Psychic Ills’ Elizabeth Hart Talks Road Trips, Vintage, Plus A Video Premiere!

For fans of all things heavy, trippy, and transcendent, Brooklyn-based band Psychic Ills has you covered. Comprised primarily of bassist, Elizabeth Heart, and vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, Tres Warren, the band is readying its fourth album, One Track Mind, for release on February 19 via venerable Brooklyn label Sacred Bones — home to acts like Zola Jesus, The Men, and Lust For Youth.
Perhaps the most rock-oriented album to date, One Track Mind continues Psychic Ills' quest to expand minds and melt eardrums, as the album occupies a doom-y realm where rock 'n' roll and séance are one and the same. We caught up with Hart to talk about her new record, some favorite places to stop on tour, and the new video for "One More Time," which we're premiering below.

Can you tell us a little bit about the new album? What sound did you want to capture with the album?
“We took a similar approach in the songwriting on One Track Mind as with Hazed Dream, where Tres was writing a lot of songs, and I would add bass lines, and we would arrange and discuss what else was needed for the track. Hazed Dream had a little more of a intimate bedroom vibe, and I think One Track Mind is a little heavier and rockin', if you will.”

The new songs definitely seem to be some of your tightest, most rock oriented yet.
“Yeah, I think it was just sort of a natural direction, especially in considering how the songs would translate live.”

The "One More Time" video has some pretty great, trippy imagery. How did the concept come about for the video?
"Tara Sinn directed the video. We were fans of her work, particularly the video she made for Phantom Payn Days' 'Paradox Box.' I was really happy with what she came up with for 'One More Time.'"

What's the ideal state of mind or listening situation to hear Psychic Ills?
"Ha! I don't know. I always thought of Hazed Dream as a Sunday morning listen or a cross-country road trip. 'One More Time' has a little more variety in the tone I feel. As a whole, I think this record has elements of all our previous releases."

Is there a story behind "One More Time"? What's the song about, and what was the recording process like?
"You would have to ask Tres about that one! We did all the basic tracking, the drums, bass, and guitar for the record in two days, and overdubs followed. For our music, it is pretty essential to get a strong take of the 'bones' of the song, so that the recordings have a live feel."


What are some of your favorite places to shop either in New York or on the road?
"There isn't a whole lot of time for shopping on tour, but if we have a few hours to kill after sound check or a day off, we usually try to hit a half-priced books or local record stores. One place on the road that I like to hit if we are passing through the Southwest is 'The Thing' off I-10 somewhere between Texas and Arizona. It has some far-out stuff there: crystals, bones, turquoise, biker duds, and weird dolls. In New York, I really like The Reformation and Tess Giberson and have been able to receive some of her clothes in trade for a track used in one of her videos once, so that is nice!"

What's one cheap score you've found shopping lately? Anything you're particularly stoked about?
"I'm not much of a shopper and have been pretty much recycling old, vintage pieces that have probably been in my closet for like 10 years, but I do have a few very talented designer friends though, so I love wearing their clothes. AWAVEAWAKE is my favorite — such gorgeous silhouettes and fabrics."

What's one thing you'd never ever leave behind when going on tour (aside from your bass)?
"Grapefruit Seed Extract in hopes that it will prevent me from getting sick!"

What makes a good outfit to play live in? Is it just what you'd wear around the street, or do you have certain things you save for the stage?
"I usually wear jeans, sometimes dresses. What I wear to play doesn't really vary at all from just what I wear daily."


Do you have a favorite venue or city to play?
"I'm not sure of my favorite place. I am honestly still mourning the closing of Tonic in New York."

What would your ideal Tuesday night look like?
"I like working on new music, dinner and wine with friends, chilling out at home. Tuesday nights, we most always rehearse, and playing music is a pretty ideal way to spend an evening."

Feb 07 New York, NY – Bowery #
Feb 13 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
Feb 14 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar !
Feb 15 Durham, NC - Duke University Coffeehouse
Feb 16 Atlanta, GA - 529
Feb 17 Nashville, TN – Exit/In %
Feb 18 Oxford, MS - Lamar Lounge %
Feb 19 Houston, TX - Mango's
Feb 20 Dallas, TX - Club Dada *
Feb 21 Austin, TX - Red 7 ^, *
Feb 22 Marfa, TX – Padres *
Feb 23 Tucson, AZ – Solar Culture
Feb 24 San Diego, CA - Soda Bar +
Feb 26 Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar +
Feb 27 Los Angeles, CA - The Space Temple
Feb 28 San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern, =
Mar 02 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge =
Mar 03 Vancouver, BC - Owl =
Mar 04 Seattle, WA - The Crocodile =
Mar 05 Boise, ID – Neurolux =, @
Mar 06 Salt Lake, UT - Urban Lounge =, @
Mar 07 Denver, CO - Hi Dive =, @
Mar 08 Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Music Hall =, @
Mar 09 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry =, $
Mar 10 Milwaukee, WI – Quarters =
Mar 11 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle =
Mar 12 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern
Mar 13 Toronto, ON - The Shop/Parts & Labor !
Mar 14 Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo
Mar 15 Cambridge, MA - T.T. the Bear's

# White Hills
! U.S. Girls
% Cloudland Canyon
^ Christian Bland
* Holy Wave
+ Gap Dream
= Föllakzoid
$ Robust Worlds
@ Blues Control

Photo: Courtesy of O. J. Xray Eyeballs

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