The End: Strand of Oaks | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 21st, 2024  

The End: Strand of Oaks

Seeding New Galaxies

Oct 01, 2021 Web Exclusive Photography by Merrick Ales Bookmark and Share

To end out the week, we ask Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks some questions about endings and death.

Strand of Oaks has released a new album, fittingly titled In Heaven, today on Showalter’s own Galacticana Records via Thirty Tigers. It is the first Strand of Oaks album since Showalter moved to Austin and since he got sober.

In Heaven is the follow-up to 2019’s acclaimed Eraserland, which came out via Dead Oceans and was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2019. The majority of My Morning Jacket (Carl Broemel, Bo Koster, Patrick Hallahan, and Tom Blankenship) backed up Showalter on Eraserland.

In Heaven was recorded with Kevin Ratterman (who also played drums on it) at Invisible Creature in Los Angeles, in October 2020. My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel and Bo Koster returned on guitars and keyboards respectively. Cedric LeMoyne (Alanis Morrissette, Remy Zero) played bass, with Scott Moore on violin. James Iha of The Smashing Pumpkins guests on one song, contributing vocals and guitar to “Easter.” Another song, “Somewhere in Chicago,” is an ode to the late singer/songwriter John Prine, who died last year due to COVID-19.

Showalter had this to say about the album in a press release announcing it: “In Heaven was created with so much love and my greatest hope is that it connects with people and provides a momentary space for reflection, joy, catharsis and whatever else someone might be looking for in their life. Music is magic and I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I’m allowed to share it.”

Read on as Showalter discusses what songs he’d like played on his deathbed and at his funeral; his favorite endings to books, movies, and TV shows; a dance party in heaven; and why he doesn’t want to even discuss the concept of hell.

How would you like to die and what age would you like to be?

In about a billion or so years when the nearest star capable of going supernova disintegrates my atoms into their base elements and I seed a new galaxy to call home.

What song would you like to be playing at your deathbed?

“The Creator Has a Master Plan” by Pharaoh Sanders.

What song would you like to be performed at your funeral and who would you like to sing it?

“Ponta de Areia” by Wayne Shorter (on repeat or until the tears transform into smiles and laughing).

What’s your favorite ending to a movie?

Uncut Gems, or many others, I always have a hard time remembering movies.

What’s your favorite last line in a book?

Kurt Vonnegut: The Sirens of Titan.

“Don’t ask me why, old sport,” said Stony, “but somebody up there likes you.”

What’s your favorite series finale last ever episode of a TV show?

So many, but I secretly wish all shows ended as brilliantly as Eastbound and Down.

What’s your favorite last song on an album?

“I Dream a Highway” by Gillian Welch from Time (The Revelator).

What’s your favorite last album by a band who then broke up?

Laughing Stock by Talk Talk.

What’s your favorite way a band broke up?

Talk Talk—they didn’t break up, they just did the whole supernova seed the universe thing I discussed in the first question.

Whose passing has most affected you?

Been pretty raw lately, maybe I’ll be in a place to share this someday, but not today.

What’s your concept of the afterlife?

I hope dearly that the people and animals that I love have an existence that is filled with pure absolute love.

What would be your own personal version of heaven if it exists?

Underworld playing Dubnobasswithmyheadman and everything and everyone I’ve ever loved will all be together raving our fucking asses off (with a great light show of course).

What would be the worst punishment the devil could devise for you in hell, if he exists?

This is a horrifying concept. I actually don’t want to have an answer for this. I hope I live a good enough life to never have to deal with the devil that much.

If reincarnation exists, who or what would you like to be reincarnated as?

Someone who is able to understand and interpret science and mathematics with the same passion that I approach music.

What role or achievement would you most like to be remembered for?

Being a nice person.

What would you like your last words to be?

“I love you.”

Read our 2019 My Firsts interview with Strand of Oaks.

Read our 2019 interview with Strand of Oaks on Easerland.

Read our 2020 COVID-19 Quarantine Check-In interview with Strand of Oaks.

Read our My Favorite Album interview with Strand of Oaks.

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