The Entrance Band hail from LA but consider SF their “home away from home.” They took the stage at The Chapel on Tuesday for a co-headlining gig with Jacco Gardner, so to welcome them to their second home, I had a chat with singer-guitarist Guy Blakeslee to get the scoop on a few things you might have been wondering about.
Specifically, what can Entrance Band fans expect shows, given that their last album is now almost a year old and their bassist, Paz Lenchantin, is also currently a member of the Pixies? And how do you decide who goes first with a double headliner bill, anyway?
Here’s the video, directed by Paz Lenchantin herself, for the track “No Needs”, off of the aforementioned most-recent album, Face The Sun:
The Bay Bridged: Should folks at The Chapel show in SF expect a set heavy on tracks from your most recent album, Face The Sun, or are you pulling out some older material as well? Any new material potentially surfacing?
Guy Blakeslee: I don’t even know what to expect myself! We have a large reservoir of material to draw from and will be playing a lot of songs from Face The Sun as well as older songs… Each tour manifests a different type of set and then we usually develop the set over the course of the tour, sticking with roughly the same songs once it’s flowing right, and work on building and de-constructing the energetic voyage within the chosen set list. We’ve all been very busy this year, and haven’t had the chance to rehearse or work together on new material in quite some time, so most likely our first discussion of what songs to play will be at the soundcheck for the first show!! The Chapel is one of our favorite venues to play and we love SF—there’s always been a palpable electricity in the air there for us, so we look forward to getting onstage and seeing what’s going to happen.
TBB: When Face the Sun came out, the narrative woven around its release was that y’all had all personally gone through a lot of dark times, and this album was you collectively growing from those experiences. Is there still something cathartic or illuminating about playing these songs for you? Does that ever fade for you, after you’ve played the songs night after night and the album is almost a year old?
GB: Personally, I learned a lot from the whole process of this record and putting it out into the world. One thing that I learned is how easily things can be misconstrued by the press! For instance, a part of my journey with this album was that I got clean and sober during the completion of the album and the rebirth I experienced is mirrored in some of the lyrical themes of the songs. But the “dark times” associated with the album had to do with my personal struggles with addiction, and that’s not something that the other band members experienced… As the singer of the Band I often end up being the spokesperson, but I wish I had been more careful in discussing these issues, so that it would be more clear…. For me the record signifies a clearing away of dark energy and a movement through that darkness toward a new light, a renewed sense of purpose and life… All of our songs are cathartic for me every time we play them because the songs are alive and each time we play them new emotions and sensations are revealed. When that excitement fades, for any of us, it’s usually the end of that particular song being in our set.
TBB: How’d the co-headlining tour with Jacco Gardner come about? Do y’all consider yourselves fellow travelers, musically?
GB: The pairing with Jacco came about because we share the same booking agent—I trust her instincts, and so here we are!!
TBB: How do you decide who will play first in a co-headlining situation? And, for those of our readers who will be at The Chapel… who will play first that night?
GB: Usually we’d flip a coin or draw straws…. Or do a Tarot reading or something like that… In this case it seems to make obvious sense that we’d be on last because SF is our home away from home and we have a history of bringing a lot of freaks out of the woodwork!
TBB: What’s the rest of 2014 hold for y’all?
GB: As I mentioned above, we’re all busy this year… I released a solo record called Ophelia Slowly and I will be touring in October and November in support of the record. Paz has been the bass player in the Pixies for over a year and she still has more shows with them and some possible recording in the future… Derek has a son named Jackson and is a full-time Dad in addition to playing drums with Christopher Owens of SF !!! So we are all doing our own things and continuing to be a band, coming up on 10 years of playing together. When the dust settles from these other projects for a minute we will be able to write a new album, but for now these little touring windows are our time to be together and explore the sonic landscapes we co-create!!