So it started becoming something that had a viability to it. And then, when I went to school, I went back to college and I had some bands in college and that’s when I think my music tastes really started to solidify or open up—not solidify, but I opened up to a lot of much further out music than I had been into, and so I think that having a metal background and learning all this deep hand technique and just technical stuff about drumming and then getting into weird music, I think that kind of made this trajectory for me of sort of incorporating all this stuff with involving an openness. I also studied, when I was in college, with Marvin Bugalu Smith, who played with Sun Ra and Archie Shepp. And he taught me a lot about sort of breathing while playing and sort of feeling the tide of the beat and subdividing rhythm and sort of being able to find polyrhythm all the time, which I think is a big part of my style. I studied with Thurman Barker, also a fantastic drummer. And yeah, I’m studying now with Milford Graves, which is like, the greatest honor. I mean, we hardly even hit drums.

I think I’m lucky that I’ve been prodded at all these different times by seemingly kind of random events that have caused me to open up to things. When I joined Teeth Mountain, I didn’t the kind of music that they were making. I had a band with the guy who used to play bass for Liturgy, Tyler Dusenbury, and I had a band in college. And our band toured with Teeth Mountain, because Tyler’s friends with those guys from home. So anyway, Teeth Mountain asked me to join them, and I didn’t get it. I didn’t have a place in my mind for what that was. But doing it opened me up to it, and opened me up to a whole world of music that I just would not have been able to understand—not “understand,” but enjoy. So getting an ear for bands like Wolf Eyes, or Sightings, you know. I love those bands now, especially Sightings, Sightings is like my favorite band. You know, opening up to those kinds of music, or different stuff that’s less traditional, less easy to discover on your own, and at the same time just getting serious about drumming and being in these situations where I was playing weird music kind of created this creative space for me, I guess, where I would start connecting these dots of this technique I had learned, you know, like this molar hand technique for drumming while playing blast beats. And it’s just like, well, I can throw this shit in there. But yeah, these things would sort of happen. All of a sudden I would find myself incorporating something that I was doing in Teeth Mountain or Liturgy… you know, my drum teacher would be showing me some lesson and I’d be playing, and that would manifest as a part or something. And then by getting good at playing that part, I just opened up this whole style that I could get into. And all these things have just sort of extrapolated from each other.

It was a no-brainer for me. I love the way that [Thrill Jockey] operates, so I’m very happy to work with them.

Yeah, that’s amazing. So, us being a Chicago radio station, and you’re on Thrill Jockey, and I loved your collaboration with Man Forever. You’re based in Brooklyn, how did you get involved with Thrill Jockey and the Chicago scene?

Well, when Liturgy was getting ready to put out our second record, we were talking about record labels… I definitely wanted to see about working with Thrill Jockey because a lot of my friends, my Baltimore friends, were doing Thrill Jockey stuff. Double Dagger and Future Islands, you know, I’ve been tight with those folks for a while and that whole Baltimore scene. So a lot of Baltimore folks were getting signed to Thrill Jockey… and I also knew that they did Boredoms and they did Dan Higgs, Zomes, and all this music that I really love. So it’s like, well, maybe they’d want to put it out, and they did. So that how I sort of began my relationship with those folks. And then, when we were making, sort of after we recorded the second Guardian record and while I was starting to mix it, there were some labels who had some interest in the band, and I was trying to see who would put the most pepperoni on the pizza, so to speak. And then I emailed [Thrill Jockey founder] Bettina [Richards], and I just said, “We got this record, we’re almost done with it, would Thrill Jockey want to put it out?” And she said yes… and then that was that. It was a no-brainer for me. I love the way that that label operates, so I’m very happy to work with them.

So I guess my last question is, you’re getting ready to head down to SXSW, is it your first time down there, or what are you expecting from it?

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