New York’s very own sad-pop band EXNATIONS are quickly nearing the end of their triumphant Pink Haze era, but before the dark sadness of the end takes us all over, EXNATIONS have pushed the big red button with the release of their new music video for “Slow Erosion.”
The video itself takes a look at the band’s life on the road during their recent Pink Haze Tour which took them across eight different cities across the United States, giving way to some amazing visuals for this very music video.
When it comes to “Slow Erosion” the band describes the track as; “A meditation on the realization that everything we love will eventually warp, change, and decay. Our bodies, relationships, governments – nothing is permanent. Everything is a moment in time. But, it’s not all bad. At the end of the day, it’s up to us to decide if we’re going to ruminate in disappointment or let it go and move forward despite it all. After you hear this one, we hope you feel the later.”
Being a huge fan of EXNATIONS, I also had the great opportunity to ask the band a few questions before they reached the end of the Pink Haze album cycle, which if you didn’t know is an album I hold up quite high when it comes to my favorite albums of 2019. Thank you again, Sal Mastrocola and Taylor Hughes for taking the time out of your schedule.
BLAST: You’ve just released the music video for “Slow Erosion,” which manages to capture the song’s intensity and wonderment packaged nicely from the view of a live setting, something many bands fail to capture when pushing out a live-focused music video. Did you always know you wanted to do a music video for “Slow Erosion” in this style? Or, was it just the easiest and most convenient way to approach a new music video?
Taylor Hughes: First, thank you so much! We knew that we wanted to create a tour diary in a less conventional way, while still keeping it personable. Between the crispy live footage we sprinkled some fun in the van/backstage iPhone footage. Before tour we discussed choosing a song from Pink Haze to film each night to compile enough content to create a live video. Shortly after that conversation, we noticed an influx of interest in “Slow Erosion,” it’s kind of cool because we essentially let the fans choose for us.
BLAST: When it comes to a song like “Slow Erosion,” there are many outcomes one could come up with to represent a “meaning behind the song.” I know I have mine as I do for all the songs featured on Pink Haze. So, I’d love to pick your brains on what “Slow Erosion” means for you? What is your big red button?
Sal Mastrocola: This song is about the ways that everything we love will eventually warp, fade, and decay. Whether it’s our relationships, our bodies, our governments – nothing is permanent. Everything is a moment in time. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to ruminate in disappointment or let it go and move on with our lives despite the reality.
BLAST: Following this trend of picking your brain like a little grey spaceman, what goes into the creative process for a song like “Slow Erosion?” How many rewrites and retakes did it take before you all knew you loved what you had created?
Sal Mastrocola: This one came together faster than anything else on the record. It started with my daily dose of disappointment as I read the news on my phone in the morning. Another day of being bombarded with the feeling that any semblance of civility, rational thought, reason, overall sanity seems to be slipping through our collective hands. “slowwwwwwwww erosionnnnn” was echoing through my head as I showered and made my way through a steady rainfall to work that morning.
The next day I laid down the main synth loop and it just flowed from there. I knew I wanted a song that rocked harder than we had ever rocked before, to echo the sentiments and feelings present in the lyrics. It felt like it needed a moment of catharsis where the protagonist breaks through. I remember sending the first demo to Taylor. As she was listening, she was texting me in real-time. When she got to the ending, she said; “This song fucks.” I knew it was a keeper.
BLAST: Moving away from “Slow Erosion,” you’re slowly getting closer to the end of your Pink Haze era. So, I’m highly curious, my favorite song off the record hands down is “Dreaming Still.” So, which of these six fantastic songs do you hold to the highest regard?
Sal Mastrocola: I’m honored that you picked “Dreaming Still.” That one is one of the most personal to me, in a lot of ways it feels like the emotional centerpiece of the record. I love every song for different reasons – but I’m the proudest of “John Hughes Movie Soundtrack.” We swung for the fences on that one, trying to write a pop song where every note, every second, every moment counts. We spent time tweaking and finessing and reworking that one in hopes of achieving our version of synth-pop perfection, and I think we got damn near close.
BLAST: While we’re on the topic of heading towards the end of Pink Haze. What’s on your upcoming schedule? New album? New EP? West Coast tour? A big for world ruler? Or, all of the above? In all seriousness, what’s next for EXNATIONS? I’m already over here itching for new material.
Taylor Hughes: It’s hard to believe the record has been out for a few months, it still feels like there’s a lot we can do with it.. But, on the other hand, we’re already working on new material, scheduling studio time and plotting the art direction, it’s super exciting seeing the few pieces we have starting to form into something bigger.
BLAST: A big thanks to EXNATIONS for handling my slowly eroding question. Before I let you free onto all the little readers out there, is there anything you’d like to tell them?
Taylor Hughes: Ha, that’s amazing! We have a few more surprises in store before the end of the year, so keep your ear to the ground for those!
I’m looking forward to what EXNATIONS has in store for us in the future. But, in the meantime! I’m going to go replay the “Slow Erosion” music video for the tenth time today.
If you haven’t yet, make sure to also give Pink Haze a listen, and you’ll quickly find the missing music piece of your heart. Also, if you’re digging EXNATIONS as much as I am, keep an eye on their official website for future tour dates and social links to get your daily fix of sadness.