The band’s guitarist discusses being on the fringe of heavy music, the reality of working with talents like Maynard James Keenan and Carina Round, and the creative possibilities of the live streaming platform.
Mat Mitchell of Puscifer checked in for a conversation on Mosh Talks with our own Terry Bezer.
The catalyst for the discussion was the band’s forthcoming Existential Reckoning LP that is set to arrive later this month. The introduction to the record was the band’s “Apocalyptical” single that featured a apropos visual, underscoring the current weirdness of the world.
That track in particular served to speed things up with the record as the band saw just how well that single was sort of mirroring the reality then. The music and the video managed to capture the context of the time and really created a solid surge of interest in the record right out of the gate.
In terms of the creative vision of the band, Mitchell discussed the working dynamics of Puscifer and what it’s like collaborating with such a colossal talent in Maynard James Keenan. Confiding a shared sense of trust and like-minded direction, Mitchell talked about making his mark with the music and giving Maynard and Carina Round the room to do what they do best with little to no interference.
Mitchell would go on to explain that there is a mutual respect that the band operates with that allows everyone to bring their talents, unimpeded, to the table. In assembling the pieces, the band collectively refines the finished product but the initial heavy lifting is something that everyone has the ability to do without being dissected and overly-managed. There is a healthy democracy that governs the group and that allows for everyone to contribute, critique, and craft in a productive way.
Thematically, Existential Reckoning does a great job of functioning as an applicable soundtrack for the time, but Mitchell confides that was more coincidental than intentional. When posed with the question as to whether the record was intended to reflect the current reality for most of the world, Mitchell emphasized that the context was only influenced as a byproduct of just existing during these especially strange times.
Further addressing the result of said strange times, Mitchell discussed the viability of the streaming platform for artists as one of the positives that has come from such an abysmal year. Recently announcing their own Existential Reckoning: Live from Acrosanti streaming event, there is an added element of creative freedom that exists within the streaming medium that doesn’t work with a traditional show. It’s that kind of unrestricted space that appeals to Mitchell and bodes well with the kind of inventiveness that has long been synonymous with Puscifer.
Watch the complete interview with Mat Mitchell of Puscifer on the latest segment of the Knotfest interview series, Mosh Talks below.