When Laura Pleasants was part of Kylesa’s 2001 formation, she was a college student who participated in the burgeoning Metal project largely for kicks.
“I was like, ‘I want to do this now while I can before I got stuck in a job or a family where I won’t be able to just leave for whatever,’ ” recalls the guitarist and singer.
But the band never broke up, as Kylesa has spent years establishing a rep in underground Metal. The dedication has been paying off recently: 2009’s Static Tensions was the outfit’s most prominent release, and the next one, Spiral Shadow (the band’s fifth album, due Oct. 25), demonstrates new sonic dimensions.
Kylesa’s sound has developed from stormy, burly Sludge Metal into something fated for broader classification — something willing to be poppier.
Kylesa’s strongest weapon is its two full drum kits, which create an unconquerable layer of percussion. Vocally, the act is powered by the interplay between guitarist Phillip Cope’s deep roars and Pleasants’ hypnotic, transient tone. For Spiral Shadow, she called on some unlikely influences by primarily listening to ’90s Indie and AltRock bands like Built to Spill and not listening to other Metal bands at all.
“(Cope and I) wanted to do the best we could to make (the singing) catchy and memorable,” she says. “Not for every song, but certain songs call for that.”
Still, for as important as cultivating the actual music is, sticking with Kylesa has provided Pleasants with some practical knowledge, too.
“I was always just interested in the creative side, but there’s this whole other business side. Whether you like it or not, it’s there and you have to deal with that,” she says. “It’s been one big learning process.”
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