I'm a big fan of alternative animation, and I'm possibly an even bigger fan of psychedelic music, and so when a group pairs the two, I tend to sit up and pay attention. We're premiering the latest music video, "Secret Friend," from Canadian psych-pop act Grounders
, and it is a gorgeous, complex, and multi-layered piece of animation. And it's thankfully paired with an equally gorgeous, complex, and multi-layered psych-pop track. The song revels in psychedelic swirls and acid-tinged melodies while still feeling firmly rooted to the real world. It's a tough act to balance but Grounders does it just fine.
We had the chance to ask the band a few questions about the video and their music in general.
The art style of the video reminds me a lot of the work that was done for Chad VanGaalen's "Red Hot Drops" and his other works. Were you fans of his style or did you draw from different places for the video?
Grounders: I'm a huge fan of Chad VanGaalen's animation, his music too. Chad's music videos were huge inspirations for me becoming interested in frame-by-frame animation, especially the one for "Flower Gardens." But the rotoscoping technique used in the "Secret Friend" video was actually more so inspired by the Beatles' animated movie Yellow Submarine, which fascinated me as a kid and still does today. There's a rotoscoped sequence that goes along with "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." It's really trippy and beautiful.
Clearly, "Grounders" is a psychedelic band. But that word gets thrown around a lot these days. What does it mean to you when people classify you as a psychedelic band?
I agree, it does get thrown around a lot, and I think its meaning has naturally evolved since it was first introduced. For us, the term psychedelic refers to the sounds we like to play with - we like our instruments to sound warped and woozy, and the songs on our new record are layered with lots of strange textures. It's fun for us.
It's not easy for bands with that sort of classic inspired sound -- in your case, 60s acid pop -- to chart their own clear paths but Grounders has. What's the secret to embracing influences while still crafting your own sound?
Thanks! I don't know if there is a secret. Creating music is an interesting process, because you are drawing on all your inspiration and experiences, subconsciously and consciously, and your own voice gets mixed up inside of that. I think we're kind of lucky to have a lot of different musical tastes in the band, and we each pull in different directions creatively, so the music becomes more than the sum of its parts.
Also, be sure to check out the band at the following dates below:
MAY 28 // STUDIO @ WEBSTER HALL // NEW YORK, NY
MAY 29 // MILKBOY // PHILADELPHIA, PA
MAY 30 // PALISADES // BROOKLYN, NY
JUN 11 // BAR LE RITZ // MONTREAL, QC
JUN 12 // CAFE DECKUF // OTTAWA, ON
JUN 13 // OLD FORT HENRY // KINGSTON, ON
JUN 18 // NXNE // SNEAKY DEE'S // TORONTO, ON
JUN 19 // NXNE // HANDLEBAR // TORONTO, ON
JUN 20 // THE FIZZ // CHICAGO, IL
JUN 23 // VANGELIS TAVERN // SASKATOON, SK
JUN 24 // WUNDERBAR // EDMONTON, AB
JUN 25-28 // SLED ISLAND // CALGARY, AB