Jenks Miller, the founder and sole constant of Horseback, speaks about the band's second LP, The Invisible Mountain.
INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: What was the most challenging aspect of finishing The Invisible Mountain?
JENKS MILLER: Most of the music Horseback released prior to The Invisible Mountain was instrumental. I wanted vocals to have a more prominent role in newer Horseback material; the process of developing a vocal style that complemented both the musical and thematic elements on The Invisible Mountain was a challenge at first. I didn't want the atmosphere or textural content of this record to pigeonhole it squarely within the "post-rock," psych/drone or black metal genres, and so I tried to find a way to synthesize influences from each of those.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of finishing The Invisible Mountain, be it musical or through opportunities it's afforded your band?
The process of carrying a record from conception through production without sacrificing its integrity as a complete entity can be very difficult, and in this sense, finishing a record is its own greatest reward. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the attention The Invisible Mountain received from new audiences, especially from fans of extreme—black and death—metal.
If you could change one thing about the record, what would it be?
I'm very happy with every aspect of this record, thanks in large part to exacting individual contributions made by my friends Nick Petersen (Monsonia, Track and Field Recording), John Crouch (Caltrop), Scott Endres (Suntan, MAKE), Jon Mackey (Sweater Weather), Keith at Utech Records and Denis Kostromitin (who created the fantastic cover artwork).
And what's something about the record you find interesting that no one's pointed out?
Denis Kostromitin's artwork (depicting a horse being attacked by wolves) was commissioned by Keith Utech prior to, and independent of, the lyrics to the first track on The Invisible Mountain, which describe a similar scene. Keith Utech noticed this synchronicity and brought the two elements together for the release.
Try to limit yourself to one answer: What's your favorite local album of 2009, other than the one you made?
Hiss Golden Messenger's Country Hai East Cotton. I think it's the best record MC Taylor has made in his impressive music career.