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LISTEN: Stream Lay Llamas' Ostro LP
Connor Bryan , May 21st, 2014 07:44

Plus, the band give us the inside track on their genre-spanning full-length

We've previously heard 'We Are You' from Rocket Recordings' Sicilian masters of the psychedelic, Nicola Giunta and Gioele Valenti, otherwise known as Lay Llamas, and now, ahead of its release next week, we've got the album in full - listen above. We asked the duo to fill us in on the album, their upcoming shows (including supporting label mates Goat on their UK tour in autumn; see the dates below) and tapping Sicily's ancient spirits for the psychedelic manifesto.

What can a new listener expect from "Pagan Post-Punk"?

Nicola Giunta: I've used those words about a track from Ostro titled 'The Lay Llamas', trying to describe something rough and spiritual at the same time. Anyway, as "pagan" I mean a weird melting made of different kind of religions, ancient traditions, experimental sciences, popular legends, astronomy, primitivism and altered states of mind.

You've been described as possibly being "the perfect archetypal Rocket band". Why do you think this is?

Gioele Valenti: Good question. I think, semantically speaking, that Rocket has to do with my childhood concept of archetype when we speak of an indie label - something like the death and resurrection of the gods of the classical Mediterranean age, an imaginary idea made of great bands, almost heroes. Reported to us, I can not but be flattered.

NG: This is a great achievement I think - we love Rocket Recordings and its catalogue. Of course, we hadn't planned it as goal when we started to compose Ostro! With that phrase, I could only imagine it comes from the tracks contained in Ostro reaching the typical Rocket aesthetic: a polymorphic idea of psychedelic music from the XXI century!

You recorded next to the 6th century BC Temple Of Hera near Castelvetrano, which must have been fascinating. How did the setting influence the energy of the new record?

NG: As I said during other interviews, those places have a particular kind of magic. Hard to describe. It's something built more than 2500 years ago and you can feel all the history if you stay in front of it. Something from the past that will be still there in the future, far from us. And that is also the aesthetic idea on which we based Ostro: an ancient futurism. And, of course, the music follows on from that, trying to go beyond a simple mixing of musical genres.

GV: The places rich of history bring - in their sedimentation, in their deep archaeology - emotional traces of the people and events that took place there. Personally, I am very sensitive to "vibration". Part of the emotion experienced by recording in those places has been captured inside the disc, or so I like to think.

What was it like having Tom Furse remix one of your tracks?

GV: Hey man, it was great; Tom has a gentle touch and a magic power of representation. 'We Are You' is almost our aesthetic manifesto, and I think Tom has done excellent work on it.

NG: I was very surprised and happy when the guys from Rocket told us about Tom's remix. I mean, he plays in a really famous band and we're on our debut album! Anyway, from the first mail he sent us, we understood what a great and lovely man he is. Just three days afterwards, he sent us the remix, ready to master! A really smart, professional musician with good taste. I love the work he did on 'We Are You'.

You guys have lots of exciting gigs coming up this year – what shows are you most looking forward to?

NG: Well, every one of the next shows in Europe - and Italy, of course - are warmly awaited by all of us in the band (Matteo Pin on guitar, William Zancan on drums and Gianluca Herbertson on synthesisers are the wonderful guys that play with us for the live shows). But in my opinion, two of them will be very important in putting Lay Llamas on the map: Eindhoven Psych Lab is first on June 6, our first show outside Italy, and second, opening for Goat at London's Roundhouse on October 3: one of the best European bands and the best European place to play in at the moment!

GV: Every show, for us, is a great happening and an exciting experience, for which I feel blessed; the Liverpool Psych Fest, for me, has a great meaning.


Sun 28 - SWG3, Glasgow
Mon 29 - Northumbria University, Newcastle

Wed 1 - Concorde, Brighton
Thu 2 - Trinity Centre, Bristol
Fri 3 - Roundhouse, London