“There was a time when albums were made and there was a certain amount of artistry behind it,” says Jason Reece, founding member of …And You Will Know Us By the Trail Of Dead.
With such a larger-than-life name, anything short of artful records would seem at odds with the band. Luckily these Texas boys can deliver on their epic tendencies. From the celebrated Source Tags and Codes to their newest piece, Worlds Apart, this is a band that makes huge records bursting with creativity.
“The only pressure that we feel is from ourselves, always trying to top ourselves. It seems like most great artists are trying the same thing,” Reece says. “We don’t have an exact method, it could either come really fast or it could take forever, it can be kind of grueling but you forge through.”
The band has emerged with their fourth studio album. Songs such as “The Rest Will Follow” take the band to new heights by adding new instrumentation to their signature noisy/melodic style. The record recalls mid-90’s rock in the vein of Billy Corgan with its full-blown orchestra sound and arena-filling vocals.
“We where listening to a lot of albums where drums where big, those are the songs that now seem more orchestral,” Reece says.
While Worlds Apart falls short of the lofty expectations set by their previous record, the band still fits into the role of rock stars, becoming as notorious for their live shows as they are acclaimed for their music.
“I usually don’t remember the show, it’s like some sort of pornography, something that you block out of your mind,” Reece says. “People tell us we are crazy, like we did something silly like stab an amp with a guitar, but I never remember.” The wild nature of their live shows seems a natural progression from their raucous sound, yet this is a band that prides itself in technique and artistry.
Lead singer Conrad Keely has been known to write intellectual essays on the state of modern music, and the band’s name itself is far too serious to brush off as just another crazy rock band.
“The name is inspired by the gods and goddesses that surround us,” Reece proclaims. The constant forward movement of the band, as with most musicians, begs the question of longevity, but Reece is not concerned.
“Robert Pollard from Guided By Voices… kept writing great songs forever,” Reece muses. “I guess that’s probably the best thing, it’s never a sure thing.” The same motto is what carries the band towards its next project.
“You never know the future, and I find a certain amount of satisfaction and joy in that,” Reece says.
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is appearing at The Canopy Club tonight. Tickets are $15.