INTERVIEW: Post Animal
Chicago heavy psych rock group Post Animal have had quite the summer. From the success of sci-fi Netflix original Stranger Things, starred by fellow band mate Joe Kerry, to recently supporting The Orwells for two nights at Chop Shop, the guys are excited for what's next. BEYOND THE SOUND recently spoke with the Chicago outfit about songwriting, Chicago's rich local scene and more in the interview below.
How did Post Animal form?
Our formation as it stands today happened through about a year and a half of working together. Matt and Dalton started off playing in their hometown of Danville, IL. They met Jake when everyone wound up in Chicago and came up with the name ‘Post Animal’ to put out a country EP, and then the group grew with Joe, Wes, and Javi as we fine-tuned our sound.
Joe plays Steven on Stranger Things, which has become wildly popular in a short amount of time. A lot of people outside of Chicago have started discovering you guys through his role on the show - were any of you expecting that to happen?
We all have a lot of faith in Joe, and through a couple months of him filming and of hearing details about the series, we definitely predicted the show would be a success. A sci-fi/horror 80’s period piece starring Winona sounded like a home-run. It’s been awesome and definitely a bit surprising to see people finding value in the music through the show, none of us are quite used to it yet!
You guys released your first album Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities in October of last year. You can hear a lot of different influences throughout the songs: punk, classic rock, psychedelic. What was the writing process like when the album was coming together?
A lot of trial and error, bringing song ideas to the table, critiquing parts or entire songs, and retooling them. It was all of our first time doing something as artistically complicated as constructing an album, and I think we began setting the tone for how we would collaborate or give one another room to work alone accordingly. That collaborative process developed even more during The Garden Series.
Back in March you guys released a music video for your single “When I Get Home”, which has a lot of very cool, cryptic animations. What inspired the video?
Kaitlin Martin (the video’s director) might be the closest thing to an inspiration for the film part of it. Going into the project we decided pretty quickly that the aesthetic steering wheel would be in her control; her whole filmography is really impressive. She would bounce some ideas off of us, but more often than not we just defaulted to her gut reaction - we even decided to release the song at the same time as the video so one artwork didn't overshadow the other.
Chicago is one of the most decorated and musically diverse cities in the U.S. How does that play a role in your guys’ music?
It’s really fun to be a band here. There are a hundred thousand shows going on every weekend with vastly different styles. We feel really lucky to be growing up in a city where we don’t need to worry about playing to a specific scene or listener. We’re also really lucky to have a lot of friends here that are super supportive. The house show scene here is probably our favorite; there are some heavy things happening down in these basements.
This past weekend you guys played two nights at Chop Shop supporting The Orwells. How was that?
Soooooo sssickkkkk. One of the coolest things we’ve found in Chicago is the support you get from the bigger bands. If it weren’t for guys like Twin Peaks, The Orwells, White Mystery, The Walters… the bands that are receiving national attention and bringing that attention back to share with the local acts… we would never be getting into these opportunities. It’s really rad to get to know all these people who are staying humble with their success and advocating Chicago art as a whole. Watch out for the other guys that we played with as well, Joe Bordenaro and The Symposium. Chicago is full of a whole new generation of artists that rock!
What are some bands/artists you’ve been listening to recently?
We all definitely have different tastes but is seems like we’ve always got some of the classics lined up: Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, ELO The late 60s Beatles. Of course we’ve also really been into the new stuff like Mild High Club, King Gizzard. We were really into the new Twin Peaks album, also their tour mates from Chicago, NE-HI, have some slick new tracks and just signed to Grand Jury. Some of the old Midnight Special shows with guys like Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder are always on the radar as well.
What’s up next for you guys?
We got a chance a couple months ago to go to our friend’s family’s lake house in Michigan to record a new album we have been writing. Super excited about that. Hopefully it will be done within the next couple of months. Until then we’re really excited to keep playing live shows around the city and sooner than later we’ll be going out and trying to play on some tour dates!
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