Brooklyn-based acid rockers Psychic Ills first got together in 2003, and released their debut album, Dins, three years later. Now the trio’s back with a brand new disc, Hazed Dream, another richly experimental soundscape that incorporates elements of dub, electronica, Southern rock, and a universe of other genres that humans have yet to discover. Ills bassist Elizabeth Hart recently took some time off to give us the lowdown on Dream.
Where does your band’s name come from? I can’t remember the specific name of the book, but it was Tres that got the name from a book about nine years ago. What genres do you reference in your music? We take references from different things, not just music. In the last year or so, we wanted to brighten the mood a bit. It kind of felt like we were having a breakthrough as a band, including personal things in our lives, and we wanted to lift that weight and make a record that felt good. With songs like “Mexican Wedding” and “Ring Finger,” there’s a lot of romance on this record. Yeah, well, Tres wrote the lyrics, so I can’t really speak for him on that, but we also have ties to Texas, and sometimes the culture creeps into our music. I think we were thinking about what a Mexican wedding would be like when we came up with that song. You participate in side projects, like improvisational dance. What’s that like? It’s awesome! It’s basically me and some of my best girl friends dancing and singing together, and we’ve been doing it together for a while. Do outside projects influence Psychic Ills? I think they’re pretty separate, although I do feel like there is a community within all of it. I guess it does all crossover in a way in that we all know each other, and know our different interests, and we support each other in that way. But I wouldn’t say it crosses over literally. Did you always want to be a musician? I actually started playing music when I met Tres in college. He gave me a guitar and that’s when I started playing. It was actually my second guitar. I got my first guitar when I was eleven, but stuck it out for a short time (Laughs). Are there women in music that you look up to? I’m a big fan of Stevie Nicks. My friends and I even have a monthly Stevie Nicks DJ night at Heathers, every first Monday of the month. I think Kate Bush is amazing. I’m very inspired by her too.