Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Q & A

Mathis Hunter’s debut solo LP, Soft Opening, finds the Atlanta music veteran wrestling with the missing link between the cosmic funk of Noot d’ Noot and the face-melting psych rock of Good Friday Experiment. With Soft Opening, Hunter steps out from behind the drums to craft 10 songs of expansive, guitar-driven rock. The album looks to the haze of slow pop and distorted ambiance of such British shoegazer rock acts as Primal Scream and Spiritualized, but tempered by rich, American country harmonies via the Byrds. But the layered vocals have more in common with David Crosby than the ornate twang of Gram Parsons, all washed in waves of colorful nostalgia. The album is a different beast for Hunter altogether, that sidesteps the tongue-in-cheek party-freak vibe of the Noots and the earnest head trips of GFE for a fun, but coolly artistic mode of rock and roll.

You’ve always had a strong psychedelic sensibility, but it’s played up much differently here than it has with the Noots or GFE.
The place where the songs are coming from is just very different. In GFE, I started out as the guitar player but became the drummer because our drummer quit. So it was my job to bring the rhythms. This is a chance for me to get back to playing guitar, and it’s more melodic. The psychedelic thing — me and Justin and Rich are always trying to bring that our of each other, and they’re on the record a lot.

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