Southern Lord signed instrumental veterans Pelican are preparing to return to Australia this month. On the eve of their visit, Killyourstereo.com sat down with guitarist Trevor de Brauw. The musician discusses the relationship the band has with their fans, thoughts leading into the tour and the special nature of shows.
Hi Trevor, thanks for taking the time for an interview. How is everything going? Not long until you’re back in Australia.
Splendid, thank you for asking.
Just wrapped up shows with the boys in Tombs. Their new album has been very well received. What was it like sharing the stage with the band?
Tombs are, at this point, old friends of ours. It’s always lovely to see them and spend time with them. The new line-up and album are [both] awesome.
Good to hear.
I believe you have a brief break from touring currently. Touring can be all encompassing and quite demanding. When you do get time off and can step away from band mode, what takes up most of your time?
Actually the majority of our time is not spent touring, we only really play about four weeks out of the year or so. We all have jobs, families, and so forth that occupy our time away from the road. Touring is something we approach as a part time concern; the shows are rare and precious for us.
I love the quality of bands on Southern Lord at the moment. Talk us through the working relationship with the label?
It has been very good. It is a great stable of talent and it’s great to work with a label that’s run by a fellow musician since there’s a little more sympathy for our vision than we might get from another label.
How important do you think social media is for bands today? Some people think it’s crucial to promote a band, others think it’s nothing more than a necessary evil, while some are completely indifferent. What are your thoughts?
It doesn’t seem necessary, by any means – there are definitely bands that get by without a social media presence – but I think it’s really nice to bridge some of the distance between band and audience. In our early years people misconstrued what we were about a little, I think, and thought we were dark and mysterious or something. Now our fans have the tools to discover that we’re a bunch of goofball dorks.
Talking about your fans there, heavier music doesn’t enjoy the mainstream benefits others genres do, but bands that play this type of music seem to have a far stronger relationship with their fans and vice versa. What’s your impression of audiences/listeners?
It never ceases to flatter and surprise me that people are passionate about our band. Making this music is its own gift because it fulfils a very important part of our individual natures that needs it and craves it. To then have the opportunity to travel and share it with others is amazing. Our fans are very patient and invested to take an interest in instrumental music, we feel so grateful to them for being a part of the experience.
I’m looking at the dates for this upcoming Aussie trip and the shows are back-to-back on consecutive days. Have you planned to branch out and try and take in some sights while you’re here or will it be primarily just the shows?
Unfortunately, due to work schedules and other circumstances, we’re not able to allot more time for travel. Last time we toured Australia a couple of the guys got to stick around and vacation, but we’re not able to do much other than the shows on this trip. It’s a pity travelling so far and not getting time off to learn and explore the local culture, but it’s an unfortunate reality.
What up and coming bands do you really admire in the sense they seem unburdened by conforming to standard styles and are trying to create something innovative?
A band that comes to mind is Forest Swords, who merge dub and dark electronica in really inspiring and ominous ways. I saw them live in March and the sound seemed to fill every inch of space and create a tremendous amount of atmosphere.
Thanks for the interview Trevor, really appreciate your time. Look forward to the tour.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to share words. We’re very excited for the tour.
PELICAN AUSTRALIAN TOUR JULY 2014
Thursday, July 24 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Friday, July 25 – The Hi-Fi, Melbourne
Saturday, July 26 – Manning Bar, Sydney
Sunday, July 27 – Rosemount, Perth