Indian Bassist Talks New Album For Relapse Records, Dream Tour
'Guiltless,' the latest full-length offering by Chicago's Indian, is a dense, heavy collection of seven relentless tracks filled with molten beds of guitar, intense, barely discernable vocals, and a rhythm section that operates like dueling bulldozers. After having released three full-lengths on Seventh Rule Records, Indian have teamed up with the folks at Relapse for their latest release, due out April 12th in North America.
Bassist Ron DeFries took some time out to chat with us about the new record and some updates to the band's line-up.
What is the basic rundown on the band?
Dylan and I met about 10 years ago at the bar I work at and it basically started there. Neither one of us had ever been in a band before so we said what the f---, let's give it a shot. Eight years and three drummers later, Indian [consists of] Dylan O'Toole (vocals-guitar), Will Lindsay (vocals-guitar), Bill Bumgardner (drums), Sean Patton (synth/noise), and myself on bass.
You already have three other full-length releases on Seventh Rule Records. Can you briefly go into the details of those releases?
Honestly, we never started the project to be in a heavy band. Countless tunings, guitars, and amp/cab configurations is ultimately what led to our sound. 'The Unquiet Sky' was more of an outline than anything else, or I should say, we had a bunch of riffs that we were happy with but no real song structure. That album definitely came together in the studio with a lot of help from Sanford. With 'Slights and Abuse' we had all intention of getting in the studio with much better song structure and a more concise vision of what we were going after.
You have a new record coming out on Relapse. How did you connect with the Relapse crew?
Dylan and I had been talking about adding a guitar player as soon as the 'Slights' sessions were finished. We did a west coast tour with Middian, with whom Will was playing bass for at the time. Somehow we knew he was the guy. Two years later, he moved to Chicago and we started writing. We demoed a few tracks with Sanford soon after, he sent it to Relapse, and we got signed.
What is the writing process like with Indian?
Democratic, painstaking, and at times violent. No song is any one band members, that is, everyone's ideas and input are what lead to the final product.
The record has a very dense, brutal sound. What was the recording process like?
The recording process sucks. It's tedious, exhausting, and really f---ing boring, so the overall disgust that we're all feeling while in the studio really adds to the final result.
What are the main influences for the band, collectively and individually?
All five of us listen to all styles of music, but mostly outlaw country.
Do you have any touring plans for this year?
We're planning on hitting both coasts this summer and Europe in the fall.
What would be your dream tour?
Melvins, Eyehategod, Mastodon, High on Fire, Hank III, Waylon, Hank Sr., Willie, and Merle.