Soft Kill—a formidable post-punk band comprised of Tobias Sinclair, Conrad Vollmer, Maximillion Avalon, and Owen Glendower have just released their best album to date, topping their last release Heresy by evolving a lusher sound that is reminiscent of classic cold-wave bands like Asylum Party and Little Nemo—with the opening track off of the record Whirl sounding like the two french bands collaboration project TeePee that was featured on the Lively Art 13 compilation,
In contrast to the French influences—listen to Choke’s third track Wake Up above, a song that stylistically stands out on the record—with a bassline that sounds more American Dreampop like that found in the music of For Against, or The Ocean Blue via Cerulean.
Choke also features an amazing collaboration with Chameleons vocalist Mark Burgess on the track On The Inside.
Following the release of Choke on November 4th, we dropped a line to front-man Tobias Sinclair about the band’s origins, the new record, and touring:
What are the origins of Soft Kill? Can you tell us about the previous band Blessure Grave?
Blessure Grave was me and a four track, rushing ideas. Soft Kill was Justin Gradin, Shiloe Alia and I jamming in a warehouse in Los Angeles. ‘An Open Door’ was intended to be the second Blessure Grave record but we changed the name when the material was obviously so much different.
Has Portland had any influence on the band’s sound?
Absolutely not. The only thing Portland has ever inspired in me is a desire to move away from there as often as possible.
Heresy was a very popular record, how did the band evolve since it’s release?
We started writing songs together as a band after Heresy instead of just reworking my demos. We also started touring in a more meaningful way.
What new ideas have Soft Kill brought into Choke?
More focus on guitar interplay for sure, some weirder influences like Pulp and Spacemen 3.
How did Mark Burgess get involved with collaborating on a the track “On the Inside,” was this just a result of touring with ChameleonsVox?
We toured with Chameleons right after Heresy dropped and thought it would be cool to have him guest on the record.
Besides The Chameleons, and Cocteau Twins, I read that you are a fan of Lowlife, Sad Lovers and Giants, and Asylum Party. Would you recommend any songs by these bands, or any other bands you feel are relevant?
I think at this point there isn’t anything I could suggest that people don’t already know, their discographies are pretty flawless for the genre. In terms of things currently relevant to me I’d suggest people seek out Tollund Men’s last album Autoerotik and Human Leather.
“Heresy” was re-released via Michael Thiel and Weryd Son records?
We love Michael and we’re so happy with the reissue he did, probably the most gorgeous packaging we’ve seen.
Plans to tour Europe in 2017?
Absolutely. My wife is dying to go and I’ll never hear the end of it if I don’t take her!