Horse Lords

Horse Lords

interview by Valerio D'Onofrio

You are a band of four young musicians but in fact your first studio album dates back to 2012, which is eleven years ago. What has changed in your music and in your life from 2012 to today?

Much has changed in our lives since 2012, too much to write down! But musically, I would say we have more-or-less the same goals and purpose moving forward. In some ways we are closer to completing these goals—whether compositional, spiritual, or interpersonal. In other ways we are still figuring out how to function as a band, as a group of people and artists. A wise woman once said “Every day is a winding road.”

Your new Lp “Comradely” has been very appreciated on Ondarock as well as the previous one, “The Common Task”. What are the differences between the two albums in your opinion?

“The Common Task” was created in the standard Horse Lords way - we spent months writing a piece, improved and refined it in rehearsal and live/on tour for months, and then went into a studio and recorded it live. With “Comradely Objects,” due to the global pandemic, this way of creating an album was not possible. We spent a few months writing material from scratch, then did mostly multi-track recording and now we are figuring out how to play it live.

Your music is often labelled as math-rock, post-rock, or post-minimalist. Do you recognize yourself in any of these definitions?

People can hear and project what they want, and it is perfectly legitimate, but none of us were influenced by or recognize ourselves in math rock. We may share some of the same influences as other groups with the label, but post-rock is also a category we do not identify with. Post-Minimalism however is a label that makes sense for what we do—using Minimalism’s emphasis on process and repetition but applying it outside of classical contexts, and listening to folk and popular music (including less self-consciously “interesting” kinds of rock music) through its filter.

It seems to me that the music of Philip Glass has inspired you in some compositions, am I wrong?

You’re not wrong, but what you’re hearing may come more from influences we share with Philip Glass than from direct inspiration.

Are you academically trained, or you are self-taught?

Two of the four members studied music in college but all of us are primarily self-taught.

What differences there are in terms of listening among the members of your band? Do you listen to similar music?

The music in the tour van is very diverse. We enjoy all types of music (except math rock).

I read that you are also experts in alternative tunings, who inspires you?

James Tenney, Maryanne Amacher, Ellen Arkbro, Marcus Pal, Julia Reidy, Catherine Lamb.

Thanks for your availability, I'll close by asking if you’re already working on the next album.

We are currently working on a collaborative project with a fellow American composer living in Germany, Arnold Dreyblatt, which may eventually become a record.

 Horse Lords (2012, Ehse Records, 2012) 
 Hidden Cities (NNA Tapes, 2014) 
Interventions (Northern Spy Records, 2016) 
The Common Task (Northern Spy Records, 2020) 
 Comradely Objects (RVNG Intl., 2022) 

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