See also: Spiritualized's Jason Pierce on New Record Sweet Heart Sweet Light
Jason Pierce is lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and mastermind behind the psychedelic wall of sound and texture that is Spiritualized. Pierce, who also goes by the moniker J. Spaceman, is something of a troubled soul in the classic rock 'n' roll vein, unable to control his impulses (read: vices), for which he has several times paid a dear price. However, as he admits to never making an album not under the influence of something, that price has reaped a musical return many could only dream of. And to hear Pierce tell it, making Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, his latest album, was something of a dream. He doesn't really recall being there as it was happening since he was simultaneously being treated for liver disease.
Spiritualized comes to the Crescent Ballroom Saturday, May 19 as part of a lengthy U.S. tour. Pierce, sounding sleepy despite the afternoon hour, offers some choice outtakes for New Times.
Pierce on surviving the rigors of an American tour:
"I don't know if I'll survive it, but the liver is an amazing organ. The guy who is treating me chops the liver in half and puts half in the recipient and in a few months it grows back. I'm ready to go. I'm doing well." (NT: Do you have a new liver?) "No, I'm just saying this as an example of how strong the liver is."
Pierce defending lyrics like, "Sometimes I wish I was dead because only the living can feel the pain":
"It's not like I'd wish it would."
Pierce on finding the right balance in a song:
"A lot of good and bad in music is closely related. It's not like all the good music is at one end and the bad at the other, and by degrees the good gets worse. There's a fine line between the truly demented and the heartbreakingly beautiful, the stuff that's really going to through you. It might be a change of voice or production, but they are just degrees away. I don't think it's that weird that you can get doo-wop, jazz, and soul and the ideas of them can live next to each other."
Pierce on his early musical foundation:
"When we started with a band, I think we recognized early on that blues, jazz and doo-wop was all actually closely related. It just gets bigger and better. And when you're a kid, the world opens up more, you're not so narrow in your vision. It carries on like that."
Pierce on performing at All Tomorrow's Parties in 2009:
"They were some of the best shows we've ever done. At one point I had this great solo and it was turning in on itself. The only way to force it into the future is to make great music like that and force people to look at it and point them in the right direction and then go further with it and not look back. It was great with those shows; those [moments] came without warning."