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Monday, June 27, 2011

End Hits Interviews Psychic Feline

Posted by Chris Cantino on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM

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Local up-and-comers Psychic Feline have been popping up on a lot of great bills lately thanks to a fantastic cassette released earlier this year on High Fives and Handshakes.

The release is punctuated by the excellent "Targets," in which the band sings with detachment of looking down the barrel of a gun against the track's hallucinatory 3/4 sway to great dramatic effect. On their new 7-inch (also for High Fives and Handshakes), the band's knack for weaving tremolo'ed guitar and pleasantly droning melodies between serrated rhythmic passages has developed into a sound more intent and commanding than ever. After the jump, you can learn a little more about the band that may or not be inspired by an actual psychic cat and check out the Swell Maps-meets-Ray Davies goodness that is "Parallel Lines."

END HITS: So, can you tell me about the formation of Psychic Feline?
BOB: Sydney and I used to be in a band called The Caldonias. After that band broke up we decided we wanted to keep playing music together. We tried playing with a few people but nobody really clicked until Curtis. I'd heard a lot of solo stuff he'd recorded and it knocked me out.
SYDNEY: Curtis made it happen!

Are you all from Portland?
BOB: I'm from Merrimack, New Hampshire. It used to be rural but now its just stripmalls and fast food sprawl. Not my favorite place but it could have been much worse.
SYDNEY: I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, a sprawling Midwest city. Curtis is from Phoenix, AZ.

What's your favorite music right now? Are there any artists that you would cite as particularly influential?
BOB: We all have different stuff we're into. My list is way too long. Lately I've been listening mostly to Bukka White, Bo Diddley, Mirrors, and Motörhead. When we started, Wire, Swell Maps, The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, and Suicide were reference points for all three of us.
SYDNEY: Right now a lot of Harry Nilsson, Laurie Anderson, Love, Bill Withers and New York Dolls.

Your tape came out on Seattle label High Fives and Handshakes. How did you come to work with them?
BOB: I'd known Peter for a while. He saw us play with Mayyors at a house show last summer and asked if we were interested in doing a 7-inch. Our tape originally came out on T. Worm Tapes run by Brian Jackson of the band Karen. High Fives and Handshakes just put up the digital version.

You have a new 7-inch coming out. What was your writing process like?
BOB: I don't know. It changes for every song. We like to try a lot of different ideas out and it can end up taking a longer time than it should.
SYDNEY: Usually Bob has some form of a riff and then we all build off of that.

Why have you chosen to release your music on cassette and vinyl rather than CD?
BOB: Wasn't really a conscious decision but I think cds are kind of pointless these days.
SYDNEY: I trash all my CDs and they never last, vinyl is something I take care of.

How do you feel about the difference between live performance and recorded works?
BOB: What makes recorded music good isn't necessarily what makes a live show good. We enjoy both but I think we have different standards for each.
SYDNEY: Recording is much more difficult for me.

What was your favorite Psychic Feline show?
BOB: We played a show at Dekum Manor last October that sticks out to me... I don't know really. I think house shows are always the most natural for us.
SYDNEY: Also the first show we played was at Dekum and that ruled, too.

Tell me about your upcoming summer tour with Nucular Aminals.
BOB: We're touring with them to Texas and then coming back on our own. They are some of our best friends and I anticipate a wild time.
SYDNEY: Nucular Aminals are some of my favorite people in Portland I am super excited to tour with them.

What other Portland bands are you psyched about?
BOB: All of our friends are in great bands but narrowing it down to the first few that pop into my head: I really like Woolen Men, The Whines, Magic Johnson, Past Desires, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Best Supporting Actress, and Hooded Hags.
SYDNEY: Bob's in it so he won't say, but Hornet Leg is the shit! Also Big Black Cloud, Stag Bitten and I really liked Sad Horse but I haven't seen their name out there in a long time.

What can we expect from Psychic Feline upon your return to Portland?
BOB: We'll have our 7-inches to schlep around... We plan to write for a few months and eventually record a full length.

LISTEN:

Psychic Feline - "Parallel Lines"

"Parallel Lines" is a bonus track that can only be acquired with a digital download of the 7-inch, which is available now at bandcamp.

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