Q&A Chris Sch­larb: “Bands and cults are very sim­i­lar…”

Psy­chic Tem­ple seems from the out­side to be a kind of sprawl­ing col­lec­tive in con­stant flux: is that how you en­vis­age it?

UNCUT - - New Albums -

At a cer­tain point I just started call­ing it a cult, be­cause of the way any band works un­der a leader with a vi­sion. Bands and cults are very sim­i­lar. When you go on tour, you’re driv­ing from city to city pros­e­lytis­ing and try­ing to gain a fan­base… fol­low­ers, if you will. Most bands are serv­ing one vi­sion at a time. Psy­chic Tem­ple is def­i­nitely my vi­sion, my aes­thetic. How­ever, all I care about is the mu­sic and serv­ing the song, not my ego. I’m not try­ing to play every in­stru­ment on the record. I’m try­ing to find the best mu­si­cians I can to draw the best out in the mu­sic.

You have the great bassist max ben­nett on the al­bum. what’s his play­ing like at 89?

I had Carol Kaye in mind. I took lessons from her years back and reached out to her on a pre­vi­ous record but she de­clined. When I started writ­ing this new batch of songs, I sent Max an email and he called me an hour later. He said he en­joyed the mu­sic. He was 87 at the time! I mean, Max played on some of my favourite ever al­bums: Zappa’s Hot Rats, Joni’s mid-’70s al­bums… He came down to the stu­dio, wrote his charts out, brought a bag of al­monds and played his ass off.

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