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Kylesa In The Ultraviolet Light

Kylesa is a force in metal. Not only have they commanded the attention of most die-hard metal heads, they have garnered fans from all corners of the musical spectrum with their unique blend of metal, rock, psychedelic, prog, and about everything else you can imagine. Today ,their latest masterpiece "Ultraviolet" is released to the world, and it is sure to rock it to it's core. I caught up with guitarists Laura Pleasents and Philip Cope to talk about the album, influences, and gothic makeup.

Buick McKane: How are y’all doing today?

Laura Pleasents: Doing good.

Buick: Great, and how was Florida?

Philip Cope: Was good.

Laura: Was a good start.

Buick: Awesome. So your latest album “Ultraviolet” is just about to come out. And the word is that it’s a lot darker than your previous album. Why did you want to make this album darker?

Philip: Well, I don’t think that it was a plan. I don’t think that we wanted to make the album darker; I think that it just came out darker. We didn’t really sit down and discuss if we wanted to make a dark record distinctly. The places that are heads were at at the time when we started writing for a couple of years, through that process, it was just a dark place for the both us. So it just ended up a lot darker.

Buick: And you’re producing the album. What does that entail?

Philip: I do some engineering, but, for this last album, in a sense, really, I was more like a director. I had several people engineering while, of course, I had to play guitar in the band. But I worked for two months pretty much straight with very long days, somebody has to watch everything that goes on, make sure everything’s getting done the way it’s supposed to; that’s what it is. It’s kind of paying attention to everything that’s being done, making sure the album is getting put together in a way that makes sense.

Buick: When did you begin doing that kind of work?

Philip: I actually started before I was even in Kylesa. I actually can’t even remember what year it was; I want to say it was 2000, so over a decade now. I’ve worked with a bunch of bands over the years besides Kylesa.

Buick: And you released some of the songs from the album already online. How has the response been?

Laura: It’s been good. People like it, so that’s cool.

Buick: Your music is known to transcend genres; no one can pin it down to one thing or even decide if it’s metal or rock. What is some of the music that has inspired you throughout your life?

Philip: There’s a lot.

Laura: So many bands.

Philip: I think that’s kind of why we do hop genres so much. We are a band with so many different styles, so there’s many different bands. There hasn’t been just a handful of bands that has inspired us, there’s been many. It would take a very long time to go through that whole list.

Laura: But, I mean, punk, 70s rock, metal, and within metal there’s all sorts of subgenres; black metal, death metal. Psychedelic rock, electronic music, old gothic rock, other stuff…just all over the place.

Buick: Do y’all think gothic rock is making a comeback?

Philip: It seems that way. When we started back then it was all about…actually we started adding [goth elements] in “Spiral Shadow” a little bit. I didn’t really know that it was, but it was definitely at this point...

Laura: Even stuff back from “Static Tensions.”

Philip: We’ve been doing that for a while. And it does seem like it’s making a comeback which I’m all for. I think it’s great.

Buick: Do you think black lipstick and nail polish will come back too?

Philip: I think it could happen.

Laura: Well, you know how fashion and trends are; it’s all cyclic.

Philip: I just saw a photo shoot where celebrities were trying to get all goth and stuff and thought, “Oh yeah, things are getting weird now.”

Buick: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Laura: We’re looking forward to the rest of this U.S. tour, go up to Canada and Montreal. Be sure to pick it up on the 28th.

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Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.

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