Locrian talk Permanent Records, Bloomingdale Trail, more
Locrian at Europa (more by Greg Cristman)
On the occaision of the release of a new Locrian track from a new LP ("Chalk Point" from The Clearing, available now at BrooklynVegan), we cornered the Chicago dark ambient trio about some of their favorite Chicago haunts.
Your LPs always sound like an amalgam of influences, everything from black metal to dark ambient to punk and goth all come to mind. What are some favorite Chicago record stores that influenced the Locrian style?
André: My personal favorite place to buy records is a place in my neighborhood, the Ukrainian Village, called Permanent Records. They have a pretty limited selection of stuff, but what they do have tends to be really interesting stuff. Their staff have great recommendations too if you're not looking for anything in particular. They just expanded to L.A. and I'm really happy that their business seems to be doing well because they are such cool people.
There used to be a place that sold only metal called Metal Haven, but it closed down a while ago. Their stuff tended to be pretty expensive and you would have to really sift through their stuff to find anything good, but that was a descent place.
I recently picked up the new Tim Hecker LP from Permanent and that has definitely made a big impression on me. Before that I picked up Neil Young On The Beach which is an essential album to own.
Locrian's The Clearing art
Can you tell us about the album art, and how you came to use it?
We decided to go with one of our favorite photographers--Brian Ulrich. We chose a piece from his "Dark Stores" series. We've been inspired by his stuff for a long time, specifically his images of dead shopping malls. We were really happy that he let us use one of his images for the album. I'm not sure what dead mall is on the cover of our album, but the image reminds me of an altar, and even though the content might be really disgusting. We've used images of the decaying Dixie Square Mall, and the section of route 66 near Chicago that was basically swallowed up by the earth, in our other releases, so Brian's photo seems to really expand on that theme.
Outside of the record stores, what are some of your other favorite places in the Windy City?
I really like to go for walks on the Bloomingdale Trail that goes from Humbolt Park through Wicker Park and it's an old abandoned El line. It's probably one of the most serene places that you can be in the city. It's technically illegal to walk on it, but I don't think that the police enforce it. It's such a weird place to walk on because it almost feels like you're in the middle of a forest or something, but you're right in the city. I love it and so does my dog.
Locrian have no US dates at the moment, but you can catch Steven Hess from Locrian DJing at the Hideout on Halloween w/ Indian, Rabbid Rabbit and Bloodyminded. Tickets are on sale.