Shannon Joy of the LA Music Blog recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Scott Kelly of long-running Oakland, California-based industrial/alternative/metal pioneers NEUROSIS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
LA Music Blog: "Live At Roadburn 2007" [was] finally released [last month]. Out of all of your shows and festival appearances, why was this specific performance chosen for a live recording?
Scott Kelly: We listened to everything — we just kind of went through everything we had, and this just seemed like the best one, the best overall. You just have to take into account the performance, the recording itself, and then the content, and just make a decision. And the fact that it was at Roadburn probably played into our decision at some point too, just because we have some loyalty to those guys; they're good people that run that festival. It's a really great event, and doing something to kind of honor them and their work, it kind of came into play as well. Had it been a crappy performance with a bad recording, we probably wouldn't have put it out, but we just felt like it was a good representation of a live show. Oftentimes, we're pretty sloppy, but that was a pretty good performance.
LA Music Blog: Considering the show was recorded three years ago, were there any hold backs with releasing it, or was it just a matter of fitting it into your schedule?
Scott Kelly: It really had to do with getting it done. Just getting it mixed, just going through everything, making sure that we had what we wanted. We don't tend to move especially fast with stuff, you know? We kind of just let things marinate a little bit, or fester, however you want to say it.
LA Music Blog: Are there any plans for a live DVD to accompany the album?
Scott Kelly: Nah, I don't think that'd be too nice. [Laughs] For us, it'd be kind of weird. That's never really been our thing; it's always been quite the opposite, actually. I mean, a video of us performing live — there's enough of those out there if you want to see what we look like playing, but we've never been willing to basically sacrifice a performance in order for there to be camera people all over the stage. I think the only time that anyone ever got away with it was in Brooklyn a couple of years ago, and they happened to be really, really good at it, so that we didn't really notice that they were there. Because otherwise, to me, there's no way that you can justify that: I can't justify sacrificing one live performance for a video shoot, you know? That, to me, is just sacrilege.
LA Music Blog: In terms of the new release, is there any sort of tentative timeline for when you're looking to put it out?
Scott Kelly: Next year is the tentative time frame.
LA Music Blog: Any specific time next year?
Scott Kelly: It'll be later, I'm sure . . . We're just trying to finish it right now. We're trying to get it to the point where we can step into the studio. And it's getting close, but we have more work to do. Our schedules are pretty ridiculous. We all work regular jobs, so we just have to find time to get together and work on this stuff. The winter is usually a good, creative time for us, so hopefully we'll come out of the winter with the record completed and then we can have a more solid release date in mind.
LA Music Blog: For a long time now, you've seemed to be pretty picky about the shows that you play. Is there a specific reason why you don't tour so much? Is it because you all have regular jobs, or is it because everyone has side projects as well?
Scott Kelly: It has a lot to do with the fact that we all have families. It has a lot to do with the fact that we just felt that when we were in the constant touring cycle, that everything was totally out of balance. The reason that we started this band wasn't to tour all the time; we started this band to create music, and we felt that the music was suffering because of the touring, and we felt that that was basically just unacceptable. We put this band together with some really high principles with how we were going to do things, and we've just never been willing to compromise. We felt like we were reaching a point where we were basically being forced to by the business aspect of things. The fact is that if you're on the road all the time, you have to make a certain amount of money to take care of everybody back home. And in that, in turn, you're compromising your time with your children and your wife and your family, and that's always been really important to us, to have that balance. So those were the main contributing factors to us just deciding that we didn't want to just grind it out on the road all the time. We'll take any offer, and we'll look at it and if it makes sense, we'll do it. If it's a good time for us, then we'll do it. But in general, we just try to balance. It's all about balance, and being on tour six or seven months out of the year keeps things all fucked up; nothing is right, nothing feels right. So right now, between this and SHRINEBUILDER and all my solo stuff, that's about as much as I can handle, I'm not really willing to be gone any more than that.
Read the entire interview from the LA Music Blog.