Slowdive started their tour since reuniting in 2014, and played music from their newest album everything is alive. Their first Northern American tour ended with San Francisco at The Warfield, and from the pit to the balcony, every space was packed. I was so lucky to make the show on behalf of Golden Voice, and I brought my best friend Angela with me.
When we arrived to the show, Sun Colony was playing their opening act. Their Spotify has some songs they performed live like, "I Think I Remember" and "Breeders." Their sounds were really hazy and dreamy, it made sense they were the openers, and they sounded pretty live.
Opening with Shanty, lines grazed over the band while Rachel swayed around. Feathers adorned her mic, and seeing Rachel up close was like watching a dream go by... Clearly in awe of her.
Neil and Christian, who I fortunately got to meet after the show too, sweated their asses off playing their guitars and chiming in with Rachel. Their visuals were hypnotizing, there were spirals moving over them, and at this point "Catch the Breeze," was playing. Seeing their performance live compared to the cam recorders from the 90s was a dystopic feeling.
"Catch the Breeze," Just For A Day (1991)
"Shanty," everything is alive (2023)
Their sound has been true to their pedal effects and lyricism in their newest album. They've grown a beautiful sound, and their live performances have matured with them too.
After the show, I waited outside in hopes to see them before getting off in their tour bus. I was able to and beyond that I got to talk with Rachel, Neil, and Christian about their inspirations, stories, and past bands and band names.
I recorded the interviews on my phone, but because of traffic noise, some parts got fuzzy through audio. Alongside Angela, we interviewed and documented their responses.
Transcribed by Angela Zamora (A) & Milli Villacastin.
A: When you were in Mojave 3, how was that like transferring into Pumpkin Fairies and Slowdive?
Neil: It was- Mojave we were trying to write country songs, it was kinda a different vibe.
A: What was your inspiration from that?
Neil: I guess stuff like Cowboy Junkies, Night Williams, I don't know... The Birds, Gram Parsons.
A: What are your top 5 albums?
Neil: Oh fun!- Oh I don't know. Maybe My Bloody Valentine, I don't know- Any Beetles record, any Birds records. Pixies album, Surfer Rosa. Alright guys thank you.
A: Thank you!
A: Rachel, how was it working with country and western sounds while working in Mojave 3?
Rachel: When Slowdive finished, after the album took a year to come out, during that time we waited, Neil was listening to more stuff like Neil Young and Bob Dylan. We picked up acoustic guitars for the first time in years and that's how it started. Neil really liked pedal steels, it was really beautiful to have that on a lot of those records. For us it was about the harmonies, Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris.
A: You were in Pumpkin Fairies as well right?
Rachel: That was the first name of when we started the band at school.
A: How long did that last?
Rachel: We started back when we were 15, and Slowdive we probably had all our members by the age of 17. 17-18, so Pumpkin Fairies was a couple years around our hometown, before our sound changed a lot and we did our Slowdive Ep, we changed the name when Christian dropped.
A: Thank you so much for your time!
Rachel: Thank you!
A: What other bands were you in, previous to Slowdive?
Christian: A long time ago I was in a band called Aton and a couple of other bands, hobby bands.
A: Out of the whole Slowdive discography, what is your favorite song to play along to?
Christian: The newest records- it's nice to play new music.
A: How long did the new record take to make?
Christian: Seemed like forever, I guess it would be about three years. There was covid-You know, it took a long time.
A: With the restrictions did you find it difficult to record with each other?
Christian: During covid, for a little while we couldn't get together. We knew we could send files and stuff, it helped things up a little bit.
M: Do you have a favorite song to play live?
Christian: We really just try not to mess them up. If I don't mess them up I'm happy.
A: What's your craziest on-the-road story with Slowdive?
Christian: I can't think of anything, maybe years ago I accidentally walked into- We were playing in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I was staying at this crazy hotel and I could hear a band playing. So I went, "oh I'll go check them out." I walked into this big room and this band was playing, and I was the only dude in there. I was like, "what's going on?" These big heavy guys were in there and the band just stopped playing, and these security guards grabbed me and said "get out! Who the fuck-who the fuck is that?"
It was Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi, so I got kicked out of a Bon Jovi rehearsal. I thought it was a gig.
A: By far have you met any celebrities on the road in the U.S.?
Christian: I run away from those kind of things, it depends what you pass as a celebrity, I don't even recognize some celebrities. My daughter will tell me, "oh dad that's someone."
A: What is your opinion on Kevin Shields?
Christian: You know he was a really huge influence on us when we started out. Yeah I really loved the early records, like My Bloody Valentine. I actually- before Loveless I really liked his stuff, just when Bilinda just joined. And even before Bilinda, that was my favorite.
A: From My Bloody Valentine, what was your favorite song?
Christian: Something like, Clair. Maybe something like that, or, "You're safe in your sleep from this girl," I love that whole lyric. That's my favorite. But I don't think Kevin- I don't think he likes that lyric.
A: Thank you so much Chris!
Christian: Yeah, thank you.
I did panic when figuring out what to give them to sign, even though I literally had a printed out ticket. But the matches were the first thing I saw in my bag, and figured to give. They were really sweet and signed my matches anyway (Thank you).
Not much of a playlist to link, but I made one of their setlist and some of Sun Colony's music.
Thank you Golden Voice & Slowdive for one of my favorite performances live <3