The New York experimentalists Psychic Ills, known for drone, all manner of Eastern influences and, naturally, psychedelia, released their last album, Mirror Eye, in early 2009. Since then, they’ve split with keyboardist Jimy Sei Tang (after some tour unpleasantness), put out a couple of EP’s, and, for the new Hazed Dream, out Tuesday, tried something new. They’ve eschewed in-studio jams works, and guitarist and vocalist Tres Warren, bassist Elizabeth Hart and drummer Brian Tamborello actually wrote songs, demoed them, and built them in the studio—a conventional approach for a decidedly unconventional band. I have watched them perform live in Thessaloniki, and it was a great gig!
Which places did you visit and how was it to tour in Europe? What impressed you the most?
TW: Thanks, we had a great time at all three of the shows in Greece. We’re still on tour in Europe now. It’s been a good time all around, but there was something special about Greece. I’d like to come back there and spend some time.
How and when did you start to make music?
TW: The band came into form in 2003. I was just exploring some musical ideas and and trying to make some music that felt right.
I have read in an interview of yours that you used to create your music through improvisation. Do you still do? Would you like to share a song creation anecdote of yours?
TW: I’m trying to find the balance between improvisation and song. I like both approaches. Most of the songs these days start out with an idea and have room to expand around it. There was a couple years when it was mostly improvised.
In what way is “One Track Mind” different from the last album “Hazed Dream”?
TW: It’s more of a rock record in some ways. Hazed Dream had a mellowness to it that I sort of realized after the fact. I like them both, there still fresh in my mind.
If it was one musician/band with whom you could collaborate, who would that be?
TW: I don’t know, there’s a lot of people I’d like to collaborate with. I’ve been thinking about collaborating with different engineers/producers lately more than musicians. Just to see what other people’s approaches would lead to.
Apart from music, what else are you engaged in?
TW: I like watching basketball. My friend Michail V. from Larissa said he got me a Greece basketball shirt, so I’m looking forward to that.
We are looking forward to seeing you live again in Greece! One last question: is there anything that you have always wanted to be asked but you never were?
TW: We’re looking forward to coming back. I can’t think of anything that I’ve wanted to be asked.