“We’re Sextile and we’re from California,” spits out Sextile frontman Brady Keehn with the same feverish urgency that surges through his band’s music.
It’s the band’s debut London gig and the venue is tightly packed – a steller indication of the buzz currently following this four-piece. And rightly so. If Anthony Burgess’ nihilist droogs existed in today’s space and time, there’s no doubt Sextile would be their record of choice at the Korova Milk Bar. It’s dark. It’s feral. It makes you want to dance. It makes you want to scream. It’s all you could ever want.
Having recently released their sophomore record, Albeit Living, the four-piece are in a different place to where they were after their debut offering (back in 2015). After a single live performance nearly three years ago, the band was signed to Felt Records and immediately began recording having polished the demos Keehn had made in the shed behind the sober house he was living in at the time. “Everyone else came when they could but no one had cars and taking the bus took at least an hour and a half.”
Things have swiftly been improving for the band ever since, the shed behind the sober house has been upgraded to a friend’s basement studio in exchange for paying the electricity bill, a devoted fanbase has emerged, and a ferocious appetite to create has been instilled.
Georgia Mitropoulos: How does your music influence your recovery from substances.
Brady Keehn: It keeps me sober because it’s an example of recovery actually working for us and the band being something that came out of our connection with it.
Georgia: You sell vintage merch on the side, how did you come up with the concept ?
Brady: I’m always thinking of ways to hussle. Being in a band, merch is the thing that makes you the most money these days. So, naturally, since I’m already shopping for myself on the regular, I figured I’d start to screen on vintage to make us more money. Plus, it looks better and becomes something special that our fans know there is only one of.
“I’ll have a scratch track for rhythm and melody but it will be all nonsense ’till the very end.”
Georgia: You moved from New York to LA, so you feel that making the move was right for you?
Brady: LA gave me space and time – it gave me a new outlook on everything. LA lets you have time to make music and be creative because it doesn’t demand as much as NYC. I get space in the outdoors while still having a city life, it’s the beautiful dichotomy. I love NYC but by the end of my time living there, I was in an abusive relationship with myself and the city.
Georgia: What was the starting point for your latest album? Was there an underlying theme or goal you were hoping to achieve with the piece?
Brady: The starting point was when we obtained an MS-10. It changed the sound of the band, and really changed the way we write songs. We did have a goal, making it more accessible and I definitely think we accomplished that with this record.
Georgia: Your vocals can be pretty obscured (in terms of understanding the lyrics), where do they come in during the writing process?
Brady: The very end! It’s the last thing I do. I’ll have a scratch track for rhythm and melody but it will be all nonsense ’till the very end.
Georgia: Can you tell me a little about what each of you are doing when not being a Sextile?
Brady: Jobs. Everyone is working their ass off to save up for rent, and going on tour. And if we’re not working it’s Sextile – it takes up quite a lot of our time. Cam is an amazing visual artist, he has the struggle of trying to balance work, his visual art, and the band. I was working for a mural painting company for a while, so part of my job was to pick up artists from the airport and find them drugs while they were here.
Georgia: What makes you feel alive?
Brady: My cat Doe, listening to the right record that inspires, and the winter sun in LA.