The Veldt are an amazing shoegaze/post-rock inspired dream band, who began their career in the 1980’s; born from the Chapel Hill music scene (but never officially wearing the title), many remember them as being a distinctly original driving force in the underground; playing ear piercingly loud shows and blending genres to create sonically beautiful recordings in a period when the mainstream relied on boring synth lines and the birth of stadium rock. Through the years they have subsequently influenced major bands including Bloc Party and TV on the Radio and began playing in the stylings of such majestic musicians as Memoryhouse, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pixies and Slowdive. Our contributing writer Cam Phillips put some questions to Daniel Chavis about the bands history, the Chapel Hill music scene, the influence that New York has had on the bands sound and future musical plans! We’d like to thank Daniel for taking some time out from his busy touring schedule to answer Cam’s questions.
We’d also like to thank Alex Kretov for kindly allowing us to use his live photos of The Veldt for the purposes of this interview. Check it out:
DC: Our band is primarily from a hardcore background. We were brougt up in hard core circles. As far as being exposed to “Live’ “indie” music, Corrosion Of Conformity were the catalyst for our band’s inception. We were then called “The Psychodasies.”
DC: We were pretty new and we kind of made our way through on our own without actually being part of a scene. We just played in front of everyone we could because we were naive enough to believe everyone was open minded. We soon learned that wasn’t so. There were very significant bands, who were influences and who helped us out in the beginning in Chapel Hill and Raleigh. They are no longer together, but we are still in touch with them.
CP: You stated in a recent interview how much Soul music influenced the sound and song writing of The Veldt; Is Soul music still relevant on your latest release ‘The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation’?
DC: This is the basis of the initial concept of our writing. The forlornness of wondering if you are alone in this existence in the universe. When “Love” as a concept can be explained as nothing more as a simple emotion that serves a purpose of an “at the moment concept”.
DC: It makes the music colder and more insular in my opinion. I don’t live in NYC at the moment so my compositions are more aligned in relation to how “I” think. In my brothers concepts I cannot really explain because it, like mine, is ”sometimes” a collaborative effort and my job is lyrical more times than not.
DC: It’s become flaccid and self indulgent with no integrity.
DC: It has changed and gotten better with technology and basically has been in suspended animation for 20 years until now.
DC: Bringing the writing and ideas to their current state with his additional creativity and input.
DC: I felt it was too much of a legacy to leave behind and Apollo Heights was just the direction The Veldt was going anyway.
DC: Are they even relavant anymore? In terms of industry? And “If” they actually are, then what is their significance if they cannot do what is already being done (without them)?
DC: To continue to to grow creatively and share our music with people who like it. There’s also an LP ‘Resurrection Hymns’ coming out later this year on Sonablast Records and before that lots of gigging. We open for Brian Jonestown Massacre on several dates in May and will be playing the Levitation Festival pre-party for The Committee to Keep Music Evil in Austin at the end of this month. Lots more happening too …..
04/28 Austin, TX – Levitation Festival / Committee To Keep Music Evil Pre-party at Barracuda
05/06 Philadelphia – Union Transfer (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/07 Boston – Paradise Rock Club (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/09 New York City – Webster Hall (with Brian Jonestown Massacre)
05/15 Raleigh – Haw River Ballroom (Stand Against HB2 – N.C. Musicians United for Equality NC)
05/22 New York City – Union Pool (with 33 Black Angels, Steep Leans, Earnheart)
ALL PHOTOS: Alex Kretov
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
C. Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.