MP3: New Wave Hippies
Psychedelic Horseshit frontman Matt Whitehurst is young Pac in the flesh. Doesn’t mean I like Pac or that Matt’s mom was a crackhead. I never even liked Tupac. But I like the idea of Tupac as in a public figure who will say anything in public and not give a fuck. And it meant something to him and other people. Obviously, they don’t sound anything like Pac, but you smell me playboy.
To me Psychedelic Horseshit’s new album “Magic Drone Flowers” (Stiltbreeze) sounds like when my mom told me to do chores on a Saturday afternoon while she was listening to her old records: a mixture of Bob Dylan and me running over rocks to break the lawn mower so I wouldn’t have to cut the grass again. Or putting a fork in the dishwasher so it would break. Or vacuuming up broken lightbulbs.
During my drunken interview with Matt we talked about the new album, fighting with Deerhunter, philosophy, protesting, and how the Black Lips live album was in fact recorded in the studio.
WF-My favorite song on the record is “New Wave Hippies”. Are you angry at those people or is it just an observation?
MW-It’s kind of an aggravated observation I guess. When I first wrote it, initially it was directed at a certain scene in America’s Underground. As I wrote it, it took on different meanings. “New Wave Hippies” doesn’t necessarily mean jam bands. It’s about people who have a voice in the media and they don’t use it for anything. They just talk about bullshit.
WF-I mean are you talking about “wilderness white”, like Animal Collective fans that are former ravers?
MW-It’s all of that really. It’s the new wave aspect of Hippies. It means the generation of hippies. Like Deerhunter and Animal Collective and shit. People that use electronics. It’s not just about music.
WF-You say something like they don’t protest. They hang out on little machines.
MW-They hang out on little screens. It’s about blogging. It’s not like the 60’s that shit isn’t going to happen. Everyone sits at home and talks about bullshit on a computer instead of getting out and saying things.
WF-Well on the split 7 inch you did with Times New Viking, you said “I am not a man. I have no soul. I don’t care about politics and things I can’t control.” Do you feel like you should be out doing something or do you think everything is bullshit?
MW-I don’t know. I guess I am stuck in between those things. That’s a good question. I should be out doing something. But everything is bullshit and I feel a sense of hopelessness in the world. It’s like if you don’t have an army to go out and fight with then its no question that you will get killed.
WF-For me it’s self-important to think you could make a change in a way.
MW-I don’t know. I am just talking shit right now. I guess there is some kind of reason behind it in the back of my head.
WF-Is it almost self-righteousness, where people act like they are doing something but they are doing nothing. Or?
MW-Kinda. They equate themselves to people in the 60’s. Who actually had a voice and changed people’s minds about things. But they don’t change anyone’s minds about anything. It’s like a “hip” thing. They don’t talk about anything they just sing about flowers instead about talking about how things are fucked up. They have lots of people’s attention and their ears. People listen. Not everyone is an idiot. But they don’t have shit to say.
WF-What do you want them to talk about? Like George Bush? What should they be talking about?
MW-Realistic ways. I don’t. No. Bush bashing is stupid. That’s just gonna turn people off. Talk about something. At least give an effort. Say something. I think modern lyrics are bullshit. It’s all about making out or like making pies. It’s stupid shit. It’s like nostalgic to the past. It’s like the theme of music, and not about the theme of the lyrics.
WF-Well I grew up on rap music. That’s why I like you guys because the front man is right there.
MW-Lyrics are there for a purpose whether its time to party or its time to rebel against everyday life.
WF-So lots people in Columbus talk about something that went down between you guys and Deerhunter. Someone said, you said like ‘Fuck Deerhunter” on stage in Atlanta or something. I told you how I ran into Cole from the Black Lips and asked him about you and he was like ‘those Psychedelic Horseshit guys don’t like us for some reason’. What is the whole story behind that?
MW-The Deerhunter thing was… We got a hold of one of the main Deerhunter guys to set up a show for us in Atlanta. He was real snotty. He was like “any knowledgable bands can contact this person and he will hook you up with a show”. Just really snotty. We finally got this shitty-ass gig in Atlanta at this crap art gallery. Every fucking member of their band showed up to it. So it just kind of pissed me off. I didn’t know any of them were there when I started talking shit. I just knew I was in Atlanta and some of their friends were probably there. I just talked shit. I didn’t sit between songs and talk shit. I put it in the lyrics to my song. I just slipped it in. It wasn’t just me talking shit. I was trying to be funny. It caused this big drama with the guy we were staying with, The Black Lips tour manager. Everyone was pissed off. Then everyone ended up buying us coke and shit. And like divulging secrets about the Black Lips. About how their live album was recorded in a studio. That live album is not live.
WF-When I type this out. Do you want me to put it out there like that?
MW-That Black Lips album is not live. They recorded all but three songs were recorded in a studio.
WF-In a weird way I think that’s a good idea.
MW-For the Seeds it worked out. I guess that’s proper cause they are just a rip-off of the Seeds anyway. Why not rip-off their ideas also. They are just a rip-off band. They have never written an original song. All that’s stuff is completely derivative. All stuff is today anyway. So it’s not like it’s special. It’s kinda obvious. ‘We are doing this 60’s garage rock thing. And we aren’t going anywhere with it.’ People like it. They aren’t bad albums. They are just overrated.
WF-Are you that concerned with the Black Lips or are you just speaking matter of fact?
MW-I am not concerned with the Black Lips. They can do what they want . We don’t hate Black Lips. We don’t hate Deerhunter. We just talked shit onstage. I don’t care. We don’t take it serious. We never said anything about the Black Lips. It’s silly those bands even know who we are.
WF-So you don’t think they should care what you say?
MW-Sure. I mean criticism is important because it advances the art. Art doesn’t get advanced anymore because no one criticizes anything. Rolling Stone is so safe they don’t rip anything a new asshole. Nothing gets better. People need their assholes ripped especially when it sucks. People need criticized. That’s a very important part. Things have been stagnant for a long time. There aren’t any great critics. There were great critics. People like Lester Bangs. People who were actual critics about things. They were in big publications. Nowadays most reviews are positive. And if it’s negative, it’s not constructive. They are overly scrutinizing everything.
WF-Are you going to read your reviews?
MW-I like our bad reviews. We aren’t gonna take our bad reviews to heart and change our songs. But it’s nice to know what people think out there. As opposed to record collectors just kissing ass.
WF-What I have noticed about your records is that you lay down the vocals. And you are obviously say some shit. But then you cover it up with a bunch of noise?
MW-It’s just the psychedelic aspect… I want people to be interested.
Psychedelic Horseshit has a release party tonight at Cafe Bourbon Street. Times New Viking and Sic Alps are also on the bill.