(interview w/ Gjared – guitar, vocals)
I’ve discovered Austin, Texas band OUT OF BODY’s first release (“Evaporate” EP) a few months ago. It was as refreshing as FADE (guys actually share the same influences), and I guess you can definitly listen to this band between two rehearals of your moshing bands. I’d like to thank Gjared for this “miniview” and wish OUT OF BODY to release more excellent songs like those featuring on “Evaporate”!
“The debut EP blurs the lines between space rock, post hardcore, metal and alternative. Featuring the track “Going Wrong” plus 3 songs of heavy melodic groove that go well with bands like FAILURE, HUM and QUICKSAND.”
That’s what bandcamp tells us about how OUT OF BODY sounds.
I’ve also red that everything apart from the drums comes from one and only person, Gjared, so that’s why I’d like to ask you if you were thinking about that “musical identity” since the beginning?
There never was an “identity” when it came to OUT OF BODY; it has always been focused on expression. The name was something I put forth as a way to articulate what I felt when listening to music, a separation from reality, a sonic trip. It’s like being a kid holed away in your bedroom, headphones on your ears, volume on blast, the music snatches you up, holds you hostage and you leave earth for a bit. That’s what I wanted this music to do to listeners, give them an experience.
– It seems there’s a current “trend” focused on the whole “90s concept” today within the hardcore scene; bands start different side-projects or other bands inspired by indie or alternative, even grunge, emo, shoegaze or space rock/slowcore. Last interview I did was with FADE and it seems there’s a new audience within the hardcore scene who is definitely eager to listen to calmer music, almost psychedelic and even groovy tunes – maybe TURNSTILE does a lot for that, if you follow the band or their different members on different social networks you realize they try to be really open minded about hardcore and music in general. What do you think of that concerning OUT OF BODY?
I’ve noticed resurgence for sure. As someone who grew up in the time of 120 Minutes, ball chain necklaces and dial up Internet it’s really amazingly weird to see things come full circle in a short amount of time. There are some great bands doing awesome things right now, TURNSTILE brings the house down every time they play but I think we live outside of that. I started writing music for this while I attended high school in the 90’s, so this isn’t digging back this is coming from a place of being around at the time to be affected. We’re not really interested in a hardcore audience but we are interested in an audience. Whoever wants to listen can listen, no limits, zero barriers. I want so-called “normie” people that have no ties to the underground music scene to be all about this and everyone in between.
– What are the different emblematic bands/records which have had an impact on OUT OF BODY? Can you explain why? Do you think any current band have the same approach than you nowadays?
I don’t really keep up with trends when it comes to songwriting and only go by what moves me. I never set out to capture a specific sound. Honestly this is just how I write music when I’m sitting at home alone with my acoustic guitar. It’s how I naturally play and a style that fits my voice. Actually years ago I used to perform some of this material at coffee shops. I would say Neil Young is a huge influence. My hope is that we have our own unique output and don’t have others that are identical.
– When did you start thinking about creating OUT OF BODY? When you wanted the band to play live did you know each other member before playing in the band?
Are you coming from different musical backgrounds and are you currently playing in other bands?
This band is something I’ve wanted to start as a late teenager but never got a chance to do it till much later. There are old guitar practice tapes from 1997 of similar sounding songs at my parent’s house somewhere. A while back I tried to assemble people to play this stuff but I came up empty because nobody was interested and it wasn’t seen as cool. The guys who have joined up now are incredibly sincere, want to help bring all my ideas to light and together create more material. I’ve known Gary our drummer from the local Austin scene, he sang for JUST SAYIN’ and played drums in CUTTING LOSSES. Landon our second guitarist has two bands RETIREMENT HOME and VETTER KIDS. I have a progressive Krishna hardcore band I sing for called COUNTERBLAST that plays whenever possible because members are spread from the east coast to the west coast. Ruben our bassist came to us a bit later in the game but he brings an energy that’s the perfect fit.
Gjared, do you write all the lyrics? Everything seems very personal, almost dark and written in a very instinctive way whereas the music seems definitely more thorough and detailed, what made you write for example:
“Everyone is watching
Face to the ground
Avoid eye contact
I just want to evaporate (fade away)” “Evaporate”
“[…] Signs say no
One way to go
The other side
Dismiss all direction steer in a circle
Seeing all the same signs all over again
Turn and spin nobody will ever admit
We’ve lost our way and it’s not coming back” “Going Wrong”
“Protect yourself at any cost
They’re gonna get you
Prepare for a zero threat
It’s good to know you have options
If there’s a knocking at the door
Answer it with brute force
What some call paranoid is just liberty […]” “Trigger Happy”
Are you saying the lyrics are simplistic and the music is more technical? I’ve written all the words since this began as a singer/songwriter project. It’s very personal, vulnerable and not meant to be anthems but the intent is that it resonates with others.
Can you tell me what do you deal with in these different songs from your first EP “Evaporate”?
The title track “Evaporate” is on the vibe of vanishing, disappearing and wanting to remove one’s self from existence when confronting guilt or shame. The single “Going Wrong” details a toxic relationship which ironically I wrote while it was happening and continued the doomed course for a few more years. America’s obsession with guns inspired “Trigger Happy” and it wasn’t on a gun control advocacy level but more on the distrusting paranoia that fuels justification of gun ownership.
– When will we able to have physical copies of the EP?
Tapes will be available soon and shirts as soon as we can get a good design. It seems like that’s the hardest thing to do. Getting an artistic representation of your sound is a task and can’t be taken lightly. If anyone reading this enjoys our tunes and feel inspired to visually put something together we will gladly welcome it.
– How goes the Texas punk scene nowadays? Can you recommend us some new good bands?
I honestly have no clue what’s currently going on in Texas punk. CONCRETE ELITE is a great skinhead band from Austin, MIGHT from Houston is THE best straight edge band; BLOOM/MITES from San Antonio are great dream pop.
– I guess when you come from Austin, Houston or Dallas you definitely know the BIG BOYS, DICKS, MDC, DRI or AT THE DRIVE-IN (and the alternative/grunge bands coming from the area) and how these bands were/are important for American punk History. Did these different bands have an impact on OUT OF BODY?
Jimi Hendrix’s guitar playing gets me more pumped than anything, however the influence of all the punk/hardcore bands who have come before us is evident if not directly than by nature indirectly.