I crossed paths with Out of Body's 2015 Evaporate EP some time ago due to the band's lineup ties to Krishnacore outfit Counterblast. While I quite enjoyed it, I must have been too busy to properly digest the material at the time, because Voiceless—the group's forthcoming debut LP from Coin Toss Records—is firmly on target to land as one of my favorite releases of 2017. Offering a perfectly-executed form of heavy yet emo-tinged '90s-styled post-hardcore/alt.-rock that's somewhat lacking in much of what I hear these days, the album should appeal to fans of Quicksand and Smashing Pumpkins alike.
There's definitely something special about this record, so I'd rather let the music (and the band) do the talking. I'm quite excited to debut "Notes" below, followed by a quick chat with guitarist/vocalist Gjared Robinson:
It's really interesting that Out of Body's roots date all the way back to the late-'90s. Seeing the project finally become fully realized over the past two years—after a few false starts years prior—how do you think all the time and effort behind that journey has impacted the music you're ultimately presenting?
Going through the struggles have most definitely made the approach stronger and determination crushing. The long path this music has taken caused me to gain a huge amount of grit, rougher hands, and a focused outlook; what's being created is stacked with experience. Now that I've linked up with some great musicians, the foundation is setting in solid with all our parts coming together.
We're premiering "Notes," from your debut LP, Voiceless, so go ahead and provide some insight—to whatever degree you're comfortable—on this track in particular.
That song is about the mindset of taking one's own life. It's told from the perspective of a person saying all their goodbyes. The words aren't glorifying suicide, but instead just detail the reality that those who battle being here or not face. The topic came to me after a few close friends decided to cross over to the other side. At the time, I was shocked—wondering what I could have done—but ultimately I came to understand that it wasn't about me at all. The song is supposed to be an implied call to action for us to reach out to those we love and actually let them know we love, listen, and support them.
I had originally checked out the Evaporate EP due to the Counterblast connection, so I'm curious if any facets of that Krishna Conscious message seep into Out of Body's output at all?
The band name is more connected to my affinity for Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic style and the belief that music can really give people an out of body experience if you tap into the right sonic frequencies. But to go further, it's a yoga concept of reconnecting and making union with that which is higher. However, Out of Body is not a band promoting a Krishna Conscious agenda, I just happen to be a devotee and love practicing meditation. I try to be positive in our message and my whole purpose is to uplift others through sound, so that is my dharma. Krishna Consciousness is always present with me—even if subtle—but I've always been into far out, spacey, trippy material in general. That sense of mystery and unknown is part of our atmosphere.
Anything reminiscent of '90s post-hardcore will always draw comparisons to Quicksand, but during my first listen to Voiceless, Smashing Pumpkins was one of the few names I jotted down—before having read your bio citing them as an influence. I was most excited, though, to find myself frequently reminded of one of my all-time favorite post-hardcore albums, Shift's Spacesuit. That being said, you seem to be a pretty masterful student of music, and I know you're not really coming at this with any particular limitations.
I want to be able to do anything and everything with this band. The ability to explore is very intriguing to me and I feel music grants artists the avenue to do this more often than some other industries. If we want to throw a country part intertwined with a mosh breakdown ending with a flute solo over a house beat, then so be it, as long as it's done tastefully with respect to the character of the music. With that said, I'm super into New York hardcore and—stemming from that—the abrasive post-hardcore undercurrents; but the more prominent ingredient in this band is DC hardcore, Dischord Records, and Revolution Summer style groups—which are a great influence for melody. In addition, none of this would exist without the king of dark riffs, Neil Young. Listening to him made us write meaner, but with haunting appeal.
With the LP's release still looming, Out of Body has already been working on some new material for a while, and now with the full band contributing. How are the new tunes shaping up?
The new songs are very heavy, tight, and percussive, but still pack the same harmonic traits that people will hopefully come to appreciate.
Pre-order Voiceless now on CD, LP (clear blue, white, or black vinyl), cassette (pink or purple), or digitally.