Concerts

Ahead of DFW Show, Post Animal Discuss Their New Album, Being Offered DMT On Tour

Post Animal comes to Dada on May 19. They'll be staying in a hotel, most likely.
Post Animal comes to Dada on May 19. They'll be staying in a hotel, most likely. Courtney Sofiah Yates
One strange night in 2017 in El Paso, the gentlemen of Post Animal found themselves in a unique situation. They were on tour with fellow Chicago-based rockers Twin Peaks and spent most of their afternoon collectively picking away at a rotisserie chicken “like vultures,” as guitarist/keyboardist Jake Hirshland describes it. It was their second-ever show being on tour, and they learned to navigate the rules of the road quickly.

“Back then, we really had to hustle,” Hirshland says. “Like, we were asking in the microphone if anyone had anywhere for us to stay.”

That night, an audience member did graciously offer up his apartment to the band, and that’s when things got weird. “He was about to go to bed,” adds guitarist Javi Reyes. “We had the lights turned out. He was in the threshold of his bedroom, and suddenly he was like, ‘You guys want to do some DMT?’ and we were like, ‘We’re good.’"

And so began the touring life of one of Chicago’s premier psychedelic rock bands, Post Animal, who are scheduled to return to DFW for a show at Dada on May 19 with Caroline Kingsbury. The band is gearing up to release their third full-length LP, Love Gibberish, on May 13, and at the time of our conversation, the band is getting ready to play a festival in Mexico as they reminisce of their earliest days on tour, thankful they no longer have to ask the audience for a place to stay.

“We're staying in hotels now,” says drummer Wesley Toledo with a laugh. “We're not old, we're just older. Being 28, 29 is different than being 23 or 24, we need our rest.”

“We’re big iced coffee drinkers though,” adds guitarist Matt Williams. “5-Hour Energy drinks are just flavor shots.”

"No matter how many people show up, you just got to keep the rock going.” – Post Animal guitarist Matt Williams

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That show in El Paso may have been a little under-attended, but they learned another important thing that night (aside from don’t always accept offers to stay in the homes of strangers): Always play your heart out, no matter how small the crowd.

“We were still kind of learning,” Williams says. “We’re brothers with Twin Peaks, and we were kind of learning how it all goes. And it was an instance of like, ‘OK, this isn't a very well-attended show, but this band still rocks out as hard as they can. They still want to go all out.’ And I remember learning that's one of those things you got to do. You know, no matter how many people show up, you just got to keep the rock going.”

Post Animal’s signature sound is a rich psychedelia in the vein of Australian neo-psych trailblazers Tame Impala, but with a decidedly more oblique approach to genre-mixing. One of their latest singles, “No More Sports,” is a full-on RAWK rocker that sounds caught somewhere between being a pastiche and a parody of “Cat Scratch Fever,” and somehow, they pull it off.

“I made the riff one morning on acoustic guitar,” Reyes says. “That morning in 2020 we were going to go in, practice and just going to kind of throw paint at the wall and figure out what we were going for and also to give Dalton [Allison, bassist/engineer/producer] an opportunity to experiment with some engineering techniques. I went in and started playing that, and we just kind of locked into what it felt that it should be. We were making that the week that Eddie Van Halen died, so we were definitely revisiting some Van Halen and some '80s radio rock. It was bleeding into the writing that just felt really fun to be to do something big like that.”

Adds Toledo: “That stadium hard rock vibe was not something that we'd really explored that much. And then ‘No More Sports’ kind of came about and it was a good opportunity to experiment with that sound and kind of go all over the place like we usually do.”

Allison is not present for our conversation, but his physical presence is not needed for the band to sing his praises. “We have the sound that we have, and we think that Dalton has been the architect of that sound,” Toledo says. “He’s produced everything up until this point.”

Up until this point, the band’s recordings have been mostly home recordings produced with DIY setups — a bit shocking, considering the fidelity of the recordings is much higher than a bedroom psychedelic project would normally be.

“We’ve been lucky to have someone like Dalton in the band that can do a pretty world class job on our own stuff with very limited resources,” Hirshland says. “He's very scrappy with the production. On this [album], the captures were done sometimes in [a] studio, so they're pretty great captures. But that's not how it's been. Back in the early days, we had these DIY setups like a lot of people do. He's managed to make some really kind of vast feeling recordings like out of that.”

The rest of the band are certainly no schlubs at their instruments either. All members of the band sing and write songs, so not only is one person relieved of the burden of coming up with material, every member of Post Animal has the opportunity to contribute varying perspectives and sounds that the other members might not come up with.

“One-hundred percent right,” Williams says. “There's no set way about how a song might come to be. You know, we just kind of roll with it every single time. We all get to add some flavors to each song — like a flavor shot.”
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Vincent Arrieta
Contact: Vincent Arrieta