Petals in Oil: The Sunrise Patriot Motion Interview

Published: May 31, 2024

How did you hear about Sunrise Patriot Motion? Scratch that, have you heard about Sunrise Patriot Motion? If so then congratulations, you are a music nerd (includes the author.) Let’s celebrate this! Navigating the world of underground heavy music is a bit like having a second or third job, and in between your daily grind of following bands, labels, and promoters on their social network of choice, reading the free posts on the Substacks of your favorite writers, and paying the import tax on the long sleeve you bought from a distro in Portugal, you deserve to hear some incredible music.

The wonderful upshot of this is that when you heard that Will and Sam Skarstad of Yellow Eyes, Ustalost, Pelted Shell etc. were part of an all star band that had released a gothic, romantic, metallic concept album framed by an intriguing narrative conceit, you already knew it was going to be special. That album was Black Fellflower Stream, and the tide of positive sentiment around its 2022 release grew steadily and persistently. It was subsequently released on physical formats by Gilead, but questions about the band, its full lineup, and its longer term creative aspirations went unanswered. Months passed, until finally came the announcement that Sunrise Patriot Motion would make their live debut at Roadburn 2024, in front of more than 1000 people, only days after the release of their follow up EP My Father Took Me Hunting In The Snow.

We were deep in the audience for the show, and the following day caught up with the entire band for a wide ranging interview, presented here in its entirety. Get comfy and immerse yourself in the creative and logistical foundations of one of the most fascinating bands currently on the lips of those who Pay Attention: you put a lot of effort into loving heavy music, and sometimes it loves you back.

Sunrise Patriot Motion has had an unusual trajectory for an underground act. I remember Will’s Instagram popping about new music coming this Friday, and not knowing if it was going to be Yellow Eyes, or Ustalost, or something else. And then it all drops, new band plus new album. Over the last year and a half the band has had incredible word of mouth, yet only now do you play your first show, and it’s to thousands of people at a festival! How much of that trajectory is intentional? And how has that experience been?

Sam Skarstad (SS) It’s true. When the three of us kind of sat in a room for the first time – Will had written a bunch of demos and myself, and Andy, and Will were kind of sitting in the room, late pandemic strange times, and there was kind of an atmosphere like, we’re all getting old, it’s either play some big shows, or we never do this live, we never even touch it live.

Will Skarstad (WS): But even before thinking about shows it was just like trying to record the music, we were just obsessed and having so much fun with it. For the first time ever Yellow Eyes was all over the place, but with this, we were like, twice a week, every week getting together. We got into this crazy routine, got obsessed, let’s finish this record. We were just so psyched about it. So we finish and we’re like, what do we do? We didn’t really know. You know? So one day, we just uploaded it to YouTube. That’s probably when I posted ‘new music coming’. We didn’t know who this was for, we just knew we liked it, so let’s upload it, and it was so much fun to do it that way. 

SS: I guess the answer is there was both at the same time, a conceptual plan that was binary. It’s either going to be something or it’s going to be nothing. But that was so secondary to the main thing, which was that it was kind of a life raft for us at the time. We were just working on it obsessively, and it was an act of obsession itself. We were going nuts every night, every night we sat down, and we were finishing songs in one night, the first take that Andy was doing was ending up as the final take on a lot of these songs. It was fast. It was completely reckless. There was no ‘no’ it was all ‘yes’. From the earliest point it felt like one of those all pistons firing types of bands.

WS: Which is why it became difficult to make it a live band. When we were separating out the stems it’s like… Andy was cranking a pencil sharpener and clanking a ratchet – we have that stuff engineered as a pedal now, it has all these different whip sounds, but it’s crazy stuff and we did wonder if we can pull it off?

SS: Literally in “Warp of the Window”.. I mean, it’s funny because keep in mind, we’ve never heard our band play live until this morning when we watched a video..  So I’m watching “Warp of the Window” and I’m thinking man that ratchet is cutting through this 1300 cap room. That was literally a ratchet that we found in Andy’s toolbox.

That’s now a ratchet sample, or does the ratchet come on tour?

SS: You know, I’ve started to think we shouldn’t have had a contact mic on the ratchet. Bit of a regret now but yeah, it’s an amazing sample.

It sounds principally like the album was made in such concentration because you were having fun?

SS:  Yeah, it was extremely fun.

WS:  But then on the tail end the result of just uploading it to YouTube is that two years went by and we shifted back to the other projects, there was no label behind, I mean Gilead are the best and they’ve put it out on vinyl since. But back then nobody was saying like, you should play a show, so we just put it out. And that’s why it took us so long to get here.

SS: And we did the same thing with the EP last week. I’ve started to think that it’s freeing to not think too hard about the procedural release. It’s a great feeling of freedom, and it’s nice that it worked in a way but also it could burn us if there’s something we literally don’t think about until the end, like shows. But with Sunrise Patriot Motion we were just having so much fun, we’re just asking how many chugging guitar parts can we throw on this, nu metal style? How many?? I was going through the stems and there’s sometimes eight different guitar parts happening at the same time. And when we’re trying to figure it out, for instance when I’m trying to figure out how to send Dan keys parts, among eight different melodies happening simultaneously some of which I didn’t even know were in there. There’s mistakes. There’s all sorts of chaos in these sessions. We were losing our minds during the sessions, so it really is like an end zone that fed into the chaos that became integral to the grain of the band, the texture of our relationship with the music, it was chaos. It was fun in that way.

Andy Chugg (AC):  It was very painterly.

SS:  Painterly, impressionistic, almost just like whatever, it doesn’t matter. You slather on another layer, we were very open to the idea of putting layers upon layers in a maximalist way. And that led to the final week, when we were kind of mixing, saying okay, this thing is almost done. And suddenly, we’re like, wait, what kind of music is this? I’m trying to think of a way to surmise it when talking to someone about it. And I literally can’t even think of a genre descriptor.

WS: I didnt even think it was metal. I was like God… My first non metal project! (laughs)

SS:  The phrase, the term goth rock didn’t occur to us until it was mastered. Suddenly we felt – maybe it’s goth rock?

AC: Will is the John Philip Sousa of metal (laughs) he’s this composer who spent his career trying to break out of like marching band, style music and everything he makes just ends up marching band.

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Photo credit: elulu photo

I was watching an interview with William Blatty recently, he was talking about how he wrote The Exorcist to get away from being typecast as a comedy screenwriter, and it immediately recast him as a horror writer in the eyes of producers, they’d only ever let him be one thing, you can’t win! One of the compelling things out of the box with Sunrise Patriot Motion is the band’s narrative component, which was continued on your EP that came out last week. Was that always part of the grand plan for the band, is it something that we’ll see continuing to the future?

SS:  As we’re listening to Will’s early demos we’re sitting in the room and somehow right away it felt like it should be this kind of paranoid scheme, some very specific moment in someone’s life, I felt like it should have this kind of paranoid military feeling or something, or some kind of like industry. I don’t know, oil just felt right. Right away, the first time we sat down was like, oil is part of this. When we finished that record, I remember we were joking about what happens with future records – have we painted ourselves into the most insane corner (laughs) there’s no more claustrophobic concept, what’s the next one? This guy is.. a crab fisherman? Like what else?

Is that an exclusive reveal?

SS:  (laughs) We were just joking about what happens to this guy, I was saying the other day that maybe the next album is a Christmas album. How do we continue to do these themes, painting ourselves in recording. There was a time Andy was flying to New York. And we were talking about trying to slap together another demo. So I wrote the lyrics, I was kind of thinking about, what is the next one? What are we doing here? Is it the same guy, is it not the same guy? Like thinking of a sequel? Is it him in Australia? It kind of occurred to me that it would be compelling to just say that maybe for the entire output of this band, it’s the same guy in the same field, remembering parts of his life, maybe it’s the same day forever. And it’s just this feeling of intense trapped claustrophobia and paranoia forever, just thinking about different parts of his life. And you know, suddenly it was like hunting felt right, just just these patchy memories. So I don’t know, who knows what the next one will be, but I do like the idea of finding infinity through constriction, in a way.

That was what appealed to me in metal early on, when Will and I were starting Yellow Eyes, I was into all these different things, I was writing all sorts of music. And suddenly, I realized that the focusing lens of genre revealed this infinite striation of ideas and textures and colors. And it was almost better, the narrower you got, the better it got. Because it’s not like you’re gonna run out of channels or notes, it’s infinite, no matter how small you get, it’s still infinite. So I like the idea of using that conceptually. I knew a writer once who said, you know, people always say to me, how do you think of ideas for your books? Nothing really happened to me in my life. And he said: Have you been to a birthday party when you were a kid? Of course, so you have enough for your entire output for your life! You know, you got enough there a guy in a field digging for oil, you could find anything in there, you know? 

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Photo credit: elulu photo

The band’s name is a distinctly Skarstad-ian word arrangement, a sort of 3 Word Monte, what is the intent of those combinations?

SS:  Well as a side note Dan brought to our attention last night this insane thing that has geo coordinates for the entire world, what3words, it’s meant to save you if you’re trapped on a mountain say, you just share the three words and people know exactly where you are. And apparently there is a Sunrise Patriot Motion set of coordinates and we didn’t know that until last night.

Dan Rosato (DR)  It’s in the Arctic Circle.

SS:  Oil rich, north of Canada, amazing.

That is a photoshoot that needs to happen.

SS:  Exactly. Got it. We need to figure out how much merch we need to sell enough to get us there. Do a show for a polar bear. But the three word thing, for some reason those three words felt right. It was actually maybe one of the first 3 Word Montes that I thought of for this band, it had that feeling of an early morning military exercise but somehow the patriot word made it feel more paranoid because it’s his perception of himself as a patriot or something, one of my first questions was like what’s he doing out there? What does this guy perceive himself as, a warrior? I don’t know. We were at a bar in Antwerp the other night and the owner of the bar is this old Willem Dafoe looking guy, he got us to write down the band name on a napkin and said, why patriot? This is too much, you guys don’t look like patriots, this is too much. We said well, yeah, the music is too much too though. And he thought that we’d written ‘Nation’ also, Sunrise Patriot Nation.

WS:   That would have been too much.

SS:   That would be definitely too much. Motion is like the leavening for that. So, with all the three word things, it’s like the three body problem. It’s like you do one word, okay? You do two words and it can be beautiful, but three, suddenly it’s infinite. You can do anything with three words just like you would the coordinates. It’s like, it’s enough. I’m not opposed to more, but three feels like a fairy tale or a folk tale. In folklore it’s always three.

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Apparently three is a good number for chefs as well, whenever they’re serving a kind of curated plate, there’s always three of each of the important things.

SS:   That’s a better answer, how about you use that one? (laughs)  We’re plating up ideas for our fans.

You touched upon this earlier, but what are the specific complexities that dictated your first shows would be in April 2024?

AC:   You guys (gestures towards band members.)

WS:   Definitely. Being in other bands like Yellow Eyes, which has a lot happening all the time, I mean, if we play four shows a year it takes about eight months of planning, because we’re all working other jobs, and Sam and Andy have kids. It’s just very hard to make it happen, the two of us don’t even live in the city. So going to practice or going down to the studio, we’re basically driving a five hour round trip, it’s all hard.

SS:   Andy moved to California too, right after we finished the album.

WS:   We were all originally all living in the same small town, out of the city, which was probably a part of how it all happened. We lived two minutes away from each other in a small town where you know, there wasn’t a tonne going on.

SS:   You know, it changed the calculus of ease, right? It’s not that it would have been impossible over distance, plenty of people do that.

WS:   I think we knew it was gonna be hard to pull this off live, logistically. We knew it had to be this many people, there was no way around it.

SS:   It sounds crazy. But I mean, we’re this band, and it couldn’t be better. We’re having a great time, this is wonderful, it feels like a really correct group here. And I would say that we may not have considered it so readily if we hadn’t landed this formation pretty early on. I mean, we got Oleg and we knew he could pull off anything.

WS:   Blaze was on the original recording on the album, we met him as he’s friends with Andy and plays in a band called Bambara. He’s busy, he’s way more busy than any of us with performing, but we knew that he had to be in the live world too for it to work.

SS:  We knew Dan could do it, Dan is an audio engineer, and a complete road dog tour pro, he knows how to do it. This wasn’t something where we kind of have the space and time to get comfortable and familiar with the material, it’s just gonna be like: everyone needs to know how to do it right away. And that meant it needed to be people who’ve done it before, because it warps your mind a little bit when you’re doing something like that so quickly. You need to know what that feels like to know the material, you feel like you’re good at it, and then suddenly, you’re in the maelstrom. And it sounds different, and it’s nuts. And you just gotta keep playing. And that’s something that comes with doing it a lot. So yeah, we may not have done it if we didn’t have this clear idea of who to do it with.

WS: We realized that after our first practice, it’s like, this group makes it easy. It could be hard with six, but it’s easy. The dynamic is good.

A song specific question: The robotic voice that appears towards the end of “I Search for Gasoline”, what’s the story behind that, who put their hand up and said let’s do it this way?

AC:  Everything we did was with a ‘whoever hit the ball furthest’ mentality, we play from where it lands. So there was a lot of improvisation in that. And I don’t know where it came from, originally, but there’s always been a bipolar nature to this character. And the texture of a lower voice made sense. Even just the frequencies to fill out certain areas. We took a lot of time choosing the right vocoder, the effect of it, to me, feels like moments when maybe it’s his internal dialogue. It just made sense having two singers in a way. I mean, we’re a nu metal band, we have to have two singers (laughs.)

SS:   And they’re the same guy. The ultimate nu mental concept.

AC:   And translating to life was really important to me. Because it’s a big part of the character. And it’s something I’m really proud of in the vocals is having the albeit technologically supported range, but it is a wide range. Because you do have that ultra low sound to it.

WS:   It took some time to get it to feel just right. It was among all these other ideas, and things we wanted to add, it was like every two seconds someone would come up with something crazy. And the nights would just get later and later, we’d try anything.

SS:   When we were sitting in the room, it was fun to try everything, it got to the point where I had some vocals written I mean, I was just scrawling words onto paper, before Andy was going to scream them in the corner, you know, not in the booth, in the corner of the basement, or in my studio, whatever, but we didn’t even know who the vocalist was going to be. We didn’t know if there were going to be vocals. We didn’t know if we were gonna hire someone.

WS:   I tried the first pass and I was just like, I don’t want to do this. It’s just too much too hard. I mean, I’m a reluctant vocalist in Yellow Eyes anyway, it’s just like, you know, it’s so much easier to just play the guitar and that’s what I love doing.

SS:   We talked about everything. We thought, well, what if we just pull some German guy off the street, like a voiceover artist and just record some poetry, anything could go here. And then we handed it over to Andy and he’s like yeah, I’ll give it a try. And he goes and I think we’re doing “Oil Dream Field” and it was a first take and it was amazing. I think we kind of stopped and asked Andy, do you think you can do this live? He’s like: Yes I believe I can. Well, okay! It was that impulsive.

You mentioned that, you’ve listened back to some videos from yesterday. Did you hear anything that surprised you?

WS:   We have a German friend, she’s a very dear friend of ours, and she said you guys were great. I was like, if she says we’re great then we must have been great because she’ll tell the truth. But then she said well, I’m not telling you the whole truth (laughs) out with it! The guitars were too low in the mix she says, so I don’t know, that’s a great critique because we had nothing to do with that, and a room that size and that shape you might have just been standing in the wrong corner. From the videos I saw, I was just amazed at how forgiving the sound was overall. We were all convinced that, you know, as these videos start appearing we don’t want to see this song or that song, I know I made mistakes here and there. And then you listen and you’re like, I don’t hear it!

SS:   I know the mistakes are there. I don’t want to listen too closely. I do like the idea that maybe I was just imagining things, just thinking I was making mistakes.

WS:   I mean, being the first show I was just like, just gotta play. You know, get through it. And I’m thinking very hard and nothing feels quite natural, I’m just going seventh fret, eighth fret, think, play, get through it, don’t look up.

AC:   In terms of the synth sound, like Sam was saying there’s often eight synths playing simultaneously, and Dan was responsible for figuring out how to translate that. I think it was pretty fucking remarkable how he did it, slimmed down. His ability to synthesize is incredible. And then he’s just like, oh, it wasn’t a big deal. I just sampled this thing, and then ran it through this and put it through there.

SS:   He’s like yeah I made a bell sound. We’re like, Oh that’s cool. And then we’re playing, thinking it sounds great, and he’s got this glockenspiel on the couch and we realize oh you played it? Nice. We used a lot of overtly fake sounds, kind of reminiscent of dungeon synth, you use a sound that’s beautiful and lonely and cheap sounding, but I liked the idea that we can actually include some real things in there and some good synthesis.

Part of the inherent appeal of Sunrise Patriot Motion is this push and pull between gothy new romanticism that’s very distinctive, and the abrasive metallic elements on the other side. Do you think the future of the band leans more into one or the other? Or is actually the key to the band keeping both those things in lockstep?

WS:   There’s a good question. I mean, in terms of writing, I try not to ever think about it, anything at all, and honestly a lot of the riffs could be used in almost any project. It’s just how you treat them. I always think the best riffs come from my trick which is that if I want to write a good Yellow Eyes song I should truly, with every cell of my body believe that I’m writing a Sunrise Patriot Motion song. One of these new EP songs “My Father Took me Hunting in the Snow” was a new style of song and when we started it just didn’t manifest and then Andy came into town one day and I just had no ideas. I got nothing. So they said you know, play that thing you’d worked on.

SS:   And both of us were like, what are you talking about this is great? Let’s work with it.

WS:   We’re getting to know it better now after doing this EP, it helped us further understand what this band is, and if we’re stuck it’s like just throwing in some chugging (laughs) we don’t ever get to do that in any other project. So it can be that, and that alone, then start putting synths all over. Then you start getting free and that grows its own branches and you can get wild like from there. But yeah, don’t ever like to think too hard about it.

SS:   The romanticism thing is key. It’s a lot of the alchemy. Will and I have worked for many years in a similar capacity just trying to figure out the right balance: what’s the easiest way? Where’s the genesis of the idea? What’s the relay race that gets you there? And it often is just because of the way we work, we send Will to his cave for several months to come up with a pile of insane things, whatever bone fragment free association, then we can just take things just chop recklessly and you don’t have to be engaged in rough writing mode necessarily in that reckless DJ-esque moment of mashing things together. It’s nice to just have some material, just something, some cloth. And that’s been the way we’ve worked for a long time. And that seems to be what’s working here too, is starting with cloth.

AC:   I would also say that when we’re initially programming the drums, we have Blaze in mind, and his ability to play post punk music brilliantly and create things that only Blaze could play, he’s my favorite drummer. I really wanted to get him on this project, because I’ve worked with Bambara in a producer capacity. And so we get really meticulous with the programming of the drums, try to think of little nuanced ways in which Blaze can adapt and embrace the energy interestingly. Everybody in this band is so prolific. And it’s very fun to create a composite of everybody’s abilities in that room, because the level of professionalism is so high with these three, we really trust them to translate well.

SS:   I would say if the fills especially, it sucks trying to program fills, it never sounds right when you’re programming them, so many times we were like, Blaze is going to be just working up some magic here, let’s just leave these eight measures (laughs).

WS:   Blaze can do anything he wants, whenever you want all the time, you can do anything. He can be filling for the whole song.

AC:   Some songs there’s eight to 10 percussive elements and he comes in and first run, he’s playing them all at once, like fucking A man, we didn’t expect that.

Blaze – ‘do anything you want’ is that a helpful instruction, are you appreciative of that level of freedom?

Blaze Bateh (BB):   Yeah, it can be a little scary. But, when Andy first sent me the album tracks, I remember loving how creative all the parts were. Everything suited the songs perfectly. And so having that basis allowed me to build a framework to run with for certain fills and stuff like that. You just understood the identity of it immediately. And so it’s not just like this wide open thing.

We’ve talked about tour logistics and working between different bands. (Yellow Eyes’ album) Master’s Murmur came out towards the end of last year, and I think you’ve there’s a companion record coming this year?

WS:   Yeah. We have to finish it when we get home (laughs). Get home and switch gears, get back to that.

Was it always the plan to play this additional show with Thantifaxath in Belgium following your Roadburn performance?

SS:   It’s come together at super short notice. Oleg was the only one who knew them beforehand.

WS:   Oleg plays in Artificial Brain. (To Oleg) when did you play with them?

Oleg Zalman (OZ):   We first played with them, I want to say was 2015 on our first US tour with Pyhrron and Gigan, We did one or two Canadian shows with them. Yeah, when we found out that we were playing with them I was extremely stoked. It’s also such an eclectic pairing of a live bill. So it’s just, in my opinion, two projects that are going in extreme directions, but totally different ones.

WS:   We’ve been hanging out with them for the past three days. So yeah, I feel like we’re all friends.

SS:   They’ve become friends in this tiny, compressed window of time. That’s wonderful, I loved their show last night.

WS:   Yeah, it was really cool, they’re amazing. I can’t wait to see them in the presumably smaller rooms that are booked.

SS:   It’s interesting to pair us with them in a show, because I feel like while we are a band that also has this line of coherence and incoherence, melodically it’s not that incoherent. I speak in super respectful terms, like I love incoherence in music, it’s the, it’s the thing that sticks with you, the indigestible part of it that stays with you, and that’s kind of what you remember and dream about and whatever. But um, yeah, I like the idea of putting these bands together that have a very different take on incoherence, we’ll see!

WS:   We’ll see what if their fans have any interest in us at all (laughs). I don’t even know if we’re gonna fit on the stage.

OZ:   To add, I feel like most people that are aware of Sunrise Patriot Motion, us being a band with no press and mostly just riding word of mouth, are so because they are familiar with the black metal projects that it came from: Yellow Eyes, Ustalost, and so on, so there is this strange, large overlap of people who primarily listen to metal that are super into this ultra colorful goth rock project. I couldn’t believe it coming out on stage you know, the second we got a glimpse of the crowd last night, it was stressing me out. And the second we walked up there, some people clapped, some people were yelling Yellow Eyes, which made me feel like they’re a little bit on our side, that made me feel relieved.

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Photo credit: elulu photo

I love anything that reminds metal fans that they’re allowed to have fun, because they can be surprisingly uncomfortable with the idea! Sunrise Patriot Motion does a great job of nudging people towards that.

SS:   It’s right. You know, we talked a lot about using pop as a wrench in any style of music, whether or not you’d like to admit it, everyone likes a pop element. Even in the darkest and the murkiest noise, it’s like how sci fi needs reality to work, you need pop, it’s everywhere, even in the most sprawling music. So the idea that we’re playing with a bit of this, testing how far we can push the pop elements while maintaining a transcendent kind of alienation or something? I think you could even push it farther, some of my favorite music does that.

AC:   Like DMX had just died when we were working on the album at home and I think that definitely infiltrated. You know, we were kind of celebrating his music, appreciating a lot of it. And it was fun to let it be part of it, just clear, subconsciously.

OZ:   Even the most abrasive of music will have hooks. It’s what you’re listening to.

AC:   Even Limp Bizkit (laughs).

If any community is going to embrace the pop side of the band, I think the crowd at Roadburn is probably the one.

WS:   It’s literally the perfect place to have done this. The perfect scenario. As I was joking with them, it’s all downhill from here. It’ll never be like last night ever again. But that’s fine.

SS:   The clerk at the hotel this morning said see you next year. We said, yes, we’ll see you next year! We’ll need to start a new one but sure. We’ll see you next year!

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Photo credit: elulu photo

“My Father’s Christian Humidor” – as a song title it’s out there, could you explain it?

SS:   That was just one of those days, you know, somehow the mustiness of those words, I think the mic was turned on, the preamps were on and the tubes were warm. And I’m thinking of an old cigar box right now. I don’t know why. But you know, feels like this guy started to think of this. The first thing was there’s obsession, maniacal obsession, our own obsessive tendencies. I think we were all working on some crazy things at the time, I just finished installing an air conditioning unit in my studio that took a jackhammer to get in. I spent three days burning out four different saws, trying to get a diamond tipped hole saw through a cinder block. And I think that might have gotten the whole idea in my head. I thought of our protagonist, well, why is he out here? Why is he digging this hole? And I thought, well, his father of course, and then I was thinking about how in my favorite literature you find truth in specifics. You know, there’s nothing worse than general lyrics. Go specific, as specific as you can, while saying as little as you can, it’s like you want something that you know, and something that you don’t know and it’s just one of those things, this guy somehow is just sitting in this field remembering an object. This dusty weird strange thing.

WS:   It was a crazy title at the time. It’s still a crazy title. It’s never not going to be crazy.

SS:   I was looking down at the set, we’ve got two songs with father in the name.

Daddy problems – you’re channeling nu metal again.

AC:   During the recording, my wife was pregnant upstairs. And Sam and I are fathers and we’ve really connected on that level and our definitions of it. And it being sort of an untapped world to explore. And I love that theme, it’s very fun to riff off, just because of the personal side of things.

SS:   The tragic solo character always appeals, you know. I’m a big fan of Russian literature and when I lived in the Czech Republic for a while and I got really into Czech writers like Bohumil Hrabal, and the book Hunger, by Knut Hamsun, I always loved this idea of some lurching tragic character, getting obsessed with very specific things, thinking about someone walking on the street ahead of them just just getting furious at how much they look like an insect, this intense antagonism towards strange specific things always spoke to me and I just liked the idea of this guy getting hung up on things. He’s just, you know, he’s tortured, it’s nu metal you know?

We keep going back to this (laughs). Have any of you seen a movie called A Field in England?

SS:   I someone told me about this at some point but I haven’t. Sounds familiar.

It’s directed by a British guy called Ben Wheatley, he deals with a lot of folk horror. This is probably his most minimal and most surreal film. And there are some really parallel Overlapping parts with Black Fellflower Stream. It becomes a surrealist nightmare, and does really interesting things with its sound and visuals.

BB:   You sold it hard. That sounds amazing.

SS:   I love that kind of surrealism threaded through the kind of darkness of the mid-afternoon, you know, I don’t know why, it’s become sort of an obsession to me that the darkest point in the day is the late afternoon, there’s something about the kind of expansive sagging quality of it, sort of like this bursting kind of melancholy.

AC:   Will check this out post tour in the time which is referred to as the pit.

Enjoy, and congratulations on your word of mouth success, it’s amazing how much traction something can get when it hits right! It’s always super interesting to look at how people find and enjoy music in ‘now’.

AC:   What was the first album you ever bought with your own money? Real first, even if it’s humiliating?

It was by a Scottish band called Garbage.

AC:  We were talking about them yesterday!

SS:   (laughter) Garbage is a goth band for sure. It’s one of those bands that I’ve always loved, it has that kind of Major to Minor kind of it’s fun, it’s a great expression of how far you can take pop in a way that just feels somehow shadowy.

AC:   Mine was Foo Fighters’ The Colour and The Shape.

WS:   The Fugees! I had to sneak it into home because it had a parental advisory sticker. What was your first one Blaze?

BB:   Savage Garden! Savage Garden, yeah.

That fast song of theirs is good! Chica Cherry Cola.

BB:  (laughs).

AC:   Skin Crawling (laughs).

My Father Took Me Hunting In The Snow is available now and can be purchased here.

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