Fred managed to catch up this week with LA based Psychedelic rock band The Warlocks and fire a few questions their way. This time we talk soylent green, blowing your load on an album concept and the rejuvenation of records on vinyl.
Who are you; where do you come from; what styles do you play?
“Bobby Hecksher, The Warlocks, Los Angeles, CA. I guess we are total weirdos as far as that goes and do kind of jump around styles. So Rock & Roll, Psychedelic, Experimental.”
Describe one of your live performances compared to on record.
“These days it’s more structured in the sense we have so many songs we have to pick the best stuff off of every record. Our set is something like Shake The Dope Out, Baby Blue, Hurricane, Red Camera, Surgery, Come Save Us and stuff off the new one Songs From The Pale Eclipse.”
Can you give us a quick run-down of an average day on tour with the band?
Repeat in different order! Haha”
What are you currently listening to?
“Soft Metals, Cosmetics and Ariel Pink. The New Cosmonauts is really good too!”
So, you’ve got a new album out this year as a follow-up to 2013’s Skull Worship. Where was it recorded & produced? Did you experiment with any new production techniques in the studio?
“Well this one was difficult – we jumped around to many studios at first. We were going for a Stereolab meets Neu! record but we just couldn’t seem to pull it off. It just wasn’t the right environment for such things. So after we blew the whole budget on this idea, I started over, borrowed money and decided to go back to song. I have stacks and stacks of 8 tracks full of songs and it was time to do something with them. The new album Pale Eclipse covers the gamit of all the songs I’ve been waiting to record for the last 10 years and completes the circle of the warlocks catalogue. The moment we started with this idea, everything “worked”.”
How has that sound developed for this new record since 2013?
“Well we went from a loud rock heavy sounding record to a more song approached airier record.”
I see Songs From the Pale Eclipse is available for purchase on vinyl, through your website. What is your stance on the recent resurfacing of vinyl records? Do you think it’s a good thing that people are getting back in touch with owning a physical copy of your art form?
“Yes I think it’s great. It’s a fun hobby for me but I don’t collect as much as I want to. Bigger pictures, warmer sound – it’s just still neat like it was when I was collecting as kid, till now. Though admittedly I don’t collect so much anymore.”
You’re playing 5 dates in the UK and a bunch around the rest of Europe with Dead Rabbits through September and October. Are you a band that prefers the comfort of home and studio over life on the road, or are you glad to be out touring again?
“Good questions! Thank you for that. Well the boys love touring and travelling and I am a little resistant. Don’t get me wrong I love playing for the fans and rocking out. It’s just the travelling itself I have a problem with. I’m nervous flyer and I hate the day to day travel stuff. It’s all so boring but all worth it for the 1 hour on stage.”
Finally, where would you put yourself on this scale of fussiness;
– You want all the blue m&m’s picked out and need everything to be perfect otherwise you’ll tantrum and refuse to play.
– You’re happy to eat Soylent Green – and know what it is – if it means not kicking up a fuss.
“Haha! Nice one ok SOYLENT GREEN ALL THE WAY HAHAHAHAH”
The Warlocks are touring Europe with Dead Rabbits from September 7th to October 2nd, with the final 5 dates around the UK. Check their new album Songs From the Pale Eclipse on Spotify, buy it on vinyl at a show and if they offer you a post-show snack backstage, make sure to read the wrapper.
Written by Fredrick Whatmore