Post Up: An Interview With Neil Halstead

[My continuing exegesis on the resurgence of so-called shoegaze for Wired’s Listening Post wouldn’t be complete without a chat with the man behind the aural soundscapes of Slowdive. — Scott Thill]

Slowdive formed in 1989 and signed shortly thereafter to the scene-making label Creation. Sharing space with its heroes in My Bloody Valentine and channeling the 4AD spacetracking of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive released three efforts in the early 90s, including the classic Souvlaki, before metamorphosing into the more countrified Mojave 3 in 1995 and following the Twins onto 4AD.

Since then, Halstead has chilled further, splitting his relaxed sonics between Mojave 3 and a solo career, which gears back up on July 29 when his sophomore effort Oh! Mighty Engine bounces off the tracks. Taking a listen to the free download of “Paint a Face” below, it’s obvious that Halstead has left behind the wall of sound for a more intimate pop, which is probably why he’s touring with Jack Johnson in August rather than My Bloody Valentine. The fact that Johnson is releasing Engine on his own Brushfire Records label probably has something to do with it as well.
But Halstead is plenty happy moving forward rather than looking back.

“We had a lot of pedals, a lot of love and some good grass,” he confesses. “When the love ran out, we sold the grass and smoked the pedals”…


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