Crystal Antlers’ newest album Two Way Mirror released on 1 August with their newest track “Summer Solstice.” Wonderland’s Adam Welch talks to the band about their sound and what they want want fans to do when shagging to their songs.
Describe your music in five words…
Your second full length album is also your first as a self released full-length album – how are you finding the process of being fully in charge of your music?
It’s nice to have control, not that we didn’t have creative control while with Touch & Go, but there were a lot of other people involved and sometimes that made things confusing. When you’re funding it yourself (and you have a credit card!) you can spend recklessly and make things that a label might not be willing to. You can also do hand made things on a smaller scale, like the Bonus Package thing we made that comes with clear vinyl, a whole extra 10″ EP, a metal lapel pin, CD’s and a tote bag…
How has your sound developed since your last release?
We’ve always experimented a lot with our writing so it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s changed from one release to the next. It’s all just building a bigger picture of what our sound is and can be. I know we reclaimed some of the space that was on our first EP, but with a lot more focus on melody, especially when it came to the vocals. This was the first record where I really had the opportunity to spend the time that I wanted to on singing. I think also we allowed things to be a bit more intimate on this record.
You spent time in rural Mexico to work on the album – how did your surroundings inspire the music?
The surroundings were incredibly beautiful, but I’m not sure that they directly influenced the music. There’s an attitude in Mexico and a very layed-back approach to living (best described in the introduction to William S. Burroughs’ Queer) that’s unmistakable after you spend some time there. I think we may have been most inspired by that approach and applied it to the writing/recording process later on in the production.
What other inspirations did you feed in to the album?
A lot of personal experience and stories from people around me…
You worked with Jack Endino this time, who also worked with Nirvana on their debut album – has Nirvana been an inspiration for Crystal Antlers?
Not really until recently. I was never really a Nirvana fan because it was so overplayed when I was a kid, but now I can appreciate it more. Kurt Cobain was honest and wrote beautifully simple songs that everyone could relate to, even if they couldn’t understand the words. That’s hard to do, and there hasn’t really been anyone like him since…Jack Endino is one of my favorite people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. He’s very straightforward, down to earth & probably one of the hardest working producer/mixers out there -really funny too.
Where did the album title, “Two-Way Mirror”, come from?
It was the title of one of the last songs we recorded for the record, and the themes and tone of the song just seemed to sum it all up. It’s about self-reflection through isolation where everyone can see in.
What do you see when you look in a mirror?
Looks like I could use a shave and a haircut. What do you see?
The video for your track, “Summer Solstice,” has flashes of penetrative sex – are you trying to get your fans to shag via
Yes, the director Michael Reich is strange. I’m not sure where that came from exactly, he explained something similar to me while we were brainstorming about the video, but the concept was originally going to be far more NSFW…I think even the description would be a little much to share in an interview.Yes all fans should shag, but use protection.
Beyond Barry White, what’s the best music for getting down to?
Well apparently Summer Solstice, but otherwise I guess it usually depends on the situation. I like Tangerine Dream, soundtracks & on occasion even some cheesy Led Zeppelin…..
Interview by Adam Welch