Lemon Pipers rather than Pink Floyd it's probably because of Freedom Rock. I got really into The Byrds and Jefferson airplane because of it and that lead to The Grateful Dead and all the mythology around Haight-Ashbury which was very appealing to me as a teenager. So that's the nexus for me, I guess.
What do you perceive to be the difference between the Austin Psych Fest, the Liverpool one and either The Golden Gate Happenings or UFO Club? What's the same, what's changed?
B: My understanding is that The Golden Gate Happenings were more of a celebration of the human being sort of event wouldn't you say? More about expanding one's mind & consciousness thru meditation, drugs (and also aided by music) and The UFO Club was more about the "scene", with hip club owners and burgeoning record producers showcasing the UK undergrounds newest talent for fun and profit? ASF & Liverpool seem to me to be all about the music and less of a "human be-in" or an inclusive scene...
L: Well, the ’60s as a cultural movement is long gone and we aren't really into the schtick of revivalism so for us it's just cool to have people that will put there money where there mouth is and organize fests that bring together the best bands that share an appreciation for a particular type of music and make it about just that, the music.
The production of Paperhead and Jacco Gardner borrow all the tricks from 1967, why are they relevant today? What makes them current?
B: I think it's the way both assimilate the past (be that via their choices in chord structures or melodies, or their lyrical choices) and make them their own. I've seen reviewers label both as "retro" sounding, but I'm not so sure if that's accurate. Most musicians borrow from the past and update it for the present, be it late ’60s psych, or goth rock, or twee-pop. It's how much you decide to make it an extension, rather than an imitation - it's a delicate line to skirt. Both Jacco & The Paperhead (I feel) are extensions of things past, into the present day.
The European mags inc Shindig!, NME, MOJO, Uncut, Magic, Rumore etc have all leapt on Jacco Gardner without any of the negative kind of criticism such an artist would have received 10-20 years ago in the UK. What's changed?
B: Well truly I can't speak for the attitudes of UK and Euro journalists, but from the perspective here in the US I think it's just a reflection of how more popular indie artists from a few years back like The Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink or Animal Collective have name-dropped psychedelia as an influence for so long that the mainstream has finally started to pay attention. The popularity of artists like Thee Oh Sees & Ty Segall - who have both assimilated elements of psychedelia in their own ways - is a testament to that. It's just nice that bands who have been carrying the torch for so long can finally enjoy some much deserved attention.
What allows psychedelia to stay alive when other short lived fads have pretty much dried up?
B: well I'm not so sure ANY "fad" has dried up... garage, punk, no-wave, noise-rock have all had their time in the sun and still continue to have bands carry their respective flags. Psychedelia is just the newest thing listeners have opened up to. Not only in the "underground" but also from a mainstream perspective.
L: I'd agree that I don't know that psych is a fad anymore than punk is a fad. It really just seems more like trends in music that come and go. The people that love this kind of music and have forever will keep loving it. The others will move on to the next trend. What frightens me most is that we're getting to an age now where the cycles are re-cycling and I always knew it happened but was never old enough to be there when it did and now I am...(sob.)
But... Was psych really a short lived fad or did it morph into other forms of music and remain relevant throughout the last 40 years?
B: I think what was referred to originally as "psychedelia" was the next logical extension from the mid-60 r'n'r scene - once musicians and listeners started to "free their minds" (so to speak). Longer jams, "outside the box" melodies and chord structures were assimilated as musicians took their influences from outside of Western modes. But yeah, ultimately I feel like it's just been morphed into other types of music.
Which bands from today do you perceive to be the most psychedelic and why?
B: I'm not sure - not really looking for the "most psychedelic" band... Kraus from New Zealand's stuff is pretty out there, but I'm not sure if most folks would consider that stuff "psych". I do - it's pretty mind-melting stuff.
L: That's not really a question I feel comfortable with because I really hate the idea of people going "Let's crank the psychedelic!" I think both Bill and I shudder when a band seems to pander to a genre, like it doesn't come off as authentic or something. Also neither of us do drugs so maybe we aren't quite the best people to ask.
Will the modern bands last and will they want to be associated with psych in a few years time?
B: I'm sure popular tastes will change and shift, and the things that people consider psych will just become the norm - much the way "grunge" and "garage rock" have been accepted as popular music (or at least popular indie)
What lies around the corner for TIM?
B: MORE RECORDS MORE RECORDS MORE RECORDS! We've just released the excellent LP from Chicago band Verma called "Coltan" & killer new singles from Sheffield, UK's "Proto Idiot" & Italy's "Mirrorism" & have much more coming up! Our first reissue is slated for the end of July - a vinyl-only pressing of The Dentists' first album "Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now" which has never really gotten it's due on this side of the pond. We're also releasing the US debut by Peruvian spiritual psych-band Montibus Communitas called "Hacia aquellos bosques de inmensidad", plus an unreleased MMOSS lp recorded at the same time as "Only Children" that's much darker & more experimental. The debut from Butterscotch Cathedral, the third Limiñanas album, an LP-only Resonars Greatest Hits, Jeffrey Novak's third solo album "Lemon Kid" (which owes a HUGE debt to the recently departed Kevin Ayers) should be out in late-autumn, and new Paperhead LP next spring. Alex Cuervo from Hex Dispensers is working on a full-length for a new thing called 'Espectrostatic' that'll be out around Halloween. OH - and Doug Tuttle from MMOSS is working on a solo project for us that is going to be AMAZING. OH! & we also just confirmed releases with uber-talented & mind-bending Los Angeles-based Morgan Delt! Most likely a single in the fall, quickly followed by his debut full-length in Spring 2014! That's all I'm at liberty to mention at this time ;)
OUT NOW ON TROUBLE IN MIND RECORDS!!!
OUT NOW ON TROUBLE IN MIND RECORDS!!!
TIM047: Jacco Gardner "Cabinet Of Curiosities" LP/CD
TIM048: Maston "Shadows" LP/CD
TIM051: Mirrorism "Night Flight" 7-inch
TIM052: Verma "Coltan" LP
TIM053: Proto Idiot "You're Wrong" 7-inch
OUT JULY 30th!!!
TIM050: The Dentists "Some People Are On The Pitch..." LP reissue
TIM054: People's Temple "Brand New Thing" 7-inch
TIM055: Montibus Communitas "Hacia aquellos bosques de inmensidad" LP
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS...
Wrong Words new LP/CD
Butterscotch Cathedral debut LP/CD
MMOSS new LP
Resonars "Greatest Hits" LP
Resonars new LP/CD
Jeffrey Novak "Lemon Kid" LP
Marble Vanity "Elephant Tears" 7-inch