Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Questions

Hail Voyagers! From our colder-than-a-very-cold-thing subterranean lair we bring you yet another installment in this ongoing "Pick Their Brains" extraction exercise known as "10 Questions."

Today's guest hails from a clime and location (we hope) colder than our own! (It damn well better be colder there otherwise there's misdirection afoot with that satanic beast known as "Old Man Winter.") The pride of Toronto, (Ontario), Canada: Richie Volume of the Hoa Hoas! (Pronounced: Wah Wahs.)

They've recently released their debut album, Sonic Bloom, on Optical Sounds.

Exclaim! Magazine's Eric Hill said of it:
"With an anglophiliac flow that crosses swinging ’60s psychedelia with a tougher shade of paisley, the group hit most of the right notes to shake the shag. Even the recording’s slight fuzziness seems to support the group’s kaleidoscopic credentials, reminding a little of Julian Cope’s early to mid-’80s explorations of the same sound. "

("New Love Too", from Sonic Bloom)

Hot stuff to these ears readers! I recommend you get some. Okay, let's get on with the gettin' on, shall we? Into the vortex of the Volume mind:

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."

R.V - "music for the expanding mind"

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?

R.V -- many instruments can be played in a "psychedelic" way - volume and electricity help , electric guitars are excellent because they can be used in so many different ways with things like Feedback , Fuzz , Reverberation , Vibrato and Tremolo + you can use different tunings as well to get different tones and stuff ..sitar is also great because it allows you to go outside the standard "western scales" and gives a great drone

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?

R.V -- oh these type of questions are impossible !! The Brian Jonestown Massacre "Their Satanic Majesty's Second Request" when i first heard this album i listened to it everyday for like a year ! .. so good all the songs run through each other and all those cool sounds sitar tabla and tambura mixed with cool guitar licks and love songs , very droney , super cool summer time at night music . great music to make love to. LOVE IT !!

4. If you could be a member of any band in history, what band would it be and what would you play?

R.V - ahhaha LOVE because then i could have lived in "the castle" with the great Arthur Lee and had all those lovely L.A girls circa 1967 !! ahhahahah

No but really because Love are one of my Favs ever .

5. Is there one song or album that defines-for you, "psychedelic"..? What makes it so?

R.V - i'd have to say "psychedelic sounds... by the 13th floor Elevators" it's so psychedelic ( the practically invented it !!) and very original at the time , the lyrics are absolutley incredible and the whole packaging and everything ( the names of the songs , the "jug" sounds , etc.) is classic "psychedelia" also i like how it's fairly "lo fi sounding" which gives it that sorta "teenagers telling you to fuck off" vibe . hahah yeah thats gotta be the one ..

6. What era has the best roster of psychedelic music? (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s..?) Why?

R.V - well i guess we'll have to wait and see , i certainly haven't heard every"psychedelic record" thats been made ..
rock/psych music is still fairly young in the grand scheme of art and music , i think it's a continuation of a community of like minded people, and that it will carry on for quite a while yet ... hopefully spawning many more greats making great art and sound .
The 60's were great ( not like i was there haha ) because thats when it started and lots of groups went for that "psych" sound.
But most of my favorite groups in general are from the 80's . but i try not to think about it too much . Time doesn't effect the feeling i get from music .

7. What album do you wish more people knew about in the psychedelic genre?

R.V - July , i think it's a fairly accesible album to listen to , for me it's the perfect mix between magic mystery tour era beatles , syd barrett ,the kinks style of pop with some seriously rocking guitar work ! complete with sitar and tabla and crazy vocal delay effects and all , those songs should be al over "oldies" radio ! haha

8. What band, active today, most defines "psychedelic" to you?

R.V - Broadcast , one of my favorite bands , very modern , not very "classic psych" at all but still very psychedelic , if psych is what i think it is ( look to question #1) . I think more people should listen to them . i saw them play live a couple times and it was quite the trip indeed films showing and wild music . Also The Saffron Sect are a group from Toronto that knows their psych inside out.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?

R.V - 1. Optical Sound - the Human Expression

2. Two Heads - Jefferson Airplane
3. South Texas - Cold Sun
4. The Marble Ochid - The Graveyard 5
5. Son We've Kept Your Room Just As You Left It - Michaelangelo
6. January Rain - Psychic Ills
7. Rainy Day Mushroom Pillow - The Saffron Sect.
8. Give yourself a ride - The british north american act
9. In India You - Brian Jonestown Massacre
10. Patience Son - Sugar,Sugar (from Toronto)

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.

R.V.: How "psychedelic can middle america get with Obama as pres. he seems pretty cool ?? " hhahahahah .. If I come to st.louis ,can you get me some green ??

-valis : Hmmm. As to the first part of the question, I'd say we just need to follow the Shulgin "Rule of 3%." (Look it up.) For the second part, depends on the meaning of "green," right? As the French would say: "peut-être."

(To my reader in Buffalo, NY: the Hoa Hoas will be at Mohawk Place next Friday, Feb. 27th. Go see 'em George!) They'll also invade Austin, Tejas in March, the 20th &, opporchancities abound.

Thanks Richie, and best to the band!


sr-71 said...

These last two interviews have been a riot. RV's totally on the money about that July album, the BJM, and 80's psych!

Cliff. said...

I like Ritchie and I've never heard a single note of his music, anyone favouring The Brian Jonestown Massacre is OK in my book. South Texas and January Rain are both tracks I've used in mixes so kudos for those 2 picks. I'm off to find out more about The Hoa Hoas and Saffron Sect now peut- etre peut-etre.

Psych Fan said...

The Hoa Hoa's are an AWESOME band! I've heard through people who know them that they're next album is even sicker than SONIC BLOOM.!!

Anonymous said...

oh thanks so much everyone for the kind words , yeah we have a new album coming out within a couple months so stay tuned and i mean TUNED !!! yeah check the saffron sect i play in that band too ... super psyche ! thanks so much for reading dudes ! lots of love !

hemizen said...

I just bought the The Hoa Hoas album and it is wonderful. Like Cliff I'm partial to BJM. Great interview Valis.