George Clarke On Deafheaven’s New Direction: ‘It Is Important to Not Be Bored’
George Clarke, singer for post-black metal outfit Deafheaven, was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. He discussed the band's fourth studio album, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, and how the band has grown since forming in 2010 in regards to both writing and popularity and more. Check out the chat below.
We're here to talk about the new album Ordinary Corrupt Human Love. The tracks and teaser clips released ahead of the record reveal you taking a different turn in musical direction. What's been the biggest motivating factor to try something new?
I think for us, we’ll always have our core sound, but it is important to not be bored. It’s important to stay interested. As long as we’re interested and feeling energized about the album, that will translate to fans as well.
Deafheaven went from being relatively inauspicious to people paying a lot of attention. How has what you want to communicate with music changed as more people started listening?
It’s interesting, I don't know if anything has changed necessarily, but I’ve definitely become much more aware of our output. I think that in the early days, we could just release music, or book a local show or something, and not really think about it. This was also a time when we were playing house shows and warehouse spaces anyway and these days things are a bit more calculated. People are paying attention and it is important to be very self-assured with what you're putting out there.
Touring for the last album was a dark and turbulent time for the band. How did you turn around that mindset to something more positive while making this new album?
Between our last two records, Sunbather and New Bermuda, we just didn't stop and I think that it paid off. We got to experience a ton of amazing opportunities and open for a lot of amazing bands and really get our feet wet, but when you're doing 200-plus shows a year, it can wear on you. After a much-needed break and reset, we came back to the drawing board with new ideas for music and it really invigorated everyone. That mentality kind of set us on this path to make something that was a bit more grandiose than the albums we had made before.
The video for "Honeycomb" looks like '70s home movies of San Francisco. What do you want to convey about the song with that vintage look?
It was actually funny, I was watching The Wonder Years and I really love the intro to that show and I really love that feeling of nostalgia that it immediately brings and I wanted to create something like that on our own.
I wanted to showcase where the bands were at. So, not only does it have that hazy, nostalgic feel, but the video itself is focused not only on our process but our togetherness as a band. It was created as kind of a way to where we were and what it is that we were doing. The whole writing process and video making process for that was an exciting time and hopefully, that came across.
You guys are out touring the album at this point. What do you enjoy most about bringing new music to the stage for the first time?
It’s extremely exciting. I always feel like we’re very energized playing new songs and that translates to the audience a lot — we’ll kind of pick up on that. Sometimes after years of touring the same songs, you don't lose energy, but it can be a bit more cookie cutter. It can be a bit more dialed in and I think that the spontaneity of playing new songs is a lot of fun.
Thanks to George Clarke for the interview. Grab your copy of 'Ordinary Human Love' here and follow Deafheaven on Facebook to stay up to date with everything the band is doing. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show here.
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