Skinny dudes with hyper sensitive nipples, that is how i described the sound of Hyper Thistle to my mom, who is obsessed with instrumental artists. She fucking loves that shit in a way that makes both me and my dog Hanzo uncomfortable, but hey that's what you get for being a 40 year old man who still calls his childhood bedroom "the command center".
So you can imagine how bat shit ol' ma dukes went when I played her Hyper Thistle, the amazing new album from shirtless chisel chest assholes Pressed And. The whole house smelled like cigarettes and cheap gin, I fucking puked in my mouth bro.
Pressed And is a long time SYFFAL favorite, these fragile pricks make the kind of music that makes me feel semi macho while driving my FIAT, or as my aunt Susie calls it Fix It Again Tony. Susie is funny as shit bro.
Pressed And just dropped a gem of an EP on Mush Records which, as I imagine you already figured out, is called Hyper Thistle and sounds kind of like you would imagine a night hanging out with Rick Ross would feel. Filled with infinite possibilities and a shit ton of guns.
These adorable pricks recently sat down with us to discuss all matters of things and fucking raided our fridge for all the cheap vodka, the fucking assholes.
SYFFAL: Where you been bro?
Pressed And (PA): Everywhere! We toured the entire country (US) earlier this year and just finished an east coast tour. When not in the car, I have spent most of my time in Atlanta but have also been in North Carolina and New York.
SYFFAL: So Hyper Thistle is your second outing, what did you learn from the first album that helped with this one, and were your more or less shirtless while recording it?
PA: The ideas for Hyper Thistle first came during the Fall of 2011, before Imbue Up came out. I felt inspired to record live guitar, and Mat wanted to experiment with quantization, or lack thereof. The tracks sat for a bit, and then we rediscovered them while on our first national tour. We would drive and edit, and I think much of the EP’s essence comes from that sense of sitting and moving at the same time.
We wanted Hyper Thistle to be less synthetic and less abstract than Imbue Up. I think we accomplished that by including real instruments and giving it a more “human” feel.
No, no shirtless recording or editing. In fact, we were bundled up while in the car. It’s cold out there!
SYFFAL: Way to ruin my spank-o-tronic fantasy bank bro. So you guys have been touring like crazy, by now I guess you have found the best and worst of america. Here is a list of topics, you tell me which city has the best and worst of each:
Best: Bottletree Bakery in Oxford, MS.
Worst: Airport Chinese, in general.
Best: The Midwest has some amazing electronic musicians. We were surprised to see so many modular synthesizers in Iowa, haha.
Worst: The first time we played in Athens, GA, a punk band incited a mosh pit right before our set. That killed the vibe.
SYFFAL: Fat people
Best: Morgantown, WV.
Worst: New Jersey Turnpike rest stops.
Best: The Bay Area.
Worst: College towns.
Best: We met a couple in Illinois that took us in and fed us delicious cupcakes.
Worst: The ones that accuse you of being asexual when you politely tell them you already have sleeping accommodations.
Best: Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar in Charlottesville, VA. They serve tea and craft beer. The vibe is a mix of Appalachia and Zen Buddhism; it reminds me of our forthcoming album.
Worst: Beauty Bar stalks us…
Best: Highway 101 cyclists! Those guys know how to take in a view.
Worst: Not a big fan of “fixie” populations. Biking can be an efficient form of both transportation and exercise.
SYFFAL: Dog leash laws
Best: Backwoods Virginia and North Carolina. Late at night, dogs roam free and hang out in the middle of highways.
Worst: Not sure on the laws exactly, but I hear in Brooklyn you have to learn doggy CPR in order to be certified as a professional dog walker.
SYFFAL: So you have gone the sort of indie route, and now you are on a label (mush) how are the two different and which one has better drugs?
PA: I don’t see indie and electronic music as mutually exclusive. I think of Pressed And as indietronica.
We are really excited to have the opportunity to release music on Mush. To be considered among the likes of Bibio, Daedelus, Lymbyc Systym, and cLOUDDEAD is very humbling.
Pressed And runs on caffeine; Mat and I play best while under the influence of espresso and green tea. We find that open-minded audiences respond best to our music. Our music doesn’t work well with alcohol. Drunk people like our beats though, haha.
SYFFAL: So Hyper Thistle, what the Fuck is that shit all about?
PA: First, let us clear the air. I think a good number of people in our immediate community think we took the name from another successful, up and coming group. We didn’t. We only saw the connection after we submitted the EP to the label.
We arrived upon the name by each choosing one word. I chose “hyper.” I had been interested in Jean Baudrillard and his idea of Hyperreality and also thought “hyper” accurately described the feeling of movement I mentioned earlier. Mat chose “thistle” because he thought the EP evoked a pink/purple hue, similar to that of the thistle flower.
The shape of the thistle flower very much parallels a visualization of organized sound, or just energy in general. The lower frequencies group in the middle while the higher frequencies branch out and surround the inner cluster. In that way, Hyper Thistle can be visualized as the product of many different thistle flowers bunched together.
SYFFAL: Promote something awesome that isn't you.
PA: WFMU has a new monthly program called Radio Free Culture. It’s great! If you are interested in the current state of music and digital media, tune in.
Also, shout outs to Dwight, Liz, and Jheri from Decoder and Crash Symbols and Dave, Vic, and Nathaniel from Stadiums and Shrines.
And of course, Syffal! Thank you for keeping us laughing while discovering new music.