In 2012, we spoke with local act, Jody Seabody and the Whirls, for the release of their debut full-length, Summer Us. But despite the fact that it's been nearly three years since its release, the group hasn't seemed to lose any traction when it comes to keeping their fans happy. If you've yet to listen to them, the Houston four-piece has garnered a reputation for being a band whose sound is hard to pin down, yet that seems to be what makes them so appealing. While most modern acts fit easily into a specific category or genre, Jody Seabody and the Whirls have found a way to dodge being pinned down while keeping their sound streamlined and coherent.
It's a tough balance to find, but with the release of their new single "Grassman," it seems that the group will dodge the sophomore-slump bullet on upcoming LP Holographic Slammer, due in another week or so on Houston's Artificial Head Records. Over the nine minutes of "Grassman," the group's sound flirts with psychedelic surf before falling into a heavier jam session. Although nine-minute tracks can often be hard to swallow, the Whirls have found a way to write a compelling track that never seems to lose momentum despite its length. We recently asked the Whirls' drummer, Clint Rater, to talk about the nine-song Slammer before the group takes the stage Saturday night at the Alley Kat Bar & Lounge on Mid-Main.
Houston Press: Where have you guys been for so long?
Clint Rater: We have been touring, recording, writing and filling our bass position with handsome and talented gentlemen. Dylan Thompson plays bass on the album but departed in mid-August. We have our old friend Stuart Cooper on bass now.
Since Summer Us was released, you've teamed up with Artificial Head Records. How did that relationship get started?
Our relationship with Artificial Head came about by playing shows with Art Institute, whose guitarist, Paul Chavez, runs the label.
Holographic Slammer is available for pre-order on vinyl. Right now we only have one (nine-minute) song, so tell us a little about the rest of the album.
The album is a reflection of our eclectic influences, as well as a conceptual assessment of death and feelings associated with being out of control.
"Grassman" has already sold me, but it's admittedly unusual to hear a single that takes you on this kind of journey. How did you guys choose this single?
We picked it because it best reflected the eclectic mix on the album.
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You guys actually have a sort of reputation for being eclectic. Why do you think that is?
We've had lots of chances to be a part of different scenes. We could have played strictly hardcore or gotten in with the metal or Indie crowds, but to me, punk/hardcore was always about doing what feels good to you and being original. If we played to the scene, we would be going against what those "scenes" are about. By being eclectic and original, we may not get as many fans, but we are more punk than the guys who play to a sea of people dressed like them.
That makes sense. I also don't think you guys would be as successful as you are by walking those lines evenly. That said, Holographic Slammer seems to be simultaneously in tune with, as well as a step away from, Summer Us, stylistically speaking. Aside from the loss of your bassist, how have you approached this release differently?
We approached this album as kind of like it were a photo album. The first track, "Two Atmospheres," was recorded in 2008. Then several of the tracks were recorded in-studio, while others were recorded at our rehearsal space. We wanted different sounds and feelings throughout. Also, this time we are on a label!
You guys are also releasing this album on a "painfully limited edition" colored vinyl. What will it look like, and how many copies are we talking?
We don't now what crazy colors Paul picked for the vinyl, but there probably be only about 300 copies. Thanks to the Internet, though, our album will always be around for people to enjoy.
Jody Seabody and the Whirls will perform tomorrow night at Alley Kat Bar & Lounge (3718 Main) with Jealous Creatures and Giant Kitty. Their official Holographic Slammer album-release and tenth-anniversary is scheduled for AvantGarden on December 5.