Photo By Ben Rayner
The evolution of Simon Doom begins with the recording of the project's debut EP, Negotiate With The Monkey, which the band's frontman and principal songwriter, Simon O'Connor, recorded with Tommy Stinson of The Replacements in 2015. While O'Connor was often kept busy with other responsibilities, such as his role as bass player in MGMT, he would always find time to tinker with the project without committing to pursuing the project full-time. Then, he became a father and his perspective on Simon Doom shifted.
Determined to not let the project fall by the wayside, O'Connor began crafting the songs that would become his 2017 debut full length, Babyman, as his newborn son slept in the next room. Once the songs were at a point where O’Connor was ready record, he brought the demos to Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser (both of MGMT), who would end up having a profound effect on Babyman as co-producers. In addition to Vanwyngardenand Goldwasser, another well-regarded member of the Brooklyn indie rock scene, Ayad Al Adhamy (Passion Pit, Team Spirit), would also leave his mark on the record as the primary mix engineer.
O' Connor recruited Jim Carroll (Clouds, Pure Love) on guitar and William Flynn (formerly of St. Vincent) on bass, both of whom O'Connor has known since guitar camp when they were all 15-years-old, as well as Brandon Collins (Apse) on drums to fill out the band's onstage lineup. Over the next year, they would find themselves playing shows with A Giant Dog, Lemon Twigs, Piebald, Detroit Cobras, Tommy Stinson, Culture Abuse, Ex Hex, We Are Scientists, and Mister Heavenly. There was tremendous chemistry between the four musicians and, as Simon began to write new material, it became clear that although he would always be the frontman and primary songwriter behind the project, his bandmates should be in the studio recording with him as he started the next chapter of Simon Doom.
The first look at what this latest incarnation of Simon Doom will look like comes by way of "Lucifer The Light Bearer," which O'Connor along with Carroll, Flynn and Collins recorded at CRC Studios in Brooklyn with engineer/producer Miles Robinson (MGMT, Charlift, Public Access TV). For "Lucifer The Lightbearer," O'Connor notes that it was a very different process than with Babyman -"We really created the song from scratch as a band and Miles' approach to recording was vastly different than anyone who I had worked with in the past. He brought out the clarity of the instruments and my voice in a way that I never had the guts to before.
Of the songs origins O'Connor adds, "I have always considered myself a mystical atheist. I was reading an interview with the lead singer of Cradle of Filth in which he referred to himself as a "Luciferian" rather than a Satanist... I looked up Luciferianism and thought, hey that’s what I am! Basically, Lucifer the light bearer is the morning star, the bringer of information, the messenger of enlightenment -not an evil force. He continues to note that melodically and sonically, the song is very saccharine, but the subject matter is dark and ominous. I love that juxtaposition.
The single will be available digitally January 26, 2018 on Votiv.