Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:51

Deafheaven Finds Success in Defying Genres

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Deafheaven Deafheaven Courtesy photo

Deafheaven wsg Sapphic and Dakhma
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Oct. 1, 8 p.m.
$15, (616) 272-3758

Sometimes the best partnerships in music are forged in friendship. Just ask George Clark and Kerry McCoy, the core duo behind Deafheaven. While many other band members have come and gone, Clark and McCoy have remained a constant driving force of the band.

“We've been friends for a really long time,” Clark said. “I think we first started messing around with music together when we were like 16, but nothing serious. We really formed our music partnership when we were 18 or 19, and that just sort of continued up until now.”

In 2010 they formed Deafheaven as a way to experiment with sounds reminiscent to the American and French black metal they were interested in at the time. As the band grew, so did its sound.

“We played together more, and essentially over time you begin to find your own voice and things like that,” Clark said. “I think we became comfortable expanding in different directions and just ended up sounding the way that we sound.”

The band's unique mixture of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock earned it critical acclaim, with Deafheaven's 2013 album Sunbather finding its way to the top of many critics' year-end best-of lists. Clark said this gave the band a “vote of confidence, which is something that we absolutely needed.” Additionally, the rest of the band that performed on the album has stuck, making this the longest-running lineup in the history of Deafheaven.

Since Sunbather, the band has been touring relentlessly in America and Europe, and recently put out a new single “From the Kettle Onto the Coil” as part of the Adult Swim singles series. The experience working on the single was a fresh one for Clark.

“The thought process with writing a single as opposed to writing an album is you can just sort of have fun with the single,” Clark said. “It doesn't necessarily need to fit as a part of a bigger picture.”

For diehard fans who are anxious for even more music from the band, Clark has good news.

“We're going to finish up the rest of the year doing the rest of our touring, and then we plan on working on a new record."

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