Chicago based psychedelic rockers, Post Animal, began their biggest European to date in Leeds last night, supporting Cage the Elephant.
Despite being first on the line-up to support Cage The Elephant (in addition to SWMRS) the venue got packed early, giving those whose ears hadn’t previously been blessed by the trance inducing music makers that are Post Animal, a chance to become acquainted. Fans swayed calmly (despite some significantly heavier tracks) and welcomed Post Animal with open arms.
We got the chance to speak with the band after their set about their new album and learn more about their feelings and visions that brought ‘Forward Motion Godyssey’ to life.
You described ‘How Do You Feel’ as “the confusion and eventual acceptance of complicated emotions” – did you personally have specific experiences and emotions that led to creating this album?
Javi: We started struggling because the travelling was making our relationships difficult, between us and our partners. It is super complicated because you love someone so much but you’re never around so you can’t give them what they deserve. It’s complicated because you have to be selfish and it’s very reasonable for somebody to want you to be there and be present but it’s hard on a phone, it can be trying, especially on tour. It did not start off well at all with my significant other but we met in the middle.
Dalton: Yeah, someone wrote that the album is about being 20 something and that’s totally a 20 something problem
What was your process musically and technically when you put those feelings into a song?
Matt: You start with the instrumental part, something sombre and sad is created and it might even draw lyrics and emotion into it when you listen back and you know exactly what you wanna say in the song. There’s a song about how you want something, ‘In a Paradise’, but don’t do anything about it and feel defeated because it’s not happening for you but it’s your own fault. The music is frantic and aggressive and heavy and that’s how you feel when you feel that way.
So does it help you to understand your feelings?
Matt: Yeah, when you listen back and remember those feelings you feel silly that you ever felt that way.
Javi: My roommate in Chicago does journal entries everyday, it’s like that. You’re seeing yourself everyday in a song or on paper.
What’s your favourite song on the new album?
Javi: A year ago it was ‘How Do You Feel’ but now I have a relationship with every single song so it’s hard to say.
Me: I love they video for ‘How Do You Feel’
Jake: Pooneh Ghana (who directed the video) is incredible. She had a vision and we were like “yes, do it, everything you want to, do it”. I’m so proud of that video and so proud of her.
Javi: She definitely opened it up for our input but everything she said we were like “yes, yes just keeping doing what you’re doing” One thing that was very important to us was that female body builders were not depicted in any humorous way in the video. That was one thing we pushed for.
What was the meaning of the horse in the video?
Javi scrolled through his phone to find a text from Pooneh describing the video: “It’s kind of meant to be how she imagines herself or the version of herself she wants to be, confident and powerful, riding tall.
“When I listened to the album for the first time in my head I was envisioning a road trip with cinematic landscapes and beautiful scenery. If you had to say, what part of someone’s life do you think the album would be the perfect soundtrack to? What did you envision when you wrote it?
Jake: I was picturing people listening to it while walking through a city, really loud and being in their own universe because that’s such a fun way to listen to music. It gives you confidence or puts a little pep in your step or makes you feel kind of paranoid about the world around you, it is so exciting and emotional.
Also, late night drives. When we were driving to record it and we had all of our demos complied we would drive through the mountains at night and it was pretty intense, you know, fast and hilly and dark. That was when I first felt really proud of what we had already started to make. It was highlighting the landscape around us and the scary feeling of being in your car at night on a mountain.
How does it feel to be touring with Cage the Elephant?
Matt: Exciting, crazy, intimidating, in a good way, and unbelievable.
Jake: It’s so nice of them to include us. We’ve known them for two years and never played a show together and got to know them a different festivals and events we’ve played at. When they asked us to play shows we were all so excited.
Get tickets to see Post Animal on tour here and check out their Instagram here.
Words and photography by Amy Harrison.