There is doubtfully a more dynamic duo than the likes of Scott Kelly and Sanford Park – Kelly is busy with Neurosis, solo work and Corrections House (another project shared with Sanford), while Parker is involved with Minsk, Buried at Sea and produces for bands that are considered royalty in certain circles within the scene. With all that going on, it would be difficult to imagine how the pair could possibly find time for anything else, however, their creativity cannot be hemmed in and last year they unleashed yet another project into the world, in the form of Mirrors for Psychic Warfare. Their debut record is a restrained yet dread inducing experience unlike anything either one has ever created before but still with each respective musician’s signature style imprinted throughout. This release culminated in a European tour which saw them give one of the best performances of Roadburn 2016. The pair are now back on the road again and, three dates into their second EU tour, we grabbed Sanford Parker for a chat about what’s going on in the world of Mirrors for Psychic Warfare…
You’ve just started a tour of the EU – how’s it going so far? How are you feeling about it and how does it compare to the shows you guys played here last year?
The tour has started, 3 shows in and it’s going great. People seem to be into it and excited to see us. I know we can be challenging so it’s rad when folks get it and appreciate what we do.
Both you and Scott are obviously huge creative talents – are there any things in particular that the two of you clash over when you’re writing and recording?
Not really no. I don’t think we ever clashed over anything. We work and travel really well together. He’s really easy to collaborate with.
How does the creative process usually flow for the pair of you when you’re putting songs together?
We bounce ideas off each other. We live in different States so it’s a lot of sending tracks over the internet. I assemble everything and mix it in my studio. Pretty simple process. Sometimes he’ll come up with a riff or beat that starts the song idea, sometimes I’ll come up with something first. Just depends on who has time to work on tracks at that moment.
Is there going to be any new material in your upcoming live shows?
We have one new song idea we worked into the set. It’s still a work in progress so each night it’s a little different. After the tour we plan to start writing for a new album so that song will get tightened up and turned into something more solid.
Where’s your favourite place to play in Europe?
I enjoy all of Europe really, it’s hard to say my favourite. I would say my favourite city is Berlin though. I love the culture there, it’s always been a primary city for creative music. I’m planning to stay there over the summer to write and I’ll play shows while I’m out.
Where does the drive to be a part of so many different projects come from? Is it a case of needing as many outlets as possible to express yourself, or just not wanting to the sound of pre-existing bands in another direction?
I have no other hobbies than music really. I also have a hard time sitting still so the drive is just a natural thing for me. Producing other bands also drives me. Working with other musicians and watching how they operate inspires me to try new things and to create more.
Do you have any particular goals, aims or ambitions for Mirrors for Psychic Warfare?
Right now we’re just focused on writing new songs and playing shows. I guess no major long term goals just write and keep it real.
People went crazy for the record you guys put out last year – it’s quite different from anything you’ve put out before, were you at all anxious about how it would be received?
I don’t really think about that stuff. I just make music that I like and if other people dig it too then that’s rad. But I don’t write music to please anyone but myself.
Are you currently in the process of writing anything else?
Writing a lot for a new solo record. That’s my primary focus write now and playing more solo shows.
What’s next for you once this tour wraps up?
As soon as I’m back I go into the studio with another band. I recently moved to Los Angeles so I’m still getting settled there.
Any final words?
No, I guess that’s it. Thanks for your time and support.
(Interview Angela Davey)