After four years of silence, instrumental metal standard bearers Pelican have come thundering back, with Forever Becoming, an eight-song album destined to be considered one of the most punishingly rewarding albums of the year.
This reborn Pelican is purer, more focused, and far more assured. Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago with engineer Chris Common, and featuring The Swan King guitarist Dallas Thomas (replacing the amicably departed Laurent Schroeder-Lebec) Forever Becoming is an immense, speaker-rattling meditation on the infinite cycle of death and life. It takes a lot of experience and a lot of confidence to attempt a head-on ascent of the biggest, most monolithic theme in art, but Forever Becoming is proof that Pelican has plenty of both, and knows how to wield them.
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for at your show?
There have been a couple of shows where fans, who are avid bakers, brought us cupcakes. That’s a pretty phenomenal bonus when you’re on tour and never expect much, particularly when you’re playing music that is ostensibly heavy metal.
What is the funniest moment you have had as a band so far?
We played a sold out show with High On Fire in Madrid in 2007. Knowing a little about the history of their punk scene and how purportedly crazy it was, I figured there was nowhere safer for a stage dive than a packed venue in Spain. Unfortunately, regardless of how packed the room was, I wiped out a full row of the crowd when I came down. Luckily no one was hurt.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Stretching mostly. I inadvertently bounce around a lot on stage and the older I get the more I feel it the next day, so getting the muscles loosened up is essential.
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
I think our mentality when we play is not so much that we are presenting music, as much as, sharing an experience with the audience. We feel sincerely gifted with the opportunity to play for people and we approach the performance as a communal experience and hope that the audience brings that same mentality.
How did you come up with your band name?
By accident. I think a friend made a flippant comment about how it would be a good band name and now it’s 13 years later.
What is the best way for you to write music?
It can’t be forced, I find that ideas come when they are least expected and one just needs to be ready and open to receive the inspiration when it hits and channel it as quickly as possible before it slips away.