Levitation interviews

Photo by Shelley Hiam


Fri., 10:30pm, Reverberation Stage

"I've said all my life that I think the most psychedelic song in the world is Buddy Holly's 'Slippin' and Slidin',' and it's not even trying," offers Jason Pierce from his home in London. "It's not trying to make itself that music, but I think psychedelic music is rooted in something deeper than just the kind of tricks people can do or studio effects. It would be nice if you could just throw some effects in there and that would work, but that invariably doesn't work."

Pilot of UK outfit Spiritualized, Pierce has crafted some of Britpop's most ambitious and grandiose songs, eloquent sonic waves that surge simultaneously with driving, hypnotic rhythms and lush, expansive orchestration. From 1997's seminal Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space to 2012's Velvet Underground-ripped Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Spiritualized's soundscapes both warmly envelop and aggressively pummel.

"I have this idea that the best of my music sounds like it's been made and then broadcast by satellite, like it's coming from somewhere else," says the 49-year-old East Ender. "I don't go in thinking that this has to be like a cathedral in size. That takes a bit of time to develop."

Recording already begun for a new album, Pierce looks to shift the band's sound once again, tapping Martin Glover (of Killing Joke and Paul McCartney's the Fireman) to produce.

"This time last year, I was stuck and couldn't get anything down," he admits. "Martin offered his help, and he's got a lot of talents I don't have. I was desperate not to make another album that sounded like the last three, and I had this idea that these beautiful pop songs would come after this furious pyschedelia. I wanted to break that mold."

9507 Sherman, Friday, May 8, through Sunday, May 10. Weekend ($165) and day ($65) passes are available online at www.austinpsychfest.com. Weekend camping passes are $75 per person.

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