Prog Blog: Interview With Jeremy Galindo Of This Will Destroy You

Texas group This Will Destroy Youhave amassed a sizable underground following for their instrumental compositions, spanning ambient, melodic odes, to crushing ‘doomgaze’ atmospherics.

Ahead of their first ever Australian visit in a few weeks, I got the word from guitarist Jeremy Galindo on a few choice questions covering their sound, touring and the musician’s life.

PB: Firstly, welcome (soon) to Australia for the first time! What are you most looking forward to checking out down here?

JG: It might be a stereotype…but I’m pretty stoked on seeing the wildlife over there, especially any boxing kangaroos…if that exists. Also, I always love going to new places to try out their local cuisine.

PB: It’s been a while since the release of Tunnel Blanket, can we expect to hear any new material on the tour?

JG: We might throw in some new transitional material, but we are not ready to start playing any new material yet. That being said, our set will be a pretty even mix of the 3 main albums.

PB: The tone on Tunnel Blanket is decidedly darker than your previous records – and with any change comes the potential to lose or make fans. Have you noticed any shift in your audience at shows or otherwise?

JG: I think it all evened out pretty quickly. I’m sure we lost some fans and gained some new ones. But most everyone I’ve talked to has had a positive response to Tunnel Blanket. And a lot of people said that they just needed some time with it before they could enjoy it fully. I get it.. It’s different. But in no way does that mean our next album will sound the same.

PB: You guys have had some changes in your team of late, parting ways with management and booking agents and now becoming self-managed and joining up with LittleBig for bookings (65daysofstatic, Fuck Buttons, Battles). What kind of reasoning leads to such decisions and what sort of challenges do you face in making them and managing yourself?

JG: With management, we just realised that we could do the work ourselves. There really wasn’t a giant change in how much work we had already taken on. Our labels have also stepped in to help lighten the load a bit. As far as our booking agent situation goes, we just felt it was time for a change. LittleBig is the perfect agency for us, and we feel very lucky to be with them now.

PB: You guys have mentioned the difficulties of balancing touring life with your personal life, even influencing your songwriting as a result. For the benefit of aspiring career musicians, what kind of lifestyle are you able to lead as a working band and how do you budget to survive?

JG: It’s a bit different for each member. Personally, I can squeeze by on what we make yearly and spend the rest of my time relaxing or creating. Since we have 2 “newer” members, they don’t receive payments for our past albums that have been licensed quite a bit, so they are still working.

PB: What kind of future do you see for the band and yourselves personally? Having been all around the world, what is left to achieve as a band or for yourselves?

JG: We just want to keep making music. The only plan we have now is to keep going. We hope that one day we can get to a place where we are scoring films regularly, but for now, we’re gonna keep on keeping on.

PB: What sort of acts (or people) influenced you, not just musically, but to pursue the life of a musician?

JG: For me, it’s always been film. When I was younger, I loved any film about musicians or artists making it in the industry. The first band that really inspired me was probably Radiohead. I’ll never forget the first time I heard OK Computer and Kid A. Film is still a huge inspiration for us and music will always be.

PB: How much importance does your equipment have in making and performing music for you – do you write with all your effects and pedals at hand, or in a more stripped-back format?

JG: Mostly we work with all our effects running. It gives a certain feel that you wouldn’t be able to hear dry. Sometimes I’ll work on melodies unplugged or on a piano, but when it comes down to really getting it done, the effects are necessary.

PB: You’ve also mentioned your preferences to shy away from tags like ‘post-rock’ in favour of a broader approach to appreciating music in general. But for the benefit of people who nevertheless love that ‘sound’, I am curious to know if there are any instrumental bands or quiet-loud-quiet bands that you are still interested in? And what are you listening to at the moment in general?

JG: I love ambient/classical music. I think Stars of the Lid and Wagner have been most influential to me as of late. Outside of that, I probably listen to My Bloody Valentine daily.

PB: What is the music scene like in Texas? Obviously events such as SXSW and Austin psych-fest are world-renowned, but what is it like at a grassroots level? Is there a scene or support network for bands trying to get established? And what about the US more generally?

Each town in Texas has a different scene. Dallas tends to bring the most people, and Austin is hit or miss. The US has been growing more and more for us every year. We had a much harder time drawing a crowd here than we have internationally. I think licensing has a lot to do with that.

PB: Any interesting stories from past tours that you can share with us?

Things have been getting more and more calm on tour as each one comes along. I guess we’re just getting older. We’ve seen molotov cocktails being thrown into cars; our merch guy half naked on a bicycle riding around a trash can he lit on fire in circles from drinking too much absinthe; a giant man with a bat that jumped on stage and wanted to kill us for being too loud; and a bunch of other stories that will always remain locked up in our mental tour journals… But mostly now it’s just enjoying the moment.

PB: Finally, because it’s relevant, what’s your favourite karaoke song?

JG: Enrique Iglesias – Hero

Thank you!

This Will Destroy You tour Australia in March

(with special guests Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, except Adelaide)

19th March

The Zoo, Brisbane

20th March

Annandale Hotel, Sydney

21st March

Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

22nd March

Northcote Social Club, Melbourne

23rd March

Rosemount Hotel, Perth

24th March

Crown and Anchor, Adelaide

Watch This Will Destroy You live at SXSW

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