Deafheaven want to keep touring ‘Sunbather’ until they’re sick of it

Deafheaven play the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, NY on Friday, Feb. 21 and at Royale in Boston on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Deafheaven play the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, N.Y., on Friday and at Royale in Boston on Sunday.

2013 was nothing short of a banner year for the band Deafheaven. With the release of their second LP “Sunbather,” the San Francisco band turned the heads and caught the ears of critics worldwide, garnering nearly unanimous acclaim as one of the year’s top records.

At their core, Deafheaven remain a metal band, yet some of their only criticisms have come from metal elitists who say they aren’t black metal enough. In the end, the true prowess of the band is how they transcended the genre and developed a following of fans from all factions of music.

“When we started the band we always had certain styles that we wanted to combine,” says vocalist George Clarke. “I think we’ve grown as musicians and become a better band. There was definitely a focus on layering and complexity. Any time you write a record it’s a big shot in the dark, you never know how things will come out. But I’m happy with what happened.

“I understand black metal enough that I don’t consider us to be strictly that. Have we manipulated the genre in our own way to create our own thing in a certain light? Yeah. I think that upset people whose identity revolves around the genre. While it’s not shocking to me at all, I don’t necessarily pay attention to it. I know it exists. I recognize that people consider our record to be polarizing to a certain extent, but it’s just not really worth worrying about, honestly.”

Together with guitarist Kerry McCoy, Deafheaven went beyond the black-and-white definition of metal by combining a searing and shimmering shoegazing wall-of-guitars sound and prog rock progressions with Clarke’s impassioned scream that pushes catharsis to levels of exorcism. With epic song lengths and post-rock instrumental interludes, their music is cinematic and impressionistic, built in layers and ripe with subtlety. While there is an inherent emotional depth to Clarke’s lyrics, the delivery and feeling remain the focal point, like an enraged opera, while the words end up purposely obscured by the overwhelming textures and sheer decibels of the accompanying instrumentation.

“In the style of music we make, the vocals are presented in an aggressive way and they are meant to serve as the rock while the guitars and things kind of flow around them,” says Clarke. “It’s a constant, high-pitched, nasty bark. And I think that musically that’s what it’s for. And to anyone who enjoys the music and wants to look further, the lyrics are there. I think in order to understand the songs to the fullest extent you do need to read the lyrics, because that’s where a lot of the emotional connect comes from. It just provides intensity to what’s going on musically.”

Despite his powerful record and reputation for commanding performances, Clarke remains humble about the past year.

“When we wrote ‘Sunbather,’ we were so uncertain,” he notes. “We were like, ‘God, are we even good at what we’re doing? Do we even know what we’re doing?’ Now I guess there’s been a little bit of reinforcement. This is actually OK. Maybe we actually have a thing now. Maybe we have found our voice. That’s one of the hardest things about being in a band I think, it’s just trying to find your voice.”

And how about a new album? Is there pressure to follow up on the success of “Sunbather”?

“A new album is definitely not a concern right now. We just want to tour as much as possible and keep supporting ‘Sunbather’ until we’re all totally sick of it,” he says with a laugh, “which will probably be pretty soon.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…