The situation I'm at Wallingford's Moon Temple with the psych-rock band Midday Veil (who happen to have a song called "Moon Temple")--that's David Golightly, Jayson Kochan, Timm Mason, Chris Pollina, Emily Pothast, and the newest addition, percussionist Sam Yoder, who's attempting to describe seeing the band live before he was in it.
"It's five or six people on a stage, kind of playing their instruments . . . " Everyone at the table laughs at him, so he tries again. "It's the perfect soundtrack to an opium den."
How They Got Here Golightly and Pothast, who are a couple, first started Midday Veil as a duo three years ago and then gradually added members. Pothast, the singer, says that in the past few months they've all gotten comfortable enough with each other to now be able to rely on improv--many of their songs sound different each time they play them live.
"It's like a tree," says Mason. "You can identify a species of a tree, but no two trees are exactly the same."
"Is that a haiku?" asks Pollina.
"Heidegger wrote something about how he admires an empty vase for its ability to be grounded at the bottom and completely open at the top," says Pothast, "and that's how our song structures ideally work."
Shop Talk In two weeks' time, the band will begin recording, with producer Randall Dunn, their second album, the follow-up to last year's heavy and sensual Eyes All Around. They've got about five songs ready, which for them can fill an album.
"There's a song about Scheherazade from the Arabian Nights," says Pothast, who writes the lyrics. "I have one song that's based on a Pygmy death chant from Western Africa." She giggles. "There's a song that's got to do with the Rigveda and the god Soma, whose body is a plant that you digest . . . "
"Just regular stuff, pretty much," says Pollina.
BTW: Mason and Pollina also play in the funk band Eldridge Gravy & the Court Supreme. "They're on pretty different axes," says Pollina of the two projects.
"[Midday Veil] doesn't have to be that serious," Pothast defends. "The songs are really blissed-out. I find it really uplifiting."
"[With] Eldridge Gravy, it's always like we're kind of riding the groove," says Pollina, "but with [Midday Veil] I feel like I'm 10 feet tall riding a horse made of fire."
Midday Veils plays the Rendezvous this Saturday, October 22, with Seapony, Tea Cozies, and Witch Gardens. The show starts at 7 p.m. and is $8 in advance, $10 at the door.