R. Loren of Pyramids has friends, and lots of 'em. The Texas experimentalist seemingly employed them all to contribute to a pair of self-titled releases due at the beginning of October: White Moth and Sailors With Wax Wings. Both are new solo projects with new albums.
Sailors With Wax Wings, due on 10/5 via Angel Oven, features greats like David Tibet (Current 93), Ted Parsons (Swans, Jesu, Godflesh), Simon Scott (Slowdive), Aidan Baker (Nadja), Vern Rumsey (Unwound), Dominick Fernow (Hospital Productions, Cold Cave, Prurient), Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), Marissa Nadler, and others to its eight tracks, adding in co-production/mixing from Colin Marston (Krallice, etc) and mastering from James Plotkin (Khanate). The LP touches on elements of black metal, ambient, and shoegaze on tracks like the currently streamable "If I Should Cast Off This Tattered Coat" and "And Clash And Clash Of Hoof And Heel", the video of which is viewable below.
Loren's second, White Moth, will hit stores one week later (preorder here). The project, which he describes as milemarker towards "the resurgence of digital hardcore", moves in a somewhat different direction but employs the same collaborative spirit; the LP features Colin Marston (Krallice), Sam Hillmer (Zs), Lydia Lunch, Dälek, Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot), Shelby Cinca (Frodus), John Gossard (Weakling, Asunder), and Chet W. Scott (Blood Of The Black Owl, Glass Throat Records). Dig on the third track "The Sea Was Blue Meadow" featuring Shelby Cinca, streamable below.
We had a quick chat with R.Loren of White Moth/Sailors With Wax Wings/Pyramids to discuss the genesis of the projects, and whether we will ever see the pieces in a live setting. The results are also below...
White Moth - "The Sea Was Blue Meadow"
The lineup of contributors on White Moth and SWWW are impressive to say the least. How did you hook up with some of the artists, in particular, how did you hook up with the contributors for the track above?
R. Loren: Thanks. When something extraordinary affects me in my day-to-day life, I often will translate the experience into what I envision as a fabric of sound. This fabric, like any visual work, utilizes specific elements such as color, texture, and thread quality, to coalesce into the overall work and speak to an overarching meaning. The best place I know to start, like with any project one might take on at home, work, or school, is by gathering the best equipment-- the best thread, for the intended result. These would be the artists that fuel my personal passion to create, the ones who inspire my own art. So, some are past acquiantances, others friends, and a few I have never met but have studied, and I approach them with my ideas for the project and field their questions and concerns until we have become both invested in the initial vision. As this visions takes shape, some artists that I originally would have wanted involved, simply would not be a good fit for the sound, and others will drop into that place. These projects were at no time subscribing to be "supergroups," rather, they are precise collectives with a precise vision that only a select few could come together to accomplish.
SAILORS WITH WAX WINGS "And Clash And Clash Of Hoof And Heel"
Were the two records created simultaneously and then segmented later, or was the concept solidified prior as wholly separate entities?
Both records were recorded simultaneously, each with their own separate catalysts and vision. It wore me out physically and mentally to orchestrate such a vast and international cast of collaborators. I am thankful to have Colin Marston involved, who is one of the very few I can both call genius, and responsible.
How much of White Moth was determined by the direction of the material versus a wholly collaborative effort with the guest? "This song would sound great with John Gossard" vs working together with the artist.
The process is unique in that every step began with me saying "This person would be great here" right down to the second in any given song. As the songs took shape, I could hear certain people with very particular sounds at certain parts. Lyrically, I communicated overarching themes to various artists to keep the content from becoming too fragmented, but the lyrics themselves were up to each guest; same thing with those that contributed to the instrumentation.
Shelby Cinca (Frodus, Decahedron, etc) recording guest vocal track on "The Sea Was Blue Meadow" at Welfare Sounds, in Gothenburg, Sweden, with Per Stalberg.
What has been going down with Pyramids, post-Nadja collabo that is?
We are finishing up a two year long collaboration with the Scottish duo Wraiths, which should be really dark and unlike anything we have previously done. We are also finishing up material this month for a split with Mamiffer, and another with Horseback. Next month, we will begin tracking the next Pyramids proper full length.
Considering the formidable guesting and disregarding the associated logistics, is there any interest to taking the White Moth material to the live stage? What about Pyramids?
I have this constant fear of letting people down when it comes to live performance. Though realistically we could absolutely pull it off in all of the aforementioned cases, still, I remember seeing some of my favorite bands and in a post show catharsis, selling back their CDs because of horrific live experiences. Still, I believe we may just see something here in the future...
Where has inspiration come from as of late?
Current 93, Celestiial, Menace Ruine, Daughters, Xasthur, James Blackshaw, Blood Of The Black Owl, Horseback, Liars, Silver Mt. Zion, and Ides Of Gemini are doing some interesting things as well...