Maybe some of you immediately think of Scandinavia or other very Northern regions when hearing ”melancholy” or ”doom”. River Cult hail from Brooklyn, New York, and define their style as ”Heavy Psych/Stoner”. The band has released a demo tape (in classic underground style) and has been busy playing live; returning from a weekend tour in Canada. Singer/guitarist Sean Forlenza, who also writes all the lyrics, tells us more:
When and how did River Cult form?
River Cult formed in the summer of 2015 when I (Sean Forlenza: guitar/vocals) found myself between bands and put out a Craigslist ad looking for a bassist and drummer. One of the first to respond was Anthony Mendolia (bass), who had just moved back to New York from Florida. We connected right away and started looking for a drummer. A few months later, Tav Palumbo (drums), who recently moved to NYC from Santa Cruz, answered our ad. Soon after that we developed a few songs and recorded our demo and started gigging.
Who are some of your influences?
Black Sabbath, Sleep, Neurosis, Les Rallizes Denudes, Pentagram, Hawkwind..
Is there a heavy-psych scene in New York currently?
There is a heavy psych scene in NYC but it’s not necessarily a tight knit family; however, here are pockets of bands that do stick together. It’s funny because you’ll discover a band that makes similar music who has been around for 5 years or more and you’ve never heard of them; there is just so much going on here that its hard to keep track of it all. Overall the heavy music scene is fairly underground.
What may inspire your lyrics?
Basically anything and everything could drive me to write lyrics. It’s hard to pin something down specifically, but I am very inspired by literature and will often incorporate literary references or themes in my lyrics. I also write a lot about the loss of belief or faith in something and coming to terms with that reality.
What lies in the future for the band? Any River Cult side projects?
Right now we are playing shows and preparing to record another demo of new songs that we will perfect and then eventually put out on a full length. Our guitarist, Sean, has a free improvisational solo project called Mirbeau and our drummer, Tav, is in another heavy psych band based in Brooklyn called Heavy Traffic.
Will the band be playing any live dates?
Our next gigs are Oct. 19th at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn and Nov. 14th at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn.
guest author: John Wisniewski