Friday, January 27, 2017

Interview With Heavy Traffic

In December I "discovered" the band Heavy Traffic, and their 2016 release "Plastic Surgery" just blew me away.  I have since purchased their previous releases and realized what a powerhouse of ideas this band is.  The band members are:

Ian Caddick: Lead Guitar
Tav Palumbo: Vocals/Guitar (and formerly drums)
David Grzedzinski: Bass, Backing Vocals
Dan Bradica: Drums
Heavy Traffic now sits at the top of my favorite heavy psychedelic bands list, and I was lucky enough to get an interview with them.  Here's how it went:

I found “Plastic Surgery” through someone I follow on Bandcamp (FDJ).  I had already completed my 2016 top ten video playlist for our blog, but realized it could not stand, after hearing Plastic Surgery. 

After checking out some of your previous releases on Bandcamp, it seems to me that you have been experimenting for a few years now with variation upon variation of psychedelic music.  Lots of quality on your other releases, but it seems like you have applied a level of focus and attention to detail on “Plastic Surgery” that you hadn’t attempted before.  Is this accurate in your view?

Tav: Yah thats accurate, a combination of relocating to NY, new ideas from Dan and Davey, and also the ability to record ourselves in a larger space made this one special for us.

How was it that you ended up working with Twin Earth Records?
Tav: We had known of Ric since our last band and , based on some of the other releases we saw from Twin Earth, thought it would make sense to send it his way . He is great guy and we are thrilled to be working with him.
(Richard Bennett)

Your creativity really sets you apart.  What bands have inspired you over the years? 
Tav: Ians favorite is Led Zeppelin. I think bands that seem to have too many ideas for better or worse like Sparks or Boris are big inspiration for us
Ian: Thank you. Red Krayola, Iron Claw, the psf record label, mothers of invention, royal trux, ween

FDJ indicated that Ian and Tav have been together for a while, and that the two of you recruited David and Dan in 2015.  How did Ian and Tav meet, and what was your first jam session like?
Tav: I responded to Ians post for a drummer on the Santa Cruz craigslist in 2010 
Ian: Pretty awkward first jam session in the common room of the dorm I was living at, pretty loud and aimless.
Dan: Our first time meeting, we met in an 8ft x 8ft windowless room that had a bunch of empty beer cans, smelled like BO, and had a water cooler with no water in it.


David and Dan seem to be a perfect fit and complement to you.  How did you find them, and did the four of you hit it off right away, or did it take a while to click?
Ian: We auditioned one bass player and one drummer and they were Dan and Davey and they are equal members of the band now.
Tav: Astrologically each of us is from a different element so thats something.
David: By our powers combined...


What’s the first concert you ever went to?
Ian: Strokes, first impressions of earth tour
Tav: I think it was an Incubus show in Rochester


What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Ian: Sleep at cocoanut grove in santa cruz, they are from san jose so its was sort of a home town show
Tav: Yah that sleep show was really loud. The Faust show at Market Hotel in Brooklyn last year was also something special.


Ian sounds like he has listened to so many of my favorite guitar players; I would love to know who his two or three most influential guitar players have been. 
Ian: Jimmy Page, Vincent McAllister from Pentagram, and Wata from Boris

Are there any bands you have run into that you would like to recommend to us?
Tav: Oranssi Pazuzu, Aluk Todolo
Ian: Cough and Wretch are a few bands we liked this last year.


I’d be curious to know which New York sports teams you are fans of. (I made the mistake of assuming that they all grew up in New York, since they are listed as being from Brooklyn) 
Ian: Lakers even though they haven't been very good.
Dan: I'm going to a Nets game with my dad in March. I got him tickets for Christmas.

Do you anticipate any live shows in Massachusetts or Rhode Island this year?
Ian: Hopefully if Tavs car will hold out we will be able to play both of those places this year.

Much like a kid who plays basketball every single day eventually becomes one of the best players around, Heavy Traffic has become, in my view, one of the best psychedelic rock bands of any era.  I am really enjoying “Plastic Surgery”, and look forward to hearing your next release.  Thank you for taking the time for this interview, and I wish you all the best in 2017.

Ian: Wow thanks that means alot. We are working on recording something now and hopefully we can meet up again soon

I am sincere when I call them one of the best heavy psych bands of all time.  I hope you will check them out here and here on bandcamp

Don't know about you, but I'm about to go check out Oranssi Pazuzu, Aluk Todolo
and Cough (already got the latest Wretch album). Thanks for reading, hope you also checked out Heavy Traffic on my Best of 2016 playlist. Catch you next weekend - will have some kind of Superbowl post for you. Over and out! -ULTRA

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