Hills – ‘Montelius Väg’

psych for sore eyes-vinyl

The Liverpool Psych Fest has landed and with it Sonic Cathedral’s new volume – ‘Psych For Sore Eyes 2′! Fans can look forward to another six tracks of mind bending rock n’ roll on double 7inch featuring Psychic Ills, Prayer Meeting, Damaged Bug, White Fence, Morgan Delt and Hills. The Quietus spilt the beans with a stream of ‘Montelius Väg’ by Hills (as below). The vinyl artwork looks incredible! Remaining physical copies will be available via the Sonic Cathedral shop this week with a digital release to follow on November 3.

Hills – ‘Montelius Väg’

For more on ‘Psych For Sore Eyes 2’ @ Sonic Cathedral.

The Vacant Lots On ‘Departure’, Sonic Boom & Mind Control!


The Vacant Lots recently delivered their psych rockin’ debut album ‘Departure’, highly praised by heavyweights like The Times, NME, Pitchfork and Mojo. They enlisted the help of rock royalty to put the album together, including Galaxie 500’s Dean Wareham, Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom and Alan Vega (of Suicide). The Vermont duo (Jared Artaud & Brian MacFadyen) are fresh from a tour with the Brian Jonestown Massacre and it’s high time to find out what all the fuss is about!

Your debut album ‘Departure’ is upon us – congrats! Are you happy with the result? And what went into putting it together?

JARED: You don’t think about it at the time when you are writing the album how much work and help goes into it. We are really thankful for the amazing team and artists we have assembled to make this thing happen. The album was recorded primarily by NYC engineer Ted Young at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ. ‘Before The Evening’s Thru’ was engineered by Kyle Chunco and Ben Kindzia in Buffalo, NY and ‘Mad Mary Jones’ was recorded by Black Angels FOH main man Brett Orrison in Austin, TX. We were fortunate to have Sonic Boom on the mixing decks and mastering it all up. Our manager Samantha Tyson has been a guiding light (so to speak) managing the unmanageable and our label Sonic Cathedral has been incredible. Not to mention countless other people who have helped the record come into realization. We are really pleased with the results. We released a few 7″ singles and to have our debut LP come out of the gates this way is very meaningful to us. I know it has taken a few years, but it was worth the wait for us and we were ready to put it out there.

Peter Kember (aka Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom) mixed and mastered the album – what was it like working with him?

JARED: Sonic Boom is an architect of sound and an absolute genius. We learned so much from him mentoring us. What is most revealing about how he works is how innovative and methodical he is. It really doesn’t matter what he is doing, his entire perspective on the situation is singular and immensely creative. Moreover, through his vision we explored territory that would have been completely devoid to us if we hadn’t worked with Sonic. If you give Sonic something to work with he will do something you hadn’t ever dreamed of. When we were thinking about who we wanted to work with on ‘Departure’ we wanted someone who understood where we were coming from and where we wanted to go. Someone who would help take us to that place. Someone who knew our roots and help keep the momentum going. Sonic is also a master of subtlety and simplicity. There was no one else we could have dreamed of working with on ‘Departure’.

When and how did The Vacant Lots form? Ever thought about becoming a trio?

BRIAN: We stuck with the duo because we found we could produce a fuller, more focused sound between the two of us. As a duo we are able to really lock in and play off each other, in a way that we found couldn’t be replicated with an additional player.

JARED: We got together in 2009 in Burlington, Vermont. I had put up posters around town “looking for a drummer”. I figured that would be a good place to start. I knew right away from that first rehearsal there was something there. Something that I was looking for. Although Brian has been using a myriad of different electronics for our sound, he is an extraordinarily unique and original drummer. We did a lot of rehearsing and demo recording in that year. Experimenting with ideas and trying to sculpt our own sound out of all this raw material. ‘Confusion’ and ‘Cadillac’ came from these experiments. It wasn’t until 2010 when we got invited by Sonic Boom to tour the U.S. with Spectrum that things started to happen. I mean we only played a handful of shows. It was the first time we had really got on the road and toured. We thought about adding more members to the band, but we felt then and now that you can do more with less. It is challenging we know, but we actually like having to problem solve and figure out how to get the sound we want with just two. You can produce a lot of sound with just two people. We feel that by limiting yourself you can actually achieve more. Through these imposed limitations we have always been exploring how much two people can do with sound.

How did you connect with UK label Sonic Cathedral? I believe you’re their first stateside release?

JARED: When we heard they wanted to put the album out we got really excited. Yes, we are their first and very grateful to work with such a dedicated and supportive label. Sonic has done a lot of work with them in the past and then we were asked to contribute to the ‘Psych For Sore Eyes’ compilation. It was a natural progression from there and we all just got on very well and they were really into the album. They heard the demos and rough mixes and it just felt like a great union of sorts. Plus our manager, Sam had a lot to do with sealing the deal. It wouldn’t have happened without her.

I first heard you guys on ‘Psych For Sore Eyes’ (with The Band In Heaven, Hookworms and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete). It was a really special release, how did it come about?

JARED: Sonic Cathedral always has their finger to the pulse. Just one of many good ideas I guess. That release pulls from contemporary psych bands all across the planet. We all played Austin Psych Fest and have crossed paths one way or another. The track we contributed ‘6 AM’ was mixed at the same studio we recorded ‘Mad Mary Jones’. I had no idea at the time that we would be working with Sonic Cathedral on the debut album. It’s funny how things pan out.

What’s life like in Burlington, Vermont?

JARED: I haven’t lived there in a few years. Take it away Brian.

BRIAN: It’s a nice, quiet town. I have a small studio set up in town where we’re able to rehearse as well. I grew up there and it will always be home. The scenery is beautiful and conducive to creating.

Galaxie 500 legend Dean Wareham makes a guest appearance on ‘Tomorrow’. Did you make room for his performance or was it spur of the moment?

JARED: Well neither really. I have always wanted to work with Dean in some way. His guitar playing and lyric writing has been a huge source of inspiration for me. Dean is a phenomenal rhythm guitar player and one of the most underrated players and songwriters of all time. We had sent him a few tracks to see what he thought. He liked ‘Tomorrow’ and so I asked him if he would lay down some guitars and maybe take the solo. I never told him this but that whole middle section was inspired by Luna’s ‘Ihop’ that 3 chord break. Dean laid down the only guitar solo on the album. It’s so sad sounding and beautiful to me it fit in so perfectly.

You’ve designed your own signature TVL Fuzz Pedal – I’m impressed! How did that come about?

BRIAN: I’ve been making prototypes recently, working on some basic circuits. One piece in particular, this one knob fuzz, really stood out tonally, and allowed Jared to fully realize the grinding chainsaw guitar tone on 6AM. After discovering an effective way to apply Anthony Ausgang’s op art design to the enclosures we were able to put a small batch together that reflect the TVL aesthetic both visually and sonically.

JARED: UK label, Fuzz Club Records is selling the pedals on their website and we had a handful to sell on our UK tour with BJM.


What are you listening to at the moment? Any tips for SBWR readers?

JARED: On the new front I would highly recommend checking out Tess Parks, The Black Ryder, Cheval Sombre and Prince Rama. On the old front I’ve been listening to a lot of Roxy Music, Nina Simone, Richard Hell and Albert Ayler lately.

BRIAN: For newer stuff, I’ve been listening to Angel Olsen, Dirty Beaches & Wooden Shjips. Also been really into Dr John’s first record, D.R. Hooker & Django Reinhardt.

Am I right that you create your own artwork or is it Anthony Ausgang’s work? Is the ‘Departure’ cover meant to send you into a hypnotic spin? Mind control!

JARED: Quite the opposite! The music and artwork may seem hypnotic, but it is designed to wake people up. Mind control is fucking evil. There is enough of that shit going on with some of the most well-known man-made institutions. It’s time for something new, no? Ausgang designed the artwork on our TVL Fuzz Pedal as well as the Arrival artwork. He is a brilliant artist truly ahead of his time, you have to check out his work if you haven’t. He has inspired us a lot. It’s true that we design most of our artwork including the Departure album sleeve. I think the visual element is almost as important as the aural experience. That is also why we use visuals when we play live. We make all of those too.

What are your favourite pieces of gear? Guitars, amps etc?

JARED: I have been using a Silvertone 1484 amp since we started. All of the recordings have this amp on it. I try to use it as much as possible live, but sometimes that isn’t possible traveling overseas etc makes this impractical, so there are other ways round it by using effects etc. For guitars I have only used a Gretsch Country Gentleman and Vox Phantom XII. The Vox is great for live playing and has this very trashy sound that I like.

BRIAN: Handwired tube amps because they’re built in a way that enables and even promotes modification and experimentation. You can pull and substitute components without worrying about messing with a circuit board. Other than the fact that the death caps could strike you down if you’re not careful, it arranges signal flow in what I consider the most intuitive configuration, and is a great tool when first learning about electronic circuitry. Plus they sound cool as hell.

I don’t mean to keep name dropping but considering this is your debut, you’ve already turned plenty of heads! What’s your connection with Alan Vega (Suicide) and how did you earn a support slot with The Brian Jonestown Massacre?

JARED: We are immensely honored to have collaborated with some of our musical heroes. And, it is a bit surreal that our first USA tour was with Spectrum and our first UK tour with BJM. I have so much respect and admiration for these artists because without them we wouldn’t be here. Alan Vega’s work with Suicide, as a solo artist and installation artist has truly inspired me in a myriad of ways. Working with him on a few releases has been a real eye opener and meeting him in person has only reaffirmed my resolve that he is one of the most brilliant and important artists of the last 100 years. We met Anton at Austin Psych Fest in 2012. He was incredibly kind and inspiring to us when we met him. We just stayed in touch. He was touring England and invited us along. We are really looking forward to it.

If you could assemble a fantasy band (of musicians living or dead), who would be in it?


Scott Walker trading off with Jeffrey Lee Pierce on Vocals

Tom Verlaine on Guitars

Elvin Jones on Drums

Sun Ra on Keys


Pete Drake on Lap Steel / Vocals

Curtis Mayfield on Guitar

John Cale on Bass

Max Roach on Drums

What’s next for The Vacant Lots?

JARED: Well ‘Departure’ is out now. This fall we are going back for a full-on European tour alongside the release of a 7” remix by Alan Vega of ‘6 AM’ coming out on Sonic Cathedral. There is more to come but we can’t really say much more about that now. Thanks for the interview.

Thanks for your time guys.


*New single ‘Paint This City’ out September 22*


September 24 – London, Shacklewell Arms
September 25 – Rugby, Grand Central Studios
September 26 – Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia
September 28 – Southend, The Railway Hotel
September 29 – Bristol, Start The Bus

Visit The Vacant Lots @ Sonic Cathedral @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

The Vacant Lots – ‘Paint This City’


American psych rockers The Vacant Lots have posted their new single ‘Paint This City’. It’s a shift from the sound of ‘Mad Mary Jones’, this time round the duo (Jared Artaud & Brian MacFadyen) delve deep with a country drawl. As the presser states, “it actually started out as a misinterpretation of the chords to Galaxie 500’s classic ‘Tugboat’ but has ended up somewhere in between Mink DeVille’s ‘Spanish Stroll’ and New Order circa ‘Power, Corruption & Lies’.” Pick it up on The Vacant Lots debut LP ‘Departure’ (out now via Sonic Cathedral). Stay tuned, an interview is just around the corner!

The Vacant Lots – ‘Paint This City’


September 24 – London, Shacklewell Arms
September 25 – Rugby, Grand Central Studios
September 26 – Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia
September 28 – Southend, The Railway Hotel
September 29 – Bristol, Start The Bus

Visit The Vacant Lots @ Sonic Cathedral @ Facebook.

Lord Tarquin – ‘Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman’


Exciting news from British record label Sonic Cathedral, they’re moving into the highbrow world of publishing with the hilariously titled book ‘Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman’ by Lord Tarquin (out this July)! As the presser states…

“Memoirs Of A Shoegazing Gentleman was originally published as a spoof column in NME between October 26, 1991 and February 1, 1992, and was written by writer and broadcaster David Quantick in the guise of Lord Tarquin. The new version has been illustrated by designer Marc Jones, and features the 10 original chapters, plus a new epilogue which brings the story of the pupils of Shoey House up to date in a morass of middle class mockery, double entendres and badly translated Latin. It will be available from the Sonic Cathedral stall at the Independent Label Market – held at Spitalfields Market in London on Saturday, July 12 – selected shops and from soniccathedral.co.uk, priced £5. There will also be a launch party at The Social in London on Monday, July 7. An Evening With Lord Tarquin & Friends will be hosted by Miki Berenyi from Lush and will feature David Quantick reading from the book, a live set by Mark Gardener (Ride) and guest DJs including Stephen Patman (Chapterhouse) and Phil King (Lush). Entry is free.”


Visit Sonic Cathedral online for more details.

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete Talk Chambers, The Tour & Triple Fuzz!


If you’re a fan of psych rock, chances are you’re already in love with Lorelle Meets The Obsolete! Since releasing their debut LP ‘On Welfare’ back in 2011, the duo have produced an incredible catalog of unique rock gems. Most recently with ‘Chambers’, their third album in just four years. The duo is Lorelle (singer-guitarist Lorena Quintanilla) and partner Alberto Gonzalez (drums, guitars, vocals and drones). The Mexican-natives recently returned home from an extensive tour, taking some time out to talk ‘Chambers’, the shows and their fantasy band line-up…

What was the experience of recording ‘Chambers’ with Cooper Crain like? Did he bring new ideas to the table for your third record?

Alberto: It was very intense. We spent three days with him in the studio and he mixed all the songs on the go. He mastered our previous record and the ‘Ghost Archives’ seven inch so I guess he already had a specific idea about what he wanted to do with our sound. During the sessions we just tried to let him be and welcome every opinion he had. We would love to work with him again.

Tell us a little about the single ‘What’s Holding You’. It’s got extended passages of wandering guitar noise (not a traditional choice for the lead single). What set this track apart?

Alberto: I think it really sums up the way ‘Chambers’ sounds. It’s a very straightforward song. There’s not a lot going on in it in terms of instrumentation just like in the rest of the songs. Also Ben from Captcha and Nat from Sonic Cathedral agreed on it being a good introduction to the record.

Since releasing your debut, there’s been a steady stream of new material – when do you sleep!? How do you maintain the work ethic and remain creative?

Alberto: We recorded ‘On Welfare’, ‘Corruptible Faces’ and ‘Chambers’ while we were still living in Guadalajara and Mexico City. It was the time when we had day jobs that we didn’t like so playing music was kind of a relief from our routine. Now that we live in Ensenada the band has been getting busier and we haven’t had the chance to record new material but we always find the time to keep making new music.

How do you approach personal themes in the lyrics when you’re a husband and wife team? Is it hard writing an angry song or a love song about your partner when they’re next to you in the studio?

Lorena: It was weird for me at first. I tried to pretend that Beto didn’t realize what I was talking about. Now I feel more confident because we respect each other’s private space and in the end it’s not like our songs really talk about us as a couple. Most of our songs approach other themes.

How has Mexico influenced your sound? Did the move to the Baja California coast make an impact on your art?

Alberto: I think our sound comes from everything we’ve experienced from growing up and living in México.

Lorena: We’ve toured a lot since we moved to Baja California and I think this fact has had a huge impact in our music.

Did you have any preconceived ideas for ‘Chambers’? Was there a conscious decision to build on, or explore new territory than the ‘Corruptible Faces’ LP?

Lorena: I do remember that we wanted to give more importance to the bass guitar lines. The rest was pretty much the same process.

Is it tough working creatively as a duo? Do you ever feel like you need to call in an umpire or third party to adjudicate!?

Alberto: We do argue a lot but most of the time it flows smoothly. Sometimes is just refreshing to have someone outside our environment giving a different point of view. Like Cooper on ‘Chambers’ or our friend Chivo who recorded some drums in ‘Corruptible Faces’.

In the past three years you’ve grown tremendously and are now reaching a much bigger audience, if you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Lorena: I would turn down playing some shows that we played on the early days.

You’ve worked with several drummers and bass guitarists on tour, how do you manage this? Is translating the record to the stage a challenge?

Alberto: One of the reasons we keep having new people playing with us is that we can’t afford traveling with the same band every time we tour. It has its pros and cons but above all it keeps the songs fresh. We usually rehearse a couple of days before the tour starts and let things settle on the go.

Did any particular music or artists influence the new album?

Lorena: Syd Barrett’s ‘The Madcap Laughs’.

You’re just back from a tour – what’s been your most memorable show?

Alberto: Touring is the best! Last year’s show in Richmond, Virginia remains as one of our favorite. This year’s show at the Dalston Victoria in London was amazing and the LA show at the Smell was super emotive.

How did you approach the creative process for ‘Chambers’? Do you collaborate from the start or work alone?

Lorena: This record was very collaborative. We had some ideas on our own but we developed them all together. Most of the time we were just sitting down jamming these raw ideas. Beto would keep playing some guitar figure until some vocal melody came up and so on. We enjoyed it a lot.

What are your most treasured pieces of gear?

Alberto: Before leaving on tour this year, our friend Bolo from Testing Electronics gave me a triple fuzz he built and I love everything about it. Also my Musicman 112rp100 guitar amp is a nice piece of equipment.

Lorena: My Testing Electronics overdrive and my Shin-ei fuzz wah.

Is you could assemble a fantasy band (of musicians living or dead), who would be in it?

Nico on vocals, Geoff Barrow on drums, Kim Gordon on bass guitar, Dean Wareham on guitar, Daryl Hooper on keys and Tim Presley handling the other guitar duties.

Have you got any future plans beyond the tour? Is there another record on the horizon?

Lorena: There are some releases coming out, we just started working on another album and we’ll possibly tour again towards the end of the year.



Visit Lorelle Meets The Obsolete @ Sonic Cathedral @ Captcha @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

The Vacant Lots – ‘Mad Mary Jones’

the vacant lots-profile-2

Psych duo The Vacant Lots have delivered the rollicking single ‘Mad Mary Jones’ and there’s a seizure inducing video to match! Well, not literally – check out the video below! Their rocking ways first got our attention last year with their spot on the ‘Psych For Sore Eyes‘ compilation. The Vacant Lots will release their debut album ‘Departure’ through Sonic Cathedral (June 30 – UK/EU & July 1 USA). The record was mixed and mastered by Sonic Boom (of Spacemen 3 fame).

The Vacant Lots – ‘Mad Mary Jones’

Visit The Vacant Lots @ Sonic Cathedral @ Tumblr @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.