There’s no shortage of great music being made in Texas, by Texans: from slide guitars to 808s, from accordians to distortion pedals, the tapestry of Texas includes the traditions of George Strait, Pantera, UGK, At the Drive-In, and Freddy Fender. Today’s burgeoning artists are tomorrow’s legends, and on the Daily Post’s song premieres, artists explain why their latest tracks are worthy of your time and attention.
This week, Austin’s electro-punk trio BLXPLTN drops “No Fly List,” the first single from their forthcoming follow-up to last year’s breakthrough album Black Cop Down. Drummer TaSzlin Muerte and bassist/synth player Jonathan “Javelin” Horstmann answer our questionnaire below.
Can you walk us through the songwriting process on this song?
TaSzlin: We were at Jonathan’s house, jamming with our producer Autry Fulbright […And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Midnight Masses]. I started playing the beat, and eventually Jonathan came in with the synth, and the signature riff emerged from [guitarist] Khattie [Q]. It all happened layer by layer, the way it still happens in the final recording.
When did you know that this song was finished?
TaSzlin: When we got it back from being mastered. [laughs]
Jonathan: There’s sort of a ritual thing that happens when we finish arranging a song. We’ll keep bouncing around ideas and trying them until at some point we finish playing it and everyone just kind of erupts into excited shouting and we all high-five each other and we know the song is what it wants to be.
Is this the best song you’ve ever written?
TaSzlin: Depends who you’re asking.
Jonathan: It’s not a bad one, but it’s far from perfect. Every song you write can be your best song up until that point, so in that sense, “No Fly List” was, at one time, our best song. We are constantly writing, so I’d say it held that title for a good 24 hours or so.
What do you think people should be doing while they listen to this song?
Jonathan: Envisioning a world where all oppressed peoples are liberated. Or not.
TaSzlin: Asking themselves “Do I discriminate based upon race, religion, class, gender, etc.?” and “What am I doing to stop discrimination?”
If you had to compare this song to a food, what food would that be?
TaSzlin: Gumbo. It’s a little bit of everything and a whole lot to go around. When it’s being served, you don’t feel right if you don’t try it.
Jonathan: This song is like someone eating filet mignon and lobster, while you’re starving, watching from behind bulletproof glass.