The other month we declared the return of So Many Wizards, caught up with frontman Nima Kazerouni, and played their brand new b-side “Day Dream” a whole bunch of times. Keeping the sun drenched nocturnes blurring the thin line between night and day, it is our pleasure to premiere the A-side “Night Chills”. The guitars glisten through the sunbeam struck strums from Melody Carrillo, as bassist Devon Ratliff keeps the rhythms moving to Erik Felix's rattling four-quarters time signatures. The escapist aura of the Wizards' sound that brought us “Lose Your Mind“, and Warm Nothing are coupled with the realities of life's tributaries through the troves of new accomplished sonic achievements through the learnings of experiences. Finding a home at LA's rising indie imprint, Lolipop Records, and mastered at Different Fur Sudios in SF; the Night Chills 7″ presents an exciting new time for the next stage in sound, directions, life and times of So Many Wizards.
“Night Chills” adds another dream jewel into the SMW crown of sound. The song begins with an ecstatic-elastic electric bend that snaps forward a whirlwind of expressed experiences. The guitars move with the anxious heart beat patterns that yearn for a wild restlessness, tethered by responsibility. Things move at the rate of thought processes that are mulled and rolled about in the mind, over-thinking, over-worrying but without ever over-doing any of it. Nima's inner-outpour is shaped by the dusty-desert guitar tones that are given further dimension through the percussion that operate quick like a band-van motor. The amplified strums move like the dust and sand storms that frame mirages from Tuscon to LA, as quick as the running rhythm bursts them for an audio whirlwind circle and spin that SMW seems to instinctively write within their musical bars. Nima's panic and pleas to be themselve get caught in the gust of winds, that grabs up the vocals, guitars, gravel and gear, that keep the chorus turning clockwise like a carousel: “…And everybody thinks we're crazy, I guess we are…”
Taking a moment to visit with Nima Kazerouni, talking in depth about the new Night Chills 7″, personal and transitional adventures, the re-emergence of his Crown Plaza solo-demos, a fondness for Vashti Bunyan, Kurt Vile, Jacco Gardner, and so much more.
The A-side “Night Chills” gives this kind of conscious take on night life. What were some of the night chilling inspirations behind it?
This song definitely gets dark and creepy. There's an anxiety behind it that you can definitely hear. It's about being broke and not knowing what to do and all the while not giving a shit about it. Its a little reckless. These thoughts and emotions definitely came to be at the wee hours of the night.
You have talked about the kind of transient life you have been in, couch surfing, floor surfing and the like, how has that impacted your latest sounds?
Being in different scenarios constantly gave me this whirl wind of a life. Getting on a guitar to write was key to being able to get through it all. I had so many ideas linked with so many different emotions. It was a difficult to live this way but writing music in turn became effortless.
Like the chorus refrain of “everybody thinks we're crazy”, what crazy stories can you tell from both on the road, gigs, life between LA and AZ,etc?
I've definitely had my fair share of adventures in the last couple of years. I actually started to keep a journal of these tales because some we're so outrageous. Someday I'll write a book surrounding these events but If I told you some of these stories now, you probably wouldn't believe me so i'll keep silent until further notice.
What ways do you feel that with life events like becoming a father and such has impacted you personally, geographically, as well has developed your perspectives on your music?
Life events are what make a person a person. They can shape you for the better or for the worse. It all depends on how each of us soaks it up. For me, it's helped me become a better person and definitely a better artist and writer. Being a father is the best thing that's ever happened to me hands down. It put everything into perspective; the right perspective. It's for lack of better words, the gnarliest thing ever. It's made me more carefree with the writing process and more daring. I don't take it so seriously and that's definitely important advise I would give to any kind of artist. Just do whatever feels the best and let the rest fall into place.
In your recent tours, what did you find yourself listening a lot to music wise? Favorite albums, new or old? Mixtapes of interest?
The wonderful music of Vashti Bunyan became a common go to. I started getting into Kurt Vile. I could really zone out on his work. Jacco Gardner's new album also became a favorite.
Is there more Crown Plaza home recordings in the work? Those too are really dear to me, and come too from some really earnest, and intimate places.
The last Crown Plaza EP Chem Waves Volume 1 was a really personal one for me since I was going through a really tough time. It felt good to go super raw and deep without lyrical filters. I enjoyed that so much, I actually recently started to post raw uncut fresh demos on the Crown Plaza soundcloud page so listeners could really connect with with me in that way. They seem to be into it as I am so the answer is yes. More home demo recordings coming soon as well as official releases that are in the works for this project. Super excited.
From bouncing between Tucson, AZ and LA, CA; how has this Southwest adventurism impacted your cradled guitar tones, and that dusty echo glow that your are famous for?
Ha ha, yeah, I fell in love with that Tucson Desert. The dry crisp air, the plethora of saguaros and rattlesnakes, the sudden and powerful monsoons, the amazing glow and colors of those sunsets and the trillions of stars at night! All this was constantly present in my heart in addition to the preexisting heavy California beach vibes from where i grew up as I was writing and zeroing in on the sound that we now have today.