The members of Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks don't look quite this scary when you see them live. for starters, they don't wear masks. "We thought about it," says David Portner, right, "but it's just such physical music that it wouldn't make sense." They play July 22nd at Johnny Brenda's in Philly.
Believe it or not, the man in the mustachioed mask pictured here may have made the most accessible music of his career. That's David Portner on the right, rising up in a pool of blood and wielding a knife. For the past 14 years he has been known to the world as Avey Tare, one fourth of Animal Collective, arguably indie rock's most experimental success story.
But with his new project, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, he has touched upon something closer to pop music than ever. Unlike Animal Collective's winding, wandering circular jams, the songs on "Enter The Slasher House" are concise structured little bursts of psychedelia.
"Accessible, for me became almost like a dirty word," says Portner of his experience in Animal Collective, which is still very much a going concern for him. "It seems weird to think about, especially if you're basing decisions on accessibility."
As ever though, he doesn't seem to have based his decisions on accessibility, as much as the accessibility is just a product of working with different musicians: Angel Deradoorian of Dirty Projectors and Jeremy Hyman of the band Ponytail.
There is still enough weirdness with Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks that you're not likely to hear the band on the top 40 (see aforementioned photo of the masked trio in a literal pool of blood.) And the live performance involves a spooky montage of cartoons and muppets projected onto a pile of skulls. So there's that.
"We're all into visual art," says Portner of he and his fellow Slashers. "Once I start making a piece of music, the visual element is there and it will always be attached to whatever that music is for me."
Ken Burns and Slasher Flicks Portner says although the songs of Slasher Flicks do share a campy element with actual slasher flicks, that isn't necessarily the type of film that the band members were watching during downtime in the recording process.
"We watched a lot more Ken Burns' 'Jazz,' actually," says Portner. "But I watch a lot of horror films around the house - Angel and I live together - and I think I'm the biggest fan of that stuff more than they are."