He also plays guitar with British cult faves Current 93 and California space-rockers Comets On Fire, and has spent time as a member of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s touring band. Recent recording projects include Badgerlore, with Deerhoof alum Rob Fisk, and August Born, with Japanese multi-instrumentalist Hiroyuki Osui (aka L).
Six Organs Of Admittance’s latest album, The Sun Awakens, was released in June on Drag City and finds Chasny and friends further exploring the outer reaches of psychedelic folk, with hefty doses of minimalist drones and searing feedback. Six Organs will be on the road for a month this summer supporting the disc, starting at New York City’s Mercury Lounge July 6 and finishing August 5 at Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco.
Chasny recently took time out from his hectic schedule to answer a few of Pollstar’s questions via e-mail.
You’re involved with several touring acts. Can you tell us a little about the other recent tours you’ve been on?
Well, I just got back from touring with Current 93 in Europe. That was pretty intense and amazing. I saw a lot of places I had never been to before, like Athens. It was wonderful.
How does your approach to a Six Organs Of Admittance tour compare to your other live projects?
With Six Organs it’s definitely more stressful because it’s all down to me. I do my own tour managing so I have to make sure the band is happy, that we have a place to stay, etc. And then I also have to make sure the show goes well. So yeah, big stress. But big rewards too, on those really great nights.
It seems like collaboration is an integral part of your music. Do you usually have other musicians on stage for Six Organs Of Admittance performances? What kind of instrumentation do you take along?
Lately I have had other people playing with me. For this upcoming tour I’ll have someone playing drums and someone playing second guitar and/or drones or what have you. Sometimes I still play solo though, but not for the American tour in July.
How big a role does improvisation play in your live set?
It sort of depends on the night and how we are feeling. I’d say it has a pretty big role most of the nights. It makes the shows more interesting, if a little more dangerous.
Is touring basically how you make a living, or do you have other work to support yourself?
Yeah. I mean, I am in three touring bands right now, all of whom released records this year, so I’m on the road most of this year, which doesn’t really allow me to hold down a job right now. On my time at home you can find me in front of the supermarket with a tin cup in front of me.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Just kind of touring with Six Organs, Comets and Current 93 pretty much through February, as far as my calendar looks right now. Hopefully I can write some music in between as well.