Post Death Syndrome Chats About VEIL LIFTER, LGBTQ+ Rights, and More

I had the chance to chat with the two full time members of metal outfit Post Death Soundtrack recently after reviewing their album over at my site and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share this band with some of my favorite pigeoneers. I hope you enjoy the chat and take the time to check out PDS on Bandcamp or any of the links shared at the bottom of the interview. So, without further ado…

Thanks for this chat, love the new album and I was able to review it over at The Farsighted, but I wanted to share your music with the readers over here at Rock the Pigeon too. Let’s start with the basics. Who are Post Death Soundtrack?

Steve: Post Death Soundtrack started in 2006 and has had a few member changes over the years. Currently we are a duo, myself and Jon Ireson. Our style over the years has been eclectic, typically industrial and related music, but with the new album we decided to ditch the electronic aspect and go a more raw, organic, guitar-driven direction. Jon and I live in Vancouver and Calgary, respectively. We typically will get together for periods of 5 days or so and record 10 hours a day, finishing a song each day. This time around, we recruited Casey Lewis to play live drums as well as mix and master the album. He totally changed our sound from industrial rock to pounding doom grunge. We’re so glad he came onboard.

Jon: The goal of the project is to be evocative, shocking, surreal, brutally honest, and open. Steve infuses a lot of dream language into his lyrics which conjures ideas that act as sort of echoes from the beyond, reverberations in our realm.

The music in whatever form it’s taken; industrial, psychedelic, doom etc., is all intended as a backdrop or painting to reinforce those images.

Your new album is dark, deep, and hard hitting. How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?

Steve: Heavy grunge, doom metal, sludge metal, hardcore punk, prog and maybe a touch of thrash. I would say that what we were going for when making this album is capturing the emotional rawness of ‘In Utero’ and mixing it with heavy metal, sludgy riffs and some slower doom-influenced tracks. We’re both avid music fans so our influence has a wide range, but we realized as well that many of our current favorite artists have quite a focused sound, so that’s where we headed. It’s heavy and uncensored. Some people say that they’ve grown out of certain music from their youth. However, having experienced severe depression since the age of 13, I still hold a very deep connection with the spirit of artists like Nirvana and Alice in Chains. It’s always been my dream to express these types of emotions through music as they did – no filter. A lot of people think that’s ugly but I feel it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. I’ve always been a sensitive artist type (as you can probably tell), and I’ve gone through bullying, depression, cancer, mental illness, divorce, etc. I personally like music to reflect trauma, even if it’s ugly. I wanted this album to hit people in the gut.

I know you’ve been in the music world for a long time? Besides this current musical project, what other projects have you done over those years?

Steve: I started out with a metal/punk project called Inner Surge, which was around from 2001 – 2008, then The Unravelling from 2009 – 2011, and I also have releases with another duo called He Is Me, and we will likely have more music too. Before Inner Surge, I started recording demos at age 15 or 16, but honestly, I was such a poor producer at that time, there are basically just some good guitar ideas and song structures. Maybe I should revisit but I’ve lost many of the tapes. Over the years I’ve done 10 or so albums with various projects. The best work is from 2008 onward, as I spent a long time finding my footing and being pitchy on vocals/etc. More recently, I’ve found my power.

Jon: I played in an industrial rock outfit called Revolution from 2000-2008. Steve and I met playing shows together during that period. I had also gone to school with Kenny, the other original member so we all got together to work on Post Death’s second record. I gigged and released an EP with a psych rock group called Slowspell and I play in a metal band called Dingus.

I’ve also done production work on various things through the years.

As a musician, who are some of your greatest influences and all time favorite musicians?

Steve: For me, Nirvana has to come first because they pretty much saved my life. The Beatles, Alice in Chains and Tool also share the top echelon. I also love Faith No More, Stone Temple Pilots, Skinny Puppy, Soundgarden, Russian Circles, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Windhand, YOB, and you might be surprised to hear that Gucci Mane is a major inspiration to me. I listen to him religiously.

Jon: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd are classics for a reason. They still shape a lot of the music I make in ways that would not be immediately apparent to the listener.

Meshuggah, Isis, Queens of the Stone Age, The Mars Volta, All Them Witches, Animals as Leaders, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Underworld, Daniel Lanois, and David Bowie all find interesting ways to create soundscapes which I love.

And I could reiterate many of the bands Steve cited since we link up on most of those things. Nirvana is definitely a touchstone for both of us. Not just a couple songs on MTV but chasing every last b-side or unreleased track back when you had to comb through grimy music dens to hunt them down on disc.

I’m not sure how familiar you are with RTP, but this site is run by amazing pop rock artist Ryan Cassata. Ryan is a trans artist and advocate, so it goes without saying that RTP likes to make sure its coverage is inclusive and highlights artists of all types. In one of your other jobs, you are a music promoter. You often promote amazing LGBTQ+ artists. Why is that an important part of what you do and how do you think we, as music fans, can be sure to encourage and promote great LGBTQ+ artists?

Steve: Yes, Shawna Virago is one of the incredible LGBTQ+ artists I have had the honor to work with. She plays a powerful Americana sound fueled by a punk background. I believe in supporting LGBTQ+ artists because people are people, and I don’t accept anyone getting bullied for no reason. I personally don’t appreciate when people create arbitrary rules in their minds and decide to neglect or discriminate against a group of others just because they are different. Discrimination towards the trans community, such as some of Dave Chapelle’s recent comments, have angered me, simply because there’s no need for it. He used to be so great. His show was brilliant. Then he kind of lost his way and started taking low blows. We’re all people. We’re all the same. What you can do to support LGBTQ+ artists is hit the play button on repeat, add to your playlists, keep up on local events and show up, buy merch, sign up for their mailing lists, etc. Invest.

Jon: Great art comes from taking in the widest array of voices and perspectives and reinterpreting them through your own personal lens which no one else has. So amplifying those voices is a great and noble thing. For so much of rock n roll’s history, LGBTQ+ members have had a major influence on the culture while simultaneously being marginalized or swept under the rug. It’s great to see that changing and continue to open up in the future.

Furthermore, the essence of this band goes back to focussing on beings at our most intrinsic. Dignity and glory in whatever form it might take.

Here, in America, attacks on LGBTQ+ rights are on the rise. Many of the failsafes put in place in the past and strides made by previous administrations were attached during the Trump presidency. As a Canadian, have you seen similar trends?

Steve: Unfortunately, many of the militant dumbness from the USA spreads to Canada, such as conspiracy theories. And the wondrous thing is that people act as if it’s an original idea in their brain, but they just read an article. Trumpism is thriving in Canada. There’s something in the water. It will never get me. I don’t see all of what’s happening, but I feel this conservative mindset excludes LGBTQ+ people and leaves room for them to be targeted. Canada is just as bad as the US. It just has a smaller population, but the population is just as dumb and mean. I’m personally sick of it all. I think we should respect each other and get on with our damn lives.

Jon: Trumpism spread like a cancer. The disrespectful rhetoric that, in itself is awful, but also leads to various hate crimes and violence, has taken a severe uptick in Canada as well. It’s not 100% caused by him. That undercurrent has been around forever, but he gives them personal permission to act vile.

People conflate their own dissatisfaction in their lives with the personal choices of others and it becomes this ugly, vitriolic monster. Like Steve said, “we should respect each other and get on with our damn lives”.

But there are also pockets of real positivity. The West End of Vancouver where I’ve lived for a long time is openly accepting of all people and has a thriving LGBTQ+ community and there are communities springing out of every city with a firm devotion to that cause.

I think it’s important that we use our voices and our positions to fight the important fights, so I appreciate that you use your work as musicians and promoters to do your part. That said, I wanna dive back into the new album. Can you tell us about the new album and some of the specific influences and process of creating it?

Steve: Jon and I, both, have been working, over the years, to perfect our craft. We wanted to create a work that hits with depth like Alice in Chains ‘Dirt’, Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’…. just raw, where nobody is telling you what to say, because if they were, they’d yell “You can’t say that!” We mixed the influences of our youth, Nirvana, Tool, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Ministry, etc with modern influences like Russian Circles, Windhand, YOB, and Mastodon to create a cohesive stew.

Jon: We love the immensity you can draw from in the realm of doom metal. You can get the heaviest elements of symphony without being endlessly complex and ornate. A singular driving force. There’s a certain meditation that develops as well when you use repetition as a tool. There were several examples of doom metal seeping into our sound on the last record It Will Come Out of Nowhere. On this latest one, we fully leaned into it.

Do you have a favorite track (or tracks) from the album and why?

Steve: ‘Immovable’ is dedicated to my father, Ted George Moore, as is the album. We decided to do that because we realized the song is quite an epic. My other favourites are ‘The Die is Cast’ and ‘Hammer Come Down’. ‘The Die is Cast’ aptly sums up the album’s concepts and hits people right away. ‘Hammer Come Down’ explores chaos and the idea of having no control.

Jon: After writing and recording the initial demo for ‘Immovable’, we both knew that was the centrepiece of the album. It taps into something indescribable and otherworldly which when we stumble across, we both pounce on. ‘Killer of the Doubt’ is another one that sticks out for me. I love how the movement on the bass turned out and the finish is really heavy.

Some of the tracks seem to dive into some deeper issues and introspection that seem to wrestle with things like mental health and personal demons. You’ve seen open about some of your struggles in the past. Is the album, in part, a way of working through your personal issues?

Steve: Music is often one of my only genuine ways to work through my issues. Even working on visuals or promotion for this project is therapy to me. My art is my life. I’ve been bullied. I’ve been sexually abused. I’ve been abandoned and divorced. I’ve been robbed. I’ve had my animals stolen from me. However, I put everything into metaphor because that’s the most potent way to express it.

Jon: Social anxiety was a thing I always felt, long before I had a name for it. It was strong. It can lead you to some really detrimental places of introspection cause you isolate yourself so severely. I’d cling on to people who seemed to have the same issue that I did. Those groups became bands, haha.

In expressing our struggles, we hope people can feel less alien and alone than the insidiousness of mental illness can convince them they are.

I personally deal with anxiety. I was never officially diagnosed or medicated until the last few years, but it really built a head for me. Now I’m in therapy and in my doctor’s care with anxiety medications. My doctor also encouraged me to look into medical marijuana, which has really helped me as well. I think openly talking about our mental health is another way we can use our platforms to empower others. What kind of words of inspiration do you have for others dealing with some inner demons of their own?

Steve: I’m not sure that I have any great advice, as I’m currently struggling with many life stressors. You can’t just say ‘be tough’. I would say, trust yourself and stand up for yourself. Advocate for yourself with the doctor, follow up, get to the psychiatrist and make sure you get the right combination of prescriptions or other assistance you need. Our brains are just a lump of chemicals, and after trauma, some of these chemicals lose power. If you do have depression, anxiety, etc, you need medication to raise those chemicals again. Don’t let any armchair family member tell you not to take anything. That is the worst advice ever.

Jon: Of course, every person’s conditions are different so I can’t recommend any one thing. Speaking to professionals if there are chemical imbalances should come first.

In mitigating flare-ups, I’ve found that running really helps me personally. I got into it during the pandemic while trying to keep myself from going stir crazy and found it very helpful in working through endless intrusive thoughts. With something else distracting your brain and your body trying to spend all its energy on the task at hand, you can break the negative feedback loop.

It’s been a tool that has helped me with one aspect. Each person will have their own thing that works for them.

As we wrap up, I want you to let the readers know where they can check PDS out?

Steve: You can find us on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and YouTube!

Thanks for the chat. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you, keep on pumping out the great music.

Steve: Thanks so much for the opportunity! This stuff means the world to us, so any chance to chat music is very meaningful.

Jon: Thanks so much! Amplifying a wide range of voices is needed so we appreciate the inclusion and are really happy to be a part of it!

The post Post Death Syndrome Chats About VEIL LIFTER, LGBTQ+ Rights, and More appeared first on ROCK THE PIGEON.

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