Metal Anarchy’s New Music Showcase: Exclusive Q&A With Picnic Lightning

Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to artists that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with Picnic Lightning.

METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:

PICNIC LIGHTNING: We are Picnic Lightning. We formed in 2013 with Thomas Ketchersid on vocals & guitar, Cole Watkins on lead vocals & guitar, John Cope on bass & vocals and Cameron “Cam Chowder” Navarro on drums & vocals. We’re a quartet of gentlemen from Fort Worth, Texas trying to bring our southern gothic psych to the masses. You might describe us as raw and brooding desert punk, the sound of summer heat and dimly lit clubs. Dark, post-everything wall of sound howls like a dust storm, delivering a spiritual stomp that dwells in the shadowland of trenchant questions and orphic revelations. Our songs deftly touch the inexhaustible complexities of life and do so with sonics as singular as theindividual human experience. They croon and holler, stomp and skip, wax thoughtful where vengeance belongs, and vice-versa. It’s the fuel that sets your car aflame or gets you home; the drug that puts you down or brings out the beast. The band’s mantra from day one has been: let no one suffer.

METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?

PICNIC LIGHTNING: Musically, most directly, it would be Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Ty Segall, The National and Queens of the Stone Age. From there, you can start following various threads through the annals of rock. We’re also each artists and creatives beyond music and have a variety of non-musical influences: Rene Magritte, Alex Ross, Francis Bacon, Harold Pinter, Roberto Bolaño, Arthur C Clarke, Rainier Maria Rilke, and David Lynch.

METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?

PICNIC LIGHTNING: Our newest single, “Over My Head,” is a dreamy, massive post-rock song soaked in vocal harmonies, with lyrics that attempt to express our spiritual journeys/matters of the soul.The lyrical content originates from a poem written by Thomas at the guest services desk of a declining mall. The song is about how we all find bigger meaning – god, etc – in odd, singular places. It explores how we can find that same meaning in pleasure of sound, and a place where, as the lyrics mention, “me and the Holy Ghost are fucking around.” We think you’ll dig it and that it’s worth your time. It was recently added to a “Road Trip Discoveries” Spotify playlist and makes a good summer vibe.

METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?

PICNIC LIGHTNING: A good time! Our mantra is to let no one suffer: us, the fans, the audience, etc. We’re loud but not at the sacrifice of tone, and we try to keep things loose and natural, while still taking our job seriously. We try our best to join bills that compliment but expand our sound, so we highly recommend for anyone to come early and stay late to catch the entire bill.

METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?

PICNIC LIGHTNING: We’ve been at this a while and with a good foundation of songs, a solid community, and a little pent up creative energy from the last few years, we’re hopeful the next 5 years will lead to some real growth and reach in audience, fans, and live shows. More immediately, we have a few singles coming out throughout the summer with the next one hitting on July 8th, and a few more following that. We’re starting to tour again, COVID-permitting, so keep an eye on our website and socials for all the latest dates, merch, and rabble rousing.

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