It’s been 22 years since Quicksand last released an album, their members having scattered into various projects including Rival Schools, Deftones and Vanishing Life among others following their mid-90s split. But, with the release of new album Interiors, it’s as if the band have never been away. Channeling the crunching guitars and infectious grooves that defined their sound back in the 90s – and went on to influence dozens of post-hardcore bands in their wake – with Interiors, the band pick up pretty much exactly where they left off – in the best possible way.
Below, Quicksand frontman Walter Schreifels takes us through new album Interiors song by song.
“This was the first track that we came up with, we had a bunch of jams and had little bits and pieces, but Illuminant was the first one that, in my mind, I thought was a new Quicksand song. I remember think ‘This is it, this works, now we just have to come up with another ten or fifteen songs like this one.’ So, it set the tone for the record.”
Under The Screw
“I wrote this song at Guitar Centre, I bought a guitar for $125 and I wrote the riff for it there. We were looking for a song that was inspired by this 1964, offset guitar that was kind of absurd looking, it was one of the latter songs written for the record and it has a much more aggressive feel. A lot of the material on the record is more laid back, but I wanted to showcase that more aggressive side of Quicksand.”
Warm And Low
“In writing it, Sergio and I were hanging out in my apartment and we just picked up our guitars, we jammed it out over coffee. We introduced it to Alan about a year later, but it was written less as a band but more as a couple of friends hanging out. Warm And Low was a working title and, when it came to lyrics, it was just about thinking ‘What does that mean?’, so you find the words that fit that narrative. When I think of warm and low I think of quite sexual things, so I think the song has quite a sexiness to it, but lyrically I’m not gonna write something skanky! Which is where it could go, so I try and fit the lyrics as pieces of a puzzle and find narrative from different turns of phrase.”
“We just put together some musical interludes and, rather than make it look like we had fifteen or sixteen songs, we just decided to symbolise them to keep the flow. We didn’t want to look like it was any deeper than just a musical interlude.”
“Cosmonauts I like because it’s definitely dealing with isolation, again it was a working title, but it made me wonder about how I felt about isolation. It relates to that, and especially to Quicksand fans because it’s been so long away. But musically I think it’s something very different for us, in a very cool way… I don’t wanna review my own song but I’m singing more. Which is nice. We obviously wanted to make a record for our fans, but our fans are different kinds of people now, they’re listening to different kinds of things. And for people coming to it new, it sounds good for us, and it is what we feel we should be doing, rather than an approximation of what other people think Quicksand should do.”
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“That one, I had recorded it after doing the Quicksand tour of the States where we had decided we wanted to do another record, but had problems scheduling it. I was in Germany in summer a few years ago and just recorded it on a little Garage Band thing, then when we got together to work on the album it was the second song that really took shape. It was like ‘Oh fuck, now we have two songs!’ So maybe that is why it became the title-track, it’s tricky when you’re looking at a blank canvas and it’s this big comeback album. Lyrically it follows the theme of much of the album, looking at yourself and trying to work out who you are. I’m talking to you as an artist to a journalist, but I’ll talk to my friend about what I did last night as a friend, then I might check in with my Mom and suddenly I’m a son. So, we all have these personalities that we inhabit, so you have to try and make sense of how you travel with that, and that’s an overarching theme of this record which is particularly prevalent in this song.”
“We wanted to make a song in 6⁄8, it’s a timing that gives you the feeling you’re on a ship, kind of seafaring, Fazer is in 6⁄8. We like it, so in a way we were sort of tipping the hat to that feeling, we had a few different ideas, Sergio came in with most of this and I had a chorus, we had this middle section that we took to another place. It’s a little bit of a homage to The Cocteau Twins, who are a really big influence on us, yeah, a seafaring, heavy metal Cocteau Twins.”
Fire This Time
“This song took many different shapes, we had a very basis riff, I wanted to tune down to A. It’s breaking down the musical structure, usually we would tune to D, but we wanted to go right down to A and have it that much lower and define a new heaviness for us. It’s a low as we’ve ever gone, and there’s kind of a Wire influence on there as well.”
Feels Like A Weight Has Been Lifted
“I think the title was something I had for something else, but I just liked the idea. The phrase puts an idea in your head, so I wanted to use it. I was going to use it for something else but I ended up messing around with the different working titles and we used it here. It came together very quickly, we only had a couple of weeks to prepare for recording and it was the first thing we did in rehearsals during a jam. In a lot of ways, it’s about our own legacy, we’ve got this legacy as Quicksand and we’ve got to try and create something cool to live up to it. That’s some heavy lifting, so for us to have done something we felt proud of, we did something to our satisfaction, that’s a pretty great thing for us to have achieved. We had to create a new context for this band.”
“This was just based around Alan’s drum beat, we wanted to make a song with a static drum beat, but the lyrics were one of those classic Quicksand finger pointing lyrics. We do have quite a few of them. I also like how crazy it sounds when I add the leads guitar parts over the top of it, that sounds really wild, there’s a heaviness in the delivery that feels cathartic. It’s not pretty or happy, but it is real.”
“The title is kind of funny, it’s about going out and having fun with your friends. How we wrote it was, again, over coffee at Sergio’s place. We had a crappy tape and we just worked it out together. Also, I think you hear the hip-hop influence on Quicksand here, I haven’t mentioned that, but we were influenced by Public Enemy as much as we were Led Zeppelin or Jane’s Addiction or Fugazi. I like that that influence is still there.”
Quicksand’s new album, Interiors, will be released on 10 November via Epitaph Records