INTERVIEW: POST ANIMAL by Elena Childers

Chicago-based psych rock band Post Animal has already come out with new music this year, a cinematic masterpiece of a music video, their new album comes out next month, and the five-piece has embarked on a headlining North American tour. It’s not even halfway through the year yet and these guys have already gotten so much done. They were on the course for the same achievements back in the beginning of 2020, but we all know what happened then. Dreams were cut short and lives were put on pause.


Post Animal had just released the album Forward Motion Godyssey and was already on the road touring it—but the pandemic really told the musicians, “sit the fuck down.” The artists could no longer show the world and their fans everything they had been working so hard on and it devastated them. With their hearts yearning to play live again, they partnered with Levitation and decided to record a live session and share their new music the only way they could during the quarantine times.

Now, chatting with the band’s drummer Wes Toledo and guitarist Javi Reyes, they claim this to be their best recorded live session yet. 

Read the entire interview with Post Animal’s Toledo and Reyes below:


Post Animal - Levitation Sessions

POST ANIMAL

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Elena Childers (EC): Hey, what’s up! I saw the new video for the single—awesome! Was that all green screen craziness?

Wes Toledo (WT): As much as I wish it had been real practical effects, it was green screen. It was awesome. It was so fun! We had never done a green screen music video before. We always wanted to do one.

 

EC: That’s so rad. And now, your new album comes out May 13th and you have a North American tour this summer—you guys have a lot on your plate. What do you do to decompress from all that music mayhem?

Javi Reyes (JR): Just hanging out and watching movies at night. Or just some people do their own thing. I think with the band, what can be really exhausting is that it’s a group agenda all the time and I think some people really don’t thrive on that. They need to charge up on some individual time where they can call their own shots and not have to be at the mercy of the group. 

EC: Oh totally, totally. I feel that. Well, let’s talk about this Levitation Session. Tell me everything! Why did you choose that venue?

WT: Well we chose [the venue] Sleeping Village. We were trying to find a proper venue [and] the sound in there is really good. We tried to find a place outside, but that was just too hard to pull all that together. So it was just like, let’s go to a venue where we know we’re gonna get good sound and know we’re going to be able to spend the needed amount of time in there filming it. Sleeping Village, we know some people there that run that venue. In terms of song selection, we wanted to mostly do stuff that was new at the time, so our last record and the EP that we put out during the quarantine days. We really wanted to highlight that because we didn’t get to tour that stuff. We wanted to have documentation of that on the internet and for people to see who might’ve really liked those records. We threw old songs in there too, but it was mainly newer stuff that we were really excited to play live and have people hear. 

JR: Our album tour for ‘Forward Motion Godyssey’ got totally nipped two days in. So we wanted to get some proof that we could play those songs. And Sleeping Village is a relatively new venue, it’s just a super cool place. For when you go to a show, it’s really cool. They have a fresh approach to a venue. I don’t know if you saw, but we covered the floor in grass. 

 

Photo by Maggie McInerney

 

EC: I saw that! It confused me. I couldn’t figure out if you guys were inside or outside. 

WT: That’s great that you couldn’t really tell! 

JR: Yeah, it was just this super weird idea. I think maybe Jake had that idea, to just lay down a bunch of grass. To see it actually happen was pretty funny. 

EC: Very cool. So I’m sure you guys as a band have done lots of live sessions before, how was this one unique for you all?

JR: … The grass was a big thing. 

[All Laugh]

WT: This was the best session we’ve ever done. In terms of where we’re at as a band; in terms of just how we’ve grown as musicians and live artists, this is the best we’ve sounded. It was a little more cinematic, you know? It looked really really good. The whole vibe of the video was so very pointed and focused. Like, we were trying to do a “piece.” We were trying to go for something that wasn’t just a live session. It was a little more vibey for lack of a better word. We just vibe these days. 

JR: Yeah, Alec’s done like four of our music videos. I think he got a sense of what we like and for him to really lean into it—like dramatic and cinematic. He just had a sense of what we like, so it was cool to have that tailored to us. And also, it’s the only live session where Dalton, our bass player, he’s the guy who mixes all of our music, so he mixed that [the live session], which was also cool to have his input. It sounds maybe more like how our records sound, he was totally able to place everything where we like it. 

EC: Did you want your viewers to get anything special out of this session or were you guys just trying to vibe?

WT: Mainly, I wanted everyone to get a taste of the newer songs that we never got to play live. That was the main thing. And it was more documentation of us as a band to get out there for people who like us to enjoy. 

JR: Just to step inside our world for a second. Just get lost in it and enjoy some big moments, some remixed versions of songs, and maybe people will see it and want to come see us live. 

Photo by Alec Basse

 

EC: Awesome! Well, we’ve got to wrap up, anything else you guys wanna add?

WS: Yeah! Whoever is reading this, come see a show! Come see us live. 

JR: Yeah, come to the Austin show, Elena!

EC: Levitation is based in Austin, but I’m actually in NYC. 

JR: Well then come to the Austin show, fly back to New York. Go to the New York show. Follow us along the entire east coast.

EC: Great idea! I’ll just be a deadhead but for you guys, a… posthead? A deadanimal??

[All Laugh]

WS: Definitely! It’ll be fun. 

EC: Great! Well, then I’ll see you every day of your tour!

Photo by Maggie McInerney

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