Surprisingly, Small Black Doesn't Mind if You Call Them Chillwave 

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Ariel Pink is supposedly the Iggy Pop figure to chillwave's punk. You a fan?
It's funny, I was never really into Ariel Pink, and then after we did the EP, somebody, I think it was my bandmate Juan, turned me on to House Arrest, and it was like, "This guy is sick." Why didn't I like this before? It's this kind of subtle and weird take on these soft rock AM jams. The songs that you know, but you don't really know who sung them. You heard them in the supermarket when you were a kid.

But it feels like he really loved them.
He does. And that's why you love his music. It's very genuine and sort of kid-funny and tongue-in-cheek at the same time.

It's anti-jokey, sort of, in terms of sincerity.
He really strikes an amazing balance between poking fun and real reverence for the music. It's very charming.

Yeah, it is charming. When you see the band play it's a lot weirder than you even think.
They kill, though. They really kill. They're so good.

I saw them play this year in a little room in Vancouver, and those kids went bananas. It's funny because you know, there were kids full-out moshing to Ariel Pink. So it's like, kids in the 90s moshing to Nirvana, the badge of pride they threw up was, you could never mosh to soft rock. That's the stuff they were killing off!
You can't mosh to Alan Parsons Project.

But apparently you can now.
Maybe you can

I've noticed a lot of records lately, yours included, that clock in at like 30-35 minutes. Do you think modern folk have shitty attention spans? Did we lose them entirely? That was definitely deliberate. I wanted to make it as short as possible. In the writing we really considered, like, at the end of this song, have we indulged too much in this part, and if you only heard this a certain amount of time, will you want to just rewind it and hear it right again? We went for that over, maybe, extending sections longer than they would be usually, because we wanted that replay ability. We wanted the album to kind of really befuddle you the first time you heard it. It's so layered, and it's so full of sounds.

But it's not... I wouldn't call it ADD, exactly. No, the song structures are pretty straight, on purpose, to give you sort of a grounding point. You understand how the song works. But, I think the album is designed to kind of show more colors each time you listen to it. Personally, I've been more into songs, anyway. I think that's what we're thinking with the short record. I've been using a car all summer. I just listen to Hot 97. I listen to Drake all the time. As far as records, I think that Beach Fossils album is really great.

I like them ok, I guess. I saw them live...
They're much better live.

I wondered if the range of it was too small? It was like, songs to not-quite bop around to, as a definition.
I like that consistency to it. You hear their songs and it's like, hey, that's a Beach Fossils song. And now they are going to change for the next record. It's good to give people one idea.

Do you think eclecticism is counter-productive for a band starting out?
I think it's like... we listen to so many records. It's going kind of like Hollywood, where a movie script has to be described in one sentence. I used to intern for Warner Brothers, reading scripts. The most important thing for the script readers is how it can be summed up, in the shortest way possible, so that people get the idea. And maybe in a world where you can listen to any record, at any second, that sort of clarity drives people towards stuff.


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