“Erasing horror and disgust
Rewinding the sorrow and the rust
Before our suffering’s suffering
Hadn’t we suffered enough?”
Today I read an article about this incredible indie rock band called The Antlers… well, it was more of an interview. It’s not anything recent but it’s about their latest album, Familiars (which was released on my birthday 2 years ago. It was basically meant to be). Ever since I discovered their music, they’ve pretty much been on a constant loop on my iPod; the kind of music I can never skip over when it comes up on my shuffle. Just beautiful. The interviewer asked questions about the process of writing lyrics and composing music, and about the emotional aspect of their songs too. Because, trust me, emotional is a very good adjective to describe this music. I’m writing this post because I thought the band’s front-man Peter Silberman had some pretty interesting things to say:
You know, I think a lot of people are afraid of heavy subject matter and they don’t look to music to kind of confront really dark shit. But there are a lot of people who do use music for that. They need music to speak to the things that they are afraid of or are too overwhelmed to know how to process. I enjoy writing that stuff. It has been a good mental exercise for me, helps me figure out a lot of stuff in my life and it’s definitely put me in a vulnerable position but it’s also an exciting one. Especially when you find that people really relate to that sort of stuff, and it ends up having a kind of reciprocal effect: Where we might make some music and someone might feel at ease by the fact that someone else is experiencing something as difficult as they are. And on the flip side I feel comforted by the fact that someone out there that I don’t even know relates to this weird thing that I’m thinking about. So I don’t know, that’s been the most rewarding part of the whole experience.
You come to define yourself by your past, and then you realize that that might actually be responsible for a lot of things that make you unhappy. It’s a way to make yourself unstuck and free yourself from that kind of circular way of thinking. The thing is, I think when you do that, when you stop identifying yourself with your past, it becomes very unclear how to define yourself.
I think that can be a scary place for a lot of people, and at times it’s definitely very scary for me too. But I think it’s also a really good place to start. And part of the takeaway from this record is you can kind of rid yourself of your past and you can actually begin to redefine yourself, or, at least, start form a place where you don’t have this super-established identity or really fixated notion of who you are. Then you can be freer, more liberated, and your expectations of yourself change. You realize that self-imposed limitations, they don’t necessarily have to be there.
If you haven’t heard of these guys before, do yourself a favour and listen to their stuff, especially this album because it’s mesmerising.
P.S: here’s the full interview if any of you guys would like to read it: http://www.salon.com/2014/06/17/the_antlers_open_up_about_their_new_record_familiars_and_why_making_personal_music_is_so_scary/