I was going to introduce Staghorn and its forthcoming release, Wormwood III with my usual brand of snark and wiseassery, but in combing through the information provided about the band, I figured it would be best to let their own bio do the talking so nothing got overlooked in my usual attempts to be a snarky wiseass. So, the floor is yours, gang; take it away:
“Staghorn was founded in South Florida by Jared and Lexy, later joined by a third member, Luke, and eventually transplanted to their current location of Urbana, Illinois. The collective imagined an origin story of “Staghorn” (accompanied by a comic book illustrating as such alongside their first EP), which tells of the fictional post-apocalyptic group of people who have traveled back in time to warn humanity of an animal revolt in the future that will leave mankind on the brink of extinction. With two of the band’s members currently living predominantly off-grid, their environmental ethics and exhaustingly DIY attitude are at the heart of everything the Staghorn collective does, including their Mogwai/Godspeed You! Black Emperor style of epic, introspective, transcendentalist compositions. Equally heavy in concept and musicality, their art is meant to create a soundtrack to a better world by highlighting that which is both bleak and hopeful along the way. Strongly principled as a do-it-yourself collective which operates Leave Your Mark Print Shop and Mills Custom Amps, the band uses their trades, creativity and compassion to affect a working, sustainable future: they create their own amps and cabs, print all of their own merch,and have records pressed that are predominantly made of recycled materials. This view inspires the members’ commitment to sustainable living in which the two founding members live mostly off-grid within a community with its own unique water system. Further, they have built a full tiny home out of a shipping container and live and work alongside organic farmers in the community. In short, activism is the driving force behind every element of Staghorn’s art.”
Wormwood III, despite your thoughts and opinions on the band’s environmental/DIY stance, politics and the intensity of their idealism which has them going all-in as opposed to just posting about it on Facebook, is a listen that’s easy to get absorbed by and lost in. And today, we’re running a stream of it for you to check out. Additionally, we asked the band for a quote about the record. We’re going to assume this was answered by the one member still living on the grid and here’s what they had to say about their latest work:
“Wormwood III is the 3rd chapter in the Staghorn Saga in which our three protagonists have traveled forward to the not-so-distant future where they view the world as we currently see it today. The primary message we are aiming to get across with this chapter of the story is the importance of water and begin the four chapters which we will address the four basic necessities that we all have a right to when we are born. What we face today is systemic oppression, climate change and war among many other factors that make providing the basic needs extremely difficult to provide for not only ones self, but family and community as well.
“As Americans, we often look at our basic needs as something that will always be there, always provided, stocked on a shelf ready for purchase. That could not be farther from the truth. Much of the world struggles to attain even the most important element to sustain life: water. Even in our own back yard. Flint, MI has no clean drinking water while massive conglomerates buy up land with natural springs and put up fences and factories to manufacture this natural resource into plastic bottles and put it behind lock and key with a price tag on it, and if you’re lucky enough to make enough money to afford it, you may have some. In Florida, rain catchment and off-grid style building and infrastructure (solar panels ) is being outlawed. There are a vast majority of people who are in such poverty that they can’t AFFORD to eat healthy or even drink fresh water. We often think that just because these items are stocked on a shelf, that everyone has ACCESSS, but they don’t. Jobs don’t pay enough for everyone to eat organic vegetables, to drink clean fresh water, to eat a vegan diet, to have access to education and medicine that will heal them, or appropriate means of shelter. This story is all around us if we would open our eyes and pull our heads out of the lies that the (social) media and the news outlets are spewing out. We cannot stand for this. Staghorn aims to start by inspiring people to ask one simple question, “Is there a better way to live? Will you be the poison, or will you be the cure?”
I mean, that’s obviously two questions, but some serious issues and something to think about are being raised here. If you like a bit of thematic meat on your musical bone, the ordering info and links are below.
Wormwood III was recorded at Earth Analog Studios (owned by Matt Talbot of HUM) in Tolono, IL by Aaron McAllister. It was recorded live to 2” tape and mixed at McAllister Audio in Urbana, IL. Mastered by Dave Eck at Lucky Lacquers. It will be released as a one-sided, etched 12″ EP pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Limited to 450 copies (250 on Coke bottle clear with brown smoke, 200 black) in partnership with Chicago’s Shuga Records. This limited first edition release will be screen printed by hand on recycled paper.
Preorder for Coke bottle clear here.
Preorder random coloured vinyl from Shuga Records here.
And here are the band’s live plans for the next few months:
June 19 – Springfield, IL @ The Black sheep w/ LUME
June 20 – Rock Island, IL – Rock Island Supper Club w/ Cloud Rat and Closet Witch
June 21 – Lincoln, NE @ Duffy’s Tavern
June 23 – Chicago, IL @ Francisco FunHouse
July 5 – Urbana, IL @ Audiofeed Festival – Black Sheep Stage
September 13 – Hamburg, DE @ Astro Stube
September 15 – Ninove, BE @ Cafe Gonzo
September 16 – Ghent, BE @ Kinky Star
September 18 – Montreuil, FR @ La Comedia
September 20 – Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana w/ yndi halda
September 21 – Canterbury, UK @ UCA Union Bar w/ yndi halda
September 22 – London, UK – Omeara
September 23 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club w/ yndi halda
October 19 – Indianapolis, IN @ Indiana State Brewery Post – POST. Festival
October 23 – Birmingham, AL @ The Firehouse
October 24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Bakery
October 25 – Savannah, GA @ The Jinx
October 27 – Gainesville, FL @ THE FEST
November 3 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk
November 5 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Triple Nickel
November 7 – Calgary, AB @ The Palomino w/ yndi halda
November 10 – Vancouver, BC @ The Wise Hall
November 11 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project w/ yndi halda
November 12 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir w/ yndi halda