Where does one talk about a pet hamster named Daphne and lightly touch on the idea of time travel? ZO. At least those were on the table when we exchanged words with Superdestroyer. The talented musician out of Ohio’s new album ‘Home Movies Are Time Travel’ sparked many a conversation and frankly, I could have asked a million more about what he’s read on the topic of space and time, as well as old school Nickelodeon game shows. Below you’ll find quite the eye-opening chat about all of the above, and then some.
Kendra: The guitar that you felt you’d ignored too long that eventually kick-started you to making ‘Home Movies Are Time Travel,’ what would you say is the most cathartic song the two of you have made together thus far?
Superdestroyer: Oh wow, yeah that’s a good question. I think that the song-making process, in general, is fairly cathartic for me, but especially anything where I yell a lot haha. Maybe “1-800-GOLFTIPS” just because it is a pretty aggressive song. I took up drumming about eight months ago and I’ve found it to be therapeutic to just play drums until I’m tired. This album is mostly about the appreciation of the people I love in life, so I think just living in that headspace was probably good for me.
Kendra: After the two of you had the content of the new album ready to go, it only took a week to record. That was the end of April, so you’d probably been quarantining a while by then. Did you plan on making new music this year or were you itching to do something by that point?
Superdestroyer: Before I recorded this album, I had just received masters for an entire LP that I ended up scrapping because I liked this album so much more. I record pretty frequently–I actually think I have more unreleased than released songs right now. I’ve had some extra time lately so whenever I have an idea I sit down and record it. Lately, things have been coming together pretty quickly so I’ve been capitalizing on that. I definitely knew I wanted to release something this summer, I just didn’t know it’d be ‘Home Movies.’
Kendra: You’ve noted this album was written for your pet hamster, Daphne. I think anyone who has a record revolving around them would get a bit of an ego. Has it gone to Daphne’s head at all?
Superdestroyer: Haha, Daphne lives a better life than I do, but despite that, he is quite the mannerly little guy. He’s been keeping me company during the quarantine so he’s earned a shout out. Plus, no one has ever given me better feedback.
Kenda: Looking at the record now, which team on “Legends of the Hidden Temple” do you feel would best represent the overall tone of the album?
Superdestroyer: Oh, Blue Barracudas hands down because that was my favorite team. Maybe an episode where they compete with the Orange Iguanas because this album is shades of blues and greens with hints of orange in my head.
Kendra: ‘Home Movies Are Time Travel’ made me think, what if they were? What if those old school, antiquated VHS home movies were little portals to the past but the influx of video recordings due to technological advances bogged down the portal system so now we’re all stuck in this continuous loop? Okay, I went a little out there. A simpler question, do you think the fact that everyone has a little video recorder in their pocket today has taken away the charm of home movies?
Superdestroyer: Don’t even get me started on space-time. I am incredibly fascinated by notions of time and space and how the two are intertwined with perception. In my real life, it’s something that I actually have to read a lot of philosophy about, so it’s something I find myself thinking about a lot. Like, if time travel can only occur from the point time travel is created, and if we couldn’t interact with the past in a meaningful way, then we are essentially participating in a very limited form of time travel.
We can be in the crowds at historic events, we stand next to historical figures and see moments occur in real-time, and most importantly, we can revisit some of our favorite moments shared with people that we love.
I think the fact we can all document our time and make that accessible to others is amazing. We all get to work on these small-scale immortality projects where people will be able to know us—or at least a public version of us—in a way that is very thorough. We have videos, pictures, social media, etc. that work as modern journals that people can sort of immerse themselves within on a whim. To me, that seems a lot like time travel. Moments exist longer than a moment now. I have no idea why I think about this so frequently but it’s something I’ve really been into lately.
Kendra: On top of ‘Home Movies Are Time Travel,’ you have a live album called ‘Pets’ that you said you’ll be updating this summer. What exactly is a live album and is it something that’s ever complete?
Superdestroyer: I don’t know how long live albums have been around, but I’ve only become familiar with them over the past few years. They’re albums that are updated after release. Sometimes people will intermittently update over months, sometimes it’s only immediately after the release that people really bother, but my goal is to just sort of cycle back to ‘Pets’ after every few albums and see if there’s anything I’d like to change. I suppose it could be finished, but it’s as likely that you only think it’s finished until you realize you want to change something. It’s not something I’d like to do with all of my music, but for that album, I feel like there are still things I’d like to revisit and rework here and there. ‘Pets’ is essentially three songs re-recorded plus four new, so the album was recorded in the spirit of improvement.
Kendra: Usually, this is where I ask people what they have planned in the coming months but with the world in a strange place right now, plans aren’t as concrete as they typically are. You can go ahead and let us know what you have tentatively planned but can you also share a song that never fails to get you through when the world around you feels like a mess?
Superdestroyer: Well, I’ve recorded the majority of another LP, but it isn’t quite done yet and I don’t know when it’ll be out. I also recorded a collaborative EP with Leave Nelson B that we might try to release this year. He’ll have an LP out in September that he just sent me and it’s unbelievable how good it is. For the near future, I’ll probably just be working on stuff for Lonely Ghost. We released some very cool music lately. Winnebago Vacation released a song called “Can’t Say” that reminds me of Caring is Creepy by The Shins and I’m in love with it. Slimfit also released an EP called “There’s Never a Reason Not to Party!” that people could check out.
A song that helps me get through stuff is “Before I Move Off” by Mount Kimbie. It has a melancholic, sort of dissonant, ambient sound that seems to comfort me whenever I’m struggling. I highly recommend their music in general!
Superdestroyer’s ‘Home Movies Are Time Travel’ drops August 14, 2020.