For Pitchfork's ongoing series "Over/Under," California's preeminent blackgaze proponents Deafheaven weighed in on topics ranging from the maligned genre "hick hop" to the good times one can have doing whippets to the exclusive-to-A-listers dating app Raya.
"That's one of those things where I just want to apologize to the whole planet for white people," guitarist Kerry McCoy says of hick hop, while his bandmates George Clarke and Shiv Mehra nod in agreement. Clarke mentions, "There's like a new wave of country rap that's, like, absolutely extreme ... There's a dark YouTube hole in your future."
Another topic the Deafheaven members agree on is whippets — nitrous oxide that's inhaled to induce a brief but intense high. The three decide in unison, "Underrated!" with Mehra and Clarke exclaiming they're always fun, but McCoy points out, "Gives you a headache, though." They then recall a time they played Salt Lake City, a notoriously "dry" (read: alcohol-free) area, and did "boxes" of whippets before taking the stage.
Additionally, the guys take on infamous Albany, New York, sex cult NXIVM, and McCoy points out the redundancy of the term "sex cult" since "the whole point of being in a cult seems to be that you can have sex with everybody in it."
When asked to expound on Raya, the ultra-exclusive dating app meant to attract high-profile clientele, McCoy chimes in that he finds it underrated, even though he doesn't feel like he belongs there. "For me, it's great," he says. "Probably terrible for everybody else."
An unexpected ask comes when Pitchfork brings up scented candles, which the bandmates unanimously claim are underrated. The three bring up "vibe-teching," which is exactly what it sounds like: a way to control the atmosphere before or after a gig, plus bonus points for the candles' ability to cover "weed smells."
Below, watch Deafheaven's ferocious performance of their recently released single "Black Brick":