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Lo-Fi Revisited: Psychedelic Horseshit

Ohio noise merchants who make an awesome scuzzy sound. I caught up with frontman, Matt Whitehurst after he comes up from an acid trip.

You okay to talk now?
I actually was on acid earlier! I was tripping. (laughs)

What was the reaction from the bands like Vivian Girls and Wavves after the piece came out in The Washington Post?
Ooh controversy! All those people thought we were friends or something! So I got some emails and calls. I don’t hate them. I like everyone. Some people were pretty upset by it  but they shouldn’t take things so personally.

Do you feel any sense of solidarity with bands in the lo-fi aesthetic?
I don’t feel a sense of community. I guess to an outsider there’s a sense of similar sounding artists. We are not part of that. We’re not from New York. We’re from the Midwest.

So you prefer staying in Columbus to make your music?
It’s good because you’re not in the big city with people questioning every motive and having people being up your ass, trying to dissect your music. No one’s trying to be cool in Columbus whereas in New York, that’s the name of the game. In New York’s it’s a game for people who want to make money.
I don’t think where we lives influences our sound. I’m personally more influenced by European and British stuff, shoegaze. Maybe not being a rich kid influences it because we have to scrap some stuff together ourselves. We’re trying to make it sound better. It’s out of necessity. Lo-fi is off-putting.  It can sound cool but can be used for evil ways too! It’s pretty magical when it’s all you have.

So you think the market is over saturated now?
Couple of years back there was some good music coming out. Now it’s like the floodgates have opened. Then it’s not about the music anymore. No one’s advancing the art or progressing it. it’s like come on, get real. You can tell the pure shit from the bullshit. I’m all for kids in their bedrooms making awesome music. It’s not about people being creative right now, it’s about oh look there’s this formula I can follow that people will think is cool. There’s so many lo-fi bands now that sound exactly the fucking same. There’s this generic sound to it now.
DIY is still very real – it’s one of the purest ways to do it. The scene’s dying because it got flooded with generic shit. DIY music and DIY shows are 2 different things. DIY shows are fucking amazing – some of the best shows we’ve ever played.
There’s lot of very positive things to DIY, people need to be a little more thoughtful about it, seize the opportunity to make the world a better place.

Do you get disheartened by that?
We’ve been playing for 4 years. It’s disheartening. I want everything to be good and progressive but a lot of what’s going on right now is very derivative y’know. It’s become about money and turning out product. I want it to be more about art and beauty and for people to make great things.

What does making music mean to you?
Making music’s an expression of your soul. I consider it something sacred and you can connect with people on a pure level. It’s a magical thing and people just trash that like it’s nothing. It’s hard to get support but you can’t give up. It’s a struggle every day to afford to make music.
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