Interview: Post Death Soundtrack Talk Female Grunge Heroes, New Album & David Bowie


Canadian dark psychedelic/industrial rock trio Post Death Soundtrack are a busy band as they approach their 10th anniversary.  They released The Unlearning Curve last year, and they have also released Let Your Colors Run – The Remixes.

Alternative Nation recently had the chance to interview Steve Moore and Jon Ireson to discuss the band’s influences, their next album, and much more.

You mentioned in a recent Facebook posts that you are working on a new
album that has doom metal, trap, mariachi, techno, stoner rock, trip
hop, and indian chant influence.  What artists and albums from those
genres have been influencing you?
Steve: Both Jonny and I have been getting into a lot of new music over
the past 1-2 years as well as going into more visceral places with our
approach. For my part, I’ve ventured a lot into doom/sludge metal,
stoner rock, psych rock, etc. I find that doom has a lot of elements
that grunge and punk, at their best, did. Simplicity, groove and
heaviness. I also find another important parallel; there is a lot of
feminine energy in much of the music, and women play a huge role in the
scene as well with some really powerful bands. In grunge/punk there was
Bikini Kill, L7, Babes in Toyland, Sonic Youth, Hole, The Breeders…in
doom you have Jex Thoth, Ides of Gemini, SubRosa, Windhand, Ruby the
Hatchet, on and on. I don’t know…something about the musical movement
inspires me. I also recommend YOB and Monolord…just pummeling stuff.
As for trap and hip hop, we’ve always been heavily influenced by artists
like Public Enemy and Dead Prez, but more recently I’ve been heavy into
The Underachievers, Schoolboy Q (he has an incredible aggressive voice),
Vince Staples and Gucci Mane.
Federale is a great band who have that epic/cinematic dark Mariachi
sound and they’ve definitely inspired us to get more cinematic. One of
the songs on our new album has that kidnapped in the desert feel, and
there’s most definitely a showdown!
We’ve all shared a love for Juno Reactor over the years as well as
Underworld, Aphex Twin, the Chemical Brothers, etc, particularly Juno
Reactor for me. That influence is coming through more on this album
which is nice. For trip hop I’d say Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky,
DJ Krush, Nightmares on Wax. I also enjoy some traditional indian music
and sanskrit chants, and we’re all fans of how artists like the Beatles
worked with Eastern sounds.
Really, the songs all sound like Post Death, but we’re having fun
working with anything we love. Plus, I’m always interested, music-wise,
in putting two elements together to create something original. For
example, I’ll hear a Schoolboy Q or Gucci Mane song and think “I could
do write something to this”. Mixing those beats and samples with rock n’
roll vocals, psychedelic guitars…then you might have something really
Jon: We’re always throwing names back and forth. 95% of the time, we’ll
both dig an artist, from any style. For psych rock, I love what bands
like Uncle Acid, Russian Circles and Fuzz have been doing. Also, the new
Crystal Fairy is great. We also really loved The Lennon Claypool
Delirium album last year, although that’s a very different kind of
“psych rock”.
My hip hop influence lately is from projects like Run the Jewels and
Death Grips. Groups with beats that push the limits, good lyrics and
aggressive delivery. And of course, Saul Williams is a constant
inspiration. That dude is the king in my books.
Definitely Federale, Juno Reactor, Massive Attack, Portishead are all
big influences. Underworld for me particularly are a band that I can
take endless inspiration from production-wise. The way Rick Smith weaves
elements together is incredible. There’s a craftsmanship with them that
goes above and beyond most other electronic artists.
I know that you love David Bowie’s Blackstar, what is your favorite
song from the album?
Steve: That’s a very tough question. I’d have to say “Sue (Or in a
Season of Crime)”. It’s so incredibly tense and twisted, and it’s at the
same time free form but incredibly precisely played. Bowie’s vocals are
flawless. The lyrics are frighteningly aloof; a kind of Norman Bates
feel. It’s just a brilliant song, a challenging one.
Jon: Tough call. The title track is a masterpiece for the ages. All
these beautifully shifting movements, all very much complementary parts
in a master composition. In my more wistful (read hungover) moments “I
Can’t Give Everything Away” hits hard. Perfect way to go out. Then
again, last year I was lucky enough to catch a collaboration of artists
dubbing themselves Space Junk perform the album in its entirety. It was
amazing to hear these incredible songs live. In that moment, Lazerus
spoke to me more than the others.
It’s one phenomenal album.
You are from the Vancouver/Calgary area, who are some of the best
bands currently there?  Any chance at a next Seattle?
Jon: There’s a guy called Longwalkshortdock who is doing really great
electronic stuff. He puts on a crazy ass live show and his albums are
actually about something. He takes the style of Phil Western and puts a
modern spin on it. In the psych/stoner scene, bands like Black Wizard
and Dead Quiet are making a big name for themselves. The city is
definitely primed for a resurgence. After the olympics steamrolled
through here, venues started shutting down all over the place, real
estate skyrocketed. It’s the small DIY bands and venues that are cooking
up all the best stuff…..but then again, isn’t that always the case?
What was the inspiration behind The Unlearning Curve’s album cover by
Toronto artist Kayla Aileen Brown?
Steve: We like to give people we work with freedom to create what they
see fit, so when Kenneth showed us Kayla’s painting style, we were
excited to see what she would do. The album is very colorful, and there
are the lyrics “Let your colors run” that seemed to stick out for us. To
me, the cover brings that line to life. We think she did an awesome job
and would encourage anyone to check out her work.
Why did you want to do a remix album?
Steve: Even within the band when Jonny or Kenneth do a remix of one of
our tracks, I’m always blown away at how much a song can be re-imagined,
take your further down the wormhole or shed more light on a message.
It’s also a wild experience hearing your voice or music in a completely
different setting.
The remix album was planned in order to what kind of crazy
interpretations other artists and producers would come up with. We met
some great people and were able to release something new between albums,
which is rewarding as well.
Jon: The material definitely lends itself to reinterpretation. There are
a lot of layers for remixers to dig up and extrapolate. We started
throwing around the idea of releasing the stems and I think I had two
remixes done by the end of the week. My favourite part of it was taking
the songs we had written in odd time signatures and shifting them to
other rhythms to see how they took on another life.
Are you planning anything special for your 10th anniversary?
Steve: I never thought of that. That’s a very good idea! At the rate
we’re moving, I would say that we could very likely have another new
album in 2018 (on top of our upcoming 2017 album) for a 10th anniversary
release. Maybe we’ll have to release it on the same day as “Music as
Weaponry” was released in 2008.
What has changed about the music industry since you started in 2007?
Steve: Streaming, the growing popularity of vinyl, losing the
ipod/mp3’s/CD’s…but the whole process of connecting with a new artist
and enjoying music is essentially the same. We were quite naive in 2007
so I don’t know if we really had our fingers on the industry pulse then.
Same thing today!
Who would be your fantasy band to tour with?
Steve: I got into an Australian band recently called Mt. Mountain. Very
cool stuff, like Velvet Underground but heavier. I think it would be
cool to tour with them.
What was the inspiration behind the “Through The Gates” music
Colin Everall (the creator of the video): The inspiration for the video
was to do something simple yet effective. To create a simple visual that
reflected the contemplative and haunting aspects of the song. The
psychedelic colours against a black backdrop achieved a visual
comparison of the atmospheric and striking elements of the song itself.
What’s next for the band?
Steve: We’re currently near finishing our next full-length album. It’s
quite a departure from our last one which we’re excited about. We’d like
to release that Summer 2017. There will also be videos and other new
music. We’re definitely in a very creative state, so LOTS of music is
going to be coming out.
Check out Post Death Soundtrack on Facebook.