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Heavy duty 

Looking backward (and forward) with Kylesa's Phillip Cope

Constantly on the move, both physically and creatively, Kylesa is home for the holidays for what’s become the band’s one consistent annual break in a grueling – but fun – schedule of playing to metal fans all over the world.

The band will stomp the stage at the Jinx Friday, Dec. 30, with three other groups preceding.

It’s been nearly 11 years since singer, guitarist and songwriter Phillip Cope started Kylesa, right here in Savannah, along with Laura Pleasants (who also writes, sings and plays killer guitar). The band is internationally famous for its mercurial blend of psychedelia, stoner riffs and creative songwriting with pointed elements of classic sludge metal and crust punk.

Spin calls Kylesa “dark psych–metal titans” whose brutal music has a “hazy, stoner vibe that suggests a strange amalgamation of Black Sabbath, Black Flag and early Pink Floyd.”

After the late–2010 release of Spiral Shadow, the fifth full–length Kylesa album, the band hit the road yet again for most of the year, including two pre–taped appearances on Last Call With Carson Daly (the second one aired on Dec. 21).

We spoke with Cope just before Christmas weekend.

A very good year

“This year has been pretty crazy. We did a lot of touring, and played some of the biggest festivals we’ve ever played – we did Bonnaroo, and a festival tour of Australia, which was pretty crazy. Everywhere we’ve gone, there’s been enthusiastic people. It’s awesome to realize that there’s people everywhere that are listening to the music that you write. It also can be humbling. We’ve been very lucky.”

Carson Daly

“His is a little different from a lot of talk shows. You don’t go there and do an interview with him, and play in some studio. He has people that actually go and film you at a show. They let us pick the venue where we’d like to do it, and we like the Troubador in L.A., so they agreed to let us do it there. We taped it back in September.”

Evolution

“The fact that we tour as much as we do, that’s really what helps us get new fans. So as long as we stay on the road, there’ll always be new people getting into our band. Again, we don’t like to alienate older fans either, so we try to find a balance. We’ve been vocal since the very beginning that we weren’t ever going to stay the same. And most of our fans understand that; I think they’d be a little surprised if each record wasn’t a bit different.”

Heavy elements

“I am at the practice space right now working on new material. It’s hard to tell, because we’re just into a couple of songs, but it’s getting more psychedelic, I guess. Trippier. We appreciate our fans very much, so the last thing we want to do is do something that would alienate ‘em. We do try to bring back some sort of element that’s always been there, with our band. We don’t ever just go into an album and go ‘OK, our fans are gonna think we’re crazy on this one.’ There’s always gonna be heavy elements there – the one constant with our band is that it’s always been heavy. And that won’t ever change.”

Kylesa

With Indian Giver, Whores, Royal Thunder

Where: The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.

When: At 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30

Admission: $10 (no advance sales)

 

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About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bio:
Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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