The Band in Heaven's Ates Isildak Thinks Maybe Nico Would Be What Bands Sound Like in Heaven

There are some acts though that you don't want to pooh-pooh. Tonight for example, the Ad Hoc and Self-Titled Churchill's show---including performances from Tampa's Merchandise, West Palm's the Band of Heaven, Miami's Lil Daggers and Teepee,-- is high on our list of must-dos. Little Haiti will provide haven from art collectors. Merchandise will offer melodious guitar lines mixed with textured electro and cavernous sweeping croons from lead singer Carson Cox. The scruffy sounds of Miami's Lil Daggers and the swirling escapes of Teepee are not too shabby either. And of course, the Band in Heaven has always impressed us with its visceral white-noise caterwauls and haunting ethereal vocals.

Yesterday, New Times had the opportunity to catch up with the latter's garrulous frontman Ates Isildak. We shot the breeze about tonight's gig, what BIH has been cooking in the studio and other metaphysical topics.

New Times: Been a while since we chatted, what's the Band in Heaven has been up too lately?

Ates Isildak: After playing a few festivals this past summer, we started working on our first full length. We've been recording since July. It's taken much longer than we originally intended but it's so ambitious that we've just had to take our time with it. It's nearly finished though.

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Explain what Ad Hoc is to the average readers?

A smart art and music blog run by smart people, some of the ones behind the now defunct Altered Zones. You'll find some good artists and musicians here.

Ever heard about it before you got invited to play?

Yeah, I actually participated in their Kickstarter campaign, only I never got my prize which was, I think, like a text conversation with some of the staff. I'll yell at them in person on Friday. 

You big on Merchandise?

I think Children of Desire is probably my favorite album of 2012. I was so impressed when I heard it and glad to hear they were from Florida. Some tones on our new album are at least a little inspired by some tones on theirs.

How has the Band in Heaven evolved over the last few years?

Well it started out as a two piece and now we play with five members, but the real changes no one will see until after we finish this album and start playing this songs live. This band was never intended to be as loud or dirty or spooky as it comes off to be. The new material is actually closer to what I had originally intended to write, something dreamy and ambitious. 

There are cellos and violins on nearly all the tracks of the new songs. It'll be like the daytime side of the Band in Heaven. But I have no problem with having two sides to the same band. I've always loved the way the Cure could put out an album like Kiss Me Kiss Kiss Me, full of pop hits, and an album like Pornography, which is like full of horror.

Any favorite memories about playing in Churchill's?

We've sadly only played there once but it was a fun show. Looking forward to this next one. Sometimes Miami feels worlds away.

Never asked you, how did it finally go in North Carolina at the Hopscotch Festival, with Jesus and Mary Chain headlining?

The festival was a blur of getting strip searched by the police, getting wasted and rowdy to Pop 1280 and Dan Deacon and being blown away by the Jesus and Mary Chain. We also sold some stuff we stole from some girl staying at the same hotel we were. We tried to just fit a bunch of rotten stuff into two days. 

Did you bump into any rock celebs like the Reid brothers back stage?

We actually did see members of Jesus and Mary Chain at some other shows but they are just too scary to approach, always frowning. I'd rather worship them from a distance. Their sound was mind-blowing though. Most bands sound so weak to me live, they were louder than I could have ever imagined.

Anything else in camp Heaven right now?

Super excited that Pete Kember of Spacemen 3/Spectrum is mastering High Low for a release of ours due out February, and also said he'd love to master our full length. Talking to some other people we love about possibly mixing as well, but we gotta get that cash.

If there actually would be a Band in Heaven, what do you think it would sound like?

Nothing like our band. Maybe something like Beach House or Nico, I don't know. Or maybe that's too sad. Maybe something more joyous. Andy Burr from Woven Bones told me once that My Bloody Valentine and Mazzy Star is what heaven sounds like. That was part inspiration for our and name.

Ad Hoc x Self-Titled at Art Basel featuring performances from Merchandise, the Band in Heaven, Lil' Daggers and Teepee. Friday, December 7. Show starts at 9 p.m., with a $5 cover. Get their early for some extra perks, complimentary Grolsch at 10 p.m. and comp Sailor Jerry rum at 11 p.m.

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