About half an hour after our interview yesterday, Kylesa guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants called me back and left a message on my answering machine (old school), asking me which riff in “Running Red,” the centerpiece track of her band’s new album, Static Tensions (Prosthetic), I was referring to in my review when I said the song was, “drawing a pagan circle around a riff that, if it was on a Hatebreed record, I?d probably call retarded.”
Slightly unnerved, because in earnest that’s my favorite song on the album and that riff — which first kicks in at 1:21 and makes a triumphant return at 3:52 — is a big part of the reason why, I rang her up and within a minute or so we were laughing, her acknowledging that she knew the riff in question was simple when she wrote it and I relieved that I hadn’t offended in my review. Her band of artsy sludge slingers recently back from a run in Japan with Birushanah and on the precipice of playing the unfortunately corporate Scion Rock Fest before heading out on yet another tour, this time of the Southern US, the last thing she needed was crap from the likes of me, sitting in my pajamas all day reviewing records.
Static Tensions is Kylesa‘s third album since 2005, fourth overall, and it boasts a fuller sound than anything the band has released before. Pleasants‘ vocal approach has diversified and matured notably since 2006′s the band’s last effort, Time Will Fuse its Worth. In the interview that follows the jump, the singer/guitarist offers her opinions as to how that became possible, what it was like working with guitarist/vocalist Phillip Cope as a producer for the second time, and why, after having two guitarists, two vocalists and two drummers — Carl McGinley and Eric Hernandez — finding another bassist to partner up with Javier Villegas just seemed like too much.