Interview: Psychic Ills

From the days of "Mirror Eye", there is a big change in your sound. Do you feel that you're getting closer to an "ideal sound" or is it a process of evolving as musicians?Tres Warren: I think we're working toward something we might not ever reach. But that's alright. I think we're growing as people and musicians and owning up to what we do.

"One Track Mind" is heavier, more rock'n'roll than "Hazed Dream". What made you go towards this direction?
TW: I never want to make the same record as the last one.  Each one has to have a new feeling about it.  We had about 15 or more songs and this was the batch of songs that ended up on the record.  

"Hazed Dream" received a quite a few positive reviews. How did this affect your working on the new album?
TW: I don't read that stuff really.  Some people are going to like it and some aren't.  The thing is that I've never made a record that didn't fully consume my life and all of my time and focus.     

You've worked a lot with improvisation on your recordings. How important is improvisation in your live shows nowadays?
TW:  I think if you can get to a place where there is enough improvisation to keep the show evolving from night to night, that's a good thing for the audience and the band.  At the same time, I really like have it being more song driven for the most part these days.

"Psychic Ills" is a name that makes one brainstorm ideas on who you are and what you do. How did you come up with it and what is the strangest thing you've heard about it?
TW: I just read that phrase in a book about a painter. It said he had 'psychic ills' and I like the way that sounded.  There's no other real significance to the name.  

What is the best thing anyone has told you about your music?
TW: A pregnant lady at a show in San Diego said that Psychic Ills was the first thing she was going to play for her baby.  We thought that was pretty cool.

You are now a part of Sacred Bones has been in the spotlight and for good reason for a while now. Which is your favorite band on SB's roster and why?
TW: I like Moon Duo and the Men. I've enjoyed watching both of those bands progress with each record.

You are considered a part of the New York scene, but you come from Texas. Name your top5 Texas and top5 New York bands ever.
TX:  Red Crayola, 13th Floor Elevators, Doug Sahm, Lightnin' Hopkins, DJ Screw
NY: The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Suicide, La Monte Young, Sonic Youth     

You have worked with Gibby Haynes of (one of my fav bands ever) The Butthole Surfers. Have you seen him lately around Brooklyn? What has he been up to?  
TW: I haven't seen him in a while.  We made a weird improvisational record together that was culled from a night of jamming.  It hasn't seen the light of day yet.  We'll get it out sometime.  I've been meaning to pick up the 7" that he did with Jack White.

These will be your first shows in Greece. We've been on the spotlight of the world for the wrong reasons this past couple of years. What do you know about Greece and what do you expect from your trip here?
TW: We're just looking forward to seeing the country and playing our music for new people.  If possible, it'd will be cool to see some places and learn some more about the history as well.

Name one thing in life that is not negotiable.  
TW:  Love

Psychic Ills will tour Greece for the first time next week: 24/3 An, Athens, 25/3 Stage, Larissa, 26/3 Mavri Trypa, Thessaloniki. 

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