Fun Fun Fun Fest Preview
Steve Von Till taps into the spirit of Neurosis
8:30pm, Stage 2
At the apex of "To the Wind" on Neurosis' Given to the Rising, vocalist Scott Kelly expels a bloodcurdling and inhuman 20-second-long bellow that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. "Obviously he went somewhere else for that," recalls guitarist and vocalist Steve Von Till. "I remember getting on the talk-back and asking, 'What just happened?' The whole thing brought him to his knees. It was a moment of possession of the song. That's the type of gift you receive when you give in to the music."
For more than two decades, Neurosis has molded its muse into ominous and cinematic movements, blending tribal rhythms and tsunami guitars with found sound and cogitative atmospherics to stretch the parameters of metal music. It's as psychedelic as it is bleak and brooding, and unlike other like-minded bands, Neurosis has only strengthened with time.
"It's all about the flow," Von Till furthers. "We pretty much surrender ourselves to whatever the music is demanding of us. It's something we tap into, and that energy is boundless. If it doesn't have an organic feel to it, then it gets destroyed and approached from a different perspective."
Given to the Rising, the Bay Area behemoth's 10th record, is an all-encompassing emotional and philosophical journey, the culmination of more than a year's worth of writing and a testament to the band's vision. "We want Neurosis to embody some intense spiritual catharsis, as if humanity as a whole was reflecting upon itself in the context of time and space, history, and the soul," Von Till concludes. "This is what we were put here to do. This is our life. We found each other and found this sound, and it provides the backbone for everything that happens around us. We want to leave behind a legacy that was never compromised. This is spiritual warfare for everything real."