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“A little is all it takes”: An Interview with Daughters

Entrevistas
Typography

This is the most ambitious and the longest album of Daughters' abrasive trajectory. Eerie, deliberately erratic and lyrical; You Won't Get What You Want was one of the highest-rated albums of 2018.

Its success continues with the band on tour throughout Europe. They have three upcoming dates in Spain: on October 10 they’ll play at Barcelona’s AMFest; on October 11 they’ll play at Dabadaba in Donostia-San Sebastián, and finally, on October 13 they’ll be playing at Sala Cool in Madrid. What awaits is a brutal experience, the whole album already is a macabre, grueling experience that drags you about the winding labyrinth of your own mind. Their song structures resemble a process, a very intimate and internal process, and with this, they’ve taken violence to a whole new level: You Won't Get What You Want is constantly confronting, if not dominating, its listener.

 

Starting with City Song and its lurking motion, its intermittent jolts lurch, like broken yellow lines on a dark road, a dark loop. The road cracks every now and then, debris hits, cracking the windshield. Our sense of direction is determined by the lyrics, and it starts to sprain along their internal monologue. It’s incredible how silent and isolating this album really is, how they use silence as a detonator. Right then and there something snaps and Long Road No Turns takes over with a steep fall, it speeds up with an arachnid pace; the friction rages and swarms up consuming everything it touches, like a mechanical plague, at this point, we've already lost control, we're no longer driving and we won't come to a stop until the very end of the album, and truthfully, we don't want it to stop, we want to go faster, there something so satisfying in this uneasiness, this uncertainty ahead. Urgency serves as fuel and is constantly shifting during The Flammable Man and The Lords Song. And, ah, lets not forget the tension: Satan in the Wait was one of the first tracks we listened from this album, and it's definitely one of its highlights; this is a war zone; the bass thrusts repeatedly as we're being swallowed with the entrails of the ground warped around our neck and a nostalgic blue blaze around us. Maybe the world we've been avoiding is shedding the skin we've placed upon it, and we're at awe with its true form, this form: our reflection. Less Sex moves in smoothly, it simmers slowly and burns, but the heat is bearable and paralyzes you in place, tempting your own endurance. We've lost ourselves to the flame, there's something sublime to this defeat, and then? We wait, the main melody of this song swirls quietly; as Daughter drifts, we bounce back, suspended in time to land in no man’s land: firm ground, dry steps march through a familiar yet darkened path as the sharp dissonances attack and try to snatch what remains of our sanity; drums light like wing-beats, a collected bass, and plenty of raw textures, for each texture a mirage. These start overlapping as they buffet relentlessly, swaying us up in the air, suddenly The Reason They Hate Me flares brightly and we’re set ablaze, we’re almost reaching the end at this point, and this is one of the most effective tracks yet. We’ve reached Ocean. We’ve mentioned that the songs resemble a process, the impact of their violence is a process as well and it continues to build, it’s a physically demanding album, it’s cynical and invasive, mechanical yet voracious. The lyrics are brilliant, its storytelling, its cadence and its characters are perfectly disturbing and could easily remind us of Tom Waits and Nick Cave. They’ve been able not only to maintain but also to increase the tension for about forty-five minutes and by Guest House their brutality turns into a devastating battering, strike after strike; towards the fourth verse, they incorporate brass and synthesizers and with them the promise of compliance, a glimpse of understanding and stillness.

 

Here's our interview with Nick Sadler:

-Even though this album appears to be softer, it's also the most violent and abrasive from your discography, the tracks are longer, more atmospheric; how has your creative process evolved throughout the years? 

The primary thing that I changed in order to make this album was to emphasize my own personal creative interests, rather than trying to write for the project in general. 

-Could you tell us more about the way you work with distortion?

I don't work with distortion in mind – there is far less on this album. Only a Fender Squire and a Boss Blues Driver for most of the album. I tried to make most of the distorted aspects of the album live with the bass.

 -How would you describe dissonance as a narrative resource? How do you relate to it and why is it so effective?

I don't know what that first part means, but dissonance is almost no longer dissonance at this point in time. It rarely feels the way it's meant to as a description of something opposite of harmony. Dissonance, though, is in some of the most melodic and harmonious music one might hear. 

-What images or sensations came to mind, or were you trying to accomplish while making this album?

None. 

-This album is rather visual, there is something almost cinematographic (maybe a glimpse to David Lynch's work?). Has cinema (or other disciplines such as literature, even dreams, if you will) inspired you throughout the process?

I'm a big fan of film scores and have been working towards a goal of creating them for a living, for years now. One of my main goals in making this album was to find a way to let that particular motivation in, while not completely undermining the core elements that sound like Daughters – we needed, at least with this release, to still focus on being a solid live rock band. David Lynch was never a consideration, but Lex and I read quite a bit, so literature, poetry, and lyric writing are always influences.

-You released a music video for "Less Sex", could you tell us more about it and how the concept came about?

Not really. One of our former members who left the band many years ago to work on films in Hollywood heard the song, saw the video in his mind, and had it made. Jeremy is a very talented visual artist and motion graphics engineer, so we agreed and put our trust in his abilities. We knew he would make something nice for us. 

-This album provokes and invades its audience with a delirious and constant confrontation. How has it been its reception? How does it feel to be back and on tour?

Being back on tour, traveling, seeing the world, and meeting people has been incredible. However, Lex, Jon, and I toured regularly with other bands while Daughters was away. Interest in the band has grown pretty quickly, so we are now touring in a way that is new to us. As such, there have been plenty of learning curves and growing pains. We love it though. 

(All the pictures in this article were taken by Jonathan Velazquez).


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