2015 bore a lot of fruit for The Body: releasing three collaborative efforts (my personal favorite being ‘xoroAHbin’ with Vampillia), touring and recording with Full Of Hell, and recording a new solo album on top of it. How? How do you guys find all the creative energy and time to absolutely demolish my speakers with new music year round, especially when you’re not leaving 2015 in the dust?
It’s kind of about timing. Working with Seth and Keith at Machines with Magnets is extremely productive so it’s really great to work with them, so when we get a chance to record with them we try to get as much done as possible. Also, for maybe the first 10 years or so of the band no one cared about us, so now that some people do we feel like we gotta take advantage of it.
Your genre has always been kind of drifting in and out of scope and I’ve noticed that this release has a lot of really cool electronics going on in it, like “Abedah” and “Two Snakes” essentially being heavy dance tracks. How did that come about? Were you guys listening to a lot of The Prodigy? What originally led you to want such a diverse sound?
We listen to a lot of pop music and hip hop, so it was kind of inevitable that it would eventually come through in our music. I love the Prodigy also. As far as making a diverse record, I feel like every record we do we try to push in that direction. That’s kind of the only consistent thing we do – try to push ourselves creatively.
Something that really interests me is that you guys are playing MoogFest with some of my personal favorite artists (Oneohtrix Point Never, Ryan Hemsworth and Explosions In The Sky), are you guys excited to be playing to what I would consider a different crowd?
We’re super excited! Seeing Gary Numan is gonna fulfill a childhood dream of mine. There’s so many artists I’m really pumped to see: Julianna Barwick, Ben Frost, Julia Holter, and we’ve never met Bobby/Haxan Cloak in person, so that’s exciting.
On previous releases, your sound was fairly consistent in being sinister, even downright evil at points, but on this release there was a less forward attempt at this, and more of an insidious one. For face value, ‘No One Deserves Happiness’ seems almost more marketable and welcoming than the rest of your repertoire, even with the new aesthetic direction it seems to be headed in; straying from dark and grainy and dissonant to soft and direct, was that intentional or coincidental?
I don’t know. I feel like this is a more accurate representation of what we listen to in our personal lives. I feel like thematically it covers the same ground as all our other output, it just comes at it from a different viewpoint musically.
Maralie from Humanbeast is the absolutely stunning vocalist on “Shelter Is Illusory” – is she also the vocalist on several of the other songs on this album, including the reading in the beginning of “Prescience”? How did you guys become friends? Will she be making any appearances on ‘One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache’ with Full Of Hell?
We’ve know Maralie since the mid 90’s probably…we’re all from Arkansas, so we’ve been friends since before our band even started. Reba Mitchell from Whore Paint/Houseboy also does vocals, as well as Chrissy Wolpert, who has been on I think every record we’ve done. Chrissy sings on the collab with Full of Hell.
When you first went into the studio with Full Of Hell, had you guys been talking about a cemented concept or anything, or did you just kind of bounce things back and forth until it was going? What do you find more malleable about your sound that makes it so able to collaborate and mesh with other music, and what do you enjoy most out of the whole experience?
We kind of talked about what strengths each band had and kind of focus on that stuff. like obviously Dave is a much better drummer than me so it’s cool that he can go crazy since I’ll never be able to play like that.
Pre-order No One Deserves Happiness here.
Who would you call influences of The Body overall?
I think musically we’re influenced by literally everything. We listen to a ton of music, so I’d like to think we’re an amalgamation of it all. The inverse of that is most of the music being made today (especially in metal) is extremely unoriginal, so that also influences us to kind of push ourselves away from that and experiment more.
I see you guys are fans of Carly Rae Jepsen (I am a huge fan) – are there any upcoming dates of the Gimmie Love tour you guys are wanting to attend? Any other favorite artists you like to blast in your tour van or cars?
We’re both going to the show here in Portland. I might try to go to the Seattle show too if I have the money for it. In the van, we listen to a lot of Carly, Taylor Swift, and Lykke Li. We can both agree on those. l’ve been listening to a lot of Young Thug and Jeremih lately.
Chip, your vocals tend to be in the mix rather than above it like most vocalists out there, is there any specific reason for that? Will there be different vocal levels on ‘One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache’ between yours and Dylan’s vocals interacting? Also your range seems to be different on ‘No One Deserves Happiness’ on tracks like “For You,” is that just your voice going all over the place or is it more guests?
We usually try to bury the vocals on the records and live. On the collabs, we usually still keep Chip’s vocals lower in the mix. We also have Ben Eberle from Sandworm doing vocals on a couple of tracks on No One Deserves Happiness, that may be what you hear on “For You.”
Where did the art for both releases come from? I’ve been really interested in the face on ‘No One Deserves Happiness’ because it’s so oddly striking. Was it something you found or did you create it? And did you have any predetermined ideas or desires for the collab’s artwork or did you just let the artist come up with their own vision?
We did the art for No One Deserves Happiness ourselves. That face is an old drawing or woodcut I found. I wanted to keep it pretty simple with the most non-metal font I could find. The collab artwork was done by Bo Orr and we let him just do whatever he wanted. He’s super talented so it was a no-brainer to let him just do whatever he wanted to do.