Florida-based Psych-Space rockers, Sons Of Hippies, take flight on the backs of mythical, winged beasts to bring you Griffons At The Gates Of Heaven, the band’s newest and most ambitious recording to date, on Cleopatra Records. Mixed by legendary Seattle producer Jack Endino (Nirvana, L7) and mastered at Abbey Road Studios (!), the album fearlessly synthesizes four decades of rock with heavily echoed, neo-surf guitar, sinister mellotron and crunching power chords.
Conceived by the spiritual union of guitarist/vocalist Katherine Kelly and drummer Jonas Canales amidst the good vibes of the Bonnaroo Music Festival, Sons Of Hippies began their journey in 2008, adding bassist David Daly to the fold in 2011. True to their name, the band struggles to maintain the hopeful humanism of their ‘60s forebears while living in today’s alienating post-modern society. “I have always been drawn to ideas of perception versus reality,” says Katherine, “Humans live to tell stories to each other. But what happens in translation is often such a mutation of the truth that we become ideas of ourselves instead of just ourselves. I want our music to remind people to come back to themselves.”
I sat down with Katherine before the upcoming show at The Comet!
CM: Give us some background on Sons Of Hippies…
Katherine: Jonas and I (Katherine) started the band in April of 2008 and we played as a two piece for about eight months. We tried to do as much as possible just the two of us. He would play drums and synth loops at the same time, I would loop washed out guitar chords and then switch to the bass. Or we would base songs around one of the pre-programmed loops in his micro Korg to fill up soundscapes. I think because of this we became most comfortable writing songs that rely on a simple chord progression that doesn’t ever change but the rhythm and vocal lines change constantly around it. A little over a years ago David Daly joined the band on bass. His sense of melody is unique and we’ve been able to remain a three piece because of his ability to write pop-style bass lines that propel the songs forward as well as ground them rhythmically. Over the last five years we have released three albums independently and the last one in June on Cleopatra Records.
Tell us about a day in the life of a tour with Sons of Hippies…
Oh geez, lately we’ve been having a hard time getting right with the Gods of transportation… we had to buy a new van a few weeks back and as soon as we got it on the road two tires blew up on I-75 near Atlanta. I’ve attached a photo of David burning trash to keep warm on the side of the highway while Jonas went for help.
What can we expect at a live show?
We try to make the live show a collective experience by playing through with transitions between songs instead of playing song to song with breaks in between. The live show tends to be extremely high energy and a lot of fun. We do psychedelic projection mapping on screens that flank the drum set. We also just added six foot tall orange sunflowers to the stage set. They don’t move or do anything crazy but they’re beautiful to look at.
What is next for the band?
Next year we’d like to be playing in Europe and hitting the festival circuit. Thank you so much for the interview!