The Warlocks celebrate their 17th year with the release of their seventh studio album Songs from the Pale Eclipse. The band has gone through sundry combinations since their formation in Los Angeles in 1998, but have always maintained a consistent yet experimental sound with the lead direction of Bobby Hecksher. The band is well known for continuing the traditions of brother genres psychedelic and acid rock with their wah wahs, long jams, heavy reverb, and poetic, woolgathering lyrics. You can even hear the late 60s inspiration in the track titles from the new album with “We Took All the Acid,” “Love is a Disease,” and “Drinking Song.” The album is ten years in the making, allowing Bobby to tie all the loose ends in a brilliant and varied bow.
The Warlocks have found incredible success in Europe and will commence their jam-packed September tour in Bern, Switzerland after their album release party in Los Angeles on September 3rd at The Hi Hat.
Flaunt is flattered to share the premiere release of The Warlocks’ “Only You” and a short interview with Bobby about his past, the album, and their upcoming wine-complimented European dinners.
Your new album Songs From the Pale Eclipse comes out September 2nd. Eclipses are special and only occur about twice a year, what is this album concealing that your past albums let shine?
The Warlocks are special like a rare eclipse. We don’t fit in with a lot of labels, genres, other bands in the so called “modern psychedelia scene.” A lot of outlets and media peeps hate us or love us. Its seems to be always that extreme. Vice versa some countries like France and stuff we do really well while as our home town is a struggle. We don’t get on every festival and don’t particularly like playing them. We don’t get along that will in the “machine” of it all. It’s a strange place to be in after all these years.
The best way to look at this album is that it encompasses everything I wanted to do as a band the last 17 years. There are a lot of songs on here that were written during Rise & Fall, Phoenix, Mirror Explodes, Heavy Deavy Skull Lover, and Skull Worship. I felt I needed to finish what’s on my plate before I can think about moving forward. If there is a move forward. So that said a lot of shit doesn’t fit together but make your very own mix tape on and just enjoy it as.
The single “Only You” is the first track on the new album. It’s soft and subdued with longing lyrics and a solid and uplifting guitar solo. What images do you see when the chords are struck?
It’s about a relationship that really shouldn’t have happened. [I] just came home one night at 3 AM and wrote this after some conflict. That’s the thing about our songs—they are about people and moments. BOOM, CLICK like a photograph being taken. It’s the vaguest way of course. I don’t sing or write directly. I see images of someone yelling at me, unhappy wearing lots of bright colors. I see this fight spilling over to people on drugs who are also fighting at a party. It’s all chaos and just one big headache I can’t get out of and I wish I never got into. But like I said BOOM, CLICK it's a moment and its now it’s gone.
Was it frustrating or satisfying to comb through a decade of demos, select them, redo them, in order to produce the album?
I would have to say overall it was a satisfying experience. I thought it was time to deal with it and get something out of them. I just wanted to go through and pick the best stuff that could work. Songs From The Pale Eclipse is like an exorcism for me! It’s out whew. I can move on.
Bobby, it’s well known that your grandfather started a radio station when you were a young boy. What’s the most spellbinding musical memory you remember from the station?
He made shit happen and I’ll always love him for that but it was like being in a boxing match when you talked to him. He had usual spending habits and when he found something he liked he bought many of them. So imagine everything in triplicate. Shoes, cars, books, knives, guns. For whatever reason he bought many instruments he never played. He would give me all these Casiotones (which we still use these models to tour with!). I’ve used them on every record too. I was fascinated by the sounds these things made as child. I wanted them all. What kid asks for Casios for Christmas instead of Star Wars? That’s me! It really kicked everything off. That was one cool thing about grandpa—when you were into something he supported that. I went into a music store and he said “get whatever you want kid.” That was a really happy moment.
If you were to make a small documentary about the September tour, what artists would fill the soundtrack?
Here check out my Spotify Page. I add shit every day to the playlist. I’ll add stuff on tour too.
Dead Rabbits will be introducing you on tour with their complimentary psychedelic and fuzzy sonics. What do you admire about the band?
I just liked their sound right away and thought it would be a good match. Fuzzy rock and roll! Yes!
Which European city are you most excited to revisit with the tour?
Oh seriously they are all amazing in their own way. The culture is just so different than America. I just love French people. French people have class, they have Latte, Cheese, and Croissant for breakfast and lunch. Usually a big dinner with wine, great style, Italy too. None of this Mac D face-stuffing that we blindly ignore here. They are warm and welcoming and take the time to take us out to cool stuff. Take the time to sit and talk to one another. I mean not everything. Sometimes it’s really cold and boring. I love the Brits but gawd the weather sucks! Its all cold and sterile sometimes.
After your album premiere in Los Angeles on September 3rd, The Warlocks begin a month long tour in Europe. Why do you think you have such loyal following across the pond?
I know its weird right? In Los Angeles we are just a regular old band and nobody cares. When we go to France, Germany, Italy and well, Europe in general, no matter what’s happening there is usually a full house to see us play. Even on a Tuesday! They know every word and will kill us if we don’t play "Shake The Dope Out," "Hurricane Heart," "Caveman Rock" and my least favorite, "Baby Blue" in the set! I think what happened was when all these albums came out they really struck a chord. They were minor radio hits too. Maybe it’s that? I’ve asked many times. The response I get is something strange like “we can understand what you’re saying.” It’s kind of that simple. The Warlocks music just connects better to a European audience. I’m extremely grateful. Its why we go back every year. It’s that good of an experience that I feel a personal obligation to play the songs for all these people that care. It’s no secret I don’t actually like the touring part. That’s a total bore. I like being with my best friends and playing the songs.