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The Interview – The Stargazer Lilies

todayOctober 14, 2022 143 1

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Some bands entertain, some thrill and excite but others completely transport you out of your life into strange fantastical worlds. This is my experience of The Stargazer Lilies. They remain a band I am in awe of and now a new album is nearly upon us. A new opportunity to explore the outer reaches of my imagination. Cosmic Tidal Wave is out this Frida,y so I took the opportunity to catch up with the band and ask some questions I’ve been dying to ask.


Marky: Hi folks, so the new Stargazer Lilies album is finally here. Can you tell us a bit about Cosmic Tidal Wave? What can we expect to hear this time around?

TSL: It’s a little more sun-drenched and beachy than our previous releases. We went from living in the woods of North East PA to the subtropics of Florida. During the recording of this album, we were back & forth from PA to FLA a lot. As John’s mom was going through some health scares. We actually rented this amazing mid-century modern home for a period which is where we wrote “Bending the Lines”. We kind of knew that ultimately, we were going to be heading for Florida for a time due to the circumstances. Quite honestly, staying at that house really inspired us and changed our minds about what life in Florida could be like. So, we were in that subtropical head. This album is more eclectic, groove-wise, as Carissa Giard based out of Austin, TX contributed all of the drum tracks on the entire record and co-wrote the music of many of the songs as well. She’s just this totally amazing force and an incredible musician. It gives the songs a much different feeling with her touch.


Marky: This is your first album released on your own label Floravinyl. Can you describe what it was that made you want to start your own label and what ethos and guiding principles did you set for yourself?

TSL: We just really wanted an outlet for both The Stargazer Lilies and Soundpool. This was the first time since we started TSL that we didn’t have a commitment from any label well into this album creation. So, we were in the position and decided to try it on our own. It’s given total autonomy with packaging, when, how, etc. We do plan to re-release old TSL as well as older & brand new Soundpool. Of course, we’re taking it one step at a time with it being a new venture. It’s an incredible amount of work and requires a lot of planning and time. We wanted to have Floravinyl be vinyl-centric hence the name. It was also important for everything to be boutique and as eco-friendly as possible. So, we’ve taken great care with all of our packaging and merch decisions. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t just making objects that would end up in the land fill or have our products have unnecessary packaging. All the packaging is designed to protect the product and remain with it for its life. No shrink-wrap etc. as much as possible.


Marky: I always find your music a visual experience as well as auditory. For example, when I listen to Occabot I always imagine it taking place high up in alien, ice-covered mountains. When you record do you aim to create that experience for the listener?

TSL: Yes. Definitely. Of course, we want the music to transport the listener to different dimensions. For us, in a way, it’s sort of the point. To make you feel different emotions and kind of help to transcend the experience of this troubling world. We, ourselves, are trying to get to that futuristic, beautiful, utopian place through our music.


Marky: You create a very unique sound that is truly all of your own. What influences led you to the sonic palette you use?

TSL: We listen to a lot of different music. We probably wear some genres on the sleeve more than others. For example, Paisley Underground, Psych Rock, Bossa Nova, French Pop, Trip Hop, Shoegaze, 60’s Soul & Motown, etc.


Marky: How do you approach writing and recording these days compared to when you started work on your ground-breaking debut album, We Are The Dreamers?

TSL: We are the Dreamers was totally Kim & John songwriting and recording as were Door the Sun, Lost, and Occabot. Occabot was the first collaboration, of course with Tobacco producing. Cosmic Tidal Wave was our first collaboration with songwriting and recording with another musician. It also, of course, was written and recorded over the Global Pandemic. So, the approach was very different as it was all done long distance and over the internet.


Marky: If you had to pick one song from Cosmic Tidal Wave to give to a new listener who’s never heard you before, which one would hook them in and why?

TSL: The whole point is there is no one song that typifies the record. We released three singles, which were all very different stylistically. Yet as an album, they all totally complement each other.


Marky: As a fellow gazer I’d be really keen to know more about the gear you use to create your beautiful noise.

TSL: It’s all by hook or by crook. Whatever it takes to get the sound. We end up actually buying and selling a lot of gear just experimenting. It’s a lot of experimentation. John loves reverse delays, forward delays, and all kinds of delays. Of course, the magic lies within how you apply either the tremolo arm of the guitar or the effects to make the pitch bend with sounds going backwards and forward.


Marky: You’ve been out playing some live shows to promote the new album. How do you go about recreating that otherworldly music for your live sets?

TSL: We don’t try to recreate, which is Rule #1. Rule #2 is be prepared to move around a ton of equipment.


Marky: What plans do you have for Floravinyl? Will you be releasing other bands’ music as well as your own?

TSL: The plan right now is to release Cosmic Tidal Wave and see how it goes.


Marky: Finally, if you had to pick one song from your full catalogue that sums up the spirit and heart of The Stargazer Lilies which one would it be?

TSL: “We are the Dreamers”, because we still are.

Massive thanks to the band for taking the time to answer my questions and Thom at Floravinyl for helping pull it all together.

Cosmic Tidal Wave is out Friday, October 14 and you can grab a copy on vinyl, CD and cassette from The Stargazer Lilies Bandcamp Page. Make sure and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You can also keep up to date with the label over on the Floravinyl website.

Written by: Mark Anderson

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