Heavy rock music based in the psychedelic elements of early metal—call it stoner rock, sludge, doom—treads a fine line. On one hand it can summon visceral fist-pumping and mesmerize like the best parts of your favorite fantasy novels. (In an endless forest, Bilbo Baggins climbs to the top of an oak to find brilliant sunshine and hundreds of dark dark velvety black butterflies ... but this time with ultra heavy riffs.) On the other hand, it can seem like Garth and Wayne playing D & D in a wood-paneled basement.
Since late 2005, Albuquerque’s SuperGiant has been one with this wily sonic universe, mostly refraining from the latter (to avoid it completely would be too serious, which is no fun) and accentuating the former. In addition to calling upon the magic of the genre, SuperGiant manifests the brash hedonism that is fundamental to rock and roll.
On Saturday, July 9, the band releases its third (mystical, heavy, bitchin’) album Pistol Star, recorded over the past two years with Sid Garcia at Sight 16 Studio. The Alibi was previously unable to cover SuperGiant happenings given the fact that half of the band was employed by the paper. That no longer being the case, below, in our first article on the band, vocalist Joel Rogers discusses equipment, symbolism and the mysteries of existence.
So where does SuperGiant live?
In the light of sound between all of the galaxies.
Do you fancy astronomy?
Yes, I love astronomy. The connectedness of the universe and natural rhythms to all life are so fascinating to me. It is so amazing we exist at all.
What's your practice space's decor aesthetic?
Band posters, stop lights, Pin-Bot pinball, cold Tecate, pizza, the Sunshine Theater, curious onlookers and Downtown murals.
What kind of equipment do you prefer?
Whatever makes the desired sound or tone each individual in the band is seeking. We remove all equipment labels, so as not to be seen by judgmental eyes of the rock world.
What are SuperGiant's favorite bands?
That would be a lengthy conversation with each one of us. When we tour, though, we play a lot of independent music in the van by underground bands we've played with and met. There really are so many very talented musical artists in this country who are never able to make a living playing music, and yet, Nickelback continues to collect royalty checks and tour? I will never understand why that is the reality. It is tragic to me.
Tell me about this witchy, seven-sided star imagery in the inside album art.
It is a heptagram. Historically, human beings have found many uses and meanings for it. But in our case, it has no symbolism or definition whatsoever. There are, however, seven points on the star and seven songs on the new album. We are resigned to the fact that people will ask us if we are a cult or satanic. I will calmly say to them, “Only on Tuesdays, my friend. Only on Tuesdays.”
What do you want people to know?
That the universe is connected on every single fundamental level, and there is nothing your beliefs can do to change that.